Faculty of Geology University of Warsaw

The Faculty of Geology at the University of Warsaw is one of the largest university units in Poland, with almost 200 staff members, of which half is represented by research staff and the remaining comprises technical assistants for research and educational laboratories, administration and services. This gives us a high research and educational potential. Each year, about 350 students are enrolled on bachelor, engineering and master courses at our Faculty: Geology (bachelor and master courses) and Applied Geology (engineering courses). Students of Applied Geology choose one of the three educational paths: Geoengineering, Geodynamics and Geological Mapping as well as Engineering of Mineral Resources. There are nine specialties in the Master courses: Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology; Engineering Geology; Climatic Geology; Stratigraphic Geology and Sedimentology; Resource and Economic Geology; Hydrogeology; Environmental Protection, Palaeontology and Tectonics and Geological Mapping. Overall, we have about 700 students in Bachelor/Engineering and Master courses, as well as 54 students in doctorate studies. 

History of the Faculty of Geology at the University of Warsaw
 Following the reorganization of university studies in Poland in 1951, the Faculty of Mathematics and Science at the University of Warsaw with the Departments of Geology, Palaeontology and Mineralogy and Petrology was closed down. The Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences were established in its place. The geological departments were included in the latter Faculty. 
 The Resolution of the Presidium of the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Poland of 18.08.1951 set out a new economical policy of the country with particular attention to the significant role of geological survey. From that time, higher geological education was to be concentrated in two centres: in Warsaw, where the basic geological staff was to be educated and in Cracow, with studies for geological-mining staff. As a result, the Minister of Higher Education decided on the establishment of the Centre for Geological Education at the University of Warsaw without stating its future organizational position. The centre was organized and supervised by Professor Stefan Zbigniew Różycki.
 On 1 October 1952, Minister Adam Rapacki signed a decree on the establishment of the Geological Faculty at the University of Warsaw
 The first Dean of the Faculty was Professor Edward Passendorfer, transferred from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. At first, the Geological Faculty (which over the years became known as the Faculty of Geology) comprised 12 chairs with 16 departments. Its structure underwent several subsequent changes. The most significant took place in 1968, when the chairs were replaced by three institutes: the Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrography, the Institute of Basic Geology, and the Institute of Hydogeology and Engineering Geology, in which the departments had an educational function. The Environment Protection Study Centre was established in 1973 and subsequently renamed in 1992 as the Independent Department of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. The first institute was renamed as the Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology in 2000.
 The current headquarters of the Faculty of Geology are in Warsaw, at Żwirki i Wigury Street 93. Plans for the building were complete already in 1952 and it was then when the decisions were made to build new headquarters on a property given to the University at the newly planned Nowoopaczewska Street, which was to run along the northern side of the building. Therefore, the de facto frontage of the building with the terrace is on the northern side, whereas the current entrance from the Banacha Street is in fact its rear entry. The first schedule aimed at finishing the construction of the first part of the building in 1954, and the entire edifice – 2 years later. However, the cornerstone for the new premises was laid on 25th September 1954; its successive occupation began in 1958/1959 and was finalized in autumn 1960. 

Compiled by dr. Marek Stępisiewicz

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