Geochemistry is the application of the principles of chemistry to Earth and planetary sciences. This discipline has enjoyed a remarkable flowering in the past three decades, principally because of the increased capabilities brought about by advances in instrumentation and technology. Among materials investigated by geochemists are living systems, fossil flora and fauna, petroleum, natural gas, coal, rocks of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic origin, ore deposits, lunar rocks, and meteorites.
Employment opportunities are as diverse as the subject matter of geochemistry. Geochemists are employed in mineral resource industries, Earth and space sciences, environmental sciences, and several branches of chemical science and technology.
The Geochemistry Program offers students several alternatives. While the primary goal of the program is academic, the background of chemistry and geology prescribed permits students to continue their geochemical education at the graduate level or to engage in suitably oriented employment. Alternatively, with judiciously selected electives, students may pursue graduate training in either chemistry or geology, or may earn certification for teaching earth science and chemistry at the secondary school level.