About the Department of Geology

The Department of Geology is the academic steward of the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University. Founded in 2016, our department currently has seven full-time faculty and one ¾ time lecturer. Our interests in the geosciences range from planetary geology and the origins of the solar system to the evolution and extinction of some of the largest animals to ever walk the Earth, the dinosaurs. We study how climate and climate variability have changed over recent Earth history, and how those changes have sculpted the face of planet Earth and the challenges we face as a society as a result of those changes. Our faculty members have discovered new dinosaur species - including some among the most massive ever found – have reconstructed past El Niño variability from some of the smallest organisms in the ocean, and helped put a spacecraft in orbit around an asteroid, the first achievement of its kind. We use advanced technology to examine dinosaur blood vessels, the biomechanics of past life, and the taphonomy of fossil bonebeds. In our work we analyze stable isotopes, radiometric nuclei, rare Earth elements, rocks from outer space and dinosaur proteins. Our department’s mission is focused around understanding global climate change, whether caused by CO2, Milankovitch forcing and ice sheet dynamics, or mountain-sized asteroids.

We involve our students in scientific journeys of discovery, and emphasize field and research experience in their education. Our undergraduate education program integrates laboratory components in most required courses, where students learn to apply their knowledge. We utilize technology including augmented reality, 3D mapping and -D printing, microscopy and chemical analyses, and computer simulations, and combine them with traditional geological field techniques and sample preparation methods to teach our students how to approach and solve real-world geological problems. In addition to a solid grounding in the fundamentals of Geology, all of our majors learn geological field techniques and participate in the active research programs of our faculty. These experiences help to prepare our students to join the workforce as qualified geologists or further their educational goals through post-graduate degrees.

Our department is a community that is supportive, diverse, and caring. We welcome anyone with an interest in learning about the world around us and stand together to promote just and responsible stewardship of the Earth and its resources.


The official mission statement for the Department of Geology.

Letter from the Chair

Read the July 2020 letter from Founding Chair Dr. Harold Connolly

Our Research

Learn about the cutting-edge research done by Rowan's Geology faculty