Geology students dig deep below the surface of problems to find solutions in order to apply geologic understanding to ethical, societal and environmental issues.

As of Fall 2020, students are unable to declare a major/minor in Geology. Students who have previously declared will be able to complete the requirements. If you have questions, please check with your advisor, or contact the Office of the Registrar at

Geologists work in diverse sectors of the economy, including industry and business as exploration geologists and environmental consultants, academics as teachers and research scientists, and government as natural resource or natural hazard specialists.

Representing a variety of careers, professional geologists:

  • study past earth history and predict the future behavior of earth systems, such as plate tectonic or river systems;
  • explore for adequate supplies of natural resources, such as groundwater, petroleum and economic metals;
  • provide geotechnical expertise related to site assessment and develop watershed protection plans;
  • work with planning and emergency management to mitigate human suffering and property loss from natural hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, landslides and coastal erosion; and
  • mediate between the human demand for natural resources and the impact that resource development has on the natural environment.

Wittenberg's geology program blends classroom and field instruction, computer and instrumental analysis, and practical application to give you the tools for success in graduate school or your professional career. Students get hands-on experience in every geology class, using an impressive range of equipment to measure stream flow, use hand-held GPS units to locate formation contacts, analyze sample composition, or model sediment movement along stream beds.

In addition, students and faculty in the department of geology maintain instrumentation, including streamgages, a weather station, and several water quality sondes, along a 9-km reach of Buck Creek that flows through Springfield. The Buck Creek Educational Corridor promotes problem-based learning opportunities for our students, such as researching the environmental impacts on stream quality in areas where lowhead dams have been replaced with recreational structures.

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Geology in the News:

  • Searching for Equitable Solutions and Expanding Science Literacy: Associate Professor of Geology Sarah Fortner dives into climate change during a five-week, cross-country trek (published August 29, 2018)
  • Beyond the Classroom: Wittenberg's Extensive Options for Scientific Field Work Embody University's Active and Engaged Learning Environment (published April 26, 2018)
  • Small Act: Big Impact: Is a Small Act Meaningful? Does It Matter to the Larger Problem? Does Turning Off the Lights as You Leave a Room Help Solve Climate Change and Global Warming? (published April 22, 2018)
  • Exceeding Expectations: Wittenberg Named National Model for Integrating Civic Responsibility in its Environmental Science and Geology Majors (published October 26, 2017)
  • Distinguished Teacher: Ohio Professor of the Year John Ritter Recognized for Outstanding Teaching (published November 15, 2016)
  • Icy Adventure: Assistant Professor of Geology Sarah Fortner Engages Students in Developing Climate Change Solutions (published May 8, 2016)
  • Applied Learning: Wittenberg University Students Participate in Portal to the Public, Collaborate with COSI (published May 27, 2014)
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