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Department of Geology

Three Passions, One Degree

Brandon Keough '18 is graduating from SUNY Potsdam this semester with a degree in geology, minor in wilderness education and a performance certificate in viola from The Crane School of Music. This summer he will be kicking off his graduate studies at Purdue University by conducting research in a remote area of Alaska... read more.

Samantha McComb ’20

Samantha McComb '20 has been fascinated with geology ever since she was five years old, and now she is following her dream of becoming a geologist by working with Dr. Michael Rygel and Dr. Page Quinton in the Department of Geology... read more.

Geology Field Trip
Geology in the Field

Students pursuing a degree in geology have the opportunity to examine rock formations throughout the region, such as this trip to Harper Falls where Professor Sara Bier expanded on classroom instruction in a real-world setting. 

Erin Wagner '13

Just five years ago, alumna Erin Wagner ’13 was studying geology behind the walls of SUNY Potsdam’s Timerman Hall. Now she works as a geologist for ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company in the world.... read more.

Three Passions, One Degree

Brandon Keough '18 is graduating from SUNY Potsdam this semester with a degree in geology, minor in wilderness education and a performance certificate in viola from The Crane School of Music. This summer he will be kicking off his graduate studies at Purdue University by conducting research in a remote area of Alaska... read more.

Geology is the study of the earth's physical makeup and history, from minerals, soil and mountain ranges to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other geologic phenomena.

It's an ideal subject to study at SUNY Potsdam, given the campus setting is in the midst of ancient meta-sedimentary and meta-igneous rocks of the St. Lawrence Valley and Adirondack Mountains that have a billion-year-old story to tell. The department maintains a Seismic Network consisting of eight seismograph stations in the St. Lawrence Valley, the largest in northern New York. The geology major is centered in the liberal arts and prepares students for careers in geology or further study on the graduate or professional level.

Many recent graduates have found work in the environmental field; others are employed in the lucrative gold and silver mining fields of Nevada, Alaska and Australia. Recent alumni are currently in graduate school at the University of Vermont, Virginia Tech, the University of Georgia, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Indiana, Curtain University in Australia and Western Ontario University.