The study of our planet, Earth, is becoming increasingly important. As we enter into the new millennium, investigations of the Earth’s structure, how it developed, and how it is changing, will provide important data needed to find vital new petroleum reserves and mineral deposits, and to help us better manage our global environment.

Modern geologists use many kinds of equipment, from computers for modelling complex natural processes to mass spectrometers to determine the age of rocks formed billions of years ago. The laboratory for most geological studies is the planet itself—the ocean depths and mountain peaks, densely populated areas such as California and Japan, and remote regions such as Antarctica and northern Canada.

Carleton’s Department of Earth Sciences has a reputation as one of the foremost centres for geological study in Canada. Carleton professors and students have contributed to the discovery of new mineral resources and have identified new minerals, including one discovered in 1969 at Mount St. Hilaire, Québec, now known as carletonite.