Research with a Purpose

Undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research within the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences covers a wide range of research areas.  From local to regional to extraterrestrial studies, the research conducted within the department covers a wide range of topics across several research clusters.  Our collaborative projects integrate research across programs on campus and with local, state, federal, and international groups. 

The Geology Department is in charge of several major programs, laboratories, and centers on campus that serve our local and regional communities.  Please take a look at the links to the left to see some of the collaborative and integrative research we are conducting!

Undergraduate Research

One of the greatest strengths of this department is the emphasis placed on undergraduate student research. Every year a number of students work with faculty members on a wide range of projects. Because undergraduate education is the focus at the College, faculty are committed to the supervision of the projects. Students conducting undergraduate research develop independent research and problem-solving skills beyond the traditional classroom academic experience. These are highly regarded by industry and graduate schools. Some students are awarded summer research funds. This page features sources of funding which are currently available for undergraduate student research, undergraduate student research projects currently in progress, and a listing of conferences/presentation opportunities at which students can present the results of their research. With renewed emphasis on undergraduate research at the institutional level, we anticipate that a larger number of geology undergrads will be funded to conduct research and present results at national, regional, and state meetings.

Geology Student and Faculty Abstracts from American Geophysical Union Annual Conference 2021

Geology Student and Faculty Abstracts from Geological Society of America Annual Conference 2021

Geology Student Abstracts from School of Sciences and Mathematics Poster Session 2021

Geology Student Abstracts from School of Sciences and Mathematics Poster Session 2019


The following courses offer credit for those students, typically juniors and seniors, who are pursuing research projects. Discuss the opportunities available with your professor(s) and discover how best to achieve your goals.

GEOL 303 - Independent study courses offer a way to design an independent reading/research project in consultation with a faculty member. The amount of reading/research proposed will determine the credit awarded (1-3).

GEOL 399 - Tutorials offer an opportunity for one-on-one instruction with a faculty member in a content area of mutual interest. This course is available to juniors and seniors only. No more than 3 credit hours may be applied.

GEOL 499 - The Bachelor’s Essay is a 6-credit, independent research and writing project completed during your senior year under the close supervision of a faculty advisor.

All courses require the approval of the Department Chair prior to enrollment.


Funding Opportunities

College of Charleston Undergraduate Research: This recently developed initiative provides up to $6500 to fund undergraduate students-faculty research projects. Mini-grants ($250) are also available. More detailed information is available at the Undergraduate Research website.

South Carolina Space Grant: Each spring, the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium funds students with an interest in aerospace or space-related research. Awards in the Undergraduate Scholarship/Research Program are $5000.

Funding from Faculty Research Grants: Several students in the past have obtained money for research from individual professors who have been funded for various research projects.

Geology Alumni Summer Research Fund: Thanks to generous donations from alumni, the department is able to support summer research and field work. Proposals are typically due in March or April.

School of Sciences & Mathematics Summer Research Awards: SSM majors are invited to apply for research stipends, provided by the School of Sciences and Mathematics. The intent of these merit awards is to afford students the opportunity to begin or continue a research project between academic years. Students will be offered stipends of $4000 for 10 weeks of research study. Up to $1000 may be requested for materials relevant to your research. 

Geology Student SSM Summer Research Awardees 2021

Roxanne Buck

Samantha Czwalina

Kesli Kruzel

Nathan Linder

Corinne Luksch

Natalie Sorrem

Camille Sullivan

Karissa Venezia