Table of ContentsPrevious Page in CatalogNext Page in CatalogIndex

UNC Logo


Earth Sciences

Location: Ross Hall 3235
Telephone: 970.351.2647
FAX: 970.351.4197

The Earth Sciences program includes the disciplines of geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy. Geology is the study of the earth, its structure, composition and history. Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere and the weather phenomena that affect our daily lives. Oceanography is the study of the physical, chemical and biologic characteristics of the world's oceans. Astronomy (administered by Physics) is the study of the planets, stars and galaxies that make up our universe.

The undergraduate program in the earth sciences provides preparation for professional careers in geology, meteorology, secondary-level earth science teaching and the environmental industry. The graduate program is designed to meet the needs and interests of individuals who wish to expand their knowledge of the earth sciences as science teachers or in other careers that require a knowledge of the earth sciences.

The Earth Sciences program emphasizes the integration of field and laboratory study and students are encouraged to undertake independent research projects and internships.

Earth Sciences B.S.

Environmental Earth Sciences Emphasis

The multidisciplinary Environmental Earth Sciences emphasis is intended for individuals who wish to pursue careers with responsibilities that include environmental monitoring, regulation or management. Students may prepare for entry-level positions in the environmental industry or governmental agencies, or for graduate education in such fields as resource management, environmental public policy and environmental law. The program also is well suited for anyone with a serious interest in the scientific aspect of environmental issues.

Geology Emphasis

The science of geology explores the physical makeup of the earth, the processes that shape it and the history of its development. This program provides a broad background in geology and emphasizes the study of geology in the field and in the laboratory.

Graduates of the geology program will be prepared for entry-level positions as geologists in the petroleum mining, and environmental industries, in local, state and federal governmental agencies and in a variety of engineering and geological consulting firms. The program also provides the background necessary for admission to graduate programs in geology and related fields.

Meteorology Emphasis

The UNC meteorology program has two goals: a strong foundation in the sciences preparing students for graduate school and providing the experience necessary to be ready to take a job in weather forecasting.

The science of meteorology seeks to understand the atmosphere and its phenomena by considering the forces that act on it, the processes that determine its behavior and the interaction between it and the earth beneath. This program provides a broad background in meteorology and stresses practical interpretation of weather data and the importance of meteorology to many aspects of human endeavor.

Graduates of the meteorology program will be prepared for entry-level positions as meteorologists with government agencies and private companies, as weather forecasters with the United States Air Force and as team members with firms concerned with environmental monitoring. Meteorology is also an excellent major for individuals planning careers in either civilian or military aviation. The program provides the background necessary for admission to graduate programs in the atmospheric sciences.

The course requirements assure that our graduates meet all of the requirements for certification with the American Meteorology Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA).

Secondary Teaching Emphasis

The coursework and experiences in this major are designed to provide the student with a broad background in the four earth science disciplines (astronomy, geology, meteorology and oceanography) and supporting sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Graduates of this program are prepared to teach earth science in grades 7-12. Graduates will have satisfied all the requirements to receive Secondary Science Licensure from the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

For degree and program requirements, see:

Earth Sciences Minor

Earth Science Concentration

Earth Sciences B.S.

Environmental Earth Sciences Emphasis

Geology Emphasis

Meteorology Emphasis

Secondary Teaching Emphasis

Earth Sciences M.A.

This program is for students who wish to broaden or deepen their backgrounds in the earth science disciplines (astronomy, geology, meteorology and oceanography) and develop their research skills. It serves individuals who are or intend to become secondary school or community college earth science teachers. It is also appropriate for K-12 teachers, students pursuing careers in allied fields that require a multidisciplinary background in the earth sciences and for individuals wishing to explore the earth sciences as a second career.

The multidisciplinary structure of the school affords each student the opportunity to develop a sequence of courses that complements and builds upon his or her previous education and experience, whether in the earth sciences or in other disciplines. The program provides both a thesis and a non-thesis option. Typically, students seeking a focused program emphasizing research skills elect the thesis option, and students seeking a broad, multidisciplinary curriculum emphasizing content will elect the non-thesis option. In consultation with the student's graduate committee, each student will select the appropriate option and design a curriculum for his or her particular educational and career objectives.

For degree and program requirements, see:

Earth Sciences M.A.


Table of ContentsPrevious Page in CatalogNext Page in CatalogIndex