Alert Title

Alert Text. Put the first set of characters from the alert system in here.

More Details

Earth Science

Print/Download Page


Wickham (chair), Confer, Fredrick, Gill, Harris, Kauffman, Majcen, Mueller, Pinckney, Ryan


The Department of Earth Science is committed to the practical advancement of knowledge; to the service of the local, national and world communities; and to the education of earth scientists, geologists and geographers. The goal of the department is to produce a well-rounded, well-trained individual who is ready for a professional career or for graduate school.

The department provides students with opportunities to work with modern technologies, software, databases and field methods. In addition to the traditional courses, the department offers field courses designed to give practical experiences.


The earth science major has two concentrations: environmental earth science and meteorology. The geography major has two concentrations: geographic information sciences (GIS) and emergency management and tourism studies. In addition, there are three concentration majors: geographic information sciences (GIS), emergency management and tourism studies, and applied climatology. The department, in conjunction with the College of Education and Human Services, also provides teacher certification programs for those interested in teaching earth science and environmental education in secondary schools.


The national earth science honor society, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, has a chapter (Zeta Alpha) on campus. Students recognized for their academic and professional achievements are elected to it. Honor students in geography are eligible for induction into Gamma Theta Upsilon. Membership is also available to students of high scholastic attainment in California University's Kappa chapter of Rho Phi Lambda, the national  honorary recreation, park and leisure services fraternity, chartered in 1985. Finally, honor students in emergency management can be inducted into Epsilon Pi Phi.


California University of Pennsylvania is an affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization Education Council, which is composed of worldwide leading tourism education institutions. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (PACVB) has officially endorsed Cal U's tourism education programs and has recognized the University as its exclusive education partner. The Bachelor of Arts in Geography with Tourism Studies Concentration is accredited by the World Tourism Organization's TedQual (Tourism Education Quality) certification system. The WTO TedQual certification is an international quality assurance system for education, training and research in the field of tourism. Through this accreditation, the tourism program at Cal U is regulated by a series of rigorous education standards with universal scope.

The Bachelor of Arts in Parks and Recreation Management is accredited by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). The council approves academic programs in colleges and universities that prepare new professionals to enter the broad field of recreation, park resources and leisure services. NRPA-COAPRT accreditation is a status granted to an academic program that meets or exceeds stated criteria of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation of professional preparation curricula is conferred by nongovernmental bodies, which are often closely associated with professional associations in the field.


A student who desires a professional career in geology and environmental earth sciences may find entry-level employment with state agencies and environmental consulting firms involved in environmental assessments. Advanced careers in geology, earth sciences or geography in most instances will require an advanced degree.

Students with undergraduate majors in parks and recreation management can directly enter the job market in such positions as directors or staff persons in schools, governmental agencies (municipal and military, for example), industries or resorts with recreational programs.

Applying geographic information sciences to topics in emergency management is an approach that will enable students to develop applied skills in both of these increasingly interrelated career paths. Not only are these skills vital, if not necessary, for employment in GIS or emergency management positions, but they also provide the skills necessary for marketability and potential employment in land use analysis, homeland security, environmental studies, crime mapping, earth sciences, transportation studies, marketing and retailing, recreational planning, and military and governmental service. GIS is one of the fastest growing fields of employment.

The international growth of the tourism industry has created an increased demand for graduates with an integrated knowledge of the industry and the wider social, economic and environmental context within which it operates. Graduates of the tourism studies program will be suited for employment as professional managers and supervisors in a breadth of tourism industry sectors including accommodation, attractions, tourist services, travel transportation and marketing. These include public, nonprofit and private-sector career options. Specific tourism geography careers include, but are not limited to, destination managers, resort attraction developers, lodging managers, tourism planners, government agency directors, national association managers, tourist council members, travel writers and editors, travel critics, tourism consultants, tourism entrepreneurs, regional tourism advisers, tourism marketers, tourism research analysis, and tourism product developers. This ever-expanding industry is paralleled by increasing job openings.

Department of Earth Sciences Research Centers and Instructional Facilities

The Department of Earth Sciences houses several research and instructional facilities with state-of-the-art equipment available in the discipline. The students and faculty of the department use these facilities as centers of research and instruction to complete coursework and service-learning projects in crime mapping, meteorology, tourism and watershed analysis. For more information on any of these facilities, contact the center directors using the contact information provided below.

Peter J. Daley Geotechnology Institute
Director: Tom Mueller
Location: Eberly 281
Phone: 724-938-5850
Fax: 724-938-5780
Campus Mailbox: 55

Broadcast Meteorology Studio
Director: Chad Kauffman
Location: Eberly 370
Phone: 724-938-1518
Fax: 724-938-5780
Campus Mailbox: 55

Operational Meteorology Laboratory
Director: Chad Kauffman
Location: Eberly 270
Phone: 724-938-1636
Fax: 724-938-5780
Campus Mailbox: 55

Tourism Research Center
Director: Dr. Susan Ryan
Location: Tourism and Geography Instructional Facility, Eberly 261
Phone: 724-938-1638
Fax: 724-938-5068
Campus Mailbox: 55

Geosciences Laboratory
Director: Dr. Kyle Fredrick
Location: Eberly 285
Campus Mailbox: 55