Department of Earth Science
Research and education in the Department of Earth Science is based on geology, but also includes some aspects of engineering. The aims of the department are to encourage systematic understanding of earth materials and resources; to promote better understanding of the mutual relationships among humanity, living things, and the earth from geohistorical and environmental viewpoints; and to establish effective prevention engineering against natural hazards and disasters, based on a wide knowledge of geological processes and environmental changes.
Our education programs are aimed at producing high-level scientists and engineers in the earth sciences and related fields. Shimane is an ideal place to study geoscience, due to the rich diversity of its geology. Field work and practical skills are important components of our undergraduate courses, with regular field exercises in the first and second year, and a week-long geological mapping camp in third year. Fourth year graduation theses also generally contain a field component.
At the undergraduate level,students in their first and second years undertake common core courses which cover all disciplines. In their third year, they elect to take courses in one of three divisions: Geoscience, Environmental Geology, or Natural Hazard Engineering. The major fields covered in each division are:
Geoscience papers: solid earth science, including igneous and metamorphic petrology; mineralogy; inorganic and organic geochemistry; geochronology; structural geology and geodynamics; and economic geology.
Environmental Geology papers: these mainly deal with surficial processes and their products, including sedimentology and stratigraphy; paleontology and paleo-environments; Quaternary geology; environmental geology; and earth history.
Natural Hazard Engineering papers: volcanology and volcanic hazards; enginnering geology and natural hazards such as slope failures; geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics, and their practical application; and subsurface fluid engineering.
In the fourth year, students work on a supervised research project in their chosen field, and prepare and defend a graduation thesis.