Earth and Environmental Geoscience

Degree Type Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Science
Department Earth and Environmental Geoscience
Academic Division The College
Offerings Major
Students who major in earth and environmental geoscience are curious about the natural world, enjoy solving complex problems in the field or laboratory, like spending time outdoors, and are interested in using or protecting our natural resources.

Earth and Environmental Geoscience 

Students in our program are exposed to the breadth of core geoscience fields as well as a wide variety of specialty and interdisciplinary science courses. Our curriculum ensures that students develop analytical thinking, reasoning, communication and problem-solving skills, as well as a thoughtful, creative and inquisitive intellect. Much of our coursework is hands-on and completed in the field, laboratory or computer classrooms.

"The Earth and Environmental Geoscience Department and its professors underpin the science education with a teaching style that encourages analytical thinking, clear communication, and curiosity, all of which are skills that prepared me for a wide variety of classes."

Jack EasonClass of 2022

Lisa Greer

Department Head

Taylor McCoy

Administrative Assistant


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About the Program

Lexington is surrounded by some of the most interesting geology in the Appalachian Mountain system — and our programs take advantage of it.  Many courses include excursions for hands-on study and intensive field experiences. 

The B.S. in earth and environmental geoscience prepares students for graduate school and a career as a geological scientist. The B.A. prepares students for a career in any number of fields in addition to geology and the environment and graduate school. 


Research: Students gain experience working with faculty for credit during the academic year or in the summer with stipends. This has resulted in many student co-authored presentations and scientific publications.

Conferences: We offer financial support for students to attend national and international meetings, where many students present their own research.

Spring Term: We provide numerous opportunities for students to learn in exciting locations at both the introductory and advanced level. Geology students have traveled to New Zealand, Iceland, Belize, Greece, the American Southwest, the Grand Canyon and Hawaii for class.

Field Work: We are ideally situated in a geologically rich area of Virginia, with quick access to a wide variety of geology.

Analytical and Computing Capability: We benefit from state-of-the-art analytical and laboratory equipment, including a scanning electron microscope, stable isotope mass spectrometer with gas bench, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer, ion chromatograph, X-ray diffractometer, seismic acquisition unit, magnetometers, gravimeter, resistivity unit, unmanned aerial devices, differential GPS, many cutting-edge software programs including ArcGIS and MatLab.


Earth and environmental geoscience alumni work in a variety of fields, including consulting, oil and gas, geophysics, alternative energies, geotechnical engineering, geochemistry, investment and commerce, entrepreneurship, environmental law, academia, secondary education, and as geoscientists in government agencies. Some employers of graduates include:

  • Consulting and engineering: Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure, ARCADIS Geraghty and Miller, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Oil and gas corporations: Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Chesapeake, Advanced Resources Inc.
  • Investments and finance: Wells Fargo, DuPont, Hayek Kallen Investment Management
  • Conservation and education: Sierra Club, Outward Bound, Brown University, University of North Carolina, Western Albermarle High School Environmental Studies Academy
  • Federal and state agencies: EPA, USGS, NOAA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Park Service, North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.