Student Research

Participation in research is an integral part of the learning experience at Pomona College for geology faculty and students alike. Our department is committed to fostering a healthy research environment in which the exploration of original, challenging scientific problems in and out of the classroom promotes our sense of community and our intellectual growth.

Students are encouraged to become involved in some form of research effort, often in direct collaboration with faculty, at all stages in their careers, and many types of research opportunities are available. During the academic year many of our courses incorporate short research projects, and independent courses are offered for upper-class students wishing to explore areas beyond our normal curriculum. Building upon these experiences, students take a class in their junior year which introduces them to the research process in an end-to-end fashion (through formulation, execution and presentation of an original research project), and seniors conclude their degree work with a year-long independent thesis.

The thesis topic can focus upon an area of research which is selected by the student with input from the faculty, can build upon summer experiences such as participation in a Keck Geology Consortium project or an internship, or may involve collaboration with faculty in their primary areas of research. Conference attendance and presentation is encouraged when appropriate, and students occasionally co-author professional papers.