College of Arts & Sciences Earth Sciences


An understanding of the earth is crucial to nearly every aspect of our lives. It is the source of all of our natural resources, such as water, fuel, minerals and metals. It presents us with serious hazards such as earthquakes, tornadoes, landslides and floods. It is the source of our scenery and recreation opportunities. We even gain an understanding of ourselves by studying its history and the history of life upon it.

Beyond the Classroom

Opportunities outside of class offer you an enriched campus life and a chance to explore the profession first hand:

  • Summer internships with the South Dakota Geological Survey.
  • Summer job opportunities for juniors and seniors on faculty research projects or with the Geological Survey for credit and pay.
  • Field trips for fun, extended field projects for credit; past trips include the Grand Canyon, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Geology Club is a student organization active in organizing meetings, field trips and other fun activities.

After Graduation

Many grads go on to excel in graduate programs around the country. In the job market, people with the knowledge and skills to find solutions to issues related to the earth and its limited resources are in great demand. Earth Sciences grads go on to work in environmental agencies, state and federal geological survey departments, in extraction industries such as oil and mining, in national parks and museums, in education and more.


We are located on the second and third floors of the Akeley-Lawrence Science Center, with classrooms, labs, offices and a student library/computer lab with Internet access. The South Dakota Geological Survey is housed here as well, providing students with hands-on integrated learning and opportunities to see the profession in practice.