Skip to main content
Jump to Footer

Atmosphere | Geology | Human Geo | Land Use | Mapping | SustainabilityWater


Groundwater, hydrology, policy, water quality, oceanography, sustainability

Water is essential in so many ways: supporting human life, aquatic ecosystems, energy production, transportation, and cultural traditions.   Effective water management requires balancing a wide range of goals and stakeholders within both a policy framework and a geographic context.  This requires a deep appreciation for connections across climate, the physical environment of watersheds, geology, land use, economics, and culture.  The Ship Geography-Earth Science Department works to build these skills for the next generation of successful resource managers.

Water resource specialists work in a range of professions from local to national-level government agencies, private consulting, and non-profit organizations.  These professions will continue to be in demand as we face water management challenges as a result of climate change, land development, pollution hazards, and population growth.  

Here at Shippensburg University, students interested in water resources can take a range of courses addressing water both in its physical condition and in its geopolitical context.  In our hydrology course students investigate the source, movement, quality, and distribution of water resources across local, regional, and global scales.  Hydrologists develop the quantitative skills to address today’s water management challenges.  Our hydrogeology course addresses critical aspects of the flow, quality, and quantity of groundwater, a resource that supports half of our human population.   In the water resources management course, we investigate the policy and regulatory institutions addressing today’s challenges via a series of regional case studies. 

Students may take these courses within the Geoenvironmental Studies or Sustainability majors or toward a minor.  As part of their course work, students will visit and study the conditions of our local watershed (Burd Run) with field sites easily accessed from campus.  This stream has been the subject of numerous Shippensburg student and faculty studies and continues to be an important resource for research and education.

Visit the Burd Run Interdisciplinary Watershed Research Laboratory


Example Courses:

The department is continually updating our courses to keep them current and impactful for your future success. Official course descriptions are available in the university catalog here:
Undergraduate Earth ScienceUndergraduate Geography  
Graduate Earth Science | Graduate Geography   

However, check with your instructor for the most up to date course outline and content as updates may be made.

Example Earth Science Courses (ESS)

ESS 108: Introduction to Environmental Sustainability
ESS 220: Oceanography 
ESS 442: Environmental Geology 

Example Geography Courses (GEO)

GEO 105: Physical Geography
GEO 226: Hydrology 
GEO 404: Groundwater and Hydrogeology 
GEO 440: Field Techniques
GEO 446: Water Resources Management
GEO 450: Geography-Geology Field Studies
GEO 522: Geoenvironmental Hydrology

Resources and Research Opportunities:

Contact the Geography & Earth Science Department 104 Shearer Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1685 Fax: (717) 477-4029