Undergraduate Information

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

  • This web page is meant to provide information and advice to students who have selected Earth and Environmental Sciences as their major or minor fields and to students interested in the courses offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EaES). Much of this information is contained in the University of Illinois at Chicago Undergraduate Catalog , but this booklet provides finer points as well as some information not available elsewhere.
  • Reading this web page, you will realize the importance of defining your academic goals as early as possible. Adequate planning should help you meet the requirements of the College and those of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in a minimum amount of time.
  • You are strongly advised to meet once a semester with the Undergraduate Student Advisor.
  • This web page will also give you information on the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences but you must also consult the UIC Undergraduate Catalog and meet with a college advisor.
  • PLEASE NOTE: the major requirements were dramatically revised beginning Fall Semester 2010.  The new requirements apply to all student declaring the major beginning with that semester. Students already in the major prior to that date have the option of fulfilling either the older or newer set of requirements.
  • If any question arises from the reading of this website, or if you have any suggestion on how to improve it, feel free to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Professor Roy Plotnick, 2454 SES, (312) 996-2111, plotnick@uic.edu).
  • There are bulletin boards with relevant undergraduate information in the hallway. Check them often for jobs, internships, scholarships, etc.
  • As a major, you will receive mail from the EaES Majors listserv. The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and Department Head both send out periodic e-mailings of interest to undergraduates using this list. If you are not signed up, please see the DUS. 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. ADVISING and COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJORS

1.1 Advising

The Department urges all its majors to go to the Undergraduate Advisor, Greg Keller, for consultation once a semester. This advice is meant to help you devise a good curriculum, and to prevent making mistakes in course selection.  

Greg Keller’s contact information:


Office: 3276 SES
E-mail: gkeller1@uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-4646 
Students can also schedule an appointment with Mr. Keller in person by going to 3268/3272 SES. Appointments are required for M, W-F. Walk-in advising occurs on Tuesdays from 9:30-noon & 1:00-3:30, (but no DARS review/course planning during walk-in advising).


Mr. Keller also provides advising for Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry (and so is quite busy!) and is housed in the Biology Dept.  The phone is answered by a Biology department secretary or work study students, so don’t be alarmed when you are told you’ve reached the Dept of Biological Sciences.  Just say that you want to make an appointment with Greg Keller, and the person who answers will work with you to find an opening in his calendar and schedule the appointment.


If you are having trouble scheduling a time with Mr. Keller, please see Prof. Roy Plotnick, the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). Prof. Plotnick can also provide advice and information on graduate schools, careers, and internships.


Professor Roy Plotnick’s contact information:
Office: 2454 SES
E-mail: plotnick@uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-2111 
The best time for advising is by the twelfth week of the semester, after you have received your Advance Registration materials. To successfully comply with the College and EaES requirements is sometimes difficult. Avoid surprises during your Senior year by seeking advice very early in your curriculum.

1.2 University and College Requirements.

These listed courses should be completed, as far as practicable, by the end of your sophomore year.

1.2.1 English Composition (ENGL 160 and 161 -- 6 hours)

It is required that the 6 hours of English Composition be taken as early in your student career as possible, because the reading and writing skills provided by these courses are needed for every other course you will take. The English Department runs a Writing Center that has had good success in helping people to gain an acceptable level of reading and writing ability. It is up to you to go to the Writing Center for help (100 Douglas Hall, 312-413-2206). The Language Laboratory also provides training for foreign-language students and other students needing additional study in English (these facilities are located on the third floor of Grant Hall). You can also find help at the Academic Center for Excellence (312-413-0031).

1.2.2  Foreign Language Requirement

Four semesters (or the equivalent) of a single foreign language at the college level. You can choose any language offered at UIC.

1.2.3  LAS Course Distribution Requirements

The General Education Core includes the following six categories:

  • Analyzing the Natural World
  • Understanding the Individual and Society
  • Understanding the Past
  • Understanding the Creative Arts
  • Exploring World Cultures
  • Understanding U.S. Society

You must take at least one course in all six categories. A complete description of these areas, and the courses that are included within each, is at: http://www.uic.edu/ucat/catalog/GE.shtml

1.2.4 College 60 Hour, 40 Hour Advanced Course and 30 Hour Residency Rules

As a requirement for graduation, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences stipulates that every graduating student must have taken a minimum of 40 credit hours at the 200, 300, and 400 levels at a 4-year institution; these may include hours in the major. The courses needed to fulfill this requirement can be in any discipline; however, as you approach graduation, you will probably find that advanced EAES courses will allow you to satisfy the College requirement. Warning: It is easy to reach your senior year still taking 100-level courses and as a consequence fail to satisfy this requirement. The college also requires that your last 30 hours of course work must be completed at UIC and that you complete at least 60 hours after reaching junior status must be at a 4-year institution.  This last rule means that you should not take courses at a community college after your sophomore year.

1.3. EaES Requirements

1.3.1 Collateral Science and Math

For a good undergraduate education in Earth and Environmental Sciences, the required courses in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics or Biology are at least as important as your Earth and Environmental Sciences courses. If you learn your chemistry, math and physics well, your performance in upper level EaES courses will be greatly enhanced. Furthermore, if you apply to graduate school, some graduate departments will give less weight to your EaES grades than to your chemistry, math and physics grades because your performance in these courses is a good indicator of your potential as a modern researcher.

1.3.1.1 Chemistry

CHEM 112 and 114 or 130 are required. The placement test given by the department of Chemistry will give you an idea of your readiness for these classes. If you did not have chemistry in high school or if you feel that your high school chemistry did not prepare you adequately for CHEM 112, you should first take CHEM 101. Note that many of our upper level courses require CHEM 112or 114 as prerequisites; we thus urge you to complete your chemistry courses as soon as possible.

1.3.1.2 Mathematics

We require 2 semesters of Calculus (MATH 180 and 181). Note, however, that Calculus makes heavy use of algebra and trigonometry. The Mathematics Department gives placement tests to determine your readiness for Calculus. Unless you performed well on the placement test, you must take MATH 121 (Precalculus Mathematics) first.

It is advisable to begin satisfying this requirement as soon as possible. It is essential that you work for good grades in the calculus for several reasons. First, your skill in the calculus will determine to a large degree how well you do in the Physics 141-142 sequence. Second, your performance in the first math course will affect how well you do in the next, and so on. The third reason why good calculus grades are important is that graduate departments regard your math ability as the most significant indicator of your promise as a researcher.

1.3.1.3 Physics and Biology

We require at least 8-10 hours of Physics and/or Biology. There are various options for satisfying this requirement: 

  • One year of Physics: The 105/106-107/108 sequence or the 141-142 sequence. The Physics 105/106-107/108 sequence does not require calculus as a prerequisite. You should take the 141-142 option if your calculus skills are reasonably good. If you exercise this option, it is wise to arrange your calculus courses to overlap with the Physics sequence. Your performance in calculus will probably benefit from the insight you gain regarding the usefulness of calculus in solving problems in the real world.
  • One semester of Physics and one semester of Biology.  The Physics can be either 105/106 or 141.  The Biological Science courses can be either 100 or 101.  Note that we strongly urge, however, that students complete the entire year's sequence in Physics, whether or not they take Biology. 

1.3.2 EaES course requirements

The required courses within EaES are composed of a set of six core courses and five to six additional selective courses chosen from four groups. Note that these are minimal requirements for graduation; additional courses are not formally required, but which we strongly advise you to take some anyway.

A detailed description of EaES courses can be found at http://www.uic.edu/ucat/courses/EAES.html

1.3.2.1 Core courses

The core requirements (20 hours) are:

  • EaES 101–Global Environmental Change (4 hrs)  
  • EaES 111–Earth, Energy, and the Environment (4 hrs)
  • EaES 200–Fieldwork in Missouri (2 hrs)
  • EaES 230–Earth Materials (4 hrs)
  • EaES 285–Earth Systems (4 hrs)
  • EaES 290–Current Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences (2 hrs)

1.3.2.2  Selective courses

The selective courses total at least 19 hours, with at least one course from each of four groups.  Once a course is taken from each of the four groups, the 19 hour requirement can be met by taking either additional courses in the department or, with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, one relevant course offered in other departments. These outside courses must be at the 200 level or above (see below).  

  • Group I: Solid Earth Materials
    • EaES 320–Mineralogy (4 hrs)
    • EaES 422–Crystal Chemistry (3 hrs)
    • EaES 430–Petrology (3 hrs)
  • Group II: Surface Environments and Processes
    • EaES 350–Sedimentary Environments (3 hrs)
    • EaES 470–Environmental Geomorphology (4 hrs)
    • EaES 473 - Soils and the Environment (4 hrs)
    • EaES 475–Hydrology/Hydrogeology (3 hrs)
  • Group III: Geochemistry and Geobiology
    • EaES 360–Introduction to Paleontology (4 hrs)
    • EaES 415–Environmental Geochemistry (4 hrs)
    • EaES 416–Organic Geochemistry (3 hrs)
    • EaES 418–Introduction to Biogeochemistry (3 hrs)
    • EaES 460 - Earth System History (4 hrs)
  • Group IV: Geophysical and Mathematical Methods
    • EaES 440–Structural Geology and Tectonics (3 hrs)
    • EaES 444–Geophysics (3 hrs)
    • EaES 448–Plate Tectonics (3 hrs)
    • EaES 480–Statistical Methods in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (3 hrs)
    • EaES 484–Planetary Science (3 hrs)
    • Summer course in field methods (4–6 hrs) -  can be met by taking at least 4 hours in EaES 400 - Field Experience in Earth Sciences or by outside UIC field course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Examples of courses in other departments that can be used to satisfy the 19 hour requirement; you must be able to satisfy any prerequisites prior to taking these courses:

  • Ecology and Evolution (BioS 230)
  • Homeostasis: The Physiology of Plants and Animals (BioS 240)
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 232/233, 5 hours; 234, 4 hours)
  • Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 305; 3 hours)
  • Environmental Hazards and Risks (GEOG 442, 3hrs)
  • Management of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (GEOG 444, 3 hours)
  • Principles of Environmental Health Sciences (EOHS 400, 3 hours)
  • Environmental Calculations (EOHS 405, 2 hours)
  • Air Quality Management (EOHS 431, 3 hours)
  • Air Quality Laboratory (EOHS 438, 2 hours)
  • Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 481/482, 4 hours each)
  • Remote Sensing of the Environment (GEOG 477, 4 hrs)
  • Topics in Sustainability and Energy (LAS 493, 3 hrs)

1.4  Declaration of Major

We highly recommend that you declare your major as soon as possible. It is a LAS requirement that you declare your major by the end of your sophomore year. To declare your major, see the Undergraduate Advisor.

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2. COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Students who want to minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences must take 18 credit hours, chosen with approval of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences undergraduate advisor. A maximum of 10 credit hours may be at the 100 level. EAES 200 is required. At least 9 credit hours must be taken at the 200 level or above. The courses we usually recommend are EAES 101, EAES 111, EAES 200, 230 and 285.

Earth and Environmental Sciences minors must consult the Undergraduate Advisor of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The advisor can help you chose the courses most appropriate to fulfill your objectives and most appropriate to complement your major. Please refer to the undergraduate catalog to ensure you meet all college requirements for majors.

3. EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES COURSES

Not all of the classes offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences are described in the following sections. Please refer to course description in the Undergraduate Catalog  or more extensive course descriptions on our departmental website. We invite you to meet with the instructor of the classes you choose or with the Undergraduate Advisor if you have any question regarding the schedule, the substance or the structure of the classes. Please see the timetable for when courses are offered and the name of the instructors.

CORE COURSES

  • EAES 101 and 111 provide you with an introduction to the planet Earth and current issues in environmental science, and do not have to be taken in sequence; you may take 111 first or both at the same time. 101 focuses on the earth's surface and its evolution; 111 looks at the earth's interior and its evolution.  These courses are taught both Fall and Spring Semesters
  • EAES 200. This course is taught only during the week-long Spring Break. Taught in the Ozark Mountains of southeastern Missouri, EAES 200 gives you an overview of field geology early in your undergraduate career. It is good preparation for more advanced summer field courses. The prerequisites for the class are completion of at least one of the 100-level classes and completion of or enrollment in the second one.

During the Spring Semester that you have signed up for EAES 200, the class has three 2-hour meetings to instruct you how to prepare for the field trip. Expect to spend about $250-$300 for the trip, for the following expenses:

1. Motel fees. We arrange for cheap but reasonable housing, and you will share a room with 1, 2, or 3 other students, each of you paying approximately $15-20 per night, for a total cost of $105-140. We do not camp for two reasons.First, the weather during that time of the year is highly unpredictable, and blizzards and ice storms have been known to occur. Second, we need all the available daylight to do field work, and cannot afford to waste time setting up tents and cooking.

2. Meals. Depending on your appetite expect to spend $10 to $20 per day, for a total food cost of $70-$140.

Your grade is based mainly on a report which is usually due no later than the end of the eleventh week of the semester. 

  • EaES 230 Earth Materials (4 hrs). Introduction to physical and chemical properties of earth materials, as well as their distribution, through lectures and laboratory exercises. Prerequisite(s); Grade of C or better in EAES 101 and EAES 111 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester (Nagy)
  • EaES 285 Earth Systems (4 hrs). Earth systems and global change; global processes, greenhouse gases and global warming; geologic hazards; energy and the environment; human impact on the physical environment; geology of waste management. Prerequisite(s): EAES 101 or 111; or consent of the instructor. Spring semester (Kenig)
  • EAES 290. Current Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences. This two credit-hour course can only be taken after completion of a least one 100-level course in Earth Sciences. It is a seminar course on current issues. It will introduce you to reading, critical interpretation, and writing of scientific papers (instructor: varies; spring semester). This course will fulfill the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirements of the College. Fall semester sometimes also Spring Semester). Instructors vary

SELECTIVE COURSES

  • EAES 320. Mineralogy (4 hrs): Only taught in the Spring semester, this 4 credit-hour course has a prerequisite of CHEM 112 (either earned or concurrent). (Guggenheim)
  • EAES 350. Sedimentary Environments (3 hrs) Spring semester. (Kenig)
  • EAES 396. Independent Research. Before registration, students must submit a written statement from the instructor with whom they wish to work to the Department Head. Independent research and a resulting undergraduate thesis are required for graduation with Departmental Distinction. Most of the time the research associated with that type of project take place during summer. Financial support may be available on funded projects. 
  • EAES 415.  Environmental Geochemistry. (4 hrs) (Sturchio)
  • EAES 416. Organic Geochemistry. Fall semester.  
  • EaES 418. Introduction to Biogeochemistry (3 hrs)(Kenig)
  • EAES 422 . Crystal Chemistry  (Guggenheim)
  • EAES 430. Petrology, has EAES 320 for a prerequisite,
  • EAES 440. Structural Geology and Tectonics  (4 hrs)A one-weekend field trip is required. (Stein)
  • EAES 444. Solid Earth Geophysics. (3 hrs)(Stein)
  • EAES 448. Plate Tectonics. (Stein)
  • EAES 460. Earth System History. (3 hrs)(Plotnick)
  • EAES 470. Environmental Geomorphology (Forman). 
  • EAES 473. Soils and Environment (4 hrs)(Meyer-Dombard).
  • EAES 475. Hydrology/Hydrogeology (3 hrs)(Doran).
  • EAES 480. Statistical Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences. (3 hrs)(Plotnick) 
  • EAES 484. Planetary Science (3 hrs)(Dombard)
  • EAES 492. Internship in the Earth and Environmental Sciences.Off campus participation in governmental or private-sector training program. Credit is contingent on submission of a final report. (A maximum of 6 hours of EAES 492 and EAES 396 can be credit for degree).
  • EAES 494. Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Can be repeated for credit. 

Blackboard Course Info: Most UIC courses now have online information through the Blackboard Course Information System.

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4. TERRA SOCIETY and DEPARTMENT LOUNGE and SCIENCE LEARNING CENTER

The UIC Terra Society is a student organization dedicated to understanding the earth, its environment and its resources.  Membership is made up of both graduate and undergraduate students in EaES.  The society generally meets Fridays at noon in 1280 SEL.  Notices are sent by the EaESMajors e-mail list or you can check their website for the latest information.


The department lounge in 2460 SES is your home in the department. Please feel free to use it to study, eat lunch, or simply relax between classes. Snacks are for sale and benefit the Terra Society.  You can also store food in the refrigerator and there is a small lending library for your reading pleasure.  Students are responsible for keeping the lounge clean; please be courteous to other users by tossing your trash and removing dead food from the refrigerator.


The Science Learning Center (SLC: 201 SES, across the walkway from the Department) is another place you can comfortably work in large or small groups.   Adjacent to the SLC is an ACCC computing classroom with printers available for student use.  Note: Do not enter the computer classroom if a class is in progress.

5. THURSDAY SEMINARS

The Department holds a weekly seminar every Thursday at 3:30 P.M., usually in Room 130 or 230 SES. Speakers are either prominent researchers from other universities, government or industry; or one of our own faculty members. The purpose of the seminars is to provide a forum for the dissemination of new ideas, new concepts and new developments in the earth and environmental sciences. Seminars begin with a brief departmental meeting, where faculty and students can make announcements of general interest. The Department never schedules classes from 3 to 5 on Thursday afternoons, in order to allow as many of our graduate and undergraduate students to attend the seminar. Keep this block of time open if at all possible when you register for classes. The seminar is preceded at 3:00 with free refreshments served in the department lounge.

The list of speakers and dates of their presentation is posted in numerous places in the hallways of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. You can also check the department seminar schedule.

6.  DEPARTMENTAL AWARDS AND DEPARTMENTAL DISTINCTION

Every year, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences awards a small fellowships to undergraduate students.The DeMar-Rodolfo award is for academic achievement and is named for two of our former faculty who prized undergraduate accomplishment. Undergraduates are also eligible an award that rewards both "good citizenship" within the Department. These students are chosen by the Department faculty.

To be recommended for graduation with Departmental Distinction a student must have a grade point average in mathematics and sciences courses of 3.20 or better and 3.50 or better for high distinction. Higher distinction requires a 3.70 or better GPA, as well as superior performance in EAES 396 (Independent Research).


7. SPRING FIELD TRIPS

The department usually runs a field trip open to majors and graduate students soon after the end of the academic year. Past trips have gone to Arizona, northern Minnesota, and South Dakota.  Photos of a recent trip can be found here. These trips are run at very little cost to students, they generally only have to pay for food. In cases where the trip is too far to drive to, students will be responsible for airfare.


8. COMPUTERS, E-MAIL, AND SOCIAL MEDIA

8.1 Computer account creation and e-mail, access to computers across campus, and Blackboard.

All registered students will be assigned a netid upon enrollment.  Each student must activate his/her netid. See the ACCC website for more information including location of public computer labs,  the UIC Web for Students for information on how to register for classes, access personal information, etc., and Blackboard for web-based information on many of your classes, including real-time grade information

8.2 EaES Mailroom Computer  

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences provides access to a computer for printing purposes in the department mailroom (2440 SES). This facility is for use by both graduate students and undergraduate EAES majors and minors ONLY.

8.3 Mailing List and Facebook

All majors are automatically subscribed to the EaESMajors mailing list, maintained by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This is the main medium we will use for communicating relevant information to majors. The Department also has a Facebook group, UIC Earth and Environmental Sciences Alum. Despite the name, any member of the department can join.

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9. PLANNING AHEAD FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL

In modern life the Bachelor's degree does not guarantee a professional career in any college discipline. Some companies, especially environmental firms, do hire a few graduates with only BS degrees; however, this cannot be depended upon. Furthermore, most jobs performed by BS degree holders are usually limited to routine, technological operations. Thus, if you wish to pursue a career as a professional in the field of Earth and Environmental Sciences, graduate training at least through the MS degree is highly desirable.

We generally advise our own BS graduates to go to another university for graduate work. After having been thoroughly exposed to our biases and views, it will broaden your background to continue learning from other faculty. A grade point average of at least "B", particularly in the math and science courses, is desirable. Normally, letters of recommendation from at least three of your professors must accompany your application. Attendance at Department and Terra Society functions and social events as well as independent research projects (EAES 396) provide faculty members with the opportunity to know you so they can evaluate you better in their letters of recommendation. If you are taking a break between undergraduate and graduate school, it may be worthwhile to ask professors to write a generic letter before you leave that they can keep on file.

You should be making serious plans for your graduate career by your Junior year. Discuss your graduate career plans with the faculty members, who may advise you to take additional courses in our department, math, chemistry, physics, biology or engineering that may help provide you with a strong background for your desired specialty.

Most graduate schools require the GRE general exam (verbal/quantitative/analytical parts). Many graduate schools have deadlines as early as January 15th for applying for the fall semester and often send out acceptances in February/March. If you are considering graduate school, GATHER INFORMATION EARLY from the schools that you may want to consider. Also, plan on having your GRE scores available no later than early February.

In selecting a graduate department, shop for a program with a national reputation, and for graduate professors with whom you might want to study. It is wise to investigate the published works of people in the line of research that appeals to you before you apply. It can be helpful to contact a professor whose research especially appeals to you. Some schools may invite you for a visit before deciding on your application. You may also consider trying to visit schools on your own, especially if they are nearby. The departmental office has a copy of "Directory of Geoscience Departments" or you may find this on the American Geological Institute’s website. You will find this to be a useful guide for choosing a graduate school. Please, also consult with the departmental faculty member in your area of interest. The internet is also a very good tool to obtain information on the specifics of graduate school programs and potential advisors. The Director of Undergraduate Studies can provide advice on the choosing and applying for graduate schools.

Generally, if you are accepted by a graduate department in the sciences, you will also receive financial support. This support is typically in the form of a teaching or research assistantship awarded by the department to which you are accepted.  Along with this comes a tuition waiver.  However, it is important to note that there are a few fellowships available that may provide funding at a higher level than the average TA or RA stipend.  Often these require that you apply while still an undergraduate or else before the end of your first year of graduate school, so it pays to start investigating these options now.  As examples of possible sources of fellowship funds please see the UIC Graduate College website on Funding Your Education.  Many of the fellowships described here are specific to UIC, but similar information will be available at the graduate schools you are interested in.

As a general rule, by the end of fall of your senior year you should have selected a handful of possible graduate schools. Early in the winter you submit the applications.  During spring, departments send letters of acceptance to successful applicants.

10.  CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Employment opportunities for students with BS degrees in Earth and Environmental Sciences are generally good, and because energy and environmentally-related problems are gaining more public attention, the future looks excellent. For a recent article, see: Geosciences: Earth works.  The best site to look at for a review of current status of jobs in the geosciences is that of the American Geological Institute. They have a terrific Careers in the Geosciences brochure.

Other information can be obtained at the US Department of Labor -Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Office of Career Sevices (OCS)  located in Room 3050 SSB (1200 West Harrison street) can help you find information on career issues. OCS provides various services including assistance in resume writing, resume referral, employment searching. OCS publications include helpful advises on good practices during job search. OCS regularly offers career preparation seminars. You should provide the Office of Career Services with your resume prior to your semester of graduation.

Ads for student opportunities (internships), fellowships, and jobs can be found at:
http://www.geosociety.org/classiads/
http://www.earthmagazine.org/career-opportunities
http://nagt.org/nagt/news/ads.html
http://www.awg.org/eas/jobweb.htm
http://www.earthworks-jobs.com/

Some areas of employment and types of employers are as follows:

10.1 Fossil Fuel Industry

The oil, gas, and coal industries have been the traditional employer of most geologists. Most companies hire people with at least a Masters degree, and with a strong background in mathematics, computer programming, stratigraphy, geophysics, and field methods. We strongly urge you to take a formal geologic field course if this is your desired goal.

10.2 Environmental consulting

Environmental or engineering consulting firms in Chicago area (estimated to be more than 100) and throughout the US hire a significant number of earth science students at all levels. Most small or medium size companies, however, tend to take their new hires at entry level. In general, students who have internship or similar work experiences would have better chances to find jobs in the environmental consulting industry. As a rule of thumb, good communication skills and a little field experience always help.

10.3 Mining Industry

This industry is highly dependent on the world market and highly cyclical, varying greatly from year to year. They are currently hiring well trained students. We urge students who are considering careers in industry to enroll in a traditional geology based summer field camp. For those who may be interested in employment prospects in this area, the National Academies Press has just published: Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries: A Call to Action.

10.4 Federal, State and Local Government

Environmental protection has created many jobs, particularly at the federal and state level. In addition, many municipalities hire geologists to evaluate building sites and the geology of highway routes.

The federal government hires bachelors, masters and Ph.D. level geologists for positions in a variety of agencies all over the U.S. Agencies include the Bureau of Mines, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Parks. If you're interested in working for the government, check out the Federal Jobs Information Center website at https://www.usajobs.gov/.

10.5 Engineering Geology

Aside from environmental problems associated with engineering projects, engineering geologists are hired to evaluate soil and rock foundations and evaluate potential sources of building materials. Engineering geology, and hydrogeology are specialties properly learned only in graduate study. Many of our students have found jobs at local consulting companies. Attendance at the local meeting of the AEG is a great way to network.

10.6 Internships

We strongly recommend that students use part of their summer for internships. Oil companies and environmental companies regularly offer internships to advanced undergraduate students. These are good occasions to be confronted with the professional life of a geologist. Internships might help you to define more clearly your professional objectives or gather more closely your assumptions and expectations of professional life with reality.

During such internships, you will gain professional experience and develop your connections in the professional environment. All that can only be beneficial when you look for a job or a graduate school. Very often, environmental companies require a 40 hour Hazardous Waste safety course which meets the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Sometime, large companies or agencies will offer you such a course prior to the start of an internship.

Internships of long duration (6 months to a year) are also offered on regular basis to young graduates, or advanced undergraduate students, by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Good sources for internships include:

GeoCorps America offers temporary summer positions (10-12 weeks) working for national public lands (e.g., Park Service and Forest Service).

Environmental Careers Organization maintains a large listing of internships. It also provides a great deal of guidance on finding positions.

Information in internships will be posted on the Undergraduate Information board outside SES 2459 and sent via EaES Majors.

10.7 Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists

AEG is a professional organization serving professionals in engineering, environmental, and groundwater geology. Students can join for free! The North Central section has monthly dinner meetings, many of which are held nearby in Greektown. Students can attend at a substantial discount. This is a great place to network! Meetings will be posted and e-mail notifications will be sent by the Undergraduate Director.

10.8 Other Professional Organizations

Most professional organizations in the Earth and Environmental Sciences offer a student membership category at a substantially reduced rate. Student membership offers perks such as subscriptions to journals, reduced costs to attend meetings, job and internship announcements, and access to research and other awards. Membership is also a great way to become familiar with the field and with programs at other institutions. Some organizations to consider, and to which many of the EaES faculty belong, are the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the Mineralogical Society of America, the Clay Minerals Society, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), and the Paleontological Society.

11.  STUDENT ASSISTANCE OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT

Not all questions can be answered by the Undergraduate Advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Neither has the authority to waive requirements outside of the department or to handle issues such as withdrawing from classes. For these issues, you will usually be sent to LAS Advising Office on the 3rd floor of University Hall.

A number of services are offered by the UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to help undergraduate students deal with personal and academic difficulties, such as eating disorders, sefl-defeating behavior, and stress or test anxiety. Training and seminars on Career development, assertiveness and study skills are also available.  These are located in the Student Services Building (SSB) on Harrison Street and include the following:

Another listing of students services can be found in the Online Student Handbook.

Note that the Counseling Service has an "InTouch HOT LINE", a telephone crisis intervention and referral service: (312) 996 5535 open all evenings from 6:00PM till 10:30PM.

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