2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


KANFOUSH, Sharon L., Department of Geology, Utica College, 1600 Burrstone Rd, Utica, NY 13502-4857, skanfoush@utica.edu

Utica College was established in 1946 by Syracuse University. With the hire of a single faculty member in the discipline, Geology became a major at UC in 1968. The College provided support for the program in the form of funds for specimen collections and by the subsequent addition of a second faculty member. However the second geologist left the college after just a few years and was not replaced. With only one faculty member, the major was short-lived—ending in 1975. UC negotiated a transfer agreement with the Department of Geology at SU and continued to offer the coursework of the first two years of a major until the 1980's, following which its role was only to serve Core.

In 2000 the role of UC Geoscience within Core was expanded—with 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.