Geology-Earth Sciences Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by GTS747, Oct 3, 2010.

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  1. GTS747

    GTS747 New Member

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    My current search to locate distance learning options for a Geology/Earth Sciences bachelors degree have been frustrating.

    My results are limited. With the exception of Birbeck/University of London, does anyone know of other schools that offer this degree via distance learning?

    Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Anicho

    Anicho New Member

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    Geology involves a lot of field trips... so I'd doubt you'd find one online[maybe?]
    However... i'd be nice to see it pulled off ;P
     
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator

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    You ever heard of Google Earth? :)
     
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  4. Anicho

    Anicho New Member

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    I'd imagine it'd be very hard to proctor, and what I was meant to say is it's very "hands on"
     
  5. GTS747

    GTS747 New Member

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    I would be fine with a field based component... As long as the large majority of the program was delivered via DL.
     
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    The University of Saskatchewan used to have a DL Bachelors degree program in Geology. I didn't see it referenced in this link but then I didn't look very hard either. It might be worth sending them an email.

    Centre for Continuing & Distance Education (CCDE) - University of Saskatchewan

    Macquarie University has a Bachelors degree program in Geology that is 100% DL. The application deadline is Oct. 15th.

    BA and BSc - Centre for Open Education, Macquarie University

    Good luck
     
  7. KariS

    KariS New Member

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    The big issue is the labortary portions, in chemistry, physics, minerology, and the such. Procotring should not be an issue, as proctors do not have to know anything about the topic, only that you are not cheating on the tests.
     
  8. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

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  9. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    There can be a significant difference between "Geology" and "Earth Sciences".

    "Earth Sciences" (or "Geosciences") is a broad term, which includes the study of earth's land (= geology), interior (= geophysics), waters (oceanography, limnology, hydrology), and atmosphere (= meteorology, climatology). In practice, it can also include the study of planets other than earth, as well as planetary satellites.

    Some earth sciences can be taught by DL. For example, the Mississippi State University DL program in "Geosciences" are focused on meteorology. However, geology does not work well by DL, for reasons described in the next post.
     
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    If you are interested in geology specifically, then this is very hard to teach by DL. Geology students are expected to study rocks and soils, both in the laboratory (using specialized equipment such as polarized-light microscopes) and in exposures outdoors. There is simply no easy way to replicate such experiences by DL.

    The Birkbeck program states:

    Let's face it, you have to wonder whether looking at photos or videos of specimens is the same as handling the real thing.

    I can't imagine any geology BS program having credibility without a significant field class component. Geology students are expected to spend a lot of time outdoors looking at rocks and soils under the guidance of their instructors, and eventually mapping them independently. DL doesn't work for this.
     
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  11. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

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    I've looked at Birkbeck degree and think it looks like a good program.
    There are several geology related degrees that can be earned by DL in the USA. I will have to see if I can find the list I compiled a few years ago.

    I recall COSC was on this list Geology Concentration (Major) at Charter Oak State College

    I am working on earning a field geology certificate from UCR then intend to transfer them to the TESC BA in Natural Science along with courses from a CA community college. I'm doing this for personal interest, not for a job although I may volunteer at a geology museum some day.
     
  12. Lukeness

    Lukeness New Member

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    Note that the Birkbeck programme is in Earth Science if done without any residency. In order to have it designated a BSc in Geology you need to attend the stipulated field trips. This is, I believe, why you will find more available DL options if you look for an Earth Science degree with a geology major. Ideally you could do the field trips or do a short post-grad diploma in geology with practical after the B degree to get the credibility needed for field or lab geology. Or carry on the the masters degree. Either way you're going to need some practical experience somewhere along the way for the degree to be taken seriously in a geology environment.
     
  13. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

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    The Miss State program focuses on both. You have to take both Meteorology I and II as well as Geology I and II. Here is the structure. Scroll down the page to see the required classes.

    Program Structure - Geosciences Distance Learning Programs - Mississippi State University
     
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    The Original Poster asked about bachelor's programs. MSU has two bachelor's programs in "Geosciences": one in "Broadcast Meteorology" and one in "Operational Meteorology".

    Your link is to a master's program, which is designed for secondary school earth science teachers, as shown by its title (the "Teachers in Geosciences" program). It apparently includes two introductory-level classroom courses in geology and two field courses, plus several classes covering other earth sciences (including meterology, climatology, ocean science, hydrology, and planetary science) at an introductory level.

    This may well be a perfectly worthwhile degree for high school teachers. However, it is clearly oriented towards broad coverage of all earth science disciplines. It does not address geology (or any other specific earth science) in depth. This degree is not equivalent to a conventional geology degree, at either the bachelor's or master's level.
     
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  15. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

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    My mistake. Thanks for the correction.
     
  16. NorCal

    NorCal New Member

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    That's a great line on a job if you have a duel major in Geography and G.I.S.
     
  17. GTS747

    GTS747 New Member

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    Agree with many of the comments that field work is required for a Geology degree.

    However, I am confident that the majority of Geology classes could be delivered online and supported with flexible & fast tracked fieldwork/labs for us working people that need to feed a family.

    Thanks for all your insights. I am going to find a way.

    Cheers.
     
  18. Lukeness

    Lukeness New Member

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    The Birkbeck programme field trip requirement seem to fit into your needs exactly. They are only a few weeks.
    I would try and find out if they have any agreements with local universities to fond out of you could satisfy this requirement without the travel needs. Assuming you are not in the UK.
    If you wanted to study further I would then approach an SA B&M university as the post graduate degrees are largely done through research and are basically DL anyway and the cost savings would be substantial.
     
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    Birkbeck requires:

    For 2009, the major residential field courses were in Scotland (1st and 2nd years) and Morocco (3rd and 4th years). Weekend field trips are to places like Cornwall and Norfolk.

    If you live in England, this may work. If you don't, it may not.
     
  20. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

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    Did not find it but I remembered some of the schools I looked at (listed below). My thought now is to take a variety of DL courses plus some summer field trip courses and put them towards a second degree from TESC in Nat Sci. I found several summer field courses taking place in Alaska or California Sieera but could not find them again (perhaps too early for 2011). My interests are in hydrology, glaciology, and planetary geology.

    Birkbeck UK Geology courses - Birkbeck, University of London

    Penn State M.Ed. in Earth Science http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/MasterinEarthScience.shtml

    Birchem http://www.bircham.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=208&Itemid=405 (Need to check out accreditation)

    Open U, UK http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/science/geology/index.htm (Open to EU residents only)

    Emporia http://www.emporia.edu/grad/docs/physicalsciences.pdfI’ve talked to Emporia about taking some of the DL geology courses.

    AMU http://www.amu.apus.edu/academic/programs/degree/1353/master-of-science-in-space-studies-capstone-option/1355/planetary-science#concentration

    CSUB has a DL course in hydrologic systems (Geol 320) http://www.csub.edu/erm/course_descriptions.html



    This may still be cheaper then attending a full time on campus degree in the USA (especially if you live on the East Coast).
    For my MAS degree thesis I flew to the UK 4 or 5 times to do research (combined with vacation).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2010

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