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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.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

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GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Geology Geography

WVU ‘fossil detective’ links past to future in discovering what drives the evolution of new animals

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Fossil records that reveal how new animals evolve is key not only to understanding the history of life on Earth, but could play a role in guiding modern conservation efforts in predicting responses to future climate change, according to  West Virginia University geologist James Lamsdell. The results of his research will end up in the hands of public school students in age-appropriate science curricula. 

Lamsdell will use fossil records to study how arthropods, such as crustaceans and horseshoe crabs, as well as extinct species like sea scorpions and trilobites, have adapted to new environments by changing the speed or timing of their development to reshape their adult forms. He will also examine whether these changes in their development alter the speed at which their evolution occurs.

“We can potentially use the past to help predict responses to future climate change as species are faced with rising sea levels and changing temperatures across the globe,” Lamsdell said. 

A National Science Foundation CAREER award of $500,000 will allow Lamsdell and his research assistants to travel to museums in the U. S. and Canada to study fossil collections and present their findings at scientific conferences, and also to build new curricula for public school and college students.  

Learn more about NSF research. 

Research Spotlight

Oztan

Geology and Geography Professor featured on "Grand Mother Okra"

West Virginia University Department of Geology and Geography professor Mehmet Oztan is featured in the latest episode of the Okra Pod Cast, "Grand Mother Okra." He discusses how okra is used and celebrated by individuals of Middle Eastern descent. Tune in to the episode.

Tune in to the episode..
shinn

WVU Humanities Center announces recipients of ‘Life in the Time of COVID-19’ grants

A WVU Geography assistant professor,  Jamie Shinn, was awarded one of seven “Life in the Time of COVID-19” grants to research projects that address the pandemic from a humanistic perspective.

Funded by the WVU Humanities Center through a WVU endowment from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, all of the projects offer a voice to those living in smaller towns and rural areas, as well as address what might otherwise be substantial gaps in our understanding of Life in the Time of COVID-19 in the Appalachian region.


flooding

Finding renewal in the aftermath of floods

Four years after the disastrous flooding in southern West Virginia, new research from West Virginia University’s Department of Geology and Geography highlights the role faith-based groups and other community organizations have played in the relief and recovery efforts.

In summer 2017, assistant professors of geography  Jamie Shinn and  Martina Angela Caretta in the  Eberly College of Arts and Sciences interviewed 21 Greenbrier County residents and members of relief organizations to understand the lasting effects of flooding in their communities. 

“Once we spent some time talking to people and seeing firsthand the devastating impacts the floods had there, we were motivated to understand the social impacts more deeply,” Shinn said. “In particular, we wanted to understand how the recovery efforts following the floods created a new sense of hope among residents that they could rebuild their towns into something better than they had been before the floods. Instead of the story being one of recovery, it became one of revitalization.”

Read more about flood recovery.

Student Spotlight

Geography doctoral student, Sara Loftus featured in WBOY video.

Sara Loftus, a  West Virginia University geography doctoral student who is studying how to build an online community is featured by WBOY.

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Read more about building community.

KrolcyzykMay the Quartz Be With You

As part of Earth Science Week 2020, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) intern and West Virginia University Department of Geology and Geography grad Emma Krolczyk helped share how quartz is used to study all kinds of things, from earthquakes to archaeology. Watch the video.

Read about Earth Science Week.

Geology and Geography Alumni Rescues Kayaker

Lilly

Corey Lilly, a pro-kayaker and alumnus of the WVU Geology and Geography Program, rescued a missing kayaker at Kanawha Falls. WOAY's story, Local pro kayaker details heroic effort to rescue missing kayaker found alive at Kanawha Falls, discusses the rescue with Lilly.

Read more about the rescue. 

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Student Organizations

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

Check out our student organizations.

Internships

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.

Colloquium

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

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