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Earth and Environmental Sciences Departmental Information
Our innovative and flexible majors provide an interesting path for students to follow on their way to an LSA degree. From our field camp at Camp Davis in Wyoming, to lab work on campus, Michigan students have an opportunity to explore the geological sciences in exciting ways.
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers:
- a Geological Sciences Major Program;
- an Earth Systems Science Major Program;
- Honors Plans in either of the above programs;
- a Teacher's Certificate Program, for prospective science teachers who are candidates for a secondary teaching certificate in earth science and general science; and,
- Academic minors in Earth Sciences, Environmental Geology, Geology, Oceanography, and Paleontology.
Upper-Level Writing Requirement
The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in majors in Geological Sciences must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the Geological Sciences web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a major in Geological Sciences while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a teaching major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the teaching major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.
Summer Field Courses
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences considers field education fundamental to all of its academic programs. To this end, it provides students with a variety of opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. Many of these opportunities are centered around the University's Rocky Mountain Field Station, Camp Davis. Nestled along the Hoback River south of Jackson, Wyoming, Camp Davis provides easy access to spectacularly exposed geologic structures, sedimentary strata, and igneous and metamorphic rocks. See the web for complete information about Camp Davis at: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/campdavis
The Department offers an introductory course in geological sciences (EARTH 116) at Camp Davis. Although similar in scope to introductory geological sciences courses taught on campus, this course offers students an opportunity for direct observation of geological phenomena. EARTH 116, as all at Camp Davis, is open to any student in good health, of sound academic standing, and with a lust for adventure!
Three advanced summer field courses (EARTH 440, 341, and 344) are also offered at Camp Davis. EARTH 440 is the capstone course of the Geological Sciences major and involves field mapping and measurement of geologic units and structures. EARTH 341 provides students with field experiences in the collection and analysis of environmental data. EARTH 341 is recommended to students electing a teaching certificate. EARTH 344 introduces students to concepts and environmental consequences of sustainable and fossil energy sources through hands-on experiments using alternate energy systems at Camp Davis.
Classes at Camp Davis cannot be taken pass/fail (effective Spring 2012).
The Department also offers a two-week Spring Field Trip yearly in May that travels to different locations around the United States. Recent trips have visited West Texas and New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, national parks of Southern Utah, Nevada, Death Valley, Florida Coral Reefs, the Appalachians. The Department is also committed to a yearly International Field Trip, which in recent years has visited Iceland, Scotland, New Zealand, and the Spanish Pyrenees. Details on all of these field trips are available at www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate/fieldtrips or by visiting the Department's Main Office, 2534 C.C. Little Building, and on the main Earth and Environmental Sciences web page.
The Museum of Paleontology provides the facilities enabling direct hands-on study of plants and animals preserved as fossils, and study of the environmental, ecological, and paleogeographical conditions in which they lived. These can be studied statically at fixed times in the past or present, and dynamically as they are seen to change through evolutionary and geological time. Because of the Museum and what it facilitates in terms of hands-on experience, our teaching and research programs have long been known for their empirical focus, with an emphasis on testing new ideas as well as generating them.
The Mineralogical Collections of the Department include a study collection of minerals and rocks for use by advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Some specimens and suites of minerals, crystals, rocks, and ores are on exhibit in hall cases in the C.C. Little Building.
Departmental Teaching Collections. Many courses in Geological Sciences involve "hands-on" science! The Department oversees a large collection of minerals, rocks, and fossils used specifically for teaching. This library of specimens allows students to build familiarity with materials they might see during field courses or in their own back yard.
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