Chair’s Message to Prospective Students

Please feel free to email me at or phone me at 802 485 2304.

First, check out these fliers on why you might study Geology or Environmental Science at Norwich.

And, you can go to Norwich Admissions and check out the general information on applying to the university.


We are a small but highly engaged Department offering degrees in Geology (Earth Science) and Environmental Science.  For more information on the details of these degrees, please see the fliers above, and feel free to contact me for more information.  I’d like to try and explain why you will enjoy being a student in our Department.

The fields of Geology and Environmental Science have excellent career opportunities, and our graduates are placing in all kinds of jobs, are active in the military, or are moving on to graduate school.  Central Vermont and the Green Mountains are fantastic for the study of earth and the environment.  The courses in our programs take full advantage of our beautiful setting and we will have you outside often, conducting field-based analyses in an effort to better understand general scientific principals and the local geological and environmental setting.

As for the Department, we are small, with 4 full time and 1 or 2 part time faculty, and about 40 majors between the two degrees, and therefore we all know each other and we spend a lot of quality time together.  Our classes are small, averaging about 8, and you will receive a lot of help from the faculty.  We have a study room where students do their work and generally hang out, and our students are a pretty close group – studying together and traveling and camping together for Department field trips.

Speaking of field trips, we run a couple of these a year, one in the Fall to somewhere in New England, where we spend about three days examining all kinds of environmental and geological features.  You learn whatever you can absorb, and at night we camp – the Department has all of the equipment for long-term camping in any conditions, and we all enjoy sitting around a fire at night, talking some about the things we saw that day but mostly telling ridiculous stories.

In the Spring all majors can travel with the faculty for a week vacation in the southwest; trips include southern California, Big Bend and Rio Grande areas of Texas, central New Mexico, and the Grand Canyon and Zion and other parts of Utah, Arizona and Nevada.  Again, we camp and have a fantastic time.  Department graduates have been wonderful about giving money to support student travel, and the Spring trip is mostly paid for by these alumni gifts.

That’s the Grand Canyon in the background…we were about half way in at this point.

To the left are some of our students on the trip to Nevada, Utah and Arizona, in the spring of 2010. Below is an image of our group that went to Oregon for 2012 spring break.  We took a chance on the weather and survived gale force winds on the Pacific and a blizzard in the Cascades, but it was worth it!  Click images to enlarge.

Oregon coast and the gang

If you are interested in independent research, which is a chance to really put your scientific training to use and to gain a leg up on the competition, then we have many great opportunities for you.  You can work here in Vermont, or travel to one of the field areas in which the faculty are active – recently this has included Greece, Portugal and Italy. For a little more information on some recent student projects click here, Student Researchers.

I hope I have given you a sense of our group. I’ve included some shots below of students in the field around central Vermont. If this looks like your kind of setting, and if you think you can be a good fit in our program, contact me or Admissions and apply!

Chris Barber creates a water velocity profile in the Dog River, Norwich U. campus

Kelly Roberts collecting lake water samples, Rood Pond. Tyler Woods takes notes in the bow. Cold October day for canoeing, but data must be gathered!

Measuring the paleo-flow of lake bottom currents based on sand ripples preserved in glacial lake deposits, near Roxbury, central Vermont.