Geology & Environmental Sciences Department

Department Overview

Hartwick’s Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences trains students for professional and academic careers in the Earth sciences. Geology and the closely related physical environmental sciences are areas of study critical to the future of human society; employment forecasts for the future are very promising. Hartwick geology students work closely with the faculty in a research-centered curriculum with plenty of field and laboratory experience.

Please note: Hartwick College focuses on offering fall, January, and spring term undergraduate courses in person, however circumstances may require us to offer a small number of courses in this department through distance education. In times of emergency, following regulatory guidelines, all classes may temporarily need to be delivered through distance education, including online. We also offer a slate of courses online in the summer to help our students make progress towards their degrees. With support from an academic advisor, students needing particular courses may have other online options as well. If you have questions about the way courses are delivered in your program, please contact your Department or Program Chair.

The students hike a short trail to the historic Riggs Hill dinosaur quarry in Grand Junction, CO

“You continue to do awesome things at Hartwick by giving the students great opportunities. I’ve truly come to appreciate the quality of my geo undergrad experience. After going to grad school and working with others in industry, I’ve learned that they’re certainly not all created equally – including bigger name schools.”

Stephen Catalfamo '07, MS

Sr. Environment, Health and Safety Specialist, Cabot O & G Corp.

"One of the best choices I have made in my life is choosing Hartwick. Hartwick saw my potential as an individual, rather than numbers on a page summing up “who I was” at a time when none of us truly know who we are or will become."

Caitlin Pointer '14, MAT

Earth Science Teacher, Vestal Central School District, Vestal, New York

"From my first geology field trip at Hartwick, I was told that the best geologist is the one who sees the most rocks. J Term courses were one of the greatest ways for me to see as many rocks as I could. While at Hartwick, I traveled to Hawaii, the desert southwest, and South Africa during J Term. These opportunities immersed me in geology that I would otherwise only learn about in a classroom."

Jessica Domino '15, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology, Alfred University

Exciting Student Outcomes

Hartwick geology students complete a rigorous program of coursework, original research and other exciting types of experiential education that makes them well-prepared for employment and graduate school.


Researcher – “Research on Adaptation to Climate Changes” Project
Vermont EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)
Nicole Mehr ’17

Research Assistant – Landfill Remediation Project
Hunter Wetlands Center, New South Wales, Australia
Nicholas Hills ’15

Management Intern
TransCanada in Long Island City, New York
Jessica Domino ’15

Graduate School

Ph.D. in Geological Sciences
Binghamton University (SUNY)
Binghamton, NY
Jessica Domino ‘15

Ph.D. in Environmental Geochemistry
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana
Keith O’Connor ‘15

J.D. and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy
Vermont Law School – University of Vermont
Burlington, VT
Lydon Schultz ‘13


Physical Science Technician
Mine Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Dept. of Labor
Andrew Grabo ‘15

Mine Geologist
Freeport-McMoRan, Inc., Bagdad, AZ
Tyler Hall ‘13

Environmental Technician
Moody and Associates, Elmira, NY
Sierra Derby ‘12

Ready to be a geology major or minor?

Depending on your interest, there are three degree tracks to chose from: Geology, Environmental Geology, or Geological Education.
Here’s what it takes.

Review all the requirements in the College Catalog.

The Department offers a diverse catalog of courses in geology and the physical environmental sciences.

Our courses emphasize hands-on learning, critical thinking and problem solving. Students get to practice valuable skills and techniques used in a variety of “real world” occupations. Class sizes are kept small to ensure close, one-on-one collaboration between students and professors.

Review the current course offerings in the College Catalog.

Special Opportunities

Do you like learning outside of the classroom, perhaps while exploring an Adirondack peak or while hiking an active volcano on a tropical island? Would you like to learn firsthand how to sample acid mine runoff waters, collect and analyze your own minerals and fossils, and conduct original research with a faculty mentor? Perhaps you’d like to participate in a career-building internship or attend an international professional conference?

Meet the Faculty

David Griffing

Professor of Geology and Department Chair

Zsuzsanna Balogh-Brunstad

Professor of Geology & Coordinator of Environment, Sustainability & Society

Still Have Questions?

Contact Dr. David Griffing, Professor & Department Chair