The geological sciences consist of a number of disciplines aimed at understanding the earth's origin and development and the natural processes that have operated upon it and within it from the time of the formation of the solar system. With the development of remote sensing technology and the exploration of the solar system by spacecraft, geological sciences have become increasingly important for understanding not only the earth but the moon, other planets and their moons, and small bodies that orbit the sun.
Understanding the dynamic processes of the earth and other planets is relevant to many societal needs, such as assessment and forecasting of natural hazards, environmental change, and discovery of energy and mineral resources. Some of the diverse disciplines that can be studied in this department include general geology, plate tectonics, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, environmental geology, petroleum geology, hydrogeology, paleoclimatology, and planetary geology.
The mission of the Department of Geological Sciences is to assist students and faculty in understanding the discipline of geology as comprehensively as possible through effective teaching, research, and best-practice application of geological principles in solving geology-related societal problems.