Geosciences

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Meeting today's challenges

Twenty-first century society depends heavily on the earth, beginning with its need for a vast amount of earth resources: fossil fuels, mineral ores, water, and soils.  Obtaining new energy and raw material sources necessitates exploration. Existing resources need to be evaluated, maintained, and in many instances, restored.  Waste products require safe and secure sequestration.   Ecosystems and human interaction need evaluation, and the potential for natural and man-made hazards must be assessed.  This provides for a number of exciting opportunities for modern earth scientists as explorers, evaluators, and managers.  Armed with a rigorous understanding of our planet’s materials and processes, geoscientists are able to provide and maintain these resources while expanding our view into the planet.

The Geosciences Program at Midwestern State University provides students with a variety of educational opportunities that prepares them for employment and/or graduate school. Courses incorporate the latest technology, information, and research techniques, and provide practical field experience along with classroom instruction. With a  Bachelor of Science in Geosciences, students pursue vocations such as water resource management, environmental assessment and consultation, and petroleum production/exploration. 

Two pathways to success

Starting with the 2012-2014 Catalog, we offer a single degree fulfilled by your choice of two pathways of study.  The Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Geosciences may be satisfied through either the Environmental Science track or the Geosciences track.  The Environmental Science track is an interdisciplinary degree that requires a concentration option in biology, chemistry, or geoscience. Further details are on the Environmental Science webpage. The Geosciences track focuses on a traditional curriculum in geology coursework.  Both tracks provide rigorous preparation for employment or for further education in earth science.  

Scholarships

A number of generous donors have provided for scholarship grants for qualified applicants. Scholarships applications are solicited each April and awarded to meritorious geosciences majors that maintain a 3.0 GPA, enroll in one geosciences/environmental sciences course, and complete 12 semester hours each term.

Earn a paycheck

The program employs select qualified upperclassmen as teaching assistants in our introductory laboratories in Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Environmental Science, and Physical Sciences.  The opportunity permits students to share their knowledge, acquire the teaching experience highly valued by graduate schools, and get payed for their efforts.

Additionally, many of our students work as geotechs at local oil and gas exploration firms.  These opportunities provide hands-on training and exposure to petroleum exploration.  Most provide significant compensation in addition to valuable experience.

Geoscience and Environmental Science Colloquium Series 

Continuing this 2014-2015 year, the Geosciences Program is hosting an exciting series of presentations open to the entire campus community.  The geoscience and environmental science colloquium series brings the experts to our campus to present their research to our students.  In addition to Thursday evening presentations, roughly one per month, the speakers will be available to interact with students and faculty.

Affiliations

The Geosciences Club is involved in numerous geology-and environmental science-related projects.  This very active group organizes and executes field trips, produces research on local geology, and engages in community service. 

Midwestern State Geosciences is also the home of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, a national honor society for geosciences majors. This organization selects students who maintain a high overall and major GPA.  The society also organizes program-wide field trips and activities.

Students are actively involved in new chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and participate within the North Texas Geological Society.  The AAPG is an international organization for professional geoscientists and students. While the organization's main focus is on those engaged in energy exploration, it also has an environmental science division.  It provides opportunities for networking with professionals and offers students access to its vast educational resources.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Workshops (UGROW)

Our faculty participate in UGROW, an interdisciplinary  summer research program that facilitates undergraduate research during Summer I session.  For summer 2013, Dr. Carlucci and student Jennifer McDaniel completed research on trilobite growth morphology, and Dr. Price and student Kari Bickhard worked on laser ablation characterization of west Texas gypsum deposits.

Field work

Field excursions and projects provide earth sciences students with a vital sense of the scale of materials and processes.  Many of our courses incorporate projects and field trips.  Recent class excursions included trips to Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains, Mustang Island, Big Bend National Park, the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, and the great Salt Plains.  Furthermore, geosciences track students complete a summer field course - a four-to-six week program in the summer of their junior or senior year.

Stanley L.  Mowrey Geosciences Laboratory

We have made improvements to the program’s computing facilities, thanks to the generous support of Dan Mowrey and Hollis Sullivan to honor the memory of Mr. Stanley  Mowrey (B.S. Geology, 1952), a prominent  independent oil and gas operator and producer. The facility hosts several of our classes, such as remote sensing and applied petroleum geology, and provides a valuable learning resource for our upper level courses.

Robert L. Bolin Petroleum Geology Laboratory

The R.L. Bolin Petroleum Geology Laboratory is a newly created state-of-the-art computing facility to support advanced teaching and research in oil and gas exploration and production. Software for the lab has been generously donated by Schlumberger and IHS.  The software available includes Schlumberger Petrel for geological modeling, Schlumberger Eclipse for dynamic reservoir simulation, IHS Petra for mapping, cross sections, well log plotting, and volumetric calculations, and IHS Kingdom Suite for seismic interpretation. 


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