Geology, “the study of the Earth” benefits all that make Earth their home.
Within the past century, exploration of the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and other bodies in the Solar System have also become important for future human habitation and resource extraction. Geologists play an important role in our understanding of Earth and these extraterrestrial objects.
For over 80 years, the Geology program at UTC has continued a tradition of excellence in undergraduate education. Beyond the basic content knowledge related to Geology and Earth processes, our students develop critical thinking skills and learn the techniques of problem-solving for application to critical issues faced by Earth’s inhabitants today and in the future.
Solutions to critical Earth issues occur with a knowledge of system linkage between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere and how humans interact with these ever-evolving systems. At UTC, we prepare students for a career and/or graduate studies in the Geosciences, with an understanding that they will obtain the core skills needed to make them successful outside of the field as well. It is our intent that graduates of our program use their gained content knowledge and skills to problem-solve issues to meet the needs of their communities
Some critical issues that Geoscientists are working to address today include:
Climate change and its effects that can only be understood in the context of the whole Earth and its history following a bottom-up approach.
Seismic (earthquake) hazards such as those faced as part of the East Tennessee Seismic Zone. A full understanding of the mechanisms and probabilities of seismic events are important to regional inhabitants, and nuclear power and dam safety.
Landslides, sinkholes, flooding, river erosion, and drought and their impact assessments and mitigation strategy.
Urban growth and its environmental impacts such as urban heat island impact (UHI) and the effects on the quality and quantity of the water resources (surface and ground water).
Energy resource challenges and the Energy Transition include the identification and extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas. Environmental impacts of these and renewable energy sites such as solar and wind farms are better understood from a geological perspective when evaluating environmental impacts. Carbon storage solutions are also critical for the future of long-term habitability of the planet.
The introduction, migration, and mitigation of environmental contaminants on the surface and subsurface can be understood through the surficial and subsurface geology, fracture linkage, soil and aquifer materials, and mineral interactions. Hydrological modeling is also critical in understanding flow of contaminants. For more information about what you can do with a degree in Geology visit the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and the American Geoscience Institute
We offer a minor degree and a B.S. in geology with six concentrations. Click on the buttons below to explore the details of these programs and to view our current course offerings.