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Geology and Environmental Resources

Overview

Geology is the study of the Earth, the forces that shape it, and what these physical changes over billions of years can tell us about the future.

Geologists research natural hazards like volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods to help predict and prevent them, work that is integral to the development and construction of buildings, highways, and tunnels. They study the natural resources that power the modern world – from fossil fuels like petroleum to the rare earth metals used in smartphones and tablets. And they study natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls to understand the formation of continents and oceans, using geological history to gain insight into problems such as climate change and water pollution.

Geology and Environmental Resources majors are involved in a lot of fieldwork, so if you enjoy science and like to travel, hike, and spend time outdoors, one of these could be the program for you.

In the field, our students have explored the Galapagos Islands to follow in the footsteps of naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin. They’ve researched volcanoes in Greece, logged thousands of miles in Arizona deserts, and trekked across five states to follow the path of a total solar eclipse.

On campus, you’ll spend a lot of time in the Collaboratorium, a cutting-edge research and teaching space that includes labs, classrooms, and computer facilities. The lab is shared by several scientific programs to encourage collaboration across disciplines on research projects ranging from soil analysis of urban areas to bone replacement compounds.

The demand for some of the professions that require a geology degree – geoscientists, hydrologists, petroleum and geological technicians – is growing faster than the average for all other occupations over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Our graduates go on to work in a variety of public and private settings – in the petroleum, mining, engineering, or construction industries; in environmental management; and in government or the nonprofit sector. A geology degree from Hofstra is also great training for advanced studies, including sustainability, law, medicine, or engineering.

Curriculum

Hofstra offers two Geology majors, and a major in Environmental Resources. Which you choose boils down to whether you want to pursue a career as a scientist, or use your geology degree to inform work in another field, like science writing, education, or public policy.

The Bachelor of Science in Geology requires significant coursework in physics, biology, chemistry, math, and computer science. It’s designed for students who want to pursue graduate studies in geology or a related scientific discipline.

The Bachelor of Arts in Geology has a strong liberal arts component and is better suited for students planning to teach earth science at the high school level, or who want to double major in another subject, like journalism or engineering.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resources is the study of the application of geology and the natural sciences to issues of natural resource development, resource management, conservation, and sustainability. This degree prepares students for careers in environmental geology, environmental science, resource management, environmental law, and environmental regulation.

Most students studying geology or environmental resources also take classes in sustainability, on topics such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, waste management, and urban planning.

Hofstra also offers a minor in Geology.

Recent Alumni Outcomes

There are few disciplines that have as profound an impact on the way we live as geology, and that means diverse career potential in high-demand, well-paying industries.

Our alumni have found jobs with environmental consulting firms, conservation groups and other nonprofit organizations, construction management companies, and public school districts, including:

  • Delta Air Lines, Inc.
  • Developmental Disabilities Institute, Inc.
  • Emerald Brand
  • Environmental Planning and Management Inc.
  • National Park Service
  • North Shore Land Alliance
  • Orkestai Farm
  • Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project
  • Simply Clean Mobile
  • Viacom Media Networks

Those pursuing advanced degrees are studying at prestigious institutions such as:

  • Adelphi University
  • Bard College
  • Clark University
  • Columbia University
  • CUNY Hunter College
  • Hofstra University
  • Pace University
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Georgia
100% are employed, grad school or both
67% accept a position within six months
$50K median salary*

(These numbers represent outcomes for the majors in Geology. For specific information about outcomes in Environmental Resources, click on the More Info button.)

Get More Info on Program Outcomes
*Represents median salary for the first year following graduation

Internship

Internships provide real-world experience and help focus an undergraduate’s professional goals. Approximately 61% of geology majors have made an internship part of their academic experience at Hofstra. Most have completed more than one.

Top Internships

  • Cape Town Environmental Education Trust
  • Friends of the Bay
  • Green Streets Initiative
  • National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University®
  • North Shore Land Alliance
  • NY/NJ Baykeeper
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
  • Sustainable Long Island
  • Viacom Media Networks

Experience

Geography student and teacher

Because fieldwork is central to geology, Hofstra geology professors make sure that students get diverse experiences that involve taking a project from research to lab to scholarly presentation, working in the New York area and beyond. These projects happen as part of classes, as well as during specially scheduled field trips.

Our students have mapped the bedrock geology of New York City, investigated groundwater and soil contamination on Long Island, sampled coastal marshes for evidence of prehistoric hurricanes, and used sophisticated technology to collect and analyze data about the flood hazards of an upstate New York river to help communities predict and prepare for catastrophe. The program also regularly offers trips to geological sites in the mid-Atlantic and New England, Arizona, Wyoming, California, and Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Belize.

Students also participate in the Geology Club and Hofstra’s chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national Earth Science honor society.

Meet Tami Longjohn

 
 

An international student from Nigeria, Tami majored in geology at Hofstra and went on to earn a graduate degree in geology from Rice University in 2017.


GEOLOGY TRIP TO ARIZONA, Spring Break 2010: 8 DAYS, 1,300 MILES, EXPERIENCES TO LAST A LIFETIME
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