Department of Geological Sciences
Geology is the scientific study of the composition, structure, properties and history of the Earth’s physical material, including the processes that have shaped and changed the planet. Also known as Earth Sciences, this field is uniquely crucial to humankind and the challenges we face today.
Our department is deeply committed to preparing students to contribute as geologists to the future of society. To that end, we offer a range of internship, research and field study opportunities in addition to our academic programs.
"My specific areas of interest are geophysics and planetary sciences. My research focuses on earthquake mechanics and prediction, and the use of seismic waves to unravel earth structure. One of my students recently completed a research project on the magnetic-field precursors to the Loma Prieta earthquake. I have also completed a project with collaborators at MIT on the scattering and attenuation of seismic waves in New England. We offer a modern geological science curriculum at BSU and geophysics is an important part of that curriculum. Moreover, BSU provides an excellent environment for students to pursue independent research and I am working to expand such opportunities in the realm of geophysics."
BA, Acadia University
MA, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Christine Brandon received her doctorate in Geosciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and now joins the Bridgewater State University Department of Geological Sciences. This Fall (2015), she will teach Sedimentary Geology (GEOL 370) and "A Sweet Suite of Planets," one of the First Year Seminars. Her research is in a subfield of geology called "paleotempestology" or the study of past storms. She develops records of hurricane activity by looking at the sediments left in coastal ponds by hurricane storm surges which can help local residents understand their susceptibility to future storms. Her hobbies include reading (particularly science fiction), hiking and swimming, playing board games and volunteering.
"My research in Remote Sensing at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has allowed me to use the most advanced airborne and satellite imaging spectrometer data in geological, hydrological, engineering, and environmental studies. Many of my students have presented their research results at the Lunar Planetary Institute at the Johnson Space Center, Geological Society of America and other professional venues. Some of them have won awards for their research! Our department continues to lead exciting annual field trips to exotic locales such as Hawaii, Iceland, central Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula and the southwestern United States."
BA, MS, PhD, Rutgers University
Dr. Kaczmarek enjoys studying the chemical and physical processes that dictate deposition and alteration of carbonate sediments and rocks. His current research focuses on the chemical kinetics of dolomite formation. He conducts this research by integrating laboratory experiments, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and field data. The techniques and analytical equipment that Dr. Kaczmarek uses are very accessible for undergraduate students looking for hands-on research experience.
BS, PhD, Michigan State University 2005
"My primary interests are in the petrology and tectonic evolution of mountain belts around the world including the Himalayas of Pakistan and Tibet, the Sierras de Pampeanas of Argentina, the Appalachians of the eastern U.S., and most recently, the Rocky Mountains of the western U.S. In the summer of 2002, I spent two weeks studying the geology of the Blacktail Mountains of Montana along with my former undergraduate advisor; talk about coming full circle. At BSU, we cultivate and foster this same type of student-faculty interaction. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate and are included in all aspects of our active professional research program."
BS, State University of New York at Oneonta
MS, Bowling Green State University
PhD, Lehigh University
"My primary interests include marine geology and geochemistry. Over the last four years I have been a member of the science team on three different oceanographic expeditions to locations that include the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Indian Ocean, and the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the Pacific. This work has included two dives in the deep sea submersible “Alvin” to study the organic geochemistry of hot springs on the sea floor. Quite an adventure! I have had the good fortune to involve many talented BSU geological science students on these and other research projects. The face of science has changed dramatically at BSU in recent years and the number of undergraduate research opportunities is expanding every year. It is an exciting time."
BA, Colby College
MS, PhD, University of Minnesota
Mrs. Flint is our department's office manager. She can help you contact our faculty, she supervises student workers, and help students with their concerns.
Jessica Sousa's specific areas of interest are metamorphism and geochemical evolution during mountain building events. Her recent research has focused on using high precision garnet geochronology at a small spatial scale to measure the rate of crystal growth in order to determine the timescales involved with metamorphic events and their tectonic driving forces. Jessica has studied mountain belts from around the world including the southern Chilean Andes, the western Italian Alps, and the western New Hampshire and eastern Vermont Appalachians.
MS, Boise State University 2011
The department offers a BA or BS in Earth Sciences (with the option for BS students to concentrate in geology or environmental geoscience) and minors in Earth science, geophysics, or secondary education. We have a long history of active engagement within the field of remote sensing, and we support these activities with both traditional courses and numerous applied research opportunities. Our energetic faculty is continuously involved in scholarship all over the world – and truly committed to the advancement of students.
A degree in geology prepares students for graduate school and/or to work as geologists, geographers, geophysicists or oceanographers for government or private organizations, or as engineers or managers in the development of natural resources.
For more information on programs see our Catalog.