The Valparaiso University-Indiana University Northwest (IUN) Geography and Geology Association (VIGGA) provides for an enrollment exchange between Valparaiso University’s geography and meteorology department and the IUN Department of Geosciences in nearby Gary, Ind., allowing Valpo students to major in geology with a combination of Valpo and IUN courses.
Geology is defined on the IUN Department of Geosciences website as “the scientific study of the Earth, including its materials and resources, the physical and chemical processes that occur on its surface and in its interior, the development of landforms, and the methods for studying the planet.”
The work of geologists includes gaining better understanding of processes such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, and volcanic eruptions, that can endanger lives and property. The study of the materials that make up the Earth includes the study of organisms that have inhabited the planet over time, as well as metals and water, which constitute valuable natural resources. An important part of geology is the study of the Earth’s history, including long-term changes in its climate.
The Valparaiso University-Indiana University Northwest Geography and Geology Association (VIGGA) Major in Geology
The purpose of this association is to provide educational opportunities at the undergraduate level in the geological and geographical sciences to the students enrolled at Valparaiso University and Indiana University Northwest, Gary. Since the school year of 1970-1971, full-time undergraduate students in these academic disciplines have been permitted to enroll in association courses under the following conditions:
- Students may take a maximum of two courses per semester at the other participating institution.
- These courses are treated as part of the student’s normal load at the home institution and tuition and fees are levied accordingly.
- The total number of credit hours to be taken is determined by the student’s home institution.
- Students who wish to take courses at the host institution should obtain the recommendation of the chair of the geography and meteorology department.
- Grades earned shall be recorded at the student’s home institution.
- A “C” or 2.0 average must be achieved on VIGGA courses to qualify the student to register for courses at the host institution in the following semester.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of geoscientists over the next decade is projected to grow at a higher-than-average rate, driven by "the need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management."
Many geology majors go on to graduate study in geosciences or related fields, although a number of entry-level positions are available to geology graduates with a bachelor's degree. Some fields that employ geology majors:
- Oil and gas industries
- Environmental consulting
- Water and resource Management
- Environmental Engineering
- Civil Engineering