Department of Geosciences

Geology, Geography and GIS ... Sciences for the 21st Century

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Curriculum Assessment

General comments

The Department accomplishments listed below convincingly demonstrated that we have achieved or exceeded fundamental Departmental goals. Our top priority is teaching, but we recognize that excellence in teaching goes hand in hand with a professionally active faculty, and that this fosters the best result for student development. Many of our classes have field or lab experiences associated with the lecture, and the success of our approach can be demonstrated by the introductory classes that are routinely filled to capacity and in the strength of teaching evaluations.

The Geosciences Department considers itself to be a leader in the development of interdisciplinary courses, housing two distinct programs or fields of study --Geology and Geography. Over the past five years, these two disciplines have been successfully combined to produce a Geosciences Department. This has allowed the Geosciences Department to establish a human and physical geography program with a global perspective linked to national and international networks of scholarship in geography. At the same time, it has encouraged collaboration and fostered continuation of a tradition of academic excellence established by the Geology Department, allowing the Geosciences Department to remain at the forefront of the development of Science Foundations and Environmental Studies.

Our faculty are actively involved in professional and research activity. Since 1998, the Geosciences faculty has published eight books and has had 60 articles published in peer-reviewed journal. In addition are ten faculty book chapters, four faculty editorships and 133 faculty presentations at professional conferences. Over 250 faculty conference abstracts have been published, and 22 invited presentations made within the academic community.

Student research, encouraged by the Geosciences faculty, has also been prolific. Over 125 student research projects, and 110 student presentations have been made, while there have been several students who have published as first or co-authors. Eleven UWG Geoscience students have won student awards. The Department also prides itself on the quality and scholarship of its teaching. At least four Geoscience faculty have been successfully nominated for Distinguished Professor and the state of Georgia's Governor's Teaching Fellowship over the past 8 years.

Faculty in the Geosciences Department have been very successful in bringing external grant funding to the State University of West Georgia from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic. Since 1994, members of the Geosciences faculty have been awarded over $1,837,830, in external grants. This research varies from fundamental in nature, to that focused on regional needs, international scholarship and educational collaborations with other institutions.

The Geoscience Department faculty have also been very successful in securing internal funding. Approximately $331,332 in internal funding has been received by the Department over the past 8 years. Funds have been awarded for student research assistantships, and for faculty research projects. Some of these projects include the study of Caribbean transportation networks, integrated maritime boundary research, and local urban residential segregation studies.

Contract work has also contributed greatly to the Geocience Department's agenda. Over $568,155 in contracts have been awarded since 1994. This is evidence not only of the professional capabilities of the department, but of its commitment to working to resolve community development problems and providing venues and opportunities for "hands on" research for undergraduate students.

Finally, SUWG Geoscience faculty have worked to provide opportunities for academic and professional development for themselves, their peers and their students. Over the past8 years, Geoscience faculty have organized close to half-a-dozen conferences and workshops in their field of expertise. These include international academic conferences with worldwide participation, specialist and technical workshops for advanced studies, as well as workshops and symposium for Georgia's broader educational and professional communities.

By all measures, the Geoscience Department has lived up to its goal of educational excellence. The Department maintains a high- quality undergraduate education program. enhanced by professionally active faculty who involve students in their research activities and who encourage students to undertake their own research.

External relations

Geosciences Department faculty are involved across a range of activities external to the Department. External relations tie our faculty to our surrounding community a several levels. Academic/research partnerships illustrate the effectiveness of these external connections quite clearly. Department faculty are cooperating with researchers at numerous U.S. Universities including Duke University, Harvard University, University of Texas at El Paso, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, University of Alabama, University of Washington, and University of Maryland. International cooperation includes University of British Columbia, Canada, Georg-August University, Germany, and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, University of the Virgin Islands, and Durham University, U.K. Faculty are involved in advisement and review of graduate work at additional Universities including University of North Carolina and Northern Territory University, Australia.

Academic/research partnerships among UWG departments are active as well. Anthropology, History, and Foreign Languages have cooperated with geoscience faculty to create the "Latin American Certificate" program at UWG. Chemistry, Geosciences, and Physics have cooperated to develop the RETP and Engineering studies program. Geosciences and Biology have cooperated on the Center for Water Resources programs and projects. Geosciences, Biology, and the College of Education have cooperated to develop Environmental Sciences curricula.

Geoscience faculty maintain memberships in diverse national Geoscience Societies including the American Association of Geographers, the Geological Society of America, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, The American Geophysical Union, the Swiss Geological Society, the Paleontological Society (U.S. and U.K.), the Mineralogical Society of America, the Geochemical Society, and the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Minerologists. State and regional/sectional memberships include Georgia Academy of Science, Georgia Geological Society, Georgia Lakes Society, and SE sections of GSA and AAPG. Academic Society memberships include the Association of Women Geoscientists, American Association for Higher Education, and Society of Sigma Xi. Faculty have held offices in AAPG, GSA, GGS, AAG, and the SE section of the Paleontological Society.

Geoscience faculty are involved in editing and reviewing activities for several peer-reviewed publications, including Groundwater Journal, GSA Bulleting, Canadian Journal for Remote Sensing, Tectonophysics, and Precambrian Research. They have also reviewed proposals for NSF grant opportunities including STEMTP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Teacher Preparation) and MRI (Major Research Instrumentation).

National and International Conferences and Conventions are benefiting from faculty activities as well. Faculty have served on Organizing and Program committees for AAPG Conventions, GSA national and regional meetings, ERIM/Veridian Conferences, and AAG meeting. They also have chaired sessions at these conferences. Faculty have also organized two international conference - a GSA Penrose Conference and the BCPS "Meeting at the Borders" Conference. Several faculty have served as invited speakers and discussants at various national and international conferences. Short courses have been taught at venues including GSA, AAPG, ERIM/Veridian/ and SIPES Conferences.

Professional service partnerships are numerous and ongoing. Corporate partners in applications and research include General Electric, Hayes, James and Associates, Allied Universal Corporation, and Florida Rock Industries. Government partnerships involve both Counties, Including Carroll, Heard, Gwinnett, and Cobb, as well as the cities of Griffin, Swanee, Roopville, and Lawrenceville.

Community service partnerships comprise presentations to schools and other groups and associations including the Carrollton Sierra Club, the Upper Tallapoosa Watershed Group, Roopville and Carrollton City Elementary Schools, Bremen and Bay Springs Middle Schools, and Villa Rica, Cedartown, Bremen High Schools. University presentations were made at West Virginia University, Sul Ross State University, and University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Academics & research partnerships

  • Gainesville College, NSF grant "Georgia Geospatial Technology Literacy Project"
  • Western Carolina University, "Coastal Hazards Clearinghouse" website
  • Duke University + Grand Valley State University, "Living with the Coast" book series
  • University of British Columbia and Durham University, U.K., "Meeting at the Borders" Conference
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  • Georg-August University, Goettingen, Germany
  • University of Minnesota,
  • Georgia Tech, Regents' Engineering Transfer Program (RETP)
  • University of Alabama Museums, Archeology
  • University of the Virgin Islands
  • University of Georgia
  • Harvard University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Washington
  • Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • University of South Carolina, Aiken
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • GLOBE Partnership

Thesis advising

  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Georgia, Athens
  • Duke University
  • University of North Carolina
  • Northern Territory University Australia


  • American Association of Geographers
  • Geological Society of America
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
  • The Geological Society London
  • Geologic Remote Sensing Group, U.K.
  • The Geosat Committee, Inc.
  • Swiss Geological Society
  • SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)
  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Union of Geoscientists
  • Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists
  • Paleontological Society
  • Palaeontographical Society (U.K.)
  • Geochemical Society
  • Mineralogical Society of America
  • International Association of Structural Geologists
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers
  • Coastal Education and Research Foundation
  • Georgia Academy of Science
  • Georgia Geological Society
  • Georgia Lakes Society
  • American Association for Higher Education
  • Association of Women Geoscientists
  • American Association of University Professors
  • Society of Sigma Xi
  • National Ground Water Association
  • National Speleological Society

Society offices

  • President, Georgia Geological Society
  • President, Energy Minerals Division, AAPG
  • National Treasurer, Paleontological Society
  • Secretary (SE Section), Paleontological Society
  • President (SE Section), Paleontological Society
  • Director, Energy & Environment Specialty Group, AAG

Intra-university partners

  • Anthropology, History, Foreign Language, "Latin American Certificate" Program
  • Chemistry, Geosciences, and Physics, RETP and Engineering studies program development
  • Geosciences and Biology, Center for Water Resources
  • Geosciences, Education, and COE, Environmental Sciences

Editing and reviewing

  • Groundwater Journal
  • GSA Bulletin
  • Environmental and Engineering Geosciences Bulletin
  • Canadian Journal for Remote Sensing
  • Environmental Geosciences (AAPG)
  • Tectonophysics
  • Journal of Structural Geology
  • Precambrian Research
  • NSF - Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
  • NSF - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Teacher Preparation (STEMTP)

Conference activities

  • American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual meeting, Awards Committee for Student papers
  • Session Organizer and chair for AAG Annual meeting
  • Panel Chair, "Porous Borders" Conference, British Columbia Political Scientists Association.
  • Discussant, Economic Geography Panel, SEDAAG meeting
  • Invited speaker, Association of British Columbia Political Scientists "Borderless North America" Conference
  • Key organizer for "Meeting at the Borders" International Conference
  • Organizer and chair for Geospatial Technologies oral and poster sessions, AAPG Annual meetings
  • AAPG Standing Technical Program Committee, Annual meetings
  • Planning Committee Member, GSA, AAPG, and ERIM/Veridian annual meetings
  • GSA Joint Technical Program Committee
  • Organizer and chair, GSA Southeastern Section Annual meetings
  • Conference Organizer and Session Chair National Groundwater Association Meeting
  • Conveners (2), GSA Penrose Conference " Three-dimensional flow, fabric development and strain in deformed rocks and the significance for mountain building processes; new approaches."
  • Session chair, GSA Annual Meeting
  • Session Chair, German Tectonics Studies Group Conferences

Short courses

  • Groundwater Exploration and Development", U.S, Virgin Islands
  • "Collection of Geologic and Geotechnical Data using PDAs and GPS", GSA - SE Section Conference
  • "Soil Boring Log" Seminar
  • GIS Applications Seminars
  • "Geologic Applications of Geospatial Technologies", at GSA, AAPG, ERIM/Veridan, and SIPES Conferences

Service partnerships

  • General Electric
  • CHI Systems
  • Hayes, James and Associates
  • Allied Universal Corporation
  • Golder Associates
  • Florida Rock Industries
  • TRD-Garrow, Inc.
  • R.C. Goodwin and Associates
  • Vulcan
  • Place Properties


  • Gwinnett County
  • Cobb County
  • Heard County
  • Carroll County
  • McIntosh County
  • Chatham County
  • Camden County
  • Glynn County
  • City of Griffin
  • City of Lawrenceville
  • City of Cave Springs
  • City of Sewanee
  • City of Roopville
  • Pike County
  • City of Hampton

Community partners

  • "Learn to Live" Lectures, UWG
  • Carrollton Sierra Club
  • Upper Tallapoosa Watershed Group
  • Georgia Science Teachers Association
  • Villa Rica parks & Recreation Girl's basketball program
  • Roopville Elementary School
  • Bremen High School
  • Bremen Middle School
  • Bay Springs Middle School
  • Villa Rica High School
  • Cedartown High School
  • Carrollton City Middle School
  • Carrollton City Grade School
  • Oak Mountain Academy
  • University of North Carolina - Asheville
  • West Virginia University
  • Sul Ross State University