Apr 17, 2024  
[PRELIMINARY] Course Catalog 2024-2025 
[PRELIMINARY] Course Catalog 2024-2025


F. Zeb Page, Professor of Geosciences; chair

Rachel K. Eveleth, Assistant Professor of Geosciences
Megan E. Flansburg, Assistant Professor of Geosciences
Clara Margaret Flood, Instructor of Geographic Information Systems and Geosciences Laboratory Manager
Amanda H. Schmidt, Professor of Geosciences

Visit the department web page for up-to-date information on department faculty, visiting lecturers, and special events.

The field of geosciences applies tools from throughout the sciences to understand how our planet and the environment work, and how they have changed through time. At Oberlin, geosciences students explore fundamental questions of earth, environmental, and planetary science while applying a range of methods to address pressing contemporary questions—such as climate change, natural resource development, and environmental restoration—and their relationships to social justice. Through a blend of laboratory, computational, and field research, our students build a deep understanding of the Earth and develop skills they can apply in a variety of careers including education, government, and environmental consulting.

See information about Research, Internships, Study Away, and Experiential Learning (RISE).

https://www.oberlin.edu/winter-term/ Explore Winter Term projects and opportunities.

Departmental Policies

Advanced Placement

Students seeking to place out of introductory geosciences courses on the basis of secondary-school or college courses taken in geology, geosciences, or Earth sciences may need to pass a placement examination administered by the department. In such cases, students should consult a member of the department regarding their options.

Majors and Minors


The Department of Geosciences at Oberlin College offers a broad selection of courses aimed at both majors and non-majors. These courses reflect the diversity of modern Earth science, covering subjects that range from the nature of our planet at the dawn of its history to human effects on today’s Earth, and from tiny crystals to gigantic tectonic plates. Many of our courses address the changing relationship between humans and the world in which they live.

Introductory Courses

The department offers a variety of introductory courses in the geosciences, all of which are numbered at the 100-level. These courses do not have any prerequisites, do not require any special background, and provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about our planet and the environment. Most of these courses are topical and change from year to year. All our 100-level courses are suitable for students who are interested in related fields such as environmental studies, environmental science, oceanography, and evolutionary biology and are seeking hands-on experience with maps and earth materials.

Two of the 100-level courses include hands-on lab experiences.

  • GEOS 120  provides a broad overview of earth science that includes laboratory work and field trips to local sites.
  • GEOS 124  offers similarly broad coverage and laboratory and field experiences, but has a specific focus on the intersection of Earth science and critical social issues.

Intermediate and Advanced Courses

Students can enroll in any 200-level geosciences course after taking any full 100-level geosciences course.

Similarly, students in general must have completed any one 200-level geosciences course in order to enroll in a 300-level geosciences course; the two exceptions are GEOS 335 , which has no prerequisites, and GEOS 361 , which has a prerequisite of GEOS 201 . This policy allows for a substantial number of non-majors to enroll in upper-level geosciences courses in addition to geosciences majors.