Geology

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Geology students sitting on a sand dune with CWI written in the sand.
Two male Geology students in a field with large boulders.
Group of geology students standing at up of ridge.
Geology students examining a rocking bank.
Geology is a truly global science, drawing on aspects of Chemistry, Physics, Geography, and Biology to study the solid earth, its structure, composition, erosional and tectonic processes, environments Ander Sundell, Faculty

Geology is the study of the solid earth and how it changes over time with regard to its structure, composition, erosional and tectonic processes, and environments.  If you have an interest in geology, our program will give you an opportunity to explore the various complexities of Earth.  To excel in geology, you should enjoy working outdoors, be able to identify and solve complex problems, and be able to develop advanced spatial reasoning skills.  It is a physical science and therefore requires a solid background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.  Additionally, geologists need to have good computer and communication skills.  Geologists find employment in a wide array of fields in both the public and private sectors.  Career opportunities include mineral exploration and extraction, oil and gas exploration and extraction, environmental consultation, evaluation of water resources, soil science, academic research, climatology, natural hazard mitigation, and civil engineering, among others

Mission

The geology program prepares students to transfer to a four-year institution with a good understanding of basic geology and the processes that indicate how our world is shaped.

Why This Program

The geology program is designed primarily to prepare you to transition to a four-year institution to finish a bachelor’s degree. It will expose you to the fundamentals of geology and help you understand what is needed prior to attending upper division courses.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Identify major geologic formations and understand their causes
  • Understand the history of Earth and how it came to look as it does
  • Understand the processes that shape Earth, including natural disasters and the environment

Additional Opportunities

A very important aspect of geology is being able to identify geologic features when you see them. Rock samples may be brought to class to help students be able to identify them when they see them, but field trips are used in the program to really get students involved and to be able to see geologic structures that are impossible to bring into the classroom setting.

Respectful Community

The College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

CWI's Common Read Series invites you to join them for an informative panel discussion all about science featuring CWI faculty.

“CWI empowered me to believe in myself and in a better future.”

CWI student, Westin Juarez, teams up with CWI professor, Ander Sundell, and the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology to design a new exhibit.

Seismic waves from an earthquake in Honduras on Jan. 9 were detected at College of Western Idaho, 2,500 miles away!

Science is a Verb: Detecting Touch

Science is a Verb: Detecting Touch

College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs are excited to share new episodes of the video blog series, Science is a Verb. CWI faculty share some of their favorite experiments, as well as tips and tricks for bringing science to life. In this...

College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Biology 2 (Biodiversity & Evolution) class is going native! Join other adventurous students for a three week immersion experience studying the biodiversity and evolution of living organisms at the University of Idaho Field Campus (UIFC) in the beautiful...