Geoscience is the study of our planet, its lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Geoscientists use their expertise to monitor changes in the environment, gain a greater understanding of our natural world, predict and evaluate how human activities may contribute to environmental change, and manage Earth’s resources. The study of geoscience provides strong preparation for a variety of careers in government, industry and academia, including environmental consulting; weather forecasting; natural hazards impact assessment; natural resource management; environmental law; petroleum exploration; science teaching; science journalism; and research in geology, hydrology, climatology, and meteorology.

The Geoscience Department offers a variety of courses spanning areas of geology, hydrology, and atmospheric science. In addition to taking formal courses, most geoscience students undertake undergraduate research through independent study and honors courses or as internships. Course instruction and research are strongly augmented by fieldwork in the Finger Lakes region, as well as other locations around the world.

Student Resources

Student Profile: Bethany Kharrazi '21

Bethany Kharrazi '21

Major: Geoscience
Minor: English

“It’s really nice to apply my knowledge from the classroom in a hands-on setting. When I first came to HWS, the idea of conducting research seemed so hard and daunting. Now that I had the opportunity to do it with a great professor, I can definitely see myself doing it for the rest of my life.”

Meet Our Faculty

Through field-based coursework and research collaborations with the Geoscience faculty, you will gain exciting new knowledge from experts in the discipline. Scroll below to meet our team of scientists, scholars, innovators and above all, dedicated teachers.

Geoscience News

Paleontology Class Visits Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Thu, 16 Apr 2020

20200208_145714In “Paleontology” taught by Associate Professor of Geoscience David Kendrick, students research the mysterious lives of prehistoric plants and animals. A class trip to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History…

A New Kind of Mentoring in Atmospheric Science

Wed, 08 Apr 2020

041318_075During the summer research program at HWS, Professor of Geoscience Neil Laird and Associate Professor of Geoscience Nick Metz take a novel approach to student mentoring that reflects “real world”…

Beckley ’20 Wins AMS Award and Selects Grad School

Tue, 24 Mar 2020

Beckley Ian Headshot 2At the American Meteorological Society’s annual conference, Ian Beckley ’20 received an award for the presentation of his research investigating the interaction of short-wave troughs and lake-effect snow events off…

Spotlight: Recent Grad

Recent Grad

Jonas Toupal '19

Current Position: Earth and Environmental Science PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

Current Location: Philadelphia, Pa.

Majors: Geoscience and Planetary Science

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Sample Courses

Class Complete Course List

Intro to Meteorology
The influence of weather and climate affect our daily activities, our leisure hours, transportation, commerce, agriculture, and nearly every aspect of our lives. Take an in-depth look at many of the fundamental aspects of the atmosphere needed to understand severe weather and factors influencing climate.