The Geoscience program at SUU is well known for its location in one of the most geologically spectacular settings in the country, and stresses field-based experiences and undergraduate research opportunities within this stunning setting. SUU offers facilities such as a Scanning Electron Microscopy and x-ray analysis facilities, x-ray diffraction facilities, research-grade optical microscopy facilities, a complete sample prep laboratory, and a state-of-the-art GIS laboratory.
The SUU Geology program trains students for professional, academic, governmental, or teaching careers in the Earth Sciences. Our major is research-oriented with strong laboratory and field components. Students have direct access to rock-preparation, mineralogy, geochemistry, paleontology, and GIS lab facilities for hands-on learning during individual research, class work, and group projects. Geology majors are likely to spend time analyzing the elemental make-up of rocks and minerals on the scanning electron microscope, determining conditions of mineral formation from microscopic analysis, mapping complex geologic structures or measuring stratigraphic sections in the field, or participating in paleontological exploration and digs locally and globally. The geology program places great emphasis on experiential learning outside the classroom. Students typically spend time discovering geological phenomena while camping and hiking in the beautiful landscape of southern Utah, combing the deserts of Nevada, exploring lagoons and reefs in the Bahamas, the rift basins of southern Africa and other exotic localities.
With its location on the boundary between the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range, SUU is situated in some one of the most diverse geologic settings in North America. With its location near numerous national parks, SUU offers research and outdoor learning opportunities that are unmatched by other universities. Within the area surrounding SUU, our students can study ancient, continental rocks nearly 2 billion years old, rocks deposited in ancient oceans, a diverse assemblage of dinosaur fossils, some of the largest volcanoes preserved in North America, and some of the youngest volcanic deposits on the continent. With this diverse geologic setting, small class sizes, and access to a variety of research facilities, SUU offers one of the best undergraduate geoscience programs in the country.