Geological Sciences and Engineering

All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions. —Leonardo da Vinci

Geological Engineering—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • Research funding averages nearly $3 million per year.
  • We offer a rare international perspective on geoscience through our INVOGE (International Geological Master's in Volcanology & Geotechniques) program, which offers broad-based training in volcanology and geotechniques as well as a year spent studying abroad in France or Italy.

Learn more about the Geological Engineering programs.

Graduate Programs in Geological Engineering

Departmental research activities span from fundamental and precise laboratory studies of rocks and minerals to field studies in remote and rugged locations to high-performance computing of climate and natural hazards using remotely sensed data. Faculty members are involved in domestic and international field studies including:

  • Characterizing the hydrology of melting glaciers in Alaska, Svalbard, and Nepal
  • Groundwater in Ecuador
  • Landslide and Flood hazards in El Salvador
  • Field performance of air sparging for removing volatile organic chemicals from ground water
  • Development of instrumentation for measuring atmospheric trace gases
  • Liquefaction susceptibility evaluation at local and regional scales using in-situ measurements and remote sensing observations

Studies in geological engineering focus on Earth processes. Students will explore both practices for safely adapting geologic features for human use and considerations for adapting human activities for the preservation of the Earth. The application of geophysics and/or remote sensing technologies is vital for the majority of geological engineering studies within the department. For example, students may develop new methods of employing satellite observations and ground-based geophysics to map targets for groundwater, whether for resource development or for understanding groundwater behavior; or they may calibrate satellite-based observations to physical properties on the ground surface to predict the likelihood of surface failure during an earthquake, e.g., by liquefaction.

Geological engineering research and course work focuses on enhancing natural resource development and protection and mitigation of natural hazards. Although the research and educational activities are closely linked with scientific studies of earth processes, the engineering aspects will focus more on practical purposes.

Learn more about the Geological Engineering programs.