In the Department of Geosciences, we have identified a series of learning outcomes that emerge from the undergraduate curriculum, that are essential to a rich, meaningful education. Some outcome elements are traditional in our discipline (e.g., strong knowledge bases in rocks and mineral identification and occurrences, skills using geological field tools), but many pertain to data collection and interpretation, effective science communication, and recognition of the interface between geosciences and society. Our courses embrace the general education mission at the University of Rhode Island, and offer room for individualized research and study.
Graduates of our program will be able to:
- define, describe, and provide examples of fundamental concepts in the Geosciences (including Earth’s composition, Earth structure, geologic time, critical factors in Earth evolution over deep time, interactions between the solid Earth, water reservoirs, and atmosphere, processes driving change in Earth surface environments, and climate);
- articulate in plain speech the nature of geoscientific inquiry–in which we explore experiments already run in nature;
- collect and/or interpret data to solve geological problems (exhibiting critical thinking, quantitative approaches, basic lab/field research skills);
- communicate effectively about science in written, oral, and visual presentations, with robust information literacy;
- evaluate societal problems with awareness of Earth’s dynamic systems over space and time, sensitivity to alternative viewpoints, and confidence when dealing with issues of precision, accuracy, and ambiguity in data.