The Geosciences help us to understand our dynamic and fascinating planet, and how people interact with the forces of nature. Our major is wide-ranging, looking at how the Earth itself is structured, how life has developed and evolved through geologic time, how our climate, ocean, and atmospheric systems work, and how humans have impacted these complex planetary systems. In this era of global change, geoscience provides the knowledge and tools that can help us understand how and why our planet is changing, how we can live sustainably with our environment, and can help us to appreciate our place within the vastness of Earth history.
In our classes and our research, our department delves into how forces within the Earth create mountain ranges and ocean basins and drive the movements of continents. We investigate how wind, water and ice shape the surface of the Earth, making and changing the landscapes around us. We study sedimentary rocks and the fossils within them teach us how life and climate have evolved over the vastness of time. The Geosciences department helps students understand and appreciate these complex Earth systems. Importantly, we also emphasize the interactions between Earth processes and people, including issues of social justice and environmental racism.
The Williams College Geosciences Department is located in the Berkshire Hills, on ancestral homelands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans. Their lands having been extorted from them by European settlers, they moved westward. Today the tribe is based in Wisconsin, but they continue to call the Berkshires home. We honor and respect the Stockbridge-Munsee and their ancestors, as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all. For more information on the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians please go here.