Mission Statement

The Albion College Department of Geological Sciences provides undergraduate students intellectually engaging and challenging learning opportunities in geology through integrated classroom, laboratory, field, and research experiences.  Our students learn to deal with transdisciplinary problems involving complicated systems with complex variables, a wide range of scales of both time and space, and often incomplete or ambiguous data sets.   This is excellent preparation for many careers, including geology, law, business, and medicine, as well as for informed citizenship.

Our primary teaching mission is to develop in students critical thinking skills that focus on addressing complex multi-dimensional geological and environmental problems in their natural and social context.   Additionally, our goals include:  1) to prepare Geology and Earth Science majors and minors for graduate school and careers in a wide range of areas; 2) to provide superior liberal arts science experiences for non-majors as part of their general education requirement; and 3) to support the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science concentrations and Category.  In further support of our students, we foster experiential learning through lab- and field-intensive courses, departmental colloquia, field trips, a summer field course in the Rocky Mountains, and research with faculty.

Our research mission is to plan, conduct, complete, present, and publish scholarly investigations into a wide variety of geological problems. We strive to include students in every phase of the research experience as summer researchers, directed study students, first-year research partners, and honors thesis advisees. We emphasize the use of fieldwork, literature review, laboratory and computer analyses of data, and written and oral communication in our research projects. We have active research programs in Tibet and India (Carrie Menold), Antarctica (Thom Wilch), Wyoming (Bill Bartels), and South Dakota (Beth and Tim Lincoln), as well as several on-going projects in Michigan.

In support of our research and teaching mission, we maintain superb collections of minerals, rocks, fossils, maps, and digital data. We further support teaching and research by maintaining up-to-date analytical and computing facilities.

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