SOME PERSPECTIVES ON THE STATUS OF GEOSCIENCE TRAINING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY
(1) Environmental science degrees, even if offered through geology departments, commonly take on the character of a major program consisting of too many introductory courses in too many fields. (2) Although numerical modeling of groundwater flow and contaminant transport has many important applications, courses that deal with aquifer materials are equally important. (3) Surficial geology, in particular geomorphology, soils, and glacial geology, are essential to properly conduct environmental investigations, and should be considered essential components of geology curricula. (4) Any study of the behavior of many organic and inorganic pollutants must include consideration of the same concepts implicit in courses dealing with ore deposits, petroleum geology, and geochemistry, for instance, the nature of background levels of certain metals, stratigraphic and structural controls on contaminant transport, and water-rock-microbe interactions. (5) Air photo interpretation and basic surveying techniques taught at field schools are critical to many environmental site investigations that do not require more sophisticated forms of remote sensing. Inadequate training can lead to flawed site investigations, resulting in wasted resources, litigation, and job loss.