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Earth Sciences

Basic Structure of the Department

  • The department offers two tracks, Earth Sciences and Environmental Earth Sciences, with a major and minor in each track. The Earth Sciences track is focused on the geological sciences. The Environmental Earth Sciences track focuses on the application of the earth sciences to environmental challenges and incorporates flexibility for interdisciplinary study with related departments.
  • Students begin the study of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth by choosing within either of two sets of courses:  introductory level courses (EARS 1-9) or courses in collection and analysis of Earth Science data (EARS 10-19).  Introductory level courses provide an overview of a broad suite of themes within Earth Sciences whereas data analysis courses provide a deeper exploration of a particular subdiscipline of Earth Sciences with particular attention to the use and analysis of geological data.
  • Majors typically participate in the department's off-campus studies program during the fall of the junior year. The off-campus studies program is a core requirement of both majors and commonly part of the minors.  It is designed as a departure from textbook and classroom instruction and provides hands-on experience in the study of the Earth. Prerequisites for the program include ONE of EARS 1-9 (excluding EARS 7, EARS 1 is preferable), and EARS 40.

Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Pursuing Studies in Earth Sciences or Environmental Earth Sciences

  • The Earth Sciences curriculum is structured into sets of courses sharing key concepts, skills, and competencies that reflect, in part, the ongoing effort within the broader Earth science community to define the core ideas and supporting concepts that define the Earth sciences (see http://www.earthscienceliteracy.org). The major requirements are designed to enable students to take at least one course from each set. By the end of the sophomore year, a student electing to pursue an Earth Sciences major has typically taken at least one course from each of the first two sets of courses (EARS 1-9 exclusive of EARS 7;  EARS 10-19) and the supporting prerequisites for the major (CHEM 5 and any one of the following Math courses taken at Dartmouth: MATH 3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 23, or 46).  Students take EARS 40 during the summer after their sophomore year.  Additional major requirements are fulfilled by participating in the departmental field program (EARS 45, 46, 47) and successfully completing other, higher-level courses during the junior and senior years.

Students who have questions should contact the undergraduate advisor, Leslie Sonder (Leslie.J.Sonder@Dartmouth.EDU)

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The Earth Sciences home page

Last Updated: 9/6/13