Earth and Climate Sciences at Bates


The Earth and Climate Sciences are key to addressing scientific issues relating to energy, mineral, and water resource security, ecosystem and environmental stewardship, hazards risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation, and climate variability and change.

In the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences (EACS, formerly Geology), students acquire in-depth knowledge of earth materials, Earth’s climate system, geologic time, surface processes, field relationships, tectonics, geochemical cycles and cycling, and the earth system. The department stresses the importance of communication, collaboration, and hands-on experiential learning in the field, the laboratory, and the classroom. Students work with their peers and faculty and community partners to answer fundamental questions and to solve real-world problems.

EACS students at Bates study the Earth, and they see a lot of it firsthand!  Students do field and lab work with Bates professors and other professionals in a variety of places, including the coast of Maine, the Appalachian Mountains, India, Argentina, California, Idaho, the Arctic, New Zealand, and Brazil (to name a few). Students have excellent opportunities for experiential learning, whether in the classroom, the laboratory, or the field, and through independent research, at all levels of the curriculum.

The Department of Earth and Climate Sciences strives to instill in students a life-long curiosity of the Earth across vast spatial and temporal scales. The curriculum provides the fundamentals of engaging science while illuminating the power of scientific literacy in informing social issues, thus better preparing students to be engaged citizens. Courses prepare students for professional careers and to be well-informed citizens who use their expertise ethically to contribute to equity and social justice.

Students in the Class of 2024 and beyond major and minor in Earth and Climate Sciences.  The major offers students the opportunity to learn field, laboratory, and computational skills. Select courses from environmental studies, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and digital and computational studies may also count toward the major. Students in the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 major and minor in Geology.