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Master in Natural Science with a Concentration in Geology
The Environmental Geology concentration is a multi-disciplinary degree program involvingbasic scientific research related to global and local environmental issues as well as applied studies of a more diverse geologic nature. Environmental studies might include contamination and depletion of water supplies, atmospheric contamination, encroachment of non-native species, watershed management, applied geographic information and remote sensing studies, and water quality analysis. Applied geologic studies range from volcanology, geophysics, petrology, groundwater and surface water hydrology, geochemistry, and geomorphology.
Students in the M.S. program typically complete their degree program within two years, including at least one summer. Although, it is understood that certain research projects take additional field and laboratory time to complete and these are handled on a case by case basis. Students should meet with their master’s committee at least once per semester to provide progress reports and for guidance on meeting requirements for degree completion. The M.S. curriculum requires a thesis related to an applied environmental geology research topic as approved by the student's thesis committee. It is hoped that the student's research will lead to a peer-reviewed publication.
Within minutes of campus, students can be in short-grass prairies, forests, lakes, streams, and alpine tundra ecosystems. Since Las Vegas is located near so many types of natural resources, the programs are focused on extensive student field experiences. The area is geologically rich in fossils, mineral ores, and geologic hazards, while having many abandoned and active mines.
Students are encouraged to attend conferences and present their research results at local, national, or international meetings.
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This department is under the College of Arts and Sciences