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About Us

Geology, geography and environmental studies at Calvin

  • In geology, we examine the formation, history, composition, structure and processes of planet Earth and apply geological knowledge to practical problems as commited Christians.
  • In geography, we investigate physical and cultural landscapes and their resulting interactions in the context of a Christian world view.
  • In environmental studies, we analyze Earth's environmental systems and foster the commitment to serve God in their care and preservation.

Our faculty

The department has 8 full-time faculty who:

  • are committed to the integration of faith and learning.
  • approach geography, geology and environmental studies with the lens of a Christian worldview as shaped by the Bible, confessional themes such as creation-fall-redemption, and biblical norms of justice, stewardship restoration and reconciliation.
  • conduct research from a Christian perspective, helping students to explore the magnificent planet God has entrusted to us.

More about our faculty »

Our programs

Our students

Students within geology, geography, and environmental studies (GEO) have multiple opportunities to develop important skills in the classroom, laboratory, and field.

Student/Faculty Research: Students conduct academic-year and summer research with professors. In recent years, students have studied:

  • the geography of Eritrea with Johnathan Bascom
  • Lake Michigan coastal dunes with Deanna van Dijk
  • excavation, curation, and analysis of a late Pleistocene mastodon with Ralph Stearley
  • creating a web application for the Plaster Creek watershed
    with Jason VanHorn

Read more about what current students are doing »

Department jobs: Students are hired yearly to manage the map library, work on the department Web site, maintain the college weather station, organize and clean fossil/rock/mineral collections, and oversee the department's seismograph.

Classroom positions: Upper-level students are hired as lab assistants and graders for courses such as Earth Systems, Introduction to Geology, World Regional Geography, Geomorphology, GIS and more.

Off-campus programs: Off-campus study is an important part of the Calvin College experience. The GEO department offers interim (January and May) courses in locations including Montana, Hawaii, Kenya, Netherlands, Ethiopia and Oregon.

Our facilities

As a GEO student, you will have access to excellent mineral, rock and fossil collections, an extensive map collection, a dedicated geo-spatial analysis lab, seismograph, weather station and much more.

More about our facilities »

Quick facts

50+ students majoring and minoring in geology, geography, and/or environmental studies.

13 distinct academic programs, including 7 majors, 1 group major, and 5 minors.

14 distinct student research projects have taken place over the past 4 summers.

8 faculty members:

  • 2 geologists
  • 4 geographers
  • 1 environmental policy specialist
  • 1 earth science education specialist

6 different interims (4 off-campus) offered.

5 distinct facilities include a weather station, map library, GIS computer lab, and more.