The Earth Science program offers a variety of courses and programs, which include climatology, geology, geospatial analysis, hydrogeology, environmental geology, meteorology, paleontology, physical geography, space and earth sciences. Undergraduate and Master's degrees and certificates are available, as well as teacher certification.

     Department News

  • Congratulations, Randol Wehrbein! Randol won this year's Durst Masters Thesis Award for his thesis, entitled; Synthesis of Taxa, Taphonomy, and Paleoenvironments of the Late Carboniferous Garnett Quarry and Hamilton Quarry, Eastern Kansas.
  • In July, Dr. Schulmeister gave the keynote presentation at the Thai Federation of Industry's seminar on the country's new federal groundwater compliance policies.
  • Sawadeeca! Dr. Schulmeister received a Fulbright Award for travel to Thailand and Laos. See: GeoIndo for information (scroll to bottom) on one aspect of her November visit.
  • Good news! Budding science teachers, Mariah Schwager and Kyle Beauchamp, received student teacher scholarships from the Kansas Earth Science Teachers Association (KESTA). The scholarship will help with personal expenses while they are student teaching. 
  • Hey! Justin Abel just won one of this year's Kansas Geological Society scholarships! Go Justin!
  • Congratulations, Katy Schwinghamer, winner of a NASA Student Research Grant for 2015-16.
  • Way to Go M.S. exchange student Pasawee Mungkang! Pasawee just won the outsanding student oral presentation at the 34th National Graduate Research Conference in Khon Kaen University. 
  • Congratulations Dane Boring and Nick Mayes on receiving a best student poster award at this year's Kansas Academy of Science meeting! 
  • Dr. Marcia Schulmeister recently attended the national Association for Women Geoscientists Management Board meeting. She serves as a Delegate for the AWG South-central section and is a member of the Osage Chapter.
  • Earth Science majors, Thadd Barker and Daniel O'Crowley were awarded The Association of Earth Science Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Undergraduate Scholarships at this year's Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show. Great job, guys!
  • Katy Schwinghamer presented her undergraduate research  on the origin of  groundwater phosphate  at the 2015 South-central Geological Society of America meeting, in Stillwater Oklahoma. 
  • Way to Go Dusty Gutierrez, Katy Schwinghamer, and Daniel O'Crowley, winners of Kansas Geological Society scholarships for 2014-2015
  • Two more ESU Earth Sci grad passed the (ASBOG) Fundamentals of Geology (FG) exam! Congratulations, Cathryn Mallonee and Daniel Call  (recent M.S.grads)
  • Congratulations to Senior, Sarah Steedley, on winning the Association for Women Geoscientists, Osage Chapter Service Scholarship! 
  • Earth Science students and faculty presented their research at the Kansas Academy of Science meeting, held in Emporia in April of 2014.  Dr.'s Jim and Susie Aber, Marcia Schulmeister and Richard Sleezer gave presentations along with students, Alan Peterson, Lindsey Gerber and Marie Barlow.  
  • Updates to the Peterson Planetarium are complete!  The planetarium is offering ongoing free events: Every Thursday, a series on The History of U.S. Manned Space Exploration, and every second Saturday at 10 am and 11 am, a  fulldome video showing. See for a complete list of programs and scheduling information. 
  • Earth Science faculty and students helped make last year's Emporia Area Regional Science and Engineering Fair (grades 4-12) a success.  See for details.
  • Welcome M.S. student, Pasawee Mungkang! Pasawee will spend one month at ESU as part of our international collaborative exchange agreement with Khon Kaen University in Thailand.  Dr. Schulmeister is his co-advisor, and serves as a a courtesy faculty member at KKU.
  • Two ESU students have had abstracts accepted for presentation at national meetings in the spring.  M.S. student, Jake Harsock will present at the National Groundwater Association Ground Water Summit in Denver in May 2014. Undergraduate, Dusty Guterriez, will present her GSA-funded research at the South-central Geological Society of America meeting in Fayetteville, Ar.  in March.
  • Congratulations, budding and new professional geologists! Recent Earth Sci alumni, Celena Clough and John Barker, just passed the Association of  State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) Fundamentals of Geology (FG) Exam.  Current graduate student, Jake Harsock, passed both the FG and Practice of  Geology (PG) Exams.
  • The  winners were announced at this year's Earth Science Spring Awards Picnic: Cathyn Mallonee, an M.S. student working on a hydrogeochemistry thesis was selected for the Lanier Award; Megan Sprague won the Outstanding Senior Award. Congratulations to both! 
  • ESU hosted a visiting professor, Dr. Rungruang Lertsirivorakal from Khon Kaen University in Thailand, during the Fall semester. Dr. Rung has served on a ESU M.S.thesis committee, as an adjunct professor in our department.
  • Way to go, Dusty! Dusty Guiterrez received a 2013 GSA Undergraduate Research Grant for her research on shale gas formation in Kansas.
  • Congratulations to Chistopher Krause and Marie Barlow on being named as ESU Top 150 students by the Blue Key Honor Society.
  • Dr Schulmeister's research on artificial recharge to groundwater in Thailand was featured on the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources'  Department of Ground Water Resources website.
Marie Barlow was one of nine ESU undergrads selected to present her research project at the State Capitol in Topeka. Her research on the impact of drought on the Neosho River aquifer was also funded by  ESU’s Undergraduate Research Program (ESURP). Marie collecting water samples with high school students 











Congratulations to recent award-winning undergrads, Megan Sprague and Jacob Petty!


Megan is one of past recipients of The Association of Earth Science Clubs of Greater Kansas City student scholarship.  She received the award at the Gem and Mineral Show in Kansas City. ESU senior, Dustin Burghart, Thadd Barker, and Daniel O'Crowley have also won this award.




Jake won the Best Undergraduate Presentation Award at this year’s Water and the Future of Kansas conference.  Jake’s presentation, entitled “Agricultural Contaminants and Stream-aquifer Interaction in the Upper Neosho River, a Mid-continent River” is part of a senior thesis he is completing with Dr. Schulmeister. It was funded by ESU’s Undergraduate Research Program (ESURP).


Career Opportunities in Earth Science

Excellent career opportunities exist at both the B.S. and M.S. levels for professional employment in the earth sciences. In recent years students have found appropriate positions in teaching, governmental agencies, and private companies. Interdisciplinary science backgrounds combined with computer expertise, strong communication skills, and/or international experience are highly sought after in the commercial marketplace. Several earth-science hot job tracks have been highlighted by U.S. News and World Report in recent years. For more on careers in Geoscience, see careers and employers at he American Geological Institute's website.

Earth Science Club Colorado field trip.
Earth Science Club Colorado field trip.
Visiting Hell's Gate in Colorado on the Earth Science Club field trip.
Visiting Hell's Gate in Colorado on the Earth Science Club field trip.
More data and sample collection at Camp Alexander
More data and sample collection at Camp Alexander