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Department of Geosciences

Who we are

An educational community that creates and disseminates knowledge about Earth’s processes and properties for students, scientists, and the public to help create a scientifically informed society, and to enable students to achieve their professional goals.

Who is welcome here

Anyone who is motivated by his/her passion for science, who values diversity of perspective, and who believes that critical thinking and dialogue promote the wise stewardship of our planet. If this describes you, we want you, regardless of where you come from, what you look like, or what you believe.

A Message from the Chair Welcome to this information source for the Boise State Department of Geosciences. I encourage you explore these pages to learn about our discipline and our community of scholars …(read more from the department chair).Jim McNamara, Professor and Chair

  • "Friend of the Department" Steve Derricott '74 with Faculty Award winners Josh Ekhoff '13 and Amanda Laib '13
    Outstanding Graduates, Past and Future

  • NASA robot GROVER and MS Geophysics student Mark Robertson at Summit Station, Greenland
    Research at the Ends of the Earth

  • Snow scientists from US (Boise State's HP Marshall, Andrew Hedrick, Chago Rodriguez) and Austria gather in the Alps
    Snow Science Study in Alps, Austria

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    Geoscientists Without Borders: Boise State & Benin

  • NASA Robot Grover built by HP Marshall (Geosciences), Gabriel Trischa (MS CS) and Mark Robertson (MS Geophysics)
    NASA Grover Addresses Greenland’s Massive Ice Sheet Questions

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    MS Hydrologic Sciences Graduates (Spring 2012)

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    Research at Dry Creek Experimental Watershed

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    Environmental Research Building: Department’s New facilities

  • Investigating geoscience questions in the field is an important component of our educational program
    The World is Our Laboratory

  • Dr. Dylan Mikesell, PhD Boise State, working with Beninese on groundwater problems using geophysical investigative methods.
    Benin: Geophysical Methods to Resolve Groundwater Problems


  • field camp 2015 2

Our Discipline

We study the geology, geophysics, and surface dynamics of Earth using a platform of analytical facilities, computational resources, experimental sites, and measurement systems.


The physical and chemical properties of rocks that make up the solid earth and the processes responsible for their origin and evolution.


The integration of geology, mathematics, and physics to understand the Earth’s properties.

Surface Dynamics:

The hydrological, geomorphological, and ecological processes responsible for shaping Earth’s surface and maintaining Earth’s ecosystems.

Department Happenings