Letter from the Chair

Letter from the Chair

Letter from the Chair

July 2020

Greetings Everyone,

If you are reading this letter, then you are interested in Department of Geology at Rowan University, which makes us happy. If you are reading this letter because you want to major in Geology while studying at Rowan University, we are even happier because we know you, like the faculty and staff of the department, have found your life-passion. No one just majors in geology without having a love of rocks, fossils, deep time, and being outdoors, and we love all the above! Geology is not a major that attract students just because they do not know what else they want to study. You come to it because you want do so, as did all the faculty within Rowan Geology.

I joined the faculty of Rowan University in 2016, coming from the City University of New York (where I spent 15 years) to take up the position of the Founding Chair of the Department of Geology and meet the challenge of starting a new department from scratch. One of my goals, in collaboration with Dean Lacovara, was to create something unique within the country, if not the world. With the help of the faculty and staff within the department and School of Earth and Environment, along with so many at Rowan University, we have built a container of learning for our students that fosters a holistic view of education. At the forefront of the education program within the department is a supportive community. Our doors are always open for our students because we think of ourselves as an academic family. We care about your health in every way possible and sincerely work hard to ensure that you have an overall outstanding experience while studying geology at Rowan University.

At the academic core of our department is the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan University. We are one of the only geology departments in the world to have an actual fossil park attached to it! The Department of Geology at Rowan University is the academic steward of the park. In addition, we are a faculty of seven, four of whom are vertebrate paleontologists. If you have an interest in paleontology, we are here for you. The park, preserved due to a natural disaster that caused instant global climate change 66 million years ago, serves as the focus for the basic mission of the department—education, research, and outreach on human-induced, rapid global climate change. As part of the core undergraduate education, all geology majors receive training in the causes and implications of rapid global climate change and learn how the fundamentals of geology are at the root of understanding the change. Our curriculum encourages students to learn geology through field-based courses and hands-on, faculty-mentored research. One of our goals is to train students to transition out of their undergraduate studies and enter right into the work force or head directly to graduate school for a post-undergraduate degree, becoming the best of the best.

If we can help you in any way with your decision to attend Rowan University or further your degree process by majoring in Geology while already enrolled, please do not hesitate to contact us. It is our mission to help students achieve their education and career goals and we will do whatever we can to assist. Be healthy and continue to follow your passion in life.

All the very best,

Prof. Harold C. Connolly Jr. Founding Chair and Professor Department of Geology Rowan University