2021-2022

Astrogeology, Minor

Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science

College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

Thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center, Lowell Observatory, NAU, and the plethora of analog geologic environments in northern Arizona, Flagstaff remains the epicenter of astrogeology research. Take advantage of Flagstaff’s rich astrogeologic history by combining the related fields of astronomy and geology.  This minor provides students interested in planetary geology and surface processes with the foundational knowledge rooted in traditional geologic principles. Similarly, students will also gain invaluable astronomical perspectives, building the perspectives of scale and geologic/astronomic time that are necessary to appreciate astronomical context. This minor requires completion of at least 23 credit hours in AST and GLG courses.

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 to 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

No more than 50% of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 23
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 137

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this minor in Astrogeology is to provide students with interests in planetary geology and surface processes with the foundational knowledge rooted in traditional geologic principles.  Similarly, students will also gain invaluable astronomical perspectives, building the perspectives of scale and geologic/astronomic time that are necessary to appreciate astronomical context.  Specific courses in planetary surface processes, the tools and techniques used to study such processes, and the underlying geologic principles that drive these processes will constitute the bulk of the required coursework.  Students minoring in Astrogeology will be ready to appreciate the recent and upcoming missions to planetary bodies throughout our solar system.  They will also be able to critically assess the geologic properties of planetary surfaces to better understand how these planetary bodies evolve over time.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students minoring in Astrogeology will be able to:

  • Understand the underlying planetary processes that drive geologic processes at or near planetary surfaces;
  • Describe the temporal evolution of planetary surfaces as they relate to the multitude of geologic and environmental processes at work;
  • Understand the tools and techniques used to study geologic processes on planetary surfaces; and
  • Critically evaluate the requirements necessary to perform “traditional” geologic field work on other planetary bodies.

Minor Requirements