• PES Geomorphology Class
  • PES Soil Pit Lab 1


Geology is the science of the earth. It is an applied and interdisciplinary field that uses a combination of field work, computer modeling and lab work in the solution of many environmental and resource-oriented problems. Geologists study the surface and interior of the earth and other planets. They work to understand the processes that have shaped our planet in the past and which will be shaping it in the future. A geological career can involve lots of travel and scientific work in both the lab and the field. Visit this page to see a variety of field trips and experiences that would be available to you as a geology student.

The geology major at UW-River Falls began in 1910 and features both field and lab experiences, opportunities for longer field experiences involving other states and/or countries and a senior research project supervised by a faculty member.

Why study Geology?

  • We have a strong geology program with unique supporting areas of hydrology, soils and environmental science as well as the more traditional physics, chemistry and biology.
  • Class sizes are small with individualized attention for students.
  • Faculty are enthusiastic and have a diverse range of expertise.
  • Excellent facilities for lectures and laboratories.
  • Field trips in nearly all courses.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities.
  • An active student organization which hosts speakers and events.
  • A great job outlook after graduation.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls offers students the opportunity to pursue a career in geology through courses in the Department of Plant and Earth Science. We teach a full range of undergraduate classes, and field trips and laboratories are an integral part of the learning process in nearly all upper level courses.

We have high-quality scientific equipment, which includes the following:

  • A worden gravimeter
  • Rock cutting saw
  • Polarizing microscopes
  • Binocular microscopes
  • Three-D seismic modeling computer
  • Brunton compasses


The geology faculty at UW-River Falls are among the top rated in the university. Recently, average scores for student evaluations of faculty ranged from 4.24/6 to 5.83/6. Geology faculty averaged 5.36/6. This placed them 16th out of 70 measured units on campus. Of the sixteen higher scoring units five were each represented by a single faculty, one was entirely graduate level classes, two were subcategories of a single department and one other consisted of specially chosen faculty from across campus.

Included in our averages are the questionnaires used in our general education classes, a situation where good teaching techniques are important since we must address the needs of a wide range of students, many of who find science very challenging, and who may start the semester with no desire to take a science class and no understanding of what geology is.

Contact Us

Plant and Earth Science
324 Agricultural Science
611 S. 3rd St.
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