“I chose Juniata because of the partnerships that students develop with their professors. This is especially true with the geology department. The students and professors take weekend field trips together a few times a year.”
—Tanner Martz ’18
A Distinct Experience
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Just minutes from campus, explore sites that show geology in all of its glory: sedimentary rocks, massive outcroppings, stone structures, caverns, and diverse fossils. Indeed, our region is ideal for studying geology. In fact, Pennsylvania’s Trail of Geology, maintained by the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, begins in Huntingdon County, which is Juniata’s home.
The design of Juniata’s geology curriculum enables graduates the freedom to obtain the Pennsylvania professional geology certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of State without taking extra field camp classes, which saves your time and prevents taking on additional costs.
As early as sophomore year, Juniata geology students gain access to sophisticated and high-precision instruments including a JEOL Scanning Electron Microscope, an X-Ray diffractometer, Zeiss and Leitz petrographic microscopes, and more. Students also have ready access to our rock, fossil, and mineral preparation labs, which include facilities for crushing, cutting, polishing and sectioning samples, and performing grain-size analyses.
Over the past 10 years, Juniata’s geology department has been ranked the 25th largest in the U.S. by proportion of degrees awarded. In other words, our geology program is listed in the top five percent of geology-degree awarding institutions. We are 11th among all national liberal arts colleges (out of 75), and ranked number one of Pennsylvania liberal arts colleges in terms of proportion of geology degrees awarded.
Our graduates who seek entry-level positions directly related to their degrees are typically hired within weeks of graduation. And, 100 percent of our graduates who apply to graduate schools to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees are admitted with full funding. Many have been awarded prestigious fellowships.
- Nicholas Allin & Shanna Law ‘16
- have completed master’s degrees in geology and geochemistry, respectively, at Montana Tech in Butte, Montana
- Jenna Faith ‘17
- is pursuing her Ph.D. degree at the University of Texas-El Paso.
- Garrett Lavelle ‘16
- is employed at Environmental Products and Services in Williston, VT.
- Kristin Kopera ‘17
- has completed her master’s degree at Wright State University.
- Joe Orso ‘17
- is pursuing his master’s degree at Iowa State University.
- Anna VanDusen ‘18
- is pursuing her master’s degree at New Mexico State University.
In the geology department, 100 percent of faculty have earned Ph.D.s and, although they are practicing paleontologists and geochemists, they are, first and foremost, professors. They’ve published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Mineralium Deposita, Geology, and Economic Geology. Their work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA. To read more about the geology faculty of Juniata, visit: www.juniata.edu/geology
“I like studying geology at Juniata because the professors are very knowledgeable, we spend a lot of time in the field applying what we have learned in class.”
—David Knecht ’15
Expedition: Earth: Nothing in our field is a more integrative experience than field studies. This new
course, open to freshmen through seniors and financially supported through endowment
funds, has students design and lead a trip to explore distant geology, such as that
in Maine (2018), Aruba (2019), and Montana (August 2020).
Remote Field Course: Juniata’s Remote Field Course and learn geology, ecology, psychology, anthropology, physics, and other disciplines in various locations over 17 days in the western U.S.
Study Abroad: India, Ecuador, England, New Zealand, Germany, and Australia are popular sites to study geology abroad. But don’t limit yourself! Juniata has programs on every continent except Antarctica.
Internships: In the past two years, geology students from Juniata have interned at the Environmental Protection Agency, Lincoln Caverns, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Several have also interned on summer undergraduate research projects with geology faculty.
Undergraduate Research: In the last decade, Juniata geology faculty have published more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles with student co-authors. They’ve presented more than 32 times at conferences. Students also routinely present their research findings at Geological Society of America professional meetings and at Juniata’s Liberal Arts Symposium.Recent examples:
- Michael Wimer '20, "Amphibolite Facies Metamorphism of Tremolite/Actinolite-bearing Ultramafic Rocks from Rocky Ridge and Peden Ultramafic Bodies of the Ashe Metamorphic Suite, North Carolina" - Geological Society of America 2020 Section Meeting
- Anna VanDusen '18, "Thermal Evolution of Ultramafic Bodies in the Eastern Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina" - Geological Society of America 2018 Section Meeting
- Carl Pollard ‘17, “Determining the Relationship of Land Use Practices to Sedimentation Rates in Adjacent Creeks”
- Samuel Zucker ‘17, “Petrology of the Edmonds Utramafic Body in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia” - Geological Society of America 2017 Section Meeting