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About the Department

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences works closely with our students in one of the largest geoscience departments in the southeast.  Our students are engaged in geological disciplines throughout their tenure at the College of Charleston through undergraduate research projects, unique travel courses, and through our many collaborative projects with private companies and local, state, and federal agencies.  Our program has a uniquely family-like atmosphere that doesn't terminate upon graduation.  Many alumni stay in touch through our alumni newsletter and interact with current students through Senior Seminar and in the field.

Get to Know Our Faculty: Dr. John Chadwick


Dr. Chadwick in the Galapagos

Dr. Chadwick received his B.S. in Geology from James Madision University, his M.S. in Geology from Northern Arizona University, and his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Florida. He teaches Earth History (GEOL 105), Remote Sensing (GEOL 442 and EVSS 642), Honors Geology (HONS 155), Volcanic Geochemistry and Tectonics (GEOL 240), and a summer class in the Galapagos (GEOL 240). Here's a few questions we asked him about his experiences in geology:

Q: What led you to become a geologist?

I’ve wanted to be a scientist since I was a kid.  Geology is the science that uses all of the other sciences (like geochemistry, geophysics, and paleontology is just geobiology).  It’s the best science because you have to know about all of the others.

Q: What careers in geology have you had?

In between my stints as a student, I worked at the Smithsonian, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, and NASA in addition to my more recent academic-type jobs.

Q: What kind of research do you do?

I study volcanoes and volcanism and volcanic-tectonic processes with remote sensing and geochemistry and other tools.  So I do fun field work and lab work.

Q: How does your work impact the community?

Whenever somebody thinks they have a meteorite, they call me.  They are always wrong.

 Q: What are some favorite experiences/research you’ve done?

When I was a Ph.D. student, I was on an Australian research ship and we cruised right up to a volcano that was erupting from just under the water.  That was awesome!

Q: What advice would you have for future geologists?

Study hard in Paleo.

Q: What's a funny story regarding geology?

That one about the guy and the stalagmite.  It’s hilarious.

Q: What's your most awkward experience in geology?

Filling out this questionnaire


Dr. Chadwick and his students on the Galapagos summer trip


Dr. Chadwick snorkeling in the Galapagos


Dr. Chadwick exploring the Grand Teton National Park

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