Mission and Goals

The Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science is strongly committed to the integration of high-quality teaching and internationally prominent research at all levels, to recognizing and responding to the continuing evolution of Geology and Environmental Earth Science as an interdisciplinary science, and to promoting awareness of the role that Geology plays in modern society. In this context, the Department’s mission is to provide productive and innovative education in an engaged scholarly environment for geology students at the ndergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels; to enrich the broader learning community through a selection of contemporary foundation and elective courses and other activities that address the relationships between society and the natural environment; to promote the professional development and research activities of faculty, staff, and students; and to foster the intellectual and professional growth of the discipline.

Specific programmatic goals in support of this mission include:

Goals of Miami Plan Contributions. At the level of Miami Plan Foundation courses the Department seeks to provide non-majors with a diverse and high-quality selection of introductory courses that ask and address questions about Earth processes, evolution, and the relationships between humankind and the natural environment. These goals are carried forward in the Geology Thematic Sequence options where students are provided with opportunities to investigate, in greater depth, modern approaches to understanding these complex processes and relationships. Student learning outcomes for these courses are designed around the scientific method, for students to be able to answer questions by using data to test hypotheses and communicating the results to a broader audience. Course design is also seeking to address student development in how students are able to construct knowledge, to evaluate their own abilities, to work effectively with others, and to take responsibility for their learning.

Goals of the Baccalaureate Program. In addition to the goals stated above, the undergraduate programs are designed to provide contemporary geoscience education and training in a scholarly environment that encourages development of observational, problem solving, and critical reasoning skills and that enables graduates to be successful in careers and graduate school.

Goals of the Graduate Programs. Building on the goals of our Baccalaureate program, the Master’s degree programs in Geology seek to provide additional depth and breadth of learning and training in order to prepare students for continuing education at the doctoral level or a professional career in the geological sciences and related professions. Simply stated, the goal of the Ph.D. program is to have all graduates attain peer status with departmental faculty.