Earth is the residence of the human race; therefore, it is essential to develop a better understanding of the composition, internal and external processes that affect the Earth. Earth is an outdoor laboratory filled with opportunities to observe geologic processes in action. By applying knowledge of forces that shape Earth, geoscientists seek to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future. Geoscientists provide information to society for solving problems and establishing policy for resource management, environmental protection, and public health, safety and welfare.
Geology is concerned with the processes, the history, and the characteristics of the rocks and sediments that shape the Earth. Human activities, predominantly on or near the surface, have utilized rocks and rock products, mainly petroleum and metals, to contribute to the quality of life. Because the Earth is dynamic—that is, the land surface is constantly changing—knowledge of earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, floods and landslides, to name a few dynamic events, is critical to minimize human suffering and economic loss. Within geology, different specialties, such as petroleum geology, ground-water geology (hydrogeology), geomorphology (study of surface processes), structural geology, and paleontology (study of fossils), have developed.
The Boone Pickens School of Geology offers traditional academic degree programs for BS, MS, and PhD students and also conducts various campus and community outreach events. Geology majors are provided a quality education designed to develop leadership skills and enhance employment opportunities. Research areas for faculty of the Boone Pickens School of Geology include: continental tectonics, conventional and unconventional energy resources, environmental issues, paleoclimatology, and geophysics/remote sensing. In these areas, the school has already established a sound infrastructure—appropriate faculty appointments, advanced laboratories and technologies, and a high volume of productivity. Full-time Geology undergraduates are eligible for departmental scholarships based on academic achievement and financial need. Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships are available for qualifying geology graduate students.
Geologists are employed extensively in applied and pure research and in teaching. Applied research includes the exploration for, and development of, oil and gas fields, metallic and nonmetallic mineral deposits, and reservoirs of ground water. The geologist is well prepared to pursue and direct environmental studies. Careers in research may be found with private employers, government agencies or universities. Teaching positions in geology are available at all levels, beginning with secondary education. As with most other sciences, more employment opportunities will be available to students with advanced training and a broad background. In general, careers as teachers in a college or university and in research are open only to those with graduate training.