Inegrated, Hands-On Studies Preparing You for a Career or to Transfer On

Students with clipboards studing giant rocks outside

Program Overview

Interested in the study of Earth and its complex systems? College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Geosciences program, incorporating essential aspects of geology, offers a comprehensive exploration of Earth’s processes, materials, and history. This Associate of Science degree lays a strong foundation in geology and other scientific disciplines like mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology, essential for understanding the dynamic interactions within Earth's systems. Perfect for those drawn to earth science, the program leads you through various aspects of geology, environmental science, and natural resource management, preparing you for advanced studies at a four-year university.

Your journey will include studying rock formations, geological structures, and mineral resources, alongside key environmental and sustainability issues. Through engaging coursework and practical fieldwork, you will develop a deeper understanding of geologic processes, from plate tectonics to erosion, and how they shape our world. Graduates find opportunities in diverse fields, including the oil and gas industry, mining, environmental consulting, and government sectors.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Science

Time to Complete

2 years

Students in a classroom looking down at their papers while writing

Learning Opportunities

  • Integrated Study of Geology and GIS: Gain valuable geology insights while learning Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a critical tool in modern geoscience.
  • Hands-On Geological Fieldwork: Participate in field trips and labs for practical experience in geological mapping, rock and mineral identification, and data analysis.
  • Environmental and Geologic Processes: Understand key environmental challenges and the geological processes that impact our planet.
  • Diverse Geoscience Careers: Explore career paths in geology, environmental science, natural resource management, and beyond.
  • Preparation for Advanced Geological Studies: Equip yourself for seamless transfer to pursue a bachelor's degree in geology or related fields.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Geosciences – Associate of Science Degree

Person looking through a microscope in a greenhouse

Career Opportunities

  • Computer Occupations, All Other

    All computer occupations not listed separately. Excludes “Computer and Information Systems Managers” (11-3021), “Computer Hardware Engineers” (17-2061), “Electrical and Electronics Engineers” (17-2070), “Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary” (25-1021), “Special Effects Artists and Animators” (27-1014), “Graphic Designers” (27-1024), “Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars” (29-9021), and “Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers” (49-2011).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Industrial Production Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate the work activities and resources necessary for manufacturing products in accordance with cost, quality, and quantity specifications.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Soil and Plant Scientists

    Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Natural Sciences Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields. Excludes “Computer and Information Systems Managers” (11-3021) and “Architecture and Engineering Managers” (11-9041).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Environmental Engineers

    Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Geological Technicians, Except Hydrologic Technicians

    Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. Analyze mud and drill cuttings. Chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Atmospheric and Space Scientists

    Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Hydrologic Technicians

    Collect and organize data concerning the distribution and circulation of ground and surface water, and data on its physical, chemical, and biological properties. Measure and report on flow rates and ground water levels, maintain field equipment, collect water samples, install and collect sampling equipment, and process samples for shipment to testing laboratories. May collect data on behalf of hydrologists, engineers, developers, government agencies, or agriculture. Excludes “Hydrologists” (19-2043).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers

    Conduct subsurface surveys to identify the characteristics of potential land or mining development sites. May specify the ground support systems, processes, and equipment for safe, economical, and environmentally sound extraction or underground construction activities. May inspect areas for unsafe geological conditions, equipment, and working conditions. May design, implement, and coordinate mine safety programs. Excludes “Petroleum Engineers” (17-2171).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Petroleum Engineers

    Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.


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