Academics Student Life

Earth and Environmental Studies

The Earth and Environmental Sciences major is one of Jacobs’ interdisciplinary programs that focuses on understanding the natural function of our planet and the consequences of human impact. It combines traditional geoscience disciplines like Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Oceanography with Environmental and Social Sciences. There is a huge emphasis on gaining practical experience and this is done through excursions as part of the curriculum.

On one of the excursions, students travel to Iceland, and conduct research on a topic related to the excursion. For example, geothermal and hydropower energy, fumarols, geysers, the geology of Iceland and much more. Students learn about the formation of glaciers and how they interact with the high volcanic activity in Iceland. One of the topics of discussion is the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and how the ash remnants are affecting the glacier. Students learn about the geology and make some stops to learn about column basalts and certain types of rocks, etc.

Another opportunity for students to visit is Helgoland. The excursion to Helgoland focuses on a combination between geology and marine biology. For geology, students learn to distinguish certain  geological structures  and learn how to make geological maps. Students gain in-depth knowledge about the formation of the island. As for the marine biology aspect, students collect microbes from the intertidal zone to later identify in the lab.

You can learn more about the Earth and Environmental Studies major on our website:

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