Academic Program

Professors Dearborn (Biology, chair, fall) and Johnson; Associate Professor Robert (chair, winter and Short Term); Visiting Assistant Professors Arora, Fetrow, Portes, Rolfe (Earth and Climate Sciences and Physics), and Wulff

Effective September 2020, the Department of Geology was renamed the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences to reflect the breadth of its curriculum. 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, students learn about interactions among the Earth’s mantle, crust and surface, including the Earth’s structure, its current and past climate system, earth materials, earthquakes and volcanoes, the water cycle, geologic time, and the Earth as a system using a combination of field, laboratory, and computational methods. Students work with their peers and faculty to answer fundamental questions and to solve real-world problems in Maine and beyond. The department stresses the importance of communication, collaboration, and hands-on experiential learning in the field, the laboratory, and the classroom.

Given the college’s location in Maine, with ready access to a wide variety of diverse geologic environments, 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 Class of 2023 major and minor in geology.

More information about the department may be found on the website (bates.edu/earth-climate-sciences).