History


Lloyd J. Schmaltz, the founder and first chair of the Geosciences department at Western Michigan University in 1965. (On the left of the picture)

The Department of Geosciences at Western Michigan University has a long history of quality education, research and public service. These achievements were made possible by our dedicated faculty, staff and students. We continue to grow with an unwavering commitment to succeed and by remembering our past. In 2015, our department celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Important historic events are:

1959: The undergraduate geology major was founded within the combined Departments of Geography and Geology. 1960s: The Master of Science in earth science education was established. The earth science major and minor were established within the combined Departments of Geography and Geology in 1963. The Department of Geology was founded in 1965. 1970s: The Master of Science in geology was established during the same time. An active research program was federally funded in the department. The establishment of an applied, environmental geology-hydrogeology emphasis resulted in external funding in the late 1970s that led to the development of our reputable hydrogeology undergraduate program and graduate emphasis. 1982: The Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education (MGRRE) was founded. 1990s: In 1997, the department name was changed to the Department of Geosciences to reflect the growing diversity of departmental offerings and research. A Doctor of Philosophy program with hydrogeology emphasis was added. 2011: The department took ownership of the Michigan Geological Survey.


Field work and coring activity by Western Michigan University Geoscience students led by Prof. Lloyd J. Schmaltz in 1965.

Historical group pictures of geosciences department members from 1970 to present

2014 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1997-98 | 1996-97 | 1995-96 | 1994-95 | 1993-94 |1992-93 | 1991-92 | 1990-91 | 1989-90 | 1988-89 | 1987-88 | 1986-87 | 1985-86 | 1984-85 | 1982-83 | 1980-81 | 1979-80 | 1978-79 | 1977-78 | 1976-77 | 1975-76 | 1975 | 1974 | 1973 | 1972 | 1971 | 1970