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    Geology Home

    Welcome back to CC Geology!

    Geology Faculty and Staff are up and away with online teaching and ‘the 11-block year!’  We are thrilled to have Solomon Seyum back in his role as Riley Teaching and Research Fellow, and to welcome Visiting Asst Professor Rosario Esposito to our Department for the year.  Both will teach courses in their specializations, in 2nd Semester: Structural Geology, by Prof. Seyum, and Volcanology, from Prof. Esposito.  Another esteemed Faculty visitor will be our own Visiting Prof Eric Leonard, who will team up with Prof. Esposito to teach Regional Studies.

    The Geology Department at Colorado College offers introductory and advanced courses in earth sciences that may lead to a B.A. in geology. Half of our faculty teach in the Environmental major, as well as in Geology, and all of the professors enthusiastically offer cross-disciplinary and General Education courses on a variety of topics. In addition, we enjoy the chance to collaborate with CC students on independent study/research projects that involve primary investigation in Earth Sciences.

    GY250 2017-18 Blk 8GY250/AN208 Past Climates & Human History in the Southwest

    Mission Statement

    The Geology Department is a place of active inquiry and intellectual exploration for faculty and students who are engaged in academic courses and original research in Earth Sciences. We use Colorado College's flexible Block Plan schedule to teach distinctive courses that extensively utilize the natural laboratory of the Rocky Mountain West and learning in the field to engage students in observing natural systems, understanding geologic time and geospatial concepts, studying the processes that make Earth a complex and dynamic system, and solving geological problems.

    Curricular Goals

    The Geology Department serves geology majors and CC students who opt to include geoscience perspectives in their liberal arts education through implementation of the following goals:

    Goal One: Establish a strong foundational knowledge in fundamental principles of geology, in order to impart understanding of geologic time scales and spatial concepts and bring insight about the Earth as a complex and dynamic system.

    Goal Two: Offer scientific experiences that train students in observing natural systems and apply such observations towards building an understand of the Earth.

    Goal Three: Bring geoscience perspectives to bear on students' lives.

    Goal Four: Prepare geology majors to function as earth scientists.

    Goal Five: Contribute to the aims of a liberal arts education.

    Department Philosophy

    The courses in the major are designed to provide a foundation for a professional career in the earth sciences, provide the background for graduate school, which has increasingly become a necessary prerequisite to a professional career, provide an opportunity for students majoring in other fields to combine their expertise with geology, and educate students about the physical environment and our place in it, as part of a liberal arts education.

    An excerpt from the nomination statement of Marcia K. McNutt (’74 graduate, Physics), presented to U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 10/8/09, during the process of her selection as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

    “My favorite college course was Introduction to Geology, taught by Professor John Lewis. Colorado College uses the Block Plan, in which students take only one course at a time for a month. Introduction to Geology is two blocks long. So my first two months at college were spent with Doc Lewis and about 19 other students scrambling around the Front Range with our backpacks and sleeping bags trying to piece together the geologic history of the Southern Rockies from first principles. We never cracked a book the entire time. I was drawn to the grandeur of the Earth sciences and awed by the time and space scales upon which Earth processes played out. No lab coat. No test tube. Science outside!”

    The Block Plan

    The Colorado College Block Plan allows us to offer a unique program in geology. Because students take just one course at a time, with class size limited to 25 students, the program is intensive and individualized.

    The flexibility of the Block Plan also allows faculty and students to pursue independent study and research projects, during the academic year as well as during summer and winter breaks. Much of this work takes place away from the campus. Many of our students do field-oriented research as part of a required senior seminar project or as part of a distinction thesis.

    Students with strong interests in both geology and environmental issues may major in Geology and take elective courses in other environmental sciences and environmental issues. Alternatively, such students may major in Environmental Science complemented with coursework in Geology.

    Examples of possible jobs after receiving a Geology degree from Colorado College:

    • Renewable Energy/Department of Energy
    • Teaching 
    • Artist
    • National Parks Service
    • Viticulture
    • petroleum geologist
    • hydrogeologist
    • engineering geologist
    • environmental geologist
    • geophysicist
    • economic geologist
    • geomorphologist
    • paleoclimatologist
    • volcanologist
    • seismologist
    • geochemist
    • glaciologist
    • mineralogist
    • sedimentologist
    • cartographer
    • paleontologist
    • petrologist
    • stratigrapher
    • planetary geologist
    • land-use technician
    • surveyor
    • government
    • consulting firms
    • museums
    Facebook         "Like" the Geology Department's Facebook page!
    "GroupMe" for Geology majors to ask questions and receive answers from faculty and staff.  Email if you are a Colorado College Geology major and would like to be enrolled in the group.

    Geology Majors' Handbook

    Geology Majors' Handbook

    Precambrian Basement:

    Geology Department goes green with the annual alumni newsletter; featuring highlights from students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Read all the department's highlights on this link: Precambrian Basement 2019-20 or prior years PCB publications.

    Invited Talks for 2020-21:

    Sept 24, 7pm, Professor Christine Siddoway, Colorado College Geology, "Afloat Among Icebergs: a Southern Ocean voyage and quest for new Climate Records" (Women’s Educational Society seminar)

    Sept 29, noon   Professor Paul Myrow, Colorado College Geology, "Bedforms Under Waves, Currents, and Wind: New ideas and Applications to the Rock Record"

    Oct 30, 1:00 PM   Visiting Professor Rosario Esposito, Colorado College Geology "Entering the Earth Science door through pop-culture, and discovering volcanoes inside micro bubbles"

    Dec. 3, 12:30 pm Professor Alexis Ault, Utah State University, "Nanoscale textural and thermochronometry evidence for earthquakes in the rock record"

    Date TBD, Riley Scholar Solomon Seyum, Colorado College Geology, “Echelon veins in limestone: what they reveal about regional stress”



    Contact us:

    General email: or

    Precambrian Basement submissions:

    Geology Department Chair Christine Siddoway:

    Financial Aid at CC