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The geosciences span and integrate the five major Earth systems: the atmosphere, oceans, soils, organisms and solid earth both past and present. The geosciences curriculum at Dickinson provides students with experiences that foster critical thinking about these systems, so that students make connections among the systems and can understand how they impact humans now and in the future.

We do this in a variety of ways, like providing opportunities for deeper understanding through lecture and discussion, experimental and analytical laboratory work, fieldwork and independent study and research. We prepare students for the challenges of providing mineral, energy and water resources sustainably; mitigating environmental pollution and hazards; and informing the public about the challenges ahead through teaching, research and community engagement.

"It could forcefully be argued that geology and the broader fields of the earth sciences are the most important sciences for the 21st century, because humanity has only this one planet as a home, and if we render it unsuitable for human habitation we are all in serious trouble." —Alvarez & Leitao, Geology 38, 231-4, 2010

The geosciences department is one of the most globally integrated departments at Dickinson with 100% of our faculty having published with international collaborators and 80% having field areas outside of the U.S. The earth sciences curriculum and faculty expertise cover a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary topics from structural geology to global climate change; from paleontology to energy resources; and from Earth materials to natural hazards taught in a research- and project-based environment using research-grade analytical instrumentation.

Each course has a field component utilizing the diversity of the local and regional geology. A field trip endowment allows students to learn farther afield. Recent destinations have included Southern California, New Mexico, Sicily, the UK, Iceland and the island of Montserrat. 

Contact Info


Alyson ThibodeauAssociate Professor of Geosciences

Department coordinator

Kerri Thauby





Social Media


103, Kaufman Building Mailing Address

Department Features

Student Outcomes

Where Our Students Go From Here


  • Mastery Charter School
  • Rodale Institute
  • Arid Lands Institute
  • Matrix New World Engineering, Inc
  • Dickinson College
  • Christchurch School
  • Global Indemnity Group
  • National Academy of Sciences

Grad schools

  • University of Wyoming
  • Clemson University
  • Syracuse University
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Arizona
  • Northeastern University
  • South Dakota School of Mines
  • University of Ottawa
  • Rutgers University
Where Our Students Have Interned
  • Dickinson College / Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM)
  • Dickinson College / Center for Sustainability Education
  • Dickinson College Department of Earth Sciences
  • Global Change Institute, University of Queensland
  • Little Red Hen CSA
  • Middlesex County Utilities Authority
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • University of Arizona Department of Geosciences
  • Women for a Healthy Environment

Student Perspective

“Earth sciences is great, because it utilizes a little bit of every single topic found in STEAM curricula. As someone who has always loved science, I could never decide to study just one area of it. Majoring in earth sciences, I get to enjoy the best parts of all of them, along with my hobby of map-making.”

— Christian Knight ’23

Geosciences News

The Geosciences: Look No Further Than Everywhere

The Geosciences: Look No Further Than Everywhere

Assistant Professor of Geosciences Jorden Hayes wants to help the Earth write its autobiography, one eon at a time.

Love and Technology: Charlie Craig ā€™65, Pā€™89

Love and Technology: Charlie Craig ’65, P’89

"She arrived in Carlisle with what seemed like celebrity status,” remembers Charlie Craig ’65, P’89. So began a lasting love story—and a high-tech, international career.

Arctic & Alpine Climate Change Program Heats Up

Arctic & Alpine Climate Change Program Heats Up

Through Dickinson's Arctic & Alpine Climate Change program, students conduct hands-on research in ecologically crucial regions and contribute to our knowledge about the Earth's future.

Earth Sciences Major Jobs and Graduate School Acceptances 2023

Earth Sciences Major Jobs and Graduate School Acceptances 2023

Earth science majors have secured jobs as geologists, project engineers and GIS analysts, and have been accepted into prestigious institutions like George Mason University.

Astrophysicist for NASA

Astrophysicist for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to Give Talk at Dickinson

John Mather will receive Dickinson’s annual Joseph Priestley Award.

Ahead of the Curve: Dickinson Celebrates Landmark for Arctic Studies Program

Ahead of the Curve: Dickinson Celebrates Landmark for Arctic Studies Program

Dickinson kicked off Alumni Weekend by honoring Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards, the college's first Moraine Chair in Arctic Studies.