In Dr. Scott Marshall’s eyes, geology is experiencing a revolution and Appalachian is well-positioned to take advantage.
Marshall has been an associate professor of geophysics and structural geology at Appalachian since 2008. He raves about how computers, automated data-collection systems and satellite data are transforming his field.
“For example, in earthquakes, my area of interest, we have made several revolutionary discoveries just in the last decade,” he said.
“Students interested in pursuing the quantitative aspects of geology will find ample opportunities to work on high-tech and cutting-edge research.”
He added that his experiences with earthquake modeling have shown him the power and usefulness of quantitative skills, skills “that I try to focus on in my courses.” One of Marshall’s courses, called Quantitative Data Analysis for Earth and Environmental Scientists, teaches students to write code to process a wide variety of geology datasets. They’re then able to easily tackle research projects with very large datasets.
Marshall plugged excellent equipment, facilities and a broad curriculum that covers nearly all subdisciplines of geology, from paleontology to geophysics. He also said his department serves undergraduates only, enabling “ample opportunities” for students to do research.
“Our program is challenging,” he said. “But our students have gone onto some of the best graduate schools in the nation, and many now work for top geoscience companies including several large petroleum, mining and environmental consulting companies. Our curriculum trains students in both classic geology and modern quantitative skills that are highly valued by both graduate schools and industry.”