GEOL 2100: Environmental Geology | July 6 - 25, 2014

As responsible citizens, we care deeply about various environmental issues of our mother earth. The human society will have to make increasingly difficult choices in the years ahead. The study of Environmental Geology encompasses natural and energy resources, geologic hazards, topical issues of societal concern (such as climate change and water pollution), and provides sound science about how humanity (and a growing population) can live responsibly and sustainably on Earth. As future leaders we must think critically and ask ourselves:

  • Do you know what new technologies may put the U.S. on the road to self-sufficiency in energy (oil and gas) supplies?
  • What can we do to clean up water and soils contaminated by spilled oil and toxic metals?
  • Do you know how earth scientists study geologic hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, etc.) that cause billions of dollars in damage and sometimes kill hundreds of thousands of people?
  • What is “climate change”? What is causing it? Are humans to blame?
  • How climate change impacts humanity and biosphere?

Major themes of this course include (1) earth materials and hazards, (2) water resources and pollution, and (3) human interactions with the environments and climate change. Students will be challenged to learn and think critically about how to solve environmental challenges that will impact their lives.

Intensive learning experiences include field work, lectures, and laboratory exercises. Students will:

  • Study emerging environmental issues
  • Gain shared experiences and knowledge from University professors and guest speakers
  • Learn a range of analytical and software skills sought by both public and private employers
  • Explore rocks, minerals, and streams in Chewacla State Park
  • Road trip to Birmingham, the EV Smith hydrogeology well site, area quarries, landfills, creeks and streams for field studies
  • Gain hands-on experience of measuring groundwater level, stream flow and water quality
  • Assess impacts of land use and land cover on local climate
  • Perform hands-on study of geological materials and processes
  • Use geographic position system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) equipment
  • Assess environmental and climate data
  • Build an aquifer
  • Explore
  • Enjoy fun geology movies and more!

This course is offered by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and led by Ming-Kuo Lee,  Robert B. Cook Professor, Department of Geology and Geography.

Students will earn 4 hours of college credit.


Open to high school students who will be juniors and seniors in the 2014-2015 academic year.


Program cost is $4,000 which includes tuition, books, supplies, housing, dining, and transportation (program field trips), as well as social and recreational activities. Students will have access to campus facilities to include labs, libraries, and the new Rec and Wellness Center.

Register online or by mail. A student interest statement (300 words or less) and a $400 deposit are required to register. The deposit will be credited towards your account which must be paid in full by May 8, 2014. Registration ends May 1, 2014 and the course is limited to 20 students.

After completing enrollment, you will be asked to complete and return the Summer College Required Form Packet, as well as a copy of the participant's health insurance card (front and back) as proof of health insurance.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Please read our Cancellation & Refund Policy.

General Information

Information on IT, safety and supervision, student conduct, getting to Auburn, health services, insurance, students with disabilities, and refund policy is available on the general information page.

Contact Information

For program questions, please contact the coordinator, James Birdsong at 334.844.5817.

Last Updated: April 9, 2014