Why Earth & Environmental Sciences at SDSU?

Geoscientists apply basic physical, chemical, and biological principles to understand how the earth was formed, how it evolved and how it may change in the future. In addition to understanding the origin and evolution of our planet, geologists seek to discover, use, and manage earth’s resources in clean and environmentally responsible ways. Training in geological sciences prepares students to address major societal issues including dwindling energy resources, climate change, environmental pollution and natural disasters from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and coastal subsidence. Students who are curious about the planet on which we live, challenged by environmental problems facing humankind, and intrigued by a subject which combines both the arts and applied science, should consider one of our many geological sciences degrees.

Wide Array of Expertise

Physical model of two different types of faults


Learn about the processes that form faults, folds and other geological features

Student looks at fossils with notebook in hand


Find out how climate, water and life have changed throughout Earth's history

Students stand in a creek bed with a dog on the Devils Punch Bowl field trip

Environmental Sciences

Understand sustainable water and land management practices in unique interdisciplinary program

Heat map of geological activity along fault lines


Identify patterns in seismic activity in Southern California and beyond

Active Research Projects

Sampling the Ocean Floor

Chemical composition of seafloor sediments tell tales of climate change

Roz King (right) and other researchers on a research vessel with equipment to detect oil seeps

Uncovering Underwater Tar Pits

Oil seeps provide clues about early Indigenous peoples along Pacific Coast

Along the side of a road in Ecuador, students gather rock samples from a diagonal rockface

Predicting the Next Disaster

In Ecuador, students gather rock samples to inform earthquake preparedness plans

Close-Knit Community

Frequent Field Trips

Make lasting memories and friendships while developing skills and knowledge outside of the classroom.

Students, professors and alumni annually spend several days camping at the Grand Canyon complete with camp fire stories and delicious meals.

Short trips to national and state parks in California, San Diego beaches and seismic hot spots are also common.

Competitions as Career Preparation

Participating in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' International Barrel Awards is a great way to prepare for life after college by analyzing real datasets on a deadline.

Our Department has a long history of excellence, with teams earning several regional, national and global awards.

"Since working in the petroleum geology industry, I've realized my IBA experience was the best preparation for the time, focus and energy necessary to be successful in this business."

Bryant Fulk ('10)

Extensive and Involved Alumni Network

SDSU Geological Sciences alumni readily provide mentoring, advice and camaraderie for students planning their next steps. They also support scholarships like those named for Gordon Gastil, Baylor Brooks and John and Diane Robinson. Current students can learn about the prolific careers of our alumni on field trips, department picnics and by connecting on social media.

Our graduates solve today's climate crises, inform environmental policy decisions and analyze the history of our planet. Job openings are plentiful in management, scientific and geotechnical consulting services. Many government agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Conservation and regional planning offices hire geoscientists.


Seminar – Claudie Beaulieu

Changing Climate, Changing Ocean, Changing Data Dr. Claudie BeaulieuAssociate Professor – University of California, Santa CruzOcean Sciences DepartmentHost: Dr. Jessica Whiteside Wednesday, September 20, 20231 […]

Seminar -Kenneth Belitz

The Quality of Groundwater Used for Public Supply in the Continental United States Dr. Kenneth BelitzResearch Hydrologist – USGSHost: Dr. Matthew Weingarten Wednesday, May 3, […]

Seminar – Pritwiraj Moulik

Technology-assisted Learning and Programming Pedagogy in Geoscience Education Dr. Pritwiraj MoulikAssociate Research Staff – PrincetonDepartment of GeosciencesHost: Dr. Rafael Almeida Wednesday, April 19, 20231 pm […]

Seminar – William Yeck

Rapid Source Characterization of the 2023 Turkey Earthquake Sequence Dr. William YeckSeismologist – USGS Geologic Hazards Science CenterGolden, ColoradoHost: Dr. Matthew Weingarten Wednesday, March 15, […]