The Mansfield University Department of Geosciences has announced the addition of a concentration in geoarchaeology within the Bachelor of Science in geosciences degree, the first program of its kind in Pennsylvania.

The geoarchaeology concentration is active and ready for enrollment now.

Geoarchaeology is the application of earth science methods and concepts to address questions about past human activity.

Students will study traditional earth science subjects such as soils, geomorphology, geology, and the physical landscape, then apply this knowledge to address questions regarding past human settlement, ancient landscape, and climate reconstructions. The program offers opportunities to develop and apply hands-on skills in both field and laboratory environments.

“We are very excited to offer this new program in which students use knowledge of earth sciences such as soil science, river systems, and others, to reconstruct past human activities and interactions with the natural world” said Dr. Linda Kennedy, associate professor in the Department of Geosciences. “Mansfield University’s location provides us with a bounty of outdoor classroom opportunities to investigate prehistoric Native American and early American settlement in the region in addition to traditional earth sciences.”

The program prepares students for entry-level positions in the cultural resource management sector, which includes private consulting firms and state and federal governmental departments, or to pursue advanced degrees at the graduate level.

The program is unique in that it draws upon a collaboration through the IUP Anthropology Department. Mansfield University students enrolled in the geoarchaeology concentration are required to complete two classes through Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ANTH 315 will be conducted through remote classroom experience and the 6-credit field school is offered at IUP during the summer.

“The partnership between IUP Anthropology and Mansfield Geosciences builds on the strengths of both departments to prepare students to work in the billion-dollar cultural resources management industry,” Dr. Ben Ford, chairperson of the IUP Department of Anthropology.

“This is a natural partnership given IUP’s strengths in geoarchaeology and applied archaeology, and Mansfield’s dedication to preparing Geoscience majors for a variety of jobs. IUP Anthropology is very excited to begin this partnership.”

Job posting analytics conducted by Mansfield University for Pennsylvania and New York predict a job growth of 15.6% over the next 10 years for archaeologists and anthropologists.

The Mansfield University bachelor of science in geosciences degree program also offers concentrations in environmental science, geology, outdoor recreation leadership, and watershed management.

To learn more about the Department of Geosciences and the geoarchaeology program at Mansfield University, visit www.mansfield.edu/majors-and-minors/geosciences.