About the Department
Research and education in geological sciences at the University of Miami (UM) occurs in both the Department of Geological Science (GSC) in the College of Arts and Science on UM’s Coral Gables campus, with a focus on undergraduate teaching, and Marine Geology and Geophysics (MGG) at Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) on the Virginia Key campus, which is oriented towards marine research. The two groups work closely together: many MGG faculty teach classes in GSC, and GSC faculty and graduate students make extensive use of MGG lab facilities. GSC itself is a small department with 7 faculty (six full time, one joint appointment with RSMAS). MGG has thirteen faculty, including one joint appointment. All 19 faculty have secondary or joint appointments in the other department. The two groups may be unique at UM, in terms of close collaboration between two departments in different schools. Many undergraduates in GSC take advantage of this collaboration and get involved in research projects on the marine campus in their final year, sometimes participating in research cruises.
The undergraduate population consists of approximately 30 majors, a rapidly growing pool (currently 80) of students in the new Environmental Science and Policy program, and a large number (several hundred) of students who take one or two introductory science courses for non-science majors.
Though small, the department is very distinguished. It has built on the reputation of Cesare Emiliani, a previous chair who is considered the father of the field of paleoclimatology. The critical nature of this field is now well known; if you want to know if Earth is abnormally warming as a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, you need to first understand past climate fluctuations. The university remains internationally famous in this field. GSC and MGG graduates include a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a winner of the prestigious Macelwane Award of the American Geophysical Union, and several distinguished Deans and Department Chairs at top ranked programs around the country. When considered together, the Earth Science group at UM does very well in national and international rankings. A recent survey in Science Watch put the UM Geoscience program in the top 10 nationally.