Earth and Sky Program at SUNY Cortland

photo of Field Surveying trip

A Science First Program

Earth and Sky is a unique opportunity for first-year students at SUNY Cortland to take classes together as a group interested in exploring the natural sciences. Classes are small and students and faculty work together. This is a chance to get started at Cortland in a positive way, satisfying several college requirements and working together with a number of similarly interested students.

The Program

Earth and Sky is not a major, but a way of grouping courses with overlapping interests together into a first semester program. The courses focus on the natural, earth, and environmental sciences and space science. The program is taught by a mixture of senior and junior faculty with backgrounds in a variety of subjects. All courses are entry level for freshman and the only prerequisite is an interest in science and a desire to strengthen ones mathematical, observational, and technological skills.


Hubble against earth's horizon

GLY 261: Physical Geology
Principles of physical geology. Earth materials, intracrustal forces and products, agents of gradation and their physiographic expression. Laboratory study includes minerals, rocks, topographic and geologic maps, simple geologic structures.
(4 cr. hrs.)

PHY 150: Astronomy
A survey of modern astronomy. Topics include the moon and planets, the sun and other stars, stellar structure and evolution, neutron stars, pulsars, black holes, galaxies, quasars and cosmology.
(3 cr. hrs.)

EST 100: Introduction to Environmental Studies
Studies of the relationship of human beings to the environment; impacts of human activities on local environments and the socioeconomic systems that give rise to environmental problems. (3 cr. hrs.)

COR 101: The Cortland Experience: A First Year Seminar
A seminar designed to facilitate the intellectual and social integration of first-time college students into the academic community at SUNY Cortland. (1 cr. hr.)

Earth and Sky Faculty

Dr. Chris Cirmo
Professor and Chair
Environmental Geology/Hydrogeology
voice: (607) 753-2924
photo of Dr. Bob Darling, Professor of Geology

Dr. Robert S. Darling
voice: (607) 753-2923
photo of Dr. Gayle Gleason, Assistant Professor of Geology

Dr. Gayle Gleason
Assistant Professor
Structural Geology/Experimental Rock Deformation
voice: (607) 753-2816

Advantages of Science First

  • Classes are small and Earth and Sky students matriculate together, sharing their experiences across several courses.
  • Students satisfy all-college general education requirements in natural sciences, quantitative skills, and composition.
  • Faculty are more accessible and are in a better position to advise students on the course of their educational path.

Who should enroll in the program?

You should! This is a one-semester experience designed for students just out of high school. The topics are interesting and you will satisfy all sorts of college requirements in the first semester. Students enjoy being able to take classes with the same group of students and with highly motivated faculty.

Rocky Cliff

To request information or to apply, fill out the form below.

Application Deadline: Start of classes Fall 2007




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