Geology Concentration

Becoming a Geologist at UT Martin

Scientist. Explorer. Time-Traveler. All of these terms describe a geologist.

As a student of geology at The University of Tennessee at Martin, you can take on the multifaceted roles of a geologist.


As a geologist, you will hypothesize and analyze complex geological processes that affect society. You will study phenomena such as volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, and glaciers to see how they have given shape to the earth's great mountains and fertile prairies. Minerals, rocks and fossils will give you clues to the locations of natural resources, such as oil, gas, water, and fossil fuels. As a geologist, you will receive training on ways to help society cope with natural disasters and environmental issues.


As an explorer, you participate in numerous field expeditions throughout Tennessee, other regions of North America, and have the opportunity to travel abroad to experience geologic processes first-hand and where they occur. Geology is a field science. Fieldtrips to caves, mines, mountains, the coast, and travel throughout North America and internationally, will expose you to a world that you have often seen, but may have never truly known.


Through the study of ancient mountain systems, layers of ancient sediments deposited during eons past, fossils preserved within these rocks, you will ultimately become a time-traveler and thus see the earth's grand evolution -- past, present, and future.


The Geoscience-Geology degree concentration at The University of Tennessee at Martin is designed to introduce students to the many realms of this essential and dynamic scientific discipline. Whether it be through an introductory course on the geologic history of the earth or a degree-oriented curriculum, undergraduates have the opportunity to learn about concepts, processes, and analytical techniques that have real-world relevance and professional applications.


The curriculum emphasizes both theoretical and applied geology. Graduates of our program are well prepared to enter graduate school or to seek career employment in the geosciences. The department offers modern laboratory equipment and instructional aids to assist in the study of the geosciences.


Our program includes numerous field experiences and extended field excursions to provide place-based experiences. Students gain field and research experience working with faculty through faculty-student research projects that lead to presentations at professional meetings and publications in professional journals.


The geosciences program at UT Martin is located in the Joseph E. Johnson Engineering and Physical Sciences Building (Johnson EPS).

Geologic Setting

UT Martin is located on the rolling hills of the West Tennessee Uplands portion in the Mississippi Embayment of the coastal plain of southeastern region. The landscape is underlain by fossiliferous rocks and sediments that span 450 million years of Earth history, with numerous mineral, rock, and fossil fuel natural resources. Within a short drive of UT Martin are several exotic geologic features, such as the Wells Creek impact structure, Reelfoot Lake earthquake feature, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers, and features related to the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812. Additionally, UT Martin is located just a half-day drive from the complex geology of the Appalachian Mountains, Ozark Mountains, and Gulf Coast - all field laboratories for the UT Martin geoscientist.

Geology Program Information Links

Geology Course Descriptions

Geology Laboratories and Specialized Equipment

Course Requirements

4 Year Plan

Geology Faculty

Dr. Michael A. Gibson

Dr. Stan P. Dunagan

Dr. Thomas A. DePriest

Audrey Pattat

Angela Van Boening