The study of the earth’s dynamic systems is a field that has seen major advances over the last few decades. Geologists investigate diverse systems that play a large role in controlling the environment at the earth’s surface. Examples include earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, landslides, rivers, and shorelines.

Earth processes play a critical role in making our planet habitable, and geologists are constantly in demand to guide communities and nations in many important areas: searching for clean drinking water and extractable energy and minerals; deciding how to develop fragile coastal regions or seismically active areas; safely building roads, dams, pipelines, and other infrastructure; and so on. There is also great demand for properly qualified teachers of earth and environmental science at the K-12 level (see the UNC-BEST program).

The Department of Geological Sciences at UNC–Chapel Hill provides students with a solid training in earth science so that they can advance in highly satisfying careers as professional geologists.

–Jonathan Lees, Chair