Geoscientists are broadly trained in the physical sciences, with emphasis on problem solving skills related to Earth processes and resources. CSC’s geoscience degree is field oriented, meaning students are trained in skills of observing and interpreting phenomena in nature. Our geoscience degree will help you develop the skills to enter technical fields in petroleum, mining, or environmental resource management, or to go on to graduate school in many other fields, such as geophysics or paleontology.
Geology is one of the geosciences, among geophysics, hydrology, oceanography, atmospheric and planetary science. CSC’s geoscience program is called that because we promote a strong foundation in the physical sciences with an emphasis on geology.
With degree in Geoscience from Chadron State College you can get a job right out of college in some fields with strong demand, including oilfield mudlogging, water quality sampling, GIS mapping technician, geological field assistant or laboratory assistant. Most entry level jobs involve some field work. Many more geoscience jobs will be available to you if you decide to go on to graduate school. In fact, the geoscience field is among the fastest growing job markets for people with a master’s-degree level education.
For Career information you can browse our Careers page
http://www.csc.edu/sci/geoscience/careers or go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
Field Camp is an intensive course in mapping and field geology techniques. Traditionally a six-credit-hour field camp is taken between the junior and senior years of a geology or geoscience program. However, because of the need to introduce and reinforce field methods, and the challenges of doing this in the online setting, CSC’s field camp is split into three parts, which a student takes at the end of freshman through junior years. In the annual field camp you will practice geology skills learned in the classroom, learn new field mapping skills, gain experience working in different parts of the world, and get to know your fellow online and F2F students.
Tuition and fees will run about $3300 per semester, $1800 for the summer term, including field camp fees. Travel to field camp will be an extra expense. Textbooks for all your classes will cost you up to $500 per term. You will need to purchase lab kits for two classes, averaging about $150 each. The business office has a handy calculator that you can use to estimate your cost of attendance:
You should take high school physical science and as much physics and chemistry as possible. Where available, it would be a good idea to take a geology, earth-science or integrated science course. Also, get a solid grounding in English composition, because geoscientists need to be able to write and speak clearly.
Some three-credit courses (e.g., physical geology, GEOS 231) have an attached lab course (GEOS 231L), effectively making them four-credit courses. The lab course is kept separate mainly to communicate to readers of your transcript that the course had significant “lab” (hands-on) experiences. In geoscience courses it is not possible to separate the lab experiences from the rest so one grade is calculated for both “sections” of the course.
Geoscience is an applied science; you need to be able to apply the concepts and problem-solving skills of chemistry, physics and math to Earth system concepts. Your geoscience classes give you experience with rich observational and theoretical practices rooted in field observation. It is the combination of proficiency in analytical sciences and field observation that will make you an effective geoscientist.
Mostly. You can take all your classes online except field camp. There is really no way for you to get good at interpreting geology in the field without the hands-on guidance of a professor. You will be required to attend field camp for two weeks each May. This small sacrifice will make a big difference in your learning throughout the program.
CSC’s online geoscience degree is the only one of its kind. We think both our online and face-to-face students have an advantage because they learn problem-solving skills along with students in other parts of the world. Collaboration in the information age—in a world without borders—lends a personal perspective to global study of the Earth sciences.
The distributed “field camp” gives our students significant field experience over their undergraduate career, concentrated in three two-week summer sessions. So technically the online degree program is not 100% online since students are asked to commit to attending these two-week sessions each May. But field experience is critical to understanding how the Earth works and we think the small annual sacrifice is worth the benefits.
Students also gain field experience without direct supervision of a professor. Students start developing this autonomy in the first course—physical geology—and keep working at it through the course sequence. Good field practices are reinforced and documented in the writing of professional reports, which are used in every class.
We try as much as possible to give all geoscience students, whether learning F2F or online, the same experiences. We do this by encouraging F2F students and online students to work in problem-solving teams, and at a higher level to develop a community of geoscience students. This enhances the learning experience for students in both modes of the course.
All CSC geoscience students are encouraged to participate in professional conferences and field trips. Students often attend the annual GSA conference, around the end of October. See http://www.geosociety.org/meetings/. GSA Conferences are held in cities around North America, with alternate years in Denver.
The department has a three-day field excursion each fall, usually in late September, stopping at various locations in Wyoming and Nebraska. This excursion is run as a course experience either for sedimentology (odd-numbered years) or rocks and minerals (even-numbered years), but all geoscience and science education majors are invited to attend
Each spring we attend the meetings of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, held at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. The physical science capstone students present result of their research at this conference. This is another opportunity for students taking courses online to interact professionally with those from the face-to-face setting.
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