As a child, were you fascinated by volcanoes, earthquakes, and landslides? Are you concerned about the effects of climate change and pollution on our planet? Do you want to help take care of the earth —and the people living on it? If so, Buffalo State College’s Earth Science Program may be the perfect path for you.
Earth science is the study of the earth’s land, sea, atmosphere and solar system. Earth scientists study tectonically active areas to predict disasters; explore and discover areas that might contain oil, precious metals, or other minerals; monitor groundwater to make sure it is free of pollution; and investigate the strength of bedrock to support roads, dams, and tunnels. The field of earth science can take you anywhere —from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the Himalayas.
Thanks to an Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship from the Undergraduate Research Office, Buffalo State earth sciences major Hiruni Senarath Dassanayake,' 16, spent eight weeks mapping a section of Mars. “There was one quadrangle in the Margaritifer Terra region of Mars that I started to map, but I noticed some interesting formations in five craters near the quadrangle. So I focused on them instead.”
"Pluto is the last of the classical planets in our solar system to remain unexplored," said associate professor of earth sciences and science education Kevin Williams, director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium, whose research involves unraveling the geologic history of other planets. "Being able to explore the surface of an object almost 5 billion miles away is one of humanity’s most astonishing and inspiring achievements. I can’t wait for the world to finally see Pluto’s secrets up close.”
Buffalo State’s earth sciences program helps students develop a broad understanding of the earth as a dynamic, interacting system of land, sea, atmosphere, and solar system. Our program provides an authoritative background for students interested in pursuing careers as scientists or earth science educators. Students pursuing a bachelor of science (BS) degree in earth science will work with a faculty adviser to select one of three concentrations: earth science, environmental earth sciences, or geology.
Earth science students benefit from a wide variety of program elements, including:
Buffalo State is committed to provide hands-on opportunities for students both in and outside of the classroom. The following clubs, internships, programs, and service learning programs are specifically aimed toward helping earth sciences students grow their skills.
Student majors are given many opportunities to pursue independent research under faculty supervision or an internship experience. Students may find additional information about undergraduate research possibilities from faculty members, and by visiting the Undergraduate Research Office.
Research opportunities are available to students in the study of rocks, fossils, environmental issues, and geological processes. Faculty research provides additional opportunities for students to perform laboratory work and hands-on outdoor data collection.
Buffalo State's Earth Sciences and Science Education Department offers several field-based courses and has strong relationships with local companies and government agencies which help to provide opportunities for hands-on experiences and work-related internships prior to graduation. The earth sciences internship program is designed to provide students seeking careers in the geosciences with professional work experience. Internship opportunities are advertised within the department, but may also be initiated by the student. A written agreement between the student, field supervisor and a faculty supervisor will be formulated. Internships sites have included:
Careers in earth science are broad and highly varied. Climate change, volcanism, water management, and environmental sustainability are all enormous fields with many small branches--and they are only a few of earth science’s many subdivisions. Most earth science graduates find jobs in fields including:
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