Making Sense of the Planet: Land, Sky and Water

When you study Geoscience at Hobart and William Smith, you’re understanding the world, its phenomena and the roles humans play in impacting their environments. Through courses, research and internships in hydrology, geology and atmospheric science, you’ll be prepared to take on the pressing challenges of our time and those of the future.

Student Spotlight Restoring the Environment

Emma Redmond '22

Emma Redmond '22

“Having this experience as an undergraduate is so valuable, because I feel more engaged in what I’m learning.”

Completing an internship with the Onondaga Lake Cleanup project through Parsons Corporation solidified Emma’s desire to pursue a career that benefits the environment and helped her draw connections between the real-world and the classroom.


and Research

Geoscience students looking to engage more deeply in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Gabrielle Alyce Linscott ’21: Atmospheric Rivers as Drought Busters in the Northeastern United States
    Nicholas Metz, Adviser
  • Patrick Alexander Stone McMillan ’21: Examining Conditions that Facilitate Shore-Parallel Lake-Effect Snowbands through the Mohawk River Valley and Over the Adirondacks
    Nicholas Metz, Adviser
  • Jacob L. Kotcher ’20: Origination in the Phanerozoic
    Nan Crystal Arens, Adviser

Conduct water quality research with the data buoy on Seneca Lake or work with local educators at the Finger Lakes Institute.

Through “GEO 299 – Geoscience Field Studies” you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the geological formations of Caribbean islands or chase storms across the Midwest.

At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

Global Education Worldwide Study

Conduct water research along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or study the atmospheric effects of climate change in England.

Wherever you go, you’ll apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Global Education

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

The Geoscience Department is dedicated to helping students find connection and build belonging. Faculty offer one-on-one office hours, including some flexible evening and weekend hours, to ensure students understand the material and have the support they need to succeed. “The Geo Club” offers students the opportunity to bond during field trips and activities surrounding geology, hydrology or atmospheric science. “Women in Geoscience” is a student-led group that empowers women to become leaders within each of the different spheres of geoscience.

Discover our world and the issues that influence it.

  • GEO 182 Intro to Meteorology

    Take an in-depth look at many of the fundamental aspects of the atmosphere. Understand severe weather, factors influencing climate and how these phenomena impact every part of our lives.

  • GEO 184 Intro to Geology

    Explore the form and function of the solid Earth using plate tectonics as the central theme.

  • GEO 186 Intro to Hydrogeology

    Learn about hydrology using scientific quantitative reasoning to examine the characteristics and importance of water across environmental and geophysical sciences.

FacilitiesOn the banks of a resource rich lake

The William Scandling

Seneca Lake and the greater Finger Lakes Region are an invaluable living laboratory for Geoscience students. Study on the water aboard The William Scandling and JB Snow research vessels, or use the Seneca Lake data buoy to collect water information. You’ll also have access to high quality, advanced equipment in Lansing Hall, where the Geoscience Department is housed, including the department’s meteorology and rock preparation labs.

Alum Impact Breath of Fresh Air

Dylan Doeblin ’18,
Outdoor Recreation Planner at the Great Basin Institute

Taking Geoscience courses at HWS, Dylan realized he wanted a career working in the great outdoors. He built upon that desire studying in Wales, Hawaii and Chile. Dylan developed skills working with the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, Geneva Heroes program and America Reads that led him to a year of service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) after graduation. These experiences served as a springboard to his future career.

Companies that Employ Our Graduates

  • Scripps Institute
  • National Weather Service
  • South Dakota Mesonet
  • Finger Lakes Institute
  • Pacific Whale Foundation
  • Brandwatch
  • Forbes Tate Partners
  • National Park Service
  • Environment Resources Management
  • The Washington Post
  • APTIM Environment
  • Building Energy Exchange
  • Numerous High Schools
  • Albert Engineering
  • Haley and Aldrich Geology
  • AmeriCorps
  • PS&S Design and Engineering
  • Summit Drilling Corporation
  • Fremont Environmental
  • The Pike Company
  • Orleans County Health Department
  • Tetra Tech Environmental
  • Chubb
  • American Water
  • Brown and Caldwell
  • Ace Info Solutions, Inc.
  • Day Automation
  • United States Golf Association
  • Guy Carpenter
  • Thule Group
  • Yuba Water Agency
  • D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C.
  • The Nature Conservancy and North Shore Land Alliance
  • Hazen and Sawyer
  • TRC Companies
  • Verisk
  • Liberty Mutual

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • Colorado State University
  • University at Albany
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Ohio University
  • University at Maryland
  • University at Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Columbia
  • Harvard
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
  • University of Vermont
  • Plymouth State University
  • University of Miami
  • Texas Tech University
  • Washington State University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Florida
  • Binghamton University