Earth and Environmental Science

At the forefront of scientific discovery in solid earth science, environmental geosciences, oceanography and climate science, our programs address critical societal issues such as climate change and geologic hazards through research and education.



Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

Students in this program of study learn to interrupt human and environmental patterns, describe components and functions of socio-ecological systems and analyze the complex relationship between humans and the natural environment. As a bachelor of arts program, this degree requires fewer science and math courses while still offering a rigorous academic experience for students interested in jobs in the environmental field.

Bachelor of Science Earth and Environmental Science

Students in this field learn more about our earth and our changing environmental needs and concerns. They master mapping concepts, environmental systems and the complex relationship between humans and nature. This is a science-forward program where undergraduates become experts at analyzing data around geologic features and imagery.

Emphasis areas

  • Environmental science
  • Geology
  • Physical geography 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Undergraduate Certificate

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related geospatial techniques are fast-growing and increasingly applied to almost all sectors of our society. Examples include environmental mapping, urban planning and public resource management. Current undergraduate students are eligible to apply for this certificate program which can be earned in tandem or upon completion of their undergraduate degree.


Our minors allow you to seek and understanding of the earth and environment while pursuing a major in another subject. Complement your degree through the study of earth and environmental sciences and you will develop a greater understanding of the planet as you prepare for a career in a variety of fields.

Master of Science in Environmental and Urban Geosciences

The master's degree in Environmental and Urban Geosciences (M.S. EUG) prepares students for advanced study in natural hazards, paleoseismology, geology, geochemistry, climate variability, water resources, wetland dynamics, air and water pollution, geoarchaeology, paleoenvironments, geography, urban and human systems, geographic information systems and environmental remote sensing. The program provides students with either a thesis or non-thesis option.

Geographic Information Systems Graduate Certificate

GIS and related geo-spatial techniques are fast-growing and increasingly applied to almost all sectors of our society. Examples include environmental mapping, urban planning and public resource management. This program offers GIS-related multidisciplinary courses through several academic programs such as geosciences, urban planning and design, sociology, economics and criminal justice and criminology. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in the rapidly growing job market.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D.

UMKC’s Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program includes Geosciences as a dedicated discipline.

Faculty members in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences conduct research in applied geophysics, atmospheric sciences, climate variability and climate change, cultural and historical geography (Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa), engineering and environmental geology, geochemistry, GIS, historical cartography, geoarcheology, geomorphology, mineral deposits, stratigraphy and quaternary environments.

Suggested co-disciplines

Consultation with the principal graduate advisors for geology and geography would be a good way for the student to explore co-disciplines. Previous students have designated co-disciplines of chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, curriculum and instruction and physics. Other excellent possibilities would include economics, history and sociology.

Areas of Research

  • Aqueous and hydrothermal geochemistry
  • Black shale deposits
  • Characterization of architectural stone deterioration
  • Climate change, variability, and modeling
  • Climate resilience and environmental sustainability
  • Earthquake geology
  • Fluid inclusions
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Natural hydrogen gas deposits
  • Ore deposits
  • Physical volcanology
  • Remelted basaltic rock
  • Sedimentology and stratigraphy
  • Structure for motion photogrammetry
  • Tectonics and active faulting
  • X-ray diffraction methods

Hands-on research experiences

Our undergraduate students have the opportunity for enhance their university experience with field courses and excursions, including research projects in a variety of countries such as Jordan, Mexico, Chad, China, South Korea, Cameroon, the Bahamas, Denmark, Spain, India and Turkey.

Learn more about our research

Geosciences Museum

The Richard L. Sutton Jr. Geosciences Museum offers students the opportunity to view samples from the field first-hand through our extensive collection.

Learn more about the museum

Meet Our Faculty

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