Geology Course Offerings

Geology course offerings will be found under the 4 letter code of GEOL in the course listings.

111 – Introductory Geology (4)

Introduction to the Earth: topics include mineral and rock composition of the crust and mantle, plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes. Laboratory. Entry-level course.

112 – Evolution of the Earth (4)

Prerequisite: Geology 111 or Environmental Science 110. History of the Earth with emphasis on surficial processes, evolution of life, the hydrologic cycle and climate change. Laboratory.

201 – Paleontology (4)

Prerequisite: Geology 111 or Biology 121. This course introduces the fundamental procedures and applications of paleontology that include taxonomy, taphonomy, biostratigraphy, paleoecology and environmental science. The course format is project oriented with student opportunities to collect, describe and analyze fossil specimens retrieved from rock samples and sediment cores. The lab will provide a survey of the major fossil groups and introduce modern analytical procedures. Laboratory.

205 – Computer Applications in Environmental Science and Geology (3)

This course emphasizes the acquisition of spatial data and their display and analysis within ArcGIS geographic information system software. The class also includes an introduction to the use of global positioning system instruments for data collection. Cross-listed as EESC 205.

210 – Oceanography (3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111. An introduction to the oceans. Physical and chemical processes affecting seawater; the geology of the seafloor; biological productivity in the oceans; and environmental challenges involving the oceans. Cross-listed as EESC 210.

211 – Oceanography Laboratory (1)

Corequisite: GEOL/EESC 210. Laboratory investigation of the chemical and physical properties of seawater; the tides; bathymetric measurements; coastal navigation; and marine biological processes. One or more field trips may be scheduled. Cross-listed as EESC 211.

221 – Environmental Geology (3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111. Interaction of geologic phenomena and processes with society and the biosphere.

240 – Field Methods in Environmental Science and Geology (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 111 or EESC 110 or GEOG 110. The Earth & Environmental Sciences rely heavily on mapping and collection of physical, chemical, and biological field data. Students enrolled in the course will complete weekly laboratory and hands-on exercises to learn the essential field skills necessary to advance their careers in the earth sciences as technicians, academics, and/or educators. This introductory field course will provide a solid foundation to prepare students for advanced earth science study and/or a general introduction to the field methods within the discipline. Cross-listed as EESC 240.

301 – Mineralogy (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111; prerequisite or corequisite CHEM 111.  Study of Earth’s major rock forming minerals, and those of economic value, in hand sample, microscopic thin section and through field studies. Course is conducted as a mix of lecture and laboratory activities. Laboratory.

302 – Petrology (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 301; prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 112. Study of metamorphic and igneous processes and important rock types in hand sample, microscopic thin-section and through field studies. Course is conducted as a mix of lecture and laboratory activities. Laboratory.

311 – Sedimentation and Stratigraphy (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111; prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 111; recommended: GEOL 301. This course provides an overview of the concepts associated with sedimentary rock formation, including theoretical sedimentology, process oriented facies analysis and applied stratigraphy in the context of cyclic sea level and climate change through time. Class work includes several field trips to collect samples for physical and chemical analysis. Laboratory.

313- Fluvial Geomorphology (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 112 or GEOG 111. Use of both classical (qualitative) and modern (quantitative) geomorphological methods to study and understand fluvial processes acting on the surface of the earth, and how landforms and landscapes created by these processes control the global environment. The class will combine field-based observations with in-class instruction. Laboratory.

315 – Hydrogeology (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 112. An introduction to surface water and groundwater flow; the hydrologic cycle; aquifer testing; flow to wells; contaminant transport; and field and laboratory instruments. Cross-listed as EESC 315. Laboratory.

325 – Environmental Geochemistry (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 112 and CHEM 112. Study of chemical processes operating at or near the surface of the Earth, in bedrock, soils, streams, the oceans and the atmosphere. Particular attention is given to environmental applications. Cross-listed as EESC 325. Laboratory.

335 – Plate Tectonics (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 112. This laboratory course offers a comprehensive study of lithospheric plate movements using information derived from seismology, paleomagnetics, petrology and tectonics. Selected topics also include a historical review of the development of the theory of plate tectonics, geologic and geophysical events at plate boundaries and an evaluation of evidence regarding plate-driving forces. Laboratory.

340 – Energy Resources and Technology (3)

Prerequisite: One from BIOL 132, 126, CHEM 112, GEOL 112, EESC 110 or PHYS 106. Intended primarily for science majors, this course investigates the basic science and technology relating to alternative energy sources and fossil fuels. Students who complete this class will have a greater technical understanding of energy sources and the methods used to tap them. Cross-listed as EESC 340.

355 – Icehouse – Greenhouse Earth (3)

Prerequisites: GEOL 111 or EESC 110. This course examines the history of the Earth’s climate system in the context of the two primary modes: Icehouse and Greenhouse. Through critical evaluation of primary literature, written assignments and oral presentations, students will gain an appreciation of the magnitude of temporal and spatial climate reorganizations through time and develop an in-depth understanding of both long and short term cyclic changes that have contributed to the development of our modern climate system. Cross-listed with EESC 355.

360 – Environmental Exploration (2-4)

Specialized courses with a significant field component not offered on a regular basis. Study of selected environments along with relevant geological issues with a focus on active exploration and research. Overnight trips and extra fees required. Permission of instructor required to register. Cross listed as EESC 360.

412 – Structural Geology (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 301. Analysis and interpretation of structural features of the Earth’s crust such as folds and faults. Laboratory.

421 – Advanced Topics in Geology (2–4)

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Specialized topics not offered on a regular basis.

491 – Individual Study (1–4)

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Investigation of a topic which may include laboratory, field work and literature research. Course of study determined by supervising instructor and student.

493 – Honors Research (4)

Prerequisites: EESC 491 or GEOL 491 and permission of instructor. Independent research project which may include field and/or laboratory work. Course of study determined by supervising research advisor and student. Successful completion of a written thesis and oral defense is required, and will result in the student earning departmental Honors at graduation.

499 – Internship (Credits variable)

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Geology major in good academic standing. Supervised off campus experience developed in consultation with the department. A maximum of three (3) credits may count toward the Geology major requirements