Objectives of the department are varied, including preparation of undergraduate and graduate students for graduate school and careers as professional geoscientists and also preparation of earth science teachers at the primary and secondary levels.
A wide variety of geologic phenomena in the adjacent Cascade Range and the marine environment of Salish Sea provide a broad spectrum of geologic features for study.
The department offers BA, BAE, BS and MS degrees plus specialized courses in the following subjects: economic geology; environmental geology; geochemistry; geomorphology; geophysics; glacial geology; hydrology; paleomagnetism; paleontology; petrology; planetary geology; sedimentation; seismology; stratigraphy; and structure and tectonics.
Student Involvement in Research
The faculty in the Geology Department are active in a wide variety of ongoing research projects that frequently involve undergraduate and graduate students in special projects and thesis projects or provide employment. Some of this research is funded or partially supported from grants to individual faculty members from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, National Parks Commission, Office of Ecology and geological-related companies. Many of these projects are in the Western Washington region, others include investigations in other parts of the United States, Canada, overseas, or at sea as part of larger oceanographic projects.