The research opportunities at Wooster prepared Sarah McGrath ’17 for her graduate studies
Minor in Earth Sciences at The College of Wooster
Earth Sciences combines principles of physics, chemistry, and biology to understand Earth history and Earth processes. Students with an interest in geology and environmental science can add an Earth Sciences minor to nearly any major course of study and still graduate in four years because of the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum at Wooster. To earn a minor, students must complete a course in Earth Systems and five other classes in the Earth Sciences discipline.
Learn about Wooster’s STEM community through the STEM Success Initiative
Department Chair and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences
Name: Virginia E. Roberts Major: Biology Minor: Earth Science Advisors: Dr. Carlo Moreno, Dr. Jennifer Ison (second reader) Cavity nesting wasps are contributors to […]
Shelley Judge, associate professor of Earth Sciences, and her advisee, Morgan Pedroso Curry ’21 share how they maintained a mentoring relationship despite challenges of the pandemic.
Dendrochronological analysis of the tree ring series of Mountain Hemlock, Western Hemlock, European Larch, and White Oak trees Srushti Chaudhari ’22, Earth Science Mazvita […]
Six courses in Earth Sciences must be completed to earn a minor.
Completion of the course Earth Systems is required.
The remaining five courses can be Earth Sciences elective courses of the student’s choosing, with no more than two courses at the 100-level.
The Department of Earth Sciences is housed in Scovel Hall, one of Wooster’s most attractive buildings. Equipment available to earth sciences majors includes binocular and petrographic microscopes, a video system attached to a microscope, computers, photomicroscopes, zoom transfer stereoscope, fluid inclusion system, variable magnification scanning stereoscope, diamond saws and and rock grinding equipment, photography labs, thin-section machine, mapping projector, seismic station, and large sedimentological, paleontological and mineralogical collections. The earth sciences library holdings are unusally complete for a small college.
The paleontological facilities at Wooster include standard rock saws and grinders, along with Nikon microscopes, digitial imaging systems, and fossil preparation tools. We also have extensive research collections, particularly for carbonate hardgrounds, ancient bioerosion, Ordovician invertebrates, and Jurassic limestones and fossils.
Ohio is a wonderful place to pursue undergraduate research in sedimentology and stratigraphy through Wooster’s Independent Study program. The local rocks provide an excellent sample of Paleozoic paleoenvironments and rock types. Our equipment includes GPS devices, computers, digital imaging equipment, numerous Nikon petrographic and dissecting microscopes, and the standard rock preparation tools, such as saws, grinders, and thin-section machines.
Wooster Tree Ring Lab
Dendrochronology, also known as tree-ring dating, is the method of scientific dating based on the analysis of tree-ring growth patterns. The tree-rings extracted from old wood can be calendar-dated and thus we can determine the calendar date the tree was cut. The tree-ring series are also records of past drought. We are interested in sampling historical structures for their tree-ring records. Our goal is to assemble long tree-ring chronologies from oaks by sampling both living trees and old wood. The data will be used by us and others in modeling past droughts in Ohio and together with similar records across North America.
The acquisition of an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) and an X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) was funded by the National Science Foundation to support Wooster’s robust undergraduate research program. In addition to providing our students with valuable hands-on analytical experience, we hope that the instruments will foster creative collaborations and interdisciplinary research. Please explore this site to learn more about the instruments, who we are, and the research possibilities.