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Geology is a truly global science, drawing on aspects of Chemistry, Physics, Geography, and Biology to study the solid earth, its structure, composition, erosional and tectonic processes, environments, and how these different aspects of geology have changed over time. A geologist may specialize in many different areas such as, mapping, earthquakes, natural hazards, oil and gas reserves, mining, environmental monitoring, civil engineering, volcanology, climate, and earth history, among many others. 

- Ander Sundell, Faculty and Program Chair Geology

Program Overview

Geology is the study of the solid earth and how it changes over time with regard to its structure, composition, erosional and tectonic processes, and environments. If you have an interest in geology, our program will give you an opportunity to explore the various complexities of the Earth. To excel in geology, you should enjoy working outdoors, be able to identify and solve complex problems, and be able to develop advanced spatial reasoning skills.

Geologists find employment in a wide array of fields in both the public and private sectors. Career opportunities include mineral exploration and extraction, oil and gas exploration and extraction, environmental consultation, evaluation water resources, soil science, academic research, climatology, natural-hazard mitigation, and civil engineering, among many others. 

Program Mission

Our mission is to provide an outstanding and supportive educational environment that encourages student and faculty growth and promotes the discovery and broad communication of geology as a science and resource for society.


Course Descriptions

  • Physical Geology
  • Historical Geology
  • Natural Disasters and Environmental Geology
  • Introduction to the Geology of Southern Idaho
  • Fundamentals of GIS
  • Spatial Analysis with GIS
  • Field Geology

Degree Plan

Advising Information

Please see the most recent College of Western Idaho (CWI) Course Catalog for information on pre-requisite coursework and when particular courses are offered. It is recommended that you enroll in a mathematics course during your first term and continuing to take math until you’ve met the requirements of your degree plan. If you need help figuring out what to take and when, see an Enrollment and Student Services professional at the One Stop Student Services location nearest you or, contact us at stem@cwidaho.cc.

University Transfer

Look beyond your degree at CWI and plan for continuing your education by working closely with your CWI advisor and with representatives of your intended transfer school. Learn more about the articulation agreements CWI has with other institutions.

Instructor Info

Assistant Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Susan Knights
Office Location: Nampa Campus Academic Building Room 107D
Direct Phone: 562-3161
Email: susanknights@cwidaho.cc

Geology Program Chair and Geology Faculty: Ander Sundell
Office Location: Nampa Campus Academic Building Room 311
Direct Phone: 562-3354
Email: andersundell@cwidaho.cc