The Department of Geology was established in 1974 as an academic unit of the Faculty of Science of the University of Dar es Salaam. The department was initially housed in the Chemistry Department Building. The establishment of the Department of Geology made a total of six departments that made up the Faculty of Science. The department moved to its current building that was funded by the FINNIDA project in 1985. The building also houses the management of the former Faculty of Science and the now College of Natural and Applied Sciences.
The founder of the department was Prof. Bomboe, a geologist from Bulgaria. The department started with five academic staff namely Prof. Bomboe (Bulgaria), Prof. G. Prassad (Germany/Hamburg), Dr. Silec (Czechoslovakia), Dr. Duverman (Hungary), and the late Dr. Fumu (Zanzibar). In 1977, the department recruited the first batch of three graduates as local staff who were immediately enrolled for MSc abroad (Nigeria – Ille Iffe University). These were Said Kapilima (the late), Allan Msindai (the late) and Elias Malisa (the late). The subsequent batches comprised of: Isaac Marobhe and Sospeter Muhongo (1978); Abdulkarim Mruma and Crispin Kinabo (1980); Makenya Maboko, Justinian Ikingura, Charles Kaaya and the late Medard Mutakyahwa(1981); Evelyne Mbede (1982), and the late Saidi Mnali (1984).Another local staff, Prof. J.T. Nanyaro (the late), was recruited from the Tanzania Geological Survey (GST) in early nineteen eighties, who later became the first head of department among the local staff. Others were Dr. J.M.J. Kahatano (the late) and Dr. James Mataragio.
The department continued to engage expatriate staff while local junior staff undertook postgraduate studies locally and abroad. The expatriate staff included Prof. Tappio Korjonen, Dr. Ritta Juvonen from Finland (1978), Prof. D. Deshpande from India (1978). A list of expatriates who were further recruited include: Prof. U. Aswathanarayana, Prof. Nitin Kumal Basu, Prof. Prakash Dixit, Prof. Rao and Prof. Vaidiyanathan (from India); Prof. Odd Nilsen (Norway); Prof. Nilson (Denmark); Prof. Till Heinrichs, Dr.Mario Fay and Prof. Thomas Schlueter, Dr. Andreas Schumann(Germany); and Dr Tapio Koistinen (Finland).
The department has so far been led by 12 heads of department as listed below. The first two terms were led by expatriates. Since 1982, the department has been led by local staff, except for the period between 1985-1988 which was served by an Indian expatriate.
Heads of Department
1. Prof. Bomboe from Bulgaria (1974 - 1977 )
2. Prof. Gissella Prassad from Hamburg, Germany (1977 - 1982)
3. Dr. Japhet Nanyaro, Tanzanian (The Late) (1982 - 1985)
4. Prof. Upugunduli Aswathanarayana, Indian (1985 – 1988)
5. Dr. Saidi Kapilima, Tanzanian (The late) (1988 –1994)
6. Dr. Abdulkarim Mruma, Tanzanian (1994 – 1997; 2000-2004)
7. Prof. Sospeter M. Muhongo, Tanzanian (1997 – 2000)
8. Prof. Evelyne Mbede, Tanzanian (2004 – 2006)
9. Dr. Isaac M. Marobhe, Tanzanian (2006 –2012)
10. Prof. Shukrani Manya, Tanzanian (2012 – 2015)
11. Dr. Nelson Boniface, Tanzanian (2015 to present)