Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Department of Geology
Mission Statement

At the end of the Cretaceous Period, 66 million years ago, an asteroid impacted on Earth, producing instantaneous global climate change that caused the extinction of 75% of all species on Earth, including the great lizards, dinosaurs. At Rowan University, the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park was founded on an end-Crataceous preservation site and is a destination for exploration in education, research, and outreach. The academic steward of the Fossil Park is the Department of Geology at Rowan University. The mission of the Department pivots from the Fossil Park and is focused on excellence in teaching, research, and outreach through understanding, from the geologic perspective, global climate and how humans have caused it. Deciphering the geologic past with the activity of the present provides a foundation for predicting the extent of global climate change in the future, and thus how to advise human civilization to respond effectively to a new, world normal. 
Because the Department of Geology at Rowan is built around an on-campus, world-class fossil site, our students are constantly immersed in meaningful, hands-on education and research. Members of the department actively participate in various outreach endeavors at the Fossil Park and work closely with the numerous volunteers. The unparalleled resource of the Fossil Park provides our students with advantages found nowhere else. Through our curriculum, students learn to build excellent communication skills with a goal of addressing complex issues in geology to a wide audience by the use of precise language founded in science. The Department of Geology offers B.A., B.S. and Ph. D. degrees, with the curriculum built around the expertise of a world-renowned faculty who actively research and publish in their respected fields. In collaboration with the College of Education, we also offer a 4 + 1 (B.A. + M.A.) in Geology and Education. We prepare student to enter directly into the workforce after graduating, or to advance their career goals through entering a higher degree program. In collaboration with the College of Education, we offer a 4 + 1 (B.A. + M.A.) in Geology and Education. Finally, the research programs of the faculty, in their individual ways, support the mission of the department—understanding global climate change in the past, present, and predicting a safe future for human kind. We are a field-based program and encourage all students seeking a B.S. degree to have at least one semester of formal research mentoring, contributing to their fields of interest with their undergraduate geology advisors.