Participating in research while an undergraduate provides important experiences that will help a student develop as a geologist. Geology students can pursue research projects under the supervision of a faculty member, either as an independent study or as a senior thesis project. There are also opportunities outside of Sacramento State for gaining research experience.
The Geology faculty are engaged in research that covers a wide range of geology. They often need student research assistants in the laboratory or field. If you are interested in gaining research experience in a particular field it is worth talking to the faculty member working in that field to see if there are any opportunities for you to assist with their work.
Students may enroll for a one unit of independent study (GEOL 199) under the supervision of a faculty member. The requirements for the course are generally determined by discussion with your supervising faculty member.
Senior Research Project
The Geology Department does not require a senior thesis for graduation but students interested in research can elect to do a senior thesis in place of a senior elective course. The senior thesis is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Senior Research projects are expected to be independent and original research. This means that you should develop the project, get it approved, carry it through to completion, write a report, and (usually) present your findings during a department colloquium.
Senior research includes two classes: Geology 198A and Geology 198B. Geology 198A (1 unit) is a prerequisite for Geology 198B (2 units). While enrolled in 198A you are expected to develop your research project and construct a proposal for research. That reasearch will be carried out while you are enrolled in Geology 198B.
If you are interested in conducting a senior research project you should discuss it well in advance with the faculty member you are interested in working with.
Opportunites off Campus
The National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program provides many opportunites for undergraduate research at National Laboratories and Universities across the country. This site allows students to search for programs in geology and other fields.