Grand-Canyon-2

As a geology student at Hanover, you will develop your scientific reasoning through discoveries in the classroom and in the field. Geology studies are supported by a wide range of hands-on experiences that make learning come to life.

Our small class sizes allow for lively discussions about compelling issues in geology, ranging from global warming to depletion of our natural resources. You will have opportunities to work with state-of-the-art laboratory technology and pursue research in collaboration with our faculty. You will gain valuable field experience in at least one of Hanover’s off-campus travel courses to the Grand Canyon, Ghost Ranch, N.M., or even northwest Scotland, where you will learn how to recognize rock types and geological structures, as well as apply your knowledge to field-mapping and problem-solving. Our students are prepared for graduate school or careers in environmental geology, geotechnical consulting, hydrology and the energy and mineral industries. As a Hanover geology graduate, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to address critical issues that will shape our planet’s future.

WHAT MAJORS AND COURSES CAN I PURSUE?

We offer majors in Geology, Environmental Geology, Geochemistry, and Geophysics; the latter three majors are offered within our interdisciplinary Environmental Science Program.

Courses taught by our faculty:

  • GEO 161 – Physical Geology
  • GEO 162 – Geology of National Parks and Monuments
  • GEO 163 – Environmental Geology
  • GEO 221 – Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • GEO 224 – Mineralogy and Petrology
  • GEO 237 – Field Study
  • GEO 239 – Field Studies in Historical Geology
  • GEO 261 – Issues in Environmental Geology
  • GEO 262 – History of Life
  • GEO 323 – Structural Geology
  • GEO 327 – Sedimentary Deposits
  • GEO 328 – Physical Hydrogeology
  • GEO 334 - Geomorphology
  • ENV 265 – Global Environmental Change
  • ENV 201/401 – Environmental Science Seminar

We also offer directed studies (GEO 370) developed by students in collaboration with a faculty member and special topics courses (GEO 160/260/360) when student demand merits a course not normally taught in our curriculum.

All of our majors are required to complete either an Internship (ENV 457), a Senior Seminar (GEO 461), or Senior Thesis (GEO 471 or ENV471).

Students in the field

The geology department offers numerous exciting opportunities for studying geology in the field:

  • Field-based courses
  • Research opportunities
  • Geology Club field trips

Our program considers getting students into the field, examining the real thing, to be its highest priority. As such, we offer several field courses during the college’s May Semester:

  • GEO 162 – Geology of National Parks and Monuments
    An investigation of geological features, processes, and history through field studies conducted in selected national parks and monuments in the southwestern United States. The course normally culminates with an extended backpacking trip to describe and interpret the geology of the Grand Canyon.
  • GEO 237 – Field Study
    Field study of geologic principles, processes, and features as observed on field trips to selected areas of geologic interest near Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. Geologic mapping, aerial photograph interpretation, description and interpretation of stratigraphy and geologic structures is empasized.
  • GEO 239 – Field Studies in Historical Geology
    An introduction to the scientific study of geology with an emphasis on reconstructing regional geologic and tectonic history of a geologically significant national or international setting. Students learn to identify and describe rock types, rock sequences, fossils, geologic structures, and surficial deposits and landforms; understand their formative processes; and place them within a given region’s developmental history.
Students at Grand Canyon
  • Bevis, K. A., Neace, S. D., Redmond, M., Slover, H. In the Playground of Giants; A Geo-educational Website for Any Audience.
  • Ford, J. and VAN ITEN, H. Slope processes and geological hazards in the Ohio River Valley near Hanover. Indiana.
  • Neace, S. D., and Bevis, K.A. The Grand Canyon as an Undergraduate Field Laboratory.
  • Neace, S. D., and Bevis, K. A. Improved Sinkhole Mapping in Jefferson County, Indiana Using LiDAR Technology.
  • Rice, A. B., and Van Iten, H. Gravicalymene Celebra (Raymond) from the Silurian Laurel Dolostone: Where are the Pieces?
  • Rogers, K., and Bevis, K.A. Revised Mapping of the Location and Extent of Glaciation in the Central Oregon Cascades Based on LiDAR Data.
  • Slover, H., and Bevis, K. A. Rock Falls and Debris Flows in Semiarid Canyons of the Southwestern United States.
  • Van Iten, H. Tollerton, V. P. Jr., Ford, R. and Hunter, K. Taphonomy and Paleoecology of Paraconularia planicostata (Dawson) (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) from the Late Mississippian Big Cove Formation (Newfoundland) and Lower Windsor Group (Nova Scotia), Eastern Canada.
Gsa-conference

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN GEOLOGY?

Graduate School

  • Some of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in graduate programs around the country:
  • Juris Doctor with Dual Master of Arts, Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Annandale on Hudson, NY
  • Master of Science, Geophysics, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
  • Master of Science, Sedimentary Geology, Miami University Oxford, OH
  • Master of Science, Applied Geophysics, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
  • Master of Science, Geology, Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
  • Master of Science, Geology, Delta State University Cleveland, MS

Start a Career

  • Many of our recent graduates have obtained a variety of positions in geology and related fields:
  • Agricultural Resource Specialist Johnson City Soil & Water Conservation Dist., Franklin, IN
  • Environmental Scientist, Aerotek Indianapolis, IN
  • Environmental and Safety Oversight, Environmental Consulting, Inc. Stoughton, WI
  • Environmental Specialist, Sanitation District I, Villa Hills, KY
  • Field Chemist, Clean Harbors, Cincinnati, OH
  • Geologist, Shelby Materials, Columbus, IN
  • Geologist, Wilcox Environmental Engineering, Indianapolis, IN
  • Geologist, Environmental Resources Management, Carmel, IN
  • Geologist, Cardno ATC, Evansville, IN
  • Hydrologist, IDEM, Indianapolis, IN
  • Owner/CEO Travis Thompson Oil Corp., Mount Carmel, IL
  • Project Inspector CTL Engineering, Indianapolis, IN
Students at Death Valley

Geology Club

The geology department also partners with an active student-lead Geology Club to offer several field trips annually during the college’s Fall, Winter, and Spring breaks. These adventures provide great opportunities to learn geology while interacting in a nonacademic setting. Travel destinations include:

  • Death Valley National Park; February, 2019
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park; October, 2019
  • Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks; August, 2020 (tentative)

Geology Courses

Number
Name
Units
Description
GEO 161
Physical Geology
1.00
Introduction to the physical earth; its nature, structure, and the processes that shape it. Laboratory: minerals, rocks, topographic and geologic maps, aerial photographs. Not open to students with prior credit a 16X course. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR. Fee charged.
GEO 162
Geology of National Parks/Monuments
1.00
An investigation of geological features, processes, and history through a study of selected national parks and monuments in the United States. Laboratories emphasize hands-on learning through the classification of minerals, rocks, and fossils; the interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and remotely- sensed imagery; and will culminate with an extended field trip to describe and interpret the geology of one or more national parks and/or monuments. Not open to students with prior credit in a 16X course. Offered Spring Term alternate years. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Partially satisfies the SM/SL CCR.
GEO 163
Environmental Geology
1.00
Examines how the earth affects humans and how humans affect the earth. Not open to students with prior credit in a 16X course. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR. Lab fee.
GEO 221
Intro. to Geographic Info. Science
1.00
Lectures will introduce fundamental concepts of spatial data, data management, data analysis, modeling, map design and map projections and coordinate systems. A series of laboratory case studies will present real- world applications of GIScience while offering students opportunities to apply the fundamental concepts discussed in lectures. A working knowledge of computers is necessary. Satisfies the QL ACE. Lab fee.
GEO 224
Mineralogy and Petrology
1.00
Introduction to the major groups of rocks and minerals through examination of hand specimens and petrographic thin sections. Emphasis on identification and classification of rocks and minerals and the use of both to interpret ancient environmnets of deposition, orogens, and the genesis and evolution of rock melts. Lab work includes preparation of thin sections and polished slabs. Optional field trip to the metamorphic core zones of the Applachian Mountains. Prerequisite a 16X course. Offered Fall Term alternate years. Not open to students with prior credit in GEO 220 or GEO 322. Fee charged.
GEO 237
Field Study - Geology
1.00
Geologic principles, processes, and features as seen on field trips to selected areas of geologic interest. Geologic mapping, aerial photograph interpretation, description and interpretation of stratigraphy and geologic structures. Designed for majors and non-majors. Prerequisites: a 16X course and consent of instructor. Offered Spring Term alternate years.
GEO 239
Field Studies in Historical Geology
1.00
An introduction to the scientific study of geology with an emphasis on reconstructing regional geologic and tectonic history. Students will learn to identify and describe rock types, rock sequences, fossils, geologic structures, and surficial deposits and landforms; understand their formative processes; and place them within a given region's developmental history. Students will develop specific skills and experience: 1) using topographic maps, geologic maps, aerial photographs, and GPS for navigation and for recognition and mapping of geological features; 2) with proper field-note taking, including written descriptions and drawings, and 3) with synthesis and interpretation of geologic data. Not open to students with prior credit in 233. Satisfies the SL CCR. Partially satisfies the SM CCR. Offered May Term of alternate years.
GEO 261
Issues in Environmental Geology
1.00
An in-depth examination of special topics in environmental geology such as natural hazards, pollution, water, energy or mineral resources. Will analyze real cases in the chosen topic. Labs. Field trips. May be team-taught. Offered Spring Term. Not open to students with prior credit in Geo 163. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR.
GEO 262
History of Life
1.00
Introduction to the scientific study of fossils (paleontology) and survey of major developments in the co-evolution of life and the physical environment. Laboratory exercises emphasize the identification and illustration of fossil specimens, mainly invertebrates, and the interpretation of their morphology. Field trips to local fossil collecting localities. Introductory biology or physical geology recommended. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR.
GEO 323
Structural Geology
1.00
A study of the mechanical behavior of earth materials. Description, identification, and mechanical analysis of folds, faults and other geologic structures. Laboratory: geometric analysis of structures. Prerequisite: a 16X course. Offered Winter Term alternate years. Lab fee.
GEO 327
Sedimentary Deposits
1.00
The study, classification, and interpretation of ancient and modern sediments and sedimentary rock sequences. Laboratory: handspecimenand thin-section study of sedimentary rocks, mechanical and compositional analysis of sediments, and preparation of stratigraphic maps. Field study of modern sediments and sedimentary rocks. Prerequisite: a Geo 16X course and permission of the instructor. Offered Winter Term alternate years. Lab fee.
GEO 328
Physical Hydrogeology
1.00
Introduction to groundwater chemistry and the physical principles governing groundwater flow. Integration of geomorphic, stratigraphic, geochemical, and hydraulic date concepts in building mathematical models of groundwater systems. Heavy emphasis on analysis of numerical problems and, in laboratory, use of physical and computer models. Prerequisite: a Geo 16X course and permission of the instructor. Offered Fall Term. Lab fee.
GEO 334
Geomorphology
1.00
The study of the forces and processes that shape the earth's surface as a means of understanding how the earth's features develop. Laboratory: interpretation and analysis of the earth's surficial features as seen on maps and photographs, field trips. Prerequisite: a 16X course. Offered Fall Term alternate years. Lab fee.
GEO 461
Senior Seminar
1.00

Environmental Science Courses

Number
Name
Units
Description
ENV 201
Environmental Science Seminar
0.25
An interdisciplinary seminar that will introduce students to the environmental sciences. Must first be taken by students in the freshman or sophomore year. May also be taken by students not enrolled in the Environmental Science Minor or Major. Pass/Fail only. 0.25 unit. Offered Winter Term only.
ENV 260
Special Topics
1.00
ENV 265
Global Environmental Change
1.00
Introduction to the influence of human civilization on Earth's environmental systems: describes the natural components of these systems andtheir interactions, places humans within these systems, details the affects of human activity, and suggests alternative human practices that lessen the severity of their impacts. Laboratories emphasize practical, project-based experience. Partially satisfies the SM/SL CCR and satisifies the S ACE. Lab fee.
ENV 360
Special Topics
1.00
ENV 401
Environmental Science Seminar
0.25
An interdisciplinary seminar that will serve as the culminating experience for seniors as they complete the Environmental Science Minor or Major. Students will make a presentation of their work related to the Environmental Science Minor. Must be taken in the senior year. Pass/Fail only. 0.25 unit. Offered Winter Term only.

Faculty