The goal of Hamilton's Geoscience Department is to provide students with a foundation from which to pursue study of the physical structure of the Earth and planets to understand how natural systems work and evolve over time.

There is perhaps no more dramatic example of the remarkable evolution of the geosciences than a recent Antarctic expedition involving a Hamilton professor and his students. While studying the collapse of a major ice shelf near the bottom of the world, they discovered a vast underwater ecosystem — the first of its kind found in the Antarctic — that itself may yield previously unknown species of marine life. Working at the intersection of geology, marine biology and environmental studies, the Hamilton team exemplifies the College's geosciences program and approach to the liberal arts: interdisciplinary, innovative and driven by student research.

The quaint stereotype of the "rock scientist" is ancient history; the geosciences have grown deeply interdisciplinary as scientists focus on distant planets, climate change and the environment. And the field has become a crucial part of the scientific effort to preserve the Earth for future generations.