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Skidmore College
Geosciences Department

Welcome to the Geosciences Department!

What is geoscience?

Geoscience is the study of planet Earth, its materials, the processes that act upon them,and the history of the planet, and its life forms since its origin. The mission of Skidmore's geosciences program is to apply the understanding of Earth processes to contemporary issues such as Earth resources, land-use planning, and global change. For more information, check out our Mission Statement.



Thinking about a geoscience major or minor? 

Declaring a major form

contact us

In the meantime, read about geology careers and salaries. And check out Geoscience alum Cynthia Blum Carroll's ('78) feature in the Fall 2009 Scope magazine!



Geoscience majors and employment

Recession? Geoscientist are in demand! According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Employment of geoscientists and hydrologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations" over the next eight years. In 2010, the average salary for geoscientists with 0–2 years experience (entry-level) was $93,000." (American Association of Petroleum Geologists).



"Of quartz, geoscientists make lots of silly geoscience puns. But, more importantly, geosciences help us to appreciate the materials and processes of our planet and situate the decisions that we make about important issues like climate change in a way that considers different scales of time and space." Read article >>

Jennifer Cholnoky, senior lecturer and chair of the Department of Geosciences

"I had a miscarriage during my first year as a professor. Here’s how I coped."

Dr. Logan Brenner (Geosciences '12) and Barnard College professor opens up difficult conversations on family life and academia. Read the article >>

  • There’s still time to enroll in our 2023 summer classes (see last page for information)
    GE 110: Earth Systems Science in Session 1 & 2; GE 112 Introduction to Oceanography in Session 1.
  • We're excited that Skidmore in New Zealand is open again and accepted students. Find out more about this fantastic program here




Alumni Spotlight

  • Congratulations to Melanie Feen '16, who was awarded a 3-year NASA Earth and Space Fellowship to support her PhD in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Graduated School of Oceanography. Her project title is: Net Community Production Across Scales: From Autonomous Profiling to Ocean Color Remote Sensing.
  • Patrick Thieringer ’16, landed a highly competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, funding his PhD research in geomicrobiology. Congratulations Patrick!
  • National Park Ranger Megan Killeen ’14, will be in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Alaska this summer, then starting her Master’s program at Boston University.  Happy Trails, Megan!
  • In January, Emma McCully ’16 started a fully-funded graduate program in Geosciences at Boise State in Idaho, with a focus in what else? Marine sciences.  Way to make waves, Emma!
  • Candace Wygel ’16, defended her MS thesis at Lehigh University's Earth and Environmental Sciences program, and has a job waiting for her in Environmental Consulting on Long Island.  Way to go Candace!
  • Sarah Turner ’15 defended her MS thesis at University of New Hampshire’s Earth Sciences Department.  Congrats Sarah!
  • Taimur Khan ’15, is now a Junior Resaerch Fellow at IAESTE in Germany.  Rock on, Taimur!  IAESTE, or the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, is a great resource for international students looking to study and gain science and engineering skills in 85 member countries.
  • Katherine Kuklewicz ’15 finished her MS in sedimentary geology at University of Kansas last Spring, and moved to Houston to work at Exxon Mobil’s Exploration division just in time for Hurricane Harvey!
  • Ben Freiberg ’16 started a fully-funded MS in Geology at Oregon State University, concentrating in paleoclimate and geomagnetism.  Rock on, Ben!

We’d love to hear from you!  Send your updates to or your favorite Skidmore GeoProfessor!


Advice for Geosciences Majors

Skidmore's Career Services offers a program called Living the Liberal Arts. Alumni panelists from different majors return to campus to provide advice on their post-grad professional journeys.

On March 29, 2011, four geosciences alumni were on campus. Here's a brief clip of Matt Shrensel '09, a staff geologist for Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, providing his insights.