Geology is the study of the materials, processes, and evolutionary development of the Earth. Geologic understanding of the Earth is obtained by geoscientists working in a range of disciplines. Examples of the areas of study are: Mineralogy - the study of Earth's naturally occurring minerals; Petrology - the study of rocks; Paleontology - the study of the history of life on Earth; Seismology - the study of Earthquakes; Volcanology - the study of volcanoes; Environmental Geology - the study of the interactions between humans and the geologic world; and Petroleum Geology - the study of fossil fuel resources and their development.
The geology courses offered will serve students interested in pursuing geology as a major, as well as general students taking the courses to fulfill the Natural Sciences requirement for graduation with an AA or AS degree.
Geologists often begin their careers in field exploration or as research assistants or technicians in laboratories or offices. They are given more difficult assignments as they gain experience. Eventually, they may be promoted to project leader, program manager, or some other management and research position.
A bachelor's degree is adequate for a few entry-level positions, but geologists increasingly need a master's degree in a natural science. A master's degree also is the minimum educational requirement for most entry-level research positions in private industry, Federal agencies, and State geological surveys. A doctoral degree is necessary for most high-level research positions.
The Science Division seeks to provide students with a diverse array of physical and life science classes through which they will develop an increased awareness and understanding of scientific knowledge and the scientific method of investigation by which this knowledge has been gained.
Students may earn an Associate in Science Degree - Option I (90 credits) which is designed to prepare students for upper division study in geology. Please consult with an advisor at WWCC and your intended transfer institution to determine an appropriate education plan. (See AS Option I in Degrees section of catalog.)
- An understanding of discipline specific terminology and methods.
- An ability to correctly use discipline specific tools and /or techniques.
- Critical thinking skills necessary in science including appropriate study techniques, problem solving skills and the use of data to assess the validity of claims.
- The ability to research, interpret and communicate concepts obtained from scientific literature.
- An understanding of the relationships between course concepts and society, including the impact of course specific technology.
Preparation For Success
Students interested in a major in Geology should take additional courses in chemistry, physics and mathematics. Students considering Environmental Geology should also take courses in environmental science, biology and ecology.