Ashland University Develops New Geoscience Program

Ashland University Develops New Geoscience Program

12/13/13 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University has developed a new academic degree program in Geoscience Technology and Management that combines lab work and coursework from the geology curriculum with coursework from the business management curriculum.

“This is a carefully thought out curriculum that blends the science and business management programs together in order to prepare students for the growing number of careers in the geosciences industry, which includes environmental consulting, oil and natural gas,” said Dr. Michael Hudson, associate professor of geology at Ashland University.

“A gap currently exists in the geoscience industry with geologists who know little about the business aspects of their profession and people in the business arena who know little or nothing about geology,” said Dr. Dawn Weber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This new academic program is an interdisciplinary, comprehensive major that will produce graduates who can enter the geoscience industry as geologists and/or managers.”

Hudson added that this program also prepares students sufficiently for entry into advanced educational programs.

“Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, this major was developed in close consultation with those in our Dauch College of Business and Economics as well as several professionals in the geosciences industry,” Hudson said. “This new major combines two strengths that AU possesses – science and business, with the objective of producing graduates who can think critically, meticulously analyze, and write and speak well about geology and the business of the geoscience industry with which they are affiliated.”

Hudson said the lower-level geology courses contain fundamental geologic principles while advanced courses cover topics specific to geologic resources – their origin, location and responsible development as economic commodities, while the business and economics courses in the curriculum provide a foundation in the concepts, theories, procedures, practices and applications of accounting, management and law that are essential to operations in geoscience industries. The curriculum also contains significant content that deals with environmental issues, responsibilities and regulations because stewardship of the earth is fundamental to geoscientists and their industries. This will provide graduates with the tools to evaluate solutions in order to eliminate or minimize impact.

He said AU moved forward in developing this curriculum because of the demand for both geologists as well as people in the managerial arena of the industry.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook growth rate for all jobs in the U.S. over the next decade is about 14 percent, but in the geology arena, it is predicted to be 21 percent,” he said. “So there are huge indications that there will be employment opportunities in this field and a lot of it will be in the area of management of geological activities.”

Hudson said the new program will require students to complete an internship in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geoscience Technology and Management.

“We are requiring that an internship or work experience be part of this program near the latter part of the student’s time here,” he said. “We have been told by industries that they want students to have experience and this is important because they also want to see good work ethic. This will make them highly qualified for entry level positions.”

Hudson said more information on the new major can be found at the program’s website at http://www.ashland.edu/gtm.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###