Geology courses at Austin Community College (ACC) engage students in an exciting and fascinating study of planet Earth. These courses literally “rock,” with illustrations, videos, field trips, laboratory study, and lectures about volcanoes and earthquakes, dinosaurs, whales and ammonites, flash floods, tsunamis and asteroid impacts, and amethyst, gold and diamonds. Students investigate the origin of Barton Springs, Enchanted Rock and the Edwards aquifer, how oil and gas accumulated beneath Texas, why Central Texas has droughts, floods and soil movement, where minerals, rocks and fossils are found, how groundwater, rivers, and the ocean become polluted, and the causes and effects of climate change. These courses also provide practical information for locating a home site, protecting people and property from natural hazards, visiting Texas beaches and parks, and for deciding on issues of energy use and the environment. Classes are taught by faculty with real-world experience in government, research, or the private sector; most professors have been teaching geology for over a decade.
ACC offers courses in physical, historical, and environmental geology, oceanography and environmental oceanography, and a general Earth science course in natural hazards and disasters. These courses apply principles and concepts of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, atmospheric sciences, and astronomy to the study of Earth systems, natural resources, and natural hazards. Declaring a major in geology starts a student on a path towards a very flexible college degree – one that can result in employment in energy, mineral or water resources, environmental monitoring and regulation, natural hazard preparedness and mitigation, or in climate change and sustainable development. ACC geology majors regularly transfer to major Texas universities to obtain undergraduate geoscience degrees. Many of these students then pursue a graduate degree in geology, geography, or a related discipline with the financial support of a teaching assistantship, scholarship, or fellowship. A few geology majors receive an Associate of Science in Geology from ACC and obtain employment as technicians in environmental or engineering firms. Explore this website for further information about ACC’s Geology Program!