Geology department not set in stone

Luis Torres, Copy Editor

According to geology assistant professor Carrie Davis Todd, the geology major is to become “energy and resources,” having two subdivisions: “Energy, “ and “Environmental Studies.”

The need for increased interdisciplinary study was central to the change, according to Todd, along with a need for course reorganization, because portions of separate courses were covering similar material.

“We are finding that our students need (Geography Information Systems) skills.”

The idea was first brought up in 2009, following a 2008 geology faculty change.  The newcomers, according to Todd, brought many ideas.

“It (was) a way to revamp, (to) revitalize the program,” she said.

UPJ geology professors subsequently wrote a proposal and submitted it to Pitt-Oakland.

“It was approved by Oakland over (winter) break.”

A two-year transitional period is to follow, ending in the spring of 2014, when all former-geology traces are to be history.

“With a new name and more focuses, we are hoping that this will be a draw (for students),” said Todd.

Freshman geology minor Amy Dundorf said she likes the change.

“I think it offers more to students to pick from.  It makes sense to me.”

For Dundorf, who plans to be a Paleontologist, knowing the soil and area around excavation sites is essential.

Todd said the new organization is to cater to more students.

“I think the (energy and resources) jobs will be there for a long time.  It’s a good field to be in,” she said.  “The pay isn’t bad either.”