Welcome to the Geology Department


The Geology Department at WWU is committed to excellence in both teaching and research.  Our goal is to offer the highest possible quality education in the geological sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The mission of our department is to serve three main populations: graduate students, undergraduate geology majors, and undergraduates from other departments for their general education courses. For all of these students we strive to create excitement about discovery and the process of geologic inquiry.  We want to develop in all students an appreciation of how geological processes affect the earth and society so that they will be environmentally responsible, scientifically literate citizens.  We strive to produce majors with an interdisciplinary content background in geology and the physical sciences who are competent in the field, who can work collaboratively, conduct original research, and effectively communicate their results.


Future Geologists at Work and Play

  • Swift Creek, WA Students working with the Total Station surveying instrument. (Geomorphology, Apr, 2006. By Niki Thane.)
  • Rosario Head ophiolite Liz Schermer and students standing on chert, looking at the contact with basalt (Structural Geology, Oct, 2013. By Sarah Faubion.)
  • Gaunt Creek, New Zealand Frolicking on the Alpine fault (Australia-NZ plate boundary) (Advanced Structural Geology, Mar, 2010. By Liz Schermer.)
  • Moeraki Boulders Students on large concretions weathered out of shale; South Island, New Zealand (Advanced Structural Geology, Mar, 2010. By Liz Schermer.)
  • In frozen lake WWU students collect sediment core on Mt. Baker. (May, 2009. By Doug Clark.)
  • Winter lake coring Team driving core sampler into lake sediment from ice platform. (Feb, 2009. By Doug Clark.)
  • Shaking Baker Students and faculty installing temporary seismometer on Mt. Baker. (Oct, 2009. By Jackie Caplan-Auerbach.)
  • Locust Beach, WA Students carving and cleaning the outcrop to reveal sedimentary history. (Stratigraphy & Sedimentology, Jan, 2014. By Tom Evans.)
  • Columbia River Basalts Sue Debari and students, near Vantage, WA. (Field Petrology, Aug, 2009. By Susan DeBari.)
  • Near Hawaii Students on an ocean research vessel mapping Lo`ihi submarine volcano (Aug, 2008. By Jackie Caplan-Auerbach.)