The mission of the Department of Geosciences is to serve as the focal point and advocate for the earth and atmospheric sciences at MSU through national leadership in teaching, research, outreach and service. The Department supports other existing curricula at MSU by offering courses and expertise several areas of the earth sciences: Climatology, Geocognition, Geography, Geology, Geospatial Analysis, and Meteorology. By its interdisciplinary nature, the department is well-equipped to provide an integrated earth systems approach to understanding globalization, diversity, and sustainability. Whether in a cultural or scientific sense, the department is a catalyst for economic, cultural, social, educational, technological and scientific development in the state and the region. The program provides unique contributions in the areas of weather, environment, natural resources and distance learning. The department accounts for more than one third of all DL credit hour production for the university. The strong earth sciences component at MSU enhances the comprehensive nature of the university, promotes the mission of the institution and enhances the stature of the institution among the comprehensive universities in the nation. The department is the only place in the state where climatologists, geocognicians, geographers, geologists, geospatial experts and meteorologists are combined in a single location, not only in name but in actual workload execution.
The Department of Geosciences provides fundamental education in geosciences for all students at MSU and specialized education for those students who specifically major and/or minor in Geosciences (BSc and MSc degrees) and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (PhD degrees). Additionally, the department assumes the role of conducting applied and basic research that leads to deeper understanding of the nature of the earth sciences in Mississippi, the southern U.S. in particular, and more generally leads to an understanding of the integrated nature of earth systems for the whole earth. Furthermore, the department takes seriously its responsibility for providing service to the citizenry of Mississippi by responding to requests for information within the areas of expertise of the faculty and leveraging informal educational opportunities.
The Department of Geosciences currently has 16 tenure-track faculty and 7 full-time instructors and offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Within Geosciences there are 4 areas of emphasis: Professional Geology, Environmental Geosciences, Geography/Geospatial Sciences, and Meteorology/Climatology.
The Department was recently named a Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
The department's broadcast meteorology program is nationally recognized and renowned. This program has a 95% job placement rate, and nearly 70% of all broadcast meteorologists working today have ties to this program. Additionally, this program hosts an in-house broadcast studio.
Geology graduates perform above the national average for the ASBOG licensing exam.
The Department was an early pioneer in distance learning and has established a strong on-line infrastructure and presence. As a result, our distance learning programs (Broadcast Meteorology, Teachers In Geosciences, and Applied Meteorology) are recognized and utilized globally.
The Dunn-Seiler Museum provides outreach and education to over 60 groups or 1000 individual annually. The collection includes 25,000 general specimens, and numerous research specimens.
The department's general education courses support 10% of the university student population annually.