Five College Geology Program


Under the auspices of the Five College Consortium, geology students and faculty members from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst share research lab facilities equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instruments; learn together in classes and lectures across all campuses; and explore geologically important settings around the world on joint fieldtrips - recently studying glaciers and active volcanoes in Iceland and traversing the ancient red rock country of the Colorado Plateau, for example.

Located within a 10-mile radius in the geologically rich Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, the geoscience departments of the four colleges and the university collaborate to create a deep and broad pool of earth science faculty expertise. The Annual Five College Geology Distinguished Lecture Series brings a diverse slate of speakers to the valley to enrich our learning environment.  The Annual Faculty Research Symposium (fall) and Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium (spring) showcase the spectrum of original research and discovery underway in the area and provide opportunities for cross-fertilization of ideas among earth scientists. Together, the Five College geology departments maintain an EarthScope seismic station. Along with the greater network of EarthScope instruments, data from our seismic station helps reveal the geologic architecture and plate tectonic dynamics of northeastern North America. Five College Geology Professor Michael Rhodes offers classes in Volcanology on a rotating basis at all campuses and makes his geochemical analytical lab open to all students and faculty members. The five geology departments also support a laboratory manager who trains students and faculty members of the consortium in applying the University of Massachusetts stable isotope and biogeochemistry labs in a range of earth science investigations,

If you want to be actively involved in the field of earth science, this is where you belong!