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Research/Independent Study

Geology majors have the possibility of doing independent research work throughout their college careers, and the Department encourages all of our majors to get involved in one or more research projects. Research involving both literature review and original work introduces a student to a dynamic community of Earth scientists who act as colleagues, collaborators, peer reviewers, and intellectual resources. Original research also provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity and self-motivation, and can thus provide an advantage when applying for jobs, internships, and graduate school.

The department provides a significant amount of support for geology majors interested in doing research in geology or internships with professional geology opportunities (including industry, government, museum, or university locations).  Talk with your advisor or the staff assistant about these awards and the timing of applications (also covered during the spring Majors Meeting): 

  • Buster funds provide scholarships for independent research.
  • Witter funds provide grants for internships in professional geology settings.
  • McKenna Scholarships support two students annually in a research project. In the Rocky Mountains.
  • Hannigan and Creager awards, and many gifts from our alumni support field work for research.
  • The Keck Geology Consortium (CC and over a dozen geology departments in other liberal arts colleges) runs group summer research projects that allow one or two CC students to work with faculty and students from other schools on research projects.


Colorado College Senior Research in Geology

Some Recent Student Research Projects

Madison Andres “Fire Frequency in the Last Millennium in the Grinnell Glacier and Swiftcurrent Lake Drainage Basins, Glacier National Park, Montana”

Sally Shatford  “Along-strike variations in detrital zircon provenance of Tava sandstone injectites, Colorado Front Range: insights into terrestrial paleoenvironments of Rodinia”

Jessica Badgeley “Geophysical evidence for englacial brine associated with Blood Falls, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica”

Erica Evans “Last Glacial Maximum in the Culebra Peak Area of the Colorado Sangre De Cristo – Results of Paleoglacial Numerical Modeling”

Alex Hager “Geochronology and stratigraphy of Comanche National Grasslands, CO”

Anne Hakim “Sedimentology, Chemostratigraphy, Biostratigraphy, and Sequence Stratigraphy of Middle Ordovician Strata, Inner Mongolia, China”

Sam Elkind “Creation of a geological map dataset of Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica ”

Lauren Williamson “Latitude and Growth Rate in Pliocene Glycimeris americana

Colin Chupik “Paleoseismology Analysis of the Hope and Wairau Faults Using LIDAR, South Island of New Zealand”

Betsie Hopper “Climate Change during ETM2 and H2: exploring terrestrial carbonate nodules as a proxy”

Zach Keskinen “An Examination of Controls on Moulin Microclimatology, Kennicott and Root Glaciers, Alaska ”