In the United States, a generation of industry and academic scientists is beginning to retire, creating a shortage of geoscientists in the workforce. This shift comes at a time when geoscientists are needed more than ever to address complex climate questions, manage the nation’s coastlines, find water resources, help balance urban and industrial development with environmental protection and help us use earth resources wisely and frugally. As such, Western Michigan University’s Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education offers unique opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to become involved in projects with faculty, academic departments and industry representatives. Through experience-based training, often with industry mentors, our students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world issues and problems in these areas:
- Sedimentary geology
- Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage
- Underground natural gas storage
- Energy resource geology
- Glacial geology
- Environmental geology
- Land planning
- Governmental regulation
- Earth science education
To attract students to geoscience careers at Western Michigan University, we make the work interesting and relevant to current societal needs and scientific research. Furthermore, because our students work with the newest modeling tools, including Petra and Petrel software, they are in high demand for summer internships and career opportunities upon graduation.
IHS has generously donated its IHS Petra Software to the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. We use this invaluable tool in classroom teaching and in our research.