Career Paths | Department Faculty | Field Trips | Geology Lab | Information Links | Job Listings | Salary Expectations
The Environmental Geology Program at New Mexico Highlands University is unique in New Mexico. It is the only degree specifically designed to provide the geological and technical training for students to fill professional and technical environmental positions in the public and private sectors.
Undergraduate Environmental Geology Degree Options
Bachelor's of Science
Master's of Science in Geology
Geographic Information Systems | Requirements
Why Environmental Geology?
Nationwide employment studies show a steady increase in the need for well trained professionals in the fields of environmental and engineering geology.
Population growth will increasingly place humans directly in contact with natural geologic hazards; specialists will be needed to mitigate loss of human life and engineer solutions to environmental geology problems.
Growing ground water needs, coupled with shallow aquifer contamination problems, have boosted the need for well trained specialists in ground water hydrology.
Abandoned mine sites and acid mine drainage problems throughout the mountain west have created a great need for environmental geologists.
The majority of employment opportunities for geology graduates are now with companies and government agencies specializing in environmental concerns.
Geologists employed in environmental fields need a broad-based background in geology to understand past and present ecosystems.
New Mexico Highlands University is ideally located to provide a field-based undergraduate education for students interested in their natural surroundings.
The Environmental Geology Program
The Environmental Geology Program is a field-oriented major emphasizing earth materials, mineral, rock, and water interactions, surface and ground water hydrology, and natural geologic hazards.
The program provides undergraduate students with scientific knowledge, research skills, and technological abilities to understand how the Earth works and how to address environmental hazards.
The department maintains an assortment of field equipment for surveying, geologic mapping, geophysical, water sampling, ecological monitoring, and other field studies.
Laboratory analytical equipment for rock, soil, and mineral analyses, include petrographic microscopes, a Vreeland spectroscope, complete paleomagnetism laboratory, and a powder x-ray diffractometer. Access to a scanning electron microscope, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, and other instruments are available through the Biology/Chemistry Department.
A state-of-the-art GIS laboratory equipped with 20 high-end networked computers hosting ArcGIS (10.1), ArcInfo, Spatial Analyst, and 3-D Visualization and the complete ERDAS Remote Sensing software package.
Cooperative agreements with nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory and the N.M. State Environment Department offer students the potential for additional hands-on training during the summer months.
What makes us special?
A unique location. Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Highlands' campus has been cited as one of New Mexico's best kept secrets. The surrounding areas offer opportunities for studying and addressing environmental geology issues. The university is within a one to two hour driving distance from Cenozoic volcanic fields, Precambrian rock exposures, glaciated valleys, desert terrains, and several world-renowned geologic features - the Valles Caldera, the Rio Grande Rift, and the Harding Pegmatite Mine.
A low student-to-faculty ratio provides students with a superior learning environment, in both upper- and lower-level courses.
A strong undergraduate research program supplements formal classroom instruction.
All upper-division courses incorporate one to three field trips.
Environmental geology students have proven marketable skills. Highlands' graduates continue to be quite successful in obtaining interesting and well paying jobs in a variety of fields.
A newly developed Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute focuses on the management of watersheds in the southern Rocky Mountain and high plains ecological provinces.
Department of Natural Resource Management
This major is under the College of Arts and Sciences