State geologist says he's concerned about declining enrollment in geoscience programs
North Dakota’s state geologist says he’s concerned about declining enrollment in geoscience programs across the US.
Ed Murphy told the North Dakota Industrial Commission the predictions show a growing demand for full time geoscientists, but fewer students are seeking degrees in that field. He said earlier this year, NDSU announced it was closing its geology program. He said he wrote to NDSU President David Cook, saying the decision was short-sighted.
"That's because by 2030, we're going to have a huge shortfall in geoscientists, as with all scientists and engineers," Murphy said. "We've got to get these kids goin into these STEM fields."
Murphy said he and his staff have been making presentations and giving tours of the paleontology lab and the mummified hadrosaur, Dakota. He said tours were give to two Bismarck middle schools, and to students from Montpelier High School.
"We're trying to reach the younger kids, getting them interested in science," Murphy told the Commission.
Murphy said staff will be talking with an eight grade science class at Wachter Middle School in Bismarck. He said a geologist and a paleontologist will talks with students. And Murphy said the paleontologist will be Becky Barnes.
"We've got a man and a woman, to get the kids — especially the girls — interested," Murphy said.
Minot State University has a bachelor's degree program in geology. UND in Grand Forks offers both an undergraduate and a graduate program.