Old University (1573 – 1860)
The beginnings of education of geological sciences are connected with history of Old University in Olomouc (1573–1860). In 1747, mineralogy was the first geological discipline taught as a part of the natural sciences. Other disciplines, especially petrography, paleontology and mining, followed later. The subject “Geognosy” (former name for geology) started to be taught at the end of the old university period. The status of other geological disciplines was associated with the development of scientific knowledge, which lagged behind mineralogy. The emphasis on mineralogy is documented by catalogue of minerals from 1804, which contain 2 228 items, predominantly samples from Moravian regions. The development of geological sciences was positively influenced by eminent scientists such as J. Wobraska, J. Helcelet, J. Nestler, J. S. Presl, H. M. Schmidt, etc.
Renewed University (after 1946)
After restoration of University in 1946, the Institute of Mineralogy and Geology provided education of geological disciplines at the newly established Faculty of Education. The education was focused on preparing teachers for elementary schools (1946–1953). During this period, a study of natural sciences („biennium“) took place also at Faculty of Arts (1948–1952). It was intended for the education of teachers for grammar schools. To ensure education at both faculties, the original Institute of Mineralogy and Geology was split into Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography and Institute of Geology and Paleontology. Students of „biennium“ completed their studies at relevant faculties in Brno or Prague.
University of Education (1953–1960)
A significant change was the establishment of the University of Education in 1953 (1953–1960), which was connected with the establishment of departments. The Department of Geology and Geography was founded in 1953 after abolition of the „biennium“.
After the abolition of the University of Education in 1959 and establishment of the Faculty of Science, the Department of Mineralogy and Geology was constituted. The recent Department of Geology is its immediate successor for more than 50 years. The beginning and development of the department is connected with activities of prof. RNDr.František Němec, prof. RNDr. František Zvejška, doc.RNDr. Jindřiška Němcová – Hlobilová, CSc and doc. RNDr. Vojtěch Barth, CSc. Thanks to them, large mineralogical, petrographic and paleontological collections and scientific library were founded. The necessary, albeit scanty equipment were also obtained.
The beginning and whole existence of the department is focused on the preparation of grammar school teachers in the field of geology. The research activities have traditionally been focused on the mineralogical-petrographic and regional-geological study of the eastern part of the Bohemian Massif.
Current department (since 1995)
In 1995, Master’s degree programme “Combined education of Biology, Geography and Geology” was started. It brought a number of new students and extension of academic staff. In 2002 study programme “Geology and Environmental Protection in Education” has been accredited. It combined geology with biology or chemistry.
Since 2006, bachelor´s and master´s study programmes of Environmental Geology have been started. The Department is also authorized for education of Ph.D students thanks to bilateral covenant with Masaryk University in Brno. Finally, Ph.D study programme of Geological Sciences has been accredited in 2015.
Together with the development of study programmes and research-project acquisition (GAČR, FRVŠ, FRUP, IGA), the technical background of the department improved significantly. The department is equipped with new laboratories (optical, petrophysical, shallow geophysics, electron microscopy and microanalysis, etc.). The department also receives a number of research grants, participates in international student mobility programmes CEEPUS, ERASMUS and ERASMUS + and establishes professional cooperation with domestic and foreign workplaces and significantly improves the number and quality of its publication outputs. Since 2009, the department has been moved to the new building of the Faculty of Science (17. Listopadu).