NEAR EXTINCTION THEN ADAPTIVE RADIATION OF GEOSCIENCE AT A SMALL, COMPREHENSIVE COLLEGE, UTICA COLLEGE, UTICA, NEW YORK
In 2000 the role of UC Geoscience within Core was expandedwith ulterior motives. In addition to regular offerings in Physical Geology, Oceanography, and Environmental Issues, the department began offering Historical Geology in a writing-intensive (W-I) format allowing it to simultaneously meet Core requirements for a lab-science and W-I course. This increased enrollments sufficiently to offer the course yearly and thus strengthened arguments for proposal of a new Minor in Geoscience. The Minor, begun in 2004, has generated interest among biology and physics majors and each discipline was represented among students completing the Minor in 2006. Interest has been exhibited also by chemistry majors and, although the requirements of the chemistry major have proven too substantial to allow room for pursuit of the Minor, several chemistry students have conducted research with geology faculty.
Since becoming financially and legally independent of SU in 1995, UC has undergone rapid and extensive change. It offered its first graduate degree in 1998 and continues to expand its graduate and professional degree offerings. Geoscience has expanded its role in support of the graduate programs in education and liberal studies. Dual-listing of appropriate courses has increased diversity and regularity of course offerings in support of the minor. The graduate level is where the College administration currently is willing to invest resources, so it is hoped that purposeful planning of growth in geoscience at the graduate level may allow it to also serve as a vehicle for future expansion of geoscience at the undergraduate level.