clouds forming over mountains

Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences


There are many challenges facing society today. Geoscientists who understand Earth processes, resources, atmosphere, and environments can help address these challenges and are in high demand.

students taking water samples

A world of possibilities

A degree in climate science, geology or meteorology opens the door to career opportunities that involve innovative technologies, outdoor adventures and world travel – work that helps sustain society and protect the planet.

Already decided on a major? Adding Geology or Meteorology as an additional major will further enhance your career path. Check out our department’s 4-year course plans for combining the Geology degree or Meteorology degree with Engineering, Environmental Science, and Biology.



Department faculty members maintain well-funded research programs in several focus areas. Graduate and undergraduate students have opportunities to conduct research with some of the most well-respected scientists in their field.

I think what makes the climate science major here so useful is the multiple pathways that students can choose from. Climate science is applicable to many different majors and fields, and this major allows students with interests ranging from agriculture to political science to apply climate science to their current focus.

Owen Halverson (’24 climate science)

Commitment to inclusive, quality teaching

Our department is committed to building and supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment to ensure the learning and success of all students.

News and events

  • Jacqueline Reber awarded grant from the Frontier Science Fund

    Jacqueline Reber has been awarded this year’s grant from the Frontier Science Fund in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for her promising work in 3D force visualization and quantification.
  • Cyclones chasing cyclones

    Meteorology students witnessed the power of Mother Nature in Iowa earlier this spring when multiple tornadoes formed just days apart.
  • Students tackle climate change through new major

    The winds of change blew through Iowa State’s Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences (GEAT) in the fall 2022 when a new major and minor in climate science electrified the department’s offerings.

Land acknowledgement

Iowa State University is located on the ancestral lands and territory of the Baxoje (bah-kho-dzhe), or Ioway Nation. The United States obtained the land from the Meskwaki and Sauk nations in the Treaty of 1842. We wish to recognize our obligations to this land and to the people who took care of it, as well as to the 17,000 Native people who live in Iowa today.