Earth and Environmental Science - Earth and Environmental Science

Earth & Environmental Science

Earth Science students learn about geoscience with an emphasis on the scientific method, problem solving, and interdisciplinary science education. Our graduates are prepared for careers in geoscience, education, environmental management and natural hazards mitigation. They are also ready to make wise decisions on important issues related natural resources, environmental quality and sustainability in Oregon and beyond.

WOU Earth Science Students:

  • Learn about the physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in the Earth System.
  • Apply technology-based methods to solve geologic problems and communicate results.
  • Conduct scientific investigations in laboratory and field settings.

Within the major, students explore the following areas:

  • Earth System Science
  • Environmental Geology and Surface Processes
  • Geospatial Technology and GIS
  • Sedimentology and Paleobiology
  • Tectonics, Volcanology and Petrology

What you’ll learn

Year 1

In your first year, you’ll build a strong liberal arts foundation along with introductory classes in General Education, Mathematics and Earth Science.

Year 2 & 3

In Years 2 & 3, you’ll receive core concept learning and skill building with upper level courses in Earth and Environmental Science.

Year 4

In Year 4, you’ll develop advanced problem solving and thinking skills. Experiential activities include Senior Seminar Capstone and opportunities for Independent Study and Internships.


Completion of the Earth and Environmental Science major at WOU qualifies graduates to begin the process of professional licensure as a Registered Geologists in the State of Oregon, with reciprocity in 33 other states.

*While students can choose to exit into a professional career track in Earth and Environmental Science after completing the B.A./B.S. degrees, those who want to pursue advanced graduate-level training are encouraged to complete the optional B.S. Pre-Graduate Studies Concentration.  Consult with your advisor for more details.

Where this degree can take you

The demand for qualified Earth and Environmental Scientists is on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Geoscience jobs are expected to grow by 5% over the next ten years (compared to a 3.5% increase expected for all occupations).

The B.A./B.S. degree is designed to prepare you for entry to the workforce with occupations including Geoscientists, Environmental Scientists, Surveying and Mapping Technicians, GIS Analysts, Hydrologists, Natural Resource Management, and Conservation Science. In addition, an undergraduate degree in Earth Science combined with a Master of Arts in Teaching well prepares students for careers as Middle-High School Science Teachers.

Example WOU Earth Science alumni job titles

  • Staff Geologist
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • GIS Analyst
  • Science Teacher

Example WOU Earth Science Alumni Employers

  • Gannett Fleming
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • Oregon Dept. of Transportation
  • Apple Computer
  • National Park Service
  • McNary High School


Department of Earth & Environmental Science

Department Chair: Dr. Jeff Templeton (Petrology, Volcanology)
503-838-8858 l email: l Location: NS 211

Dr. Steve Taylor (Geomorphology, Environmental Geology, GIS) | 503-838-8398 | email: | NS210

Dr. David Szpakowski (GIS, Remote Sensing. Fire Risk) | 503-838-9394 | email: | NS110

Dr. Jeffrey Myers (Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleontology) | 503-838-8365 | email: | NS213