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The Geosciences are among the most important fields of study in our highly technological world. It brings together a study of our energy resources, mineral deposits, land utilization, water resources, the atmosphere, planetary exploration, and the universe into one complex and interrelated discipline. Earth scientists are constantly examining each of these areas relative to mankind’s present and future needs in an attempt to maintain the quality of life on this planet earth.

The primary objectives of the geosciences curriculum are:

  1. To prepare students as professional geologists for jobs with the petroleum industries, regulatory agencies, civil service positions, and for the continuation of studies in graduate school.
  2. To prepare motivated, innovative, competent, and professional earth science teachers.
  3. To give non-geoscience science majors a stimulating and comprehensive background in the earth sciences to prepare them to fulfill their role as knowledgeable and informed citizens who will direct the future growth of this country.

We are a small department focused on providing students with a strong fundamental background in the geosciences and, particularly, in providing our undergraduates with an opportunity to engage in geoscience research. MSU students all complete senior research projects that are co-developed with a faculty geoscience advisor. Our students have access to a wide array of analytical equipment that can be used for these projects, including SEM-EDS, ICP-AES, GCMS and XRD that other small universities may not have access to (see our instrumentation facilities here). These research projects are collaborations that generate meaningful research that can lead to publishable results. Because of this, our students leave Minot State University with an understanding of what is required to do real science – because they have done real science! If you are looking for an undergraduate experience that will allow you to have a more graduate school-like experience, or if you know that you would like to pursue a graduate degree in the geosciences, we want to talk to you! The experience that Minot State University’s Geoscience major can offer will give you an advantage when going on to graduate school, or when looking for a job where analytical skills are required. Click through our faculty pages for information on the kinds of research that we do here at MSU.


MSU GEOSCIENCE NEWS                                                        

10/3/2016    Geoscience Undergrad Grants Section now up and running. But, for some reason, the link is not showing on the main page. Follow this link temporarily to reach the grants page. More grants to be added soon, so check back often!

9/3/2016      Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Oklahoma. On Saturday, September 3rd at approximately 7:02 am, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked the area north northeast of Oklahoma City. Few injuries and minor damage was reported, but this most recent earthquake is just one of several in recent years (another magnitude 5.6 earthquake occurred in nearby Prague, OK in 2011). Such earthquakes have geologists asking whether these are related to oil and gas recovery, or to wastewater injection wells. Read more here.

8/30/2016     "ANTHROPOCENE" poised to become an official part of the Geological Time Scale. Yes - atomic bombs and the widespread burning of fossil fuels. The Anthropocene working group has made a formal request to the International Commission on Stratigraphy to include the Anthropocene as a new series - the stratigraphic equivalent of an epoch in the GTS. The new series would begin just after WWII, and scientists are busy looking for the GSSP for the new series. Ream more about this at Science.

8/22/2016     WELCOME BACK!  Welcome back to all of our returning majors, new incoming and transfer students! Stop by your professor's offices and say hi, introduce yourself, or just stop in for a chat. The first day of classes is Tuesday - see you all then!

8/15/2016     WELCOME to our new Geosciences faculty member Dr. Nathan Hopkins! Dr. Hopkins comes to us from Lehigh University and is interested in glacial geomorphology. Drop by Dr. Hopkins office (121 Moore) and introduce youself, or just say 'Hi'!

6/24/2016     CONGRATULATIONS to Asst. Professor Guy Hanley. Guy just published a new paper in the journal Insecamundi entitled "South American Coxinellidae (Coleoptera), part XVII: Systematic revision of the genera Cyrea Gordon and Canepari and Tiphysa Mulsant (Hyperaspidinae: Brachipacanthini)." The new paper described 76 new species, and redescribed 47 previously known.

6/17/2016     CONGRATULATIONS to Ana Swor. Ana just received the L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Research Grant from AAPG. Ana will use this grant to do fieldwork related to her Senior research project beginning later this summer with fieldwork in Wisconsin. Congratulations Ana!

5/13/2016     CONGRATULATIONS to our graduating Geoscience seniors!

4/16/2016     Magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits Ecuador. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook northwestern Ecuador on Saturday. The focus of the quake was approximately 19.2km below the surface on the subduction zone and approximately 27.0 km (16.8 mi) SSE of Muisne, Ecuador. Preliminary reports indicate fairly substantial damage. Read more at the USGS here.

4/15/2016     The new interactive Geoscience calendar is now up and running. You can navigate to the calendar by using the links on the left side of the page above. If you have a Geoscience related event that you would like listed on the calendar, please send an email to me and I'll get your event posted ASAP. Remember, if you would like your event posted, you should provide a date, a time, and a meeting location!