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Our programs give students the chance to study complex geosystems and spatial patterns around the globe and in our backyard. From field geology to global climate change, our undergraduate and graduate programs in Geology, Geography and Environmental Geoscience offer countless opportunities to dig down deep or take you far across the planet.


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Geology Geography

Geology and Geography is saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Alan C. Donaldson, Emeritus Professor of Geology


The Department is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Alan C. Donaldson, Emeritus Professor of Geology, and former Department Chairperson this week. Memorial services are being planned and will be announced via this webpage. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Alan's name may be made to either scholarship fund:

Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with cremation arrangements and online condolences may be made at  

Dr. Brent McCusker
Department Chair &
Professor of Geography
Department of Geology and Geography

From Kurt Donaldson:

He joined the WVU faculty in 1957 as a geology professor.  In addition to his research interests in stratigraphy, he taught a large introductory geology class and stratigraphy/sedimentation classes for WVU students. In 1995, he partially retired as a professor emeritus of geology.  For the next ten years until 2005, he continued teaching the introductory geology course for WVU students as well as organized and taught seminars/courses for the energy and environmental industries, commonly with support from other geologists   During his 48-year career at WVU, he served 24 years as Chairman of the Geology and Geography Department between 1971 and 1995.

Research Spotlight


Mapping West Virginia

New research from  West Virginia University is transforming understanding of the Mountain State’s famous landscape – and identifying ways to preserve it.  

As WVU’s latest NSF CAREER Award winner, Assistant Professor of Geography  Aaron Maxwell will use big data to map what the surface of West Virginia looked like over the last 60 years. The funding includes $636,785 over five years.

Learn more about his research.


Mapping a Legacy: New Geography Endowment

After a 35-year career in the   Department of Geology and Geography, Professor Emeritus   Gregory Elmes aspires to give back to the university that has given him so much.

He and wife Jeanne (MM Music Performance, 1999) have established a planned gift, the Dr. Gregory and Mrs. Jeanne Elmes Geography Endowment, to support undergraduate geography students in their research endeavors.

virtual lab

WVU Geology Faculty Develops Virtual Lab

When the coronavirus began to spread around the world in early 2020,  West Virginia University Department of Geology and Geography's Graham Andrews knew he needed to act fast. He already had 3D photography software and a drone on hand for a volcanology research project. But with some quick thinking and the help of five students, an idea was born -- a virtual geology lab. 

Read more in Eberly Magazine.

Student Spotlight

The Listening Projectlisteningproject

West Virginia University  geography students, in collaboration with community leaders, are responding. The Listening Project is a partnership between WVU’s Center for Resilient Communities and West Virginia organizers, Amy Jo Hutchison and Jennifer Wells, that gathers stories of strength and struggle as West Virginians seek to find solidarity in uncertain times.

Read more about the project.


The Culture of Cooperation

Dina Hornbaker a farm manager for New Roots Community Farm in Fayetteville, West Virginia talks about the life changing impact of geography. "I majored in multidisciplinary studies in geography, Spanish and communication studies. I have always enjoyed studying the relationships among areas, natural systems, cultural activities and the interdependence of all of these throughout the Earth." 

Read about her experience.

Turning a Corner on Food Insecurity


Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective is a food hub that aggregates, sells and distributes locally grown and produced products across West Virginia. It is an initiative in WVU’s  Center for Resilient Communities, which conducts community-based action research addressing Appalachia’s most pressing challenges.

As a graduate research assistant with Turnrow and online farms market manager for Sprouting Farms, geography master’s student Valerie Slone is putting her research into action.

Read more about the initiative. 

Get involved.

Student Organizations

We offer several student organizations to help you make the most of of your education.

Check out our student organizations.


Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

Selected students are awarded a $3,500 stipend for eight weeks of mentored research. An additional $2,000 is available for travel to a professional conference or for supplies.

Explore internship opportunities.


We invite speakers from around the world to talk with students and faculty within the department. 


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