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MTSU geosciences rocks on in College of Basic and Applied Sciences

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Field trips MTSU geosciences students take often provide spectacular and breathtaking views.

And as geosciences chair Warner Cribb notes about alumni doing “really cool things” in their various lines of work and jobs “projected to increase by 30 percent in the next seven years,” the future appears rock-solid for current and future students.

“We love our jobs,” said Cribb, a former MTSU Faculty Senate president who will be embarking on his second year as department chair and 22nd year altogether at MTSU.

“The interest in geosciences has increased significantly,” Cribb added. “Students see it as a degree which leads to employment — a steppingstone to a professional career. There will be ample jobs (in the oil and gas industry, mining and environment issues related to climate change) for people with geosciences degrees.”

On July 1, geosciences officially became the 11th department in MTSU’s burgeoning College of Basic and Applied Sciences. It moved there from its previous home in the College of Liberal Arts.

MTSU features one of the South’s largest undergraduate geoscience programs, with around 100 students majoring in the various concentrations, 10 professors, three instructors and one minority dissertation fellow for the 2014-15 academic year.

“We’re excited to be in Basic and Applied Sciences — it’s a natural fit,” said Cribb, who just returned from a field trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. “Our graduate program always has worked under the associate dean (Saeed Foroudastan) with the MSPS (Master of Science in Professional Science) program.” Cribb added that “all cultural and regional geography have moved to global students” in liberal arts.”

“We enjoyed working with liberal arts,” said Cribb, who added that Dean Mark Byrnes was “very supportive of the move. He offered suggestions on how to restructure and make the switch administratively.” Cribb added that Foroudastan and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer have been “very, very helpful” in the switch.

Saying the change had been in the making for more than a year, Provost Brad Bartel said “the move will facilitate more interaction among scientists and the department will eventually have better space.”

Geosciences can be found on the third floor in Kirksey Old Main, one of the four original campus buildings when Middle Tennessee State Normal School opened in 1911. In about two years, the department will move to the second floor of Davis Science Building, filling space vacated by the departure of the chemistry department to the new Science Building. The move will come after DSB renovations are finished.

Geoscience majors will get to utilize the $147 million, 250,000-square-foot Science Building when they take biology and chemistry courses and accompanying labs.

To learn more about the geosciences department and program, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/geoscience/ or http://www.mtsu.edu/geosciences/, or call (615) 898-2726. Follow on Twitter @MTSUGeosciences.

Tagged under  geoscience, MTSU, science

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