Earth & Planetary Sciences

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Welcome to Earth & Planetary Sciences

Program Descriptions

Earth and Planetary Science is for explorers! Their discoveries are worlds away and also next door. They study mountains and plains, oceans and atmosphere, the history of the earth and the life it supports, the origins of the universe, and the social, cultural, and economic relationship of humans to their environment.

At Santa Barbara City College, Earth and Planetary Sciences students can choose from a wide variety of courses, including Geology, Geography, Oceanography, Weather and Climate, Astronomy and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). All are designed to prepare them for exciting and rewarding careers.

The Geology Major

Geology is a multi-disciplinary science that applies biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering to the natural world around us. The rich variety of its fields of study includes oceanography, paleontology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrogeology, engineering geology, environmental geology and more. This is what makes geology an exciting and challenging major for students with broad scientific interests and a love for natural systems, environments, and earth history.

Geology majors gain scientific observational reasoning, communication skills, and an understanding of geological concepts and history. This blend of interpretive scientific ability and historical perspective gives geologists an important role in society. They apply their skills and knowledge to solve complex problems related to human interaction with natural systems, hazards and resources, and to communicate solutions and options to the public.

Geology majors who earn their Geology Associate in Arts Degree from Santa Barbara City College are thoroughly prepared to transfer to and excel in university-level geology programs throughout the state and the nation.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate earth processes and/or earth history, using earth materials and geologic principles.
  2. Classify and interpret rocks, minerals and fossils.
  3. Recognize and assess geologic processes in the field.
  4. Read and interpret geologic data.

Career Opportunities
Many job opportunities are available to geology graduates. Most opportunities are in private industry - in engineering geology (evaluating sites for homes, commercial buildings, highways, tunnels, etc.); environmental geology (environmental impact studies, evaluation and remediation of contaminated sites); and hydrogeology (development and quality control of groundwater resources).

Geologists are also employed in the discovery and extraction of earth resources, such as oil, gas, coal, and metallic and non metallic elements.

Besides private industry, all levels of government- city, county, state and federal-employ geologists for planning and regulatory (inspection and monitoring) activities.

A degree in geology is excellent background for teaching physical science at the secondary school level.

The Geography Major

Geography is the science of space and place. Geographers study spatial relationships and the distribution of resources, people, and cultures around the world and the human-environmental relationship. Human activities and the influence of the natural environment and our future within this environment are the main focus of geographers.

Career Opportunities
The Associate in Arts Degree in Geography provides for a liberal education and prepares students for positions in business, government, environmental solutions, resource management, inter-cultural communication, forestry, teaching, and GIS. 

For more information, please visit our Geography Home Page!

Department Offices
Information/Assistance: EBS 114, ext. 2315
Department Aide: Libby O'Black Gans (EBS 114, ext. 2315)
Geological Illustrator: Naomi Doyle (EBS 114, ext. 2755)
Lab and Field Technician: Kevin McNichol (EBS 118, ext. 4116)
Lab Technician: Eiko Kitao (EBS 114, ext. 3637)
Faculty & Offices
Michael A. Robinson, Chair (EBS 124, ext. 3741)
Jan L. Schultz (EBS 113, ext. 2313)
Jeffrey W. Meyer (EBS 110, ext. 4270)
Erin O'Connor (EBS 112, ext. 4732)
Bill Dinklage (EBS 111, ext. 4114)
Robert S. Gray (EBS Core, ext. 2314)
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