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Drescher Hall 314T; Phone: (310) 434-4767

Chair: VICKI DRAKE; Office: Drescher Hall 314 L; Phone: (310) 434-8652


The Earth Science Department houses four separate disciplines: Anthropology, Astronomy, Geography and Geology.  Our academic programs have many common objectives: to help our students discover the origin and development of the universe, our planet, all plant and animal life including, and especially, humans; to better understand the complex interactive nature of the many processes that produce the planet's physical environment; to recognize the limits and finiteness of the Earth’s resources; and to realize the capacity of humans to alter many global processes. 

To meet our objectives, we provide our students with lectures, labs and field experiences that meet both natural and social science IGETC and GE requirements for transfer.  We also have the Solar Technology Program housed within the Earth Science Department, which provides a certificate program in solar photovoltaic installation.  Additionally, we offer GIS (Geographic Information Systems) courses to prepare our students for a future in Geospatial Technology.

Another dynamic and vibrant program within our department is our Planetarium. At our planetarium, the sky and many other effects can be created with the Digistar 2 projector. We also use a video projector, dedicated special effects projectors, and other slide projectors to show the audience astronomical images across the dome. The planetarium is an ideal tool for educating students of all ages in astronomy and geography, as well as educating and entertaining the general public.  Our mission, therefore, is to serve three basic groups: Santa Monica College students; Santa Monica residents and those of the surrounding Los Angeles; and community school groups, both public and private, from pre-school up to college level, to introduce children (eventual college students) to Santa Monica College as an exciting place to visit where learning is fun. The following link will take you to the Planetarium website:


The Earth Science Department is a major contributor to the Global Citizenship Initiative on campus through the development of our Latin American Education Program and participation in field and Study Abroad programs, with field experiences from California to Central and South America, and Italy. Please visit the following website for information regarding Study Abroad Programs at SMC:

The following courses meet the Global Citizenship requirement at Santa Monica College:

Anthropology 2: Cultural Anthropology
Anthropology 14: Sex, Gender and Culture
Anthropology 21: Peoples and Power in Latin America
Geography 7: Introduction to Environmental Studies
Geography 14: Geography of California