Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
What is the study of Geophysics?
A Geoscientist is someone who studies the Earth’s physical makeup and history. Geology is the science that provides the key to finding new sources of useful Earth materials and to understanding Earth processes that affect our lives. Geoscientists provide basic information to society for solving problems and establishing policy for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety and welfare.
Geoscientists are curious about the Earth. How was it formed? How is it changing? What effects will shrinking glaciers have on the oceans and climate? How do islands form? What makes a continent move? Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? What makes a mountain?
Geoscientists are concerned about the Earth. Is there a global warming trend? How and where should we dispose industrial wastes? How can we fill society’s growing demands for energy and conserve natural resources for future generations?
Geoscientists enjoy the Earth. It is an outdoor laboratory filled with opportunities to observe Earth processes in action. By applying knowledge of forces that shape the Earth, Geoscientists seek to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Do you like to know why and how things work? Do you enjoy the outdoors? Are you concerned about the environment? Are you interested in travel? Do you like to analyze things? Are science and nature among your favorite subjects? Have you ever wondered why the Earth appears as it does? If you answer “yes” to most of these questions the geosciences could offer a good career for you.
This program is recommended for students who are interested in applications of physics as a means of understanding a range of geological processes. Geophysics is distinct from Geology in that a more intensive set of Math and Physics courses, and applications of these skills, are required. Students who complete this degree will be prepared to continue to graduate studies in geology, geophysics, planetary geology/geophysics, physics, or other related fields, or to enter into industry. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a senior thesis project as part of this degree, providing them with an excellent capstone experience. Declaration of this major requires Geol 211, and a completed advising session with a Geophysics faculty advisor.
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Department of Natural Resources
- Oil and Mining companies
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S Army Corps of Engineers
- Explorations Geologist
- Museum Curator
- Climate Change Scientist
- Earthquake or Volcano Monitor
- Engineering Geologist