ISU Headlines

New Idaho State University geosciences doctoral program approved, begins in August

Posted February 20, 2013

Idaho State University is ready to begin enrolling geosciences doctoral students in August after the Idaho State Board of Education approved an ISU Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in geosciences at its last meeting.

"Geosciences is at the nexus of many issues facing our nation and society," said Howard Grimes, ISU vice president for research and economic development. "These scientists are amassing data and seeking solutions that will inform our use of resources, the management of our environment, the wellbeing of populations, and sustainable energy opportunities. Offering this program further expands ISU's impact on our region."

The ISU geosciences department has increased its research and graduate education profile during the past two decades, and the doctoral program is a logical and necessary step to continue that evolution, he added.

The geosciences doctoral students will mentor undergraduate and master's students in classroom and research opportunities. The geosciences doctoral program will also be closely linked with the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering and Applied Science Degree already offered at ISU.

 The ISU Department of Geosciences will build on strong collaborations with University of Idaho and Boise State University for doctoral student opportunities. ISU facilitated discussions with BSU and UI in an effort to promote collaboration among the universities who currently offer a Ph.D. in Geosciences. A Memorandum of Agreement based on those discussions has been approved.

Students for the new ISU Ph.D. program will be recruited from the existing ISU Master of Science geosciences program, from the local workforce, and across the country and internationally, thus attracting a more highly qualified workforce to fill natural resource industry jobs in Idaho.

The doctoral program will leverage existing departmental strengths in Idaho's natural resources, water supply, and environmental needs, expanding ongoing projects such as water supply and water quality, semi-arid soil and vegetation recovery after wildfires, assessment of active geologic faults, landscape change and associated topographic analyses, fluvial processes, geothermal and volcanology research, remote sensing, including unmanned aircraft systems, and geospatial modeling and software development.

The doctoral program will also enhance the department's proven ability to attract research funding from federal agencies and private industry.

For more information, contact Dr. Glenn Thackray, chair of Geosciences,,208-282-3235 or geology@isu.edu.

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