Palmyra Atoll Lafferty, USGS
Geosciences of the Earth, Oceans, and Planets (GEO)
This program includes studies in the following curricular groups:
Geological Sciences applies the observational, experimental, and theoretical methods of the basic sciences to understanding the processes that alter Earth's crust, and to determining the long-term history of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
Geophysics applies the principles of mathematics and experimental and theoretical physics to understanding the nature of Earth's interior processes.
Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry concerns chemical and geochemical processes operating in a broad range of study areas: the oceans, the solid earth, the atmosphere, marine organisms, polar ice sheets, lakes, meteorites, and the solar system.
Students admitted to GEO are assigned an advisor, who is a member of the three person guidance committee. Based on the student's interests and the major affiliation of the advisor, students are assigned to a curricular group on admission. Although students may change curricular groups in the course of the year, they must choose which Departmental Exam they will take. Departmental exams have similar structures among the curricular groups within GEO (a written exam at the end of Spring Quarter and an oral exam before the beginning of Fall Quarter), the material covered is quite different so students must begin preparing for the particular exam from the start. Student support for the first year comes from a variety of sources including departmental fellowships and research grants. Students are discouraged from TAing during their first year and encouraged to begin a research project from the beginning. Students may change advisors during their first year, but they must find a happy match by the end of the first year.