Mission of the Department of Geological Sciences

Our primary teaching mission is to develop in students an understanding of the basic physical principles governing the natural world and the critical thinking skills that focus on addressing complex multi-dimensional problems of geology and astronomy in their natural and social context. In addition, our mission is to:

  • prepare geology and earth science majors and minors for graduate school and careers in a wide range of areas through high-quality instruction and research. The department recognizes the critical role of other departments in providing supporting courses in areas such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, computer science, and engineering;

  • prepare knowledgeable and effective earth science teachers to communicate the beauty and complexity of the natural world to K-12 students;

  • contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the geosciences and science education through research activities in selected areas of expertise;

  • include students in every phase of the research experience as summer researchers, directed study students, and senior project advisees, emphasizing the use of fieldwork, literature review, laboratory and computer analyses of data, and written and oral communication in research projects;

  • enhance the liberal education of university students from other fields by providing high quality instruction in the geosciences and developing an appreciation of the natural world;

  • promote an understanding of the geosciences among the general public, including individual citizens, community groups, and public schools, and to educate the public with respect to the potential impact of the geosciences on everyday life through outreach and community engagement programs involving both individual faculty members and the activities and services of the planetarium and observatory;

  • provide supporting courses and research services for professional programs in such areas as civil engineering and construction management;

  • serve as resources for elementary and secondary teachers and students throughout the State of Connecticut through professional development workshops, institutes, school visitations and consultations.