Department Mission

Located in the northern Appalachian mountains and one hour from the Maine coast, Bates affords students excellent opportunities for study and research in the geological and Earth sciences. The curriculum utilizes this setting by stressing field-oriented and laboratory-supported inquiry into bedrock, surficial, and environmental geology. The program leads students and faculty alike to a fuller understanding and appreciation of the geosciences.

Our mission is to instill in students a life-long love of learning about the earth and their surroundings. We seek to prepare students for professional careers in the geosciences or related fields as well as to be well-rounded and engaged citizens. We aim to contribute to the scientific literacy of students taking introductory and general education courses in geology. We strive to continue to build a department within the college, the Lewiston/Auburn community, and within the geologic community as a whole that is respected, admired, and valued.

Our goals are to teach students the founding principles of geology, including an in-depth knowledge of earth materials, geologic time, surface processes, field relationships, plate tectonics, cycles and cycling, and the earth as a system. We stress the importance of communication, independent research, collaboration and teamwork, learning how to think across different spatial and temporal scales, recognizing the connections between geology and other sciences, and using science to make informed decisions about various geological and environmental issues.

We achieve our goals by using a variety of approaches in our classes, including lectures, discussions, problem sets, and hands on field- and laboratory- based experiences. We utilize a balance of classical geological field and laboratory techniques (e.g., field mapping, stratigraphic logging and petrographic microscopy) and newer technologies (e.g., GIS, SEM-EDS, ICP-OES, IRMS) in our teaching and research to keep our students current in the field while retaining earlier and more transparent technologies so that students understand the most fundamental principles of geoscience and its instrumentation.