Geology is the study of the entire Earth. It is the ultimate interdisciplinary science, in that geologists use knowledge of chemistry, physics, mathematics and modern biology to understand the physical and biological history of the entire planet. Geologists are charged with locating virtually all non-biological resources on Earth, and are also at the forefront of understanding and mitigating the environmental impacts of human activities. They are also foremost among the scientists studying the other planetary bodies of our solar system, as NASA missions to Mars, Venus, the Moon and Jupiter have demonstrated so vividly in recent years. Through classroom study, hands-on research experience, and internships, Colby geology majors are prepared to enter this exciting world either as beginning professionals or exceptionally well-prepared graduate students.
The department offers two major programs: a Geology major for those planning to enter professional work or go on immediately to graduate study, and a geoscience major more geared towards a general liberal-arts education or science teaching career. A more research-intensive honors program is also offered. Requirements for each of these programs may be found at the Geology Page in the College Catalogue.
Students in Geology at Colby find that the Department is committed to the principle of “learning by doing.” All geology majors at Colby engage in at least one major research project before graduating, working closely with one or more faculty mentors in a significant exploration of new knowledge. In recent years, many students have presented the results of their research at either the National Annual Meeting or the Northeastern Section Meeting of the Geological Society of America, as well as other professional venues.