Geology and Earth Science

Faculty Top of Page

William Bajjali, Professor
Andrew Breckenridge, Assistant Professor

Geology and Earth Science Program Top of Page

The Earth Science program includes minors in Earth Science, Earth and Space Science for elementary or secondary teachers, and Water Resources Management. Related minors in Geography and Applied GIS are described in the Geography section of this catalog. Students who are interested in the field of geology are encouraged to consult with one of the faculty members in this program.

Earth Science Minor Requirements Top of Page

The Earth Science Minor is designed to complement other fields of study. The minor provides a general overview and context of the basic principles and concepts of geology and is a good option for people pursuing careers in the natural sciences.

Viable employment opportunities exist for graduates in the areas of hydrogeology and environmental remediation. Well-qualified scientists with a background in geology, hydrology, chemistry and geographic information systems (GIS) are required to meet this need.

21 total credits

Required courses (8 credits required--select two courses from the list below):

The Dynamic Earth -- 4.00 credits
Historical Geology -- 4.00 credits
Environmental Geology -- 4.00 credits

Elective courses (13 credits required):

Astronomy -- 4.00 credits
Fundamentals of GIS I -- 4.00 credits
Climatology -- 3.00 credits
Physical Oceanography -- 3.00 credits
Geography of Wisconsin -- 3.00 credits
Geomorphology -- 4.00 credits
Watershed Hydrology -- 4.00 credits
Special Topics -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits
Undergraduate Research -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits
Internship -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits

A combined maximum of four credits may be earned in GEOL 491 and GEOL 496.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Top of Page

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are the basis for understanding our world through digital spatial information. The GIS certificate is designed to meet the growing demand for GIS applications in diverse disciplines.  The GIS certificate is intended for two audiences:

  1. UWS-students who cannot finish the 21 credit GIS minor, but wish to be recognized for their practical GIS experience and skills acquired through coursework at UWS.
  2. Professionals and students from outside UWS who would like to gain and apply spatial knowledge in their field. This audience can complete the GIS certificate online through the UWS Center for Continuing Education.

The courses required to complete the GIS certificate span topics from introductory to advanced applications, including the elements of GIS, spatial data type and acquisition, coordinate systems, projections, data editing and topology, site suitability and data modeling, geoprocessing, geostatistical analysis, spatial interpolation, watershed delineation, network and 3-D analysis.

To earn a GIS certificate, students must complete at least 9 credits from the following courses:

Fundamentals of GIS I -- 4.00 credits
Fundamentals of GIS II -- 4.00 credits

and either

Advanced Principles of GIS -- 4.00 credits


Undergraduate Research -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits

(applied GIS research mentored by a faculty member)