Home >> College of Liberal Arts and Sciences >> Natural Sciences and Mathematics >> Department of Earth and Physical Sciences
Earth Science Program - A Rock Solid Education
The Earth Science (ES) program at Western Oregon University (WOU) is part of the Earth and Physical Sciences Department in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM). The program offers BS/BA degrees in Earth Science, with minors in geology, Earth system science, Earth resources, and Earth history/paleobiology. Earth Science is supported by three tenure/tenure-track faculty members and four fixed-term, adjunct faculty. Focus areas include Earth system science education, volcanology-igneous petrology, stratigraphy-sedimentology-paleobiology, and geomorphology-environmental geology. Supporting curricula includes meteorology, oceanography, geochemistry, and physics/astronomy.
WOU is distinctive in that it offers the only multidisciplinary Earth Science degree in the Oregon University System. A key strength of the program is the close alliance with faculty in chemistry, physics, biology, and education. NSM is organized in such a way that budgets, labs, and classroom resources are shared across a range of science disciplines. Faculty from different disciplines work closely together on a daily basis and cultivate a multidisciplinary, collegial atmosphere that is truly unique compared to other institutions. The cross-disciplinary alliance in NSM provides a superb opportunity for faculty and students with diverse interests to interact in a rich and stimulating academic environment. Earth Science plays an important role by providing a nexus for studies in the biological and physical sciences. Additional programmatic strengths include: (1) small faculty:student ratios with personalized instruction and a focus on undergraduate training; (2) a curriculum in which Earth Science courses and labs are taught by PhD-trained faculty; (3) degrees leading to student career tracks in science education, natural resource management, and environmental restoration; and (4) a faculty dedicated to scholarly activity that is relevant to training undergraduate students for careers in the 21st century marketplace. The Earth Science program at WOU directly supports the advancement of geoscience education, conservation planning, environmental management, and natural hazards mitigation in the State of Oregon.
The Earth Science program provides a liberal arts core education in geoscience with an emphasis on the scientific method, problem solving, and interdisciplinary science education. A key objective of the program is to prepare undergraduates for careers as professional geoscientists and educators. The program also promotes the development of an informed citizenry for wise decision-making on issues related to natural resources, environmental quality, and sustainability in Oregon and beyond.
Student Learning Objectives
(1) Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the interrelated physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in the Earth system.
(2) Develop proficiency in using technology-enriched analytical techniques to solve geologic problems.
(3) Experience inquiry-based science in the context of outdoor adventure.
(4) Cultivate an integrated scientific community of students and faculty at WOU.
(5) Work hard, play hard, and have fun!
Geology / Earth Science Faculty Web Links:
Adjunct Faculty Web Links:
Advising and Career Information
Program Review and Accreditation
Western Oregon University
345 N. Monmouth Ave.
Monmouth, Oregon 97361
Physical Sciences Dept. Chair:
Department of Earth and Physical Sciences (503) 838-8858 | or e-mail: email@example.com