Geology encompasses all studies of Earth processes and is one of the cornerstone programs within the Earth Science Department. Students taking a geology course at SMC will gain a scientific understanding o geologic processes that shape the Earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere. They will study Earth’s origin, interior processes, plate tectonics theory, evolution of surface environments, the linkage between climate and biology, and the various ways in which these processes are recorded in the rock record. Courses focus on application of the scientific method to natural phenomena like the origin and evolution of life, climate change, assessment of geologic hazards, and formation and utilization of geologic resources.