Department of Geology and Environmental Science

*GEOL 110. Physical Geology (3, 2). 4 credits.

A systematic study of earth materials including the internal and external processes that affect earth structure and landforms. Topics include the genesis/properties of rocks and minerals, plate tectonics and the agents of change that drive surface processes and land-form development.

GEOL 200. Evolutionary Systems. (2, 2). 3 credits.

An investment of a theoretical principle behind evolutionary systems of all types based on mathematical modeling in chaos, complexity theory, and artificial life studies with extensive computer experimentation and examples drawn from physical, chemical, biological, economic, and social systems. The purpose is to explore what is common and universal to all evolutionary processes. 

GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography. 3 credits.

An introduction to the oceanography of coastal environs including barrier islands, estuaries and tidal marshes. The physical, geological and biochemical characteristics of coastal waters will be discussed in the context of the economic and social pressures brought to bear on these areas by an increasing global population.

GEOL 220. Genetic Mineralogy (2, 2). 3 credits.

A study of mineral genesis. Emphasis is directed toward mineralogical environments, mineral associations and the geology/mineralogy of classical localities. An appreciation of mineral value and aesthetics is incorporated throughout the course.

GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth (3, 2). 4 credits.

An introduction to the evidence, methods and assumptions used by scientists to unravel the earth’s origin and history. Emphasis on rock analysis/interpretation, modern and ancient processes of mountain building, origin and evolution of life and the history of the North American continent. Prerequisite: GEOL 110 or permission of instructor.

GEOL 272. Planetary Geology. 3 credits.

A survey of currently developing ideas in planetology including origin of the planets, meteorites and planetary interiors. Also included are geologic processes and land forms on the moon and terrestrial planets, their modification under various planetary environments and analogies to familiar earth land forms. Prerequisite: GEOL 102 or GEOL 110.

GEOL 280. Mineralogy (3, 2). 4 credits.

A comprehensive study of minerals including: crystallography, mineral chemistry, x-ray diffraction, mineral optics with thin section recognition using petrographic microscope, and hand specimen identification of both silicate and non-silicate minerals. Prerequisite: GEOL 110.

GEOL 290. Optical Mineralogy (3, 2). 3 credits.

A study of the optical properties of minerals and mineral identification with the petrographic microscope. Prerequisite: GEOL 280.

GEOL 300. Introduction to Petrology (3, 2). 3 credits.

An introduction to the classification and origin of metamorphic and igneous rocks. Laboratory study of hand specimens and thin sections. Prerequisite: GEOL 280; Corequisite: CHEM 131.

GEOL/GEOG 310 A-D. Environmental Impact. 2-3 credits, repeatable to 6 credits.

Focuses on a selected environmental realm. The course will examine the interface between human activities and environmental systems. It will address the impacts of social, economic and political activities on the environment. GEOL/GEOG 310 A-Atmosphere (air pollution); B-Biosphere (vegetation/wildlife); C-Hydrosphere (water); D-Lithosphere (geologic hazards/land issues).

GEOL 320. Meteorology. 3 credits.

A survey of the science of weather including weather forecasting, weather maps and related atmospheric processes. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic aspects of meteorology and the interrelationships of atmospheric phenomena with land masses and the world ocean.

GEOL 340. Soils and Land Use (2, 2). 3 credits.

The origin, distribution and properties of soils are emphasized in the lecture, laboratory and field. These aspects are used to determine the value of various soil types for such uses as agriculture, forestry, recreation, urban development and structural foundations. Prerequisites: GEOL 110 and CHEM 131.

GEOL/BIO 350. Invertebrate Paleontology (3, 2). 4 credits.

The history of nonvertebrate life from its origin, through evolving biogeochemical cycles, origin of eukaryotes and multicellularity, evolutionary records of all major groups and theoretical issues such as major group origins, adaptive radiation patterns, extinctions, functional adaptations and paleoecology. Prerequisite: GEOL 230, BIO 114 or permission of the instructor.

GEOL/CHEM 355. Geochemistry of Natural Waters. 3 credits.

Study of chemical theory and reactions important in natural water systems. The role of atmospheric, geologic and biological inputs in determining the geochemistry of streams, rivers and oceans. Prerequisites: CHEM 131 and CHEM 132 or equivalent.

GEOL 364. Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis (3, 3). 4 credits.

Lecture emphasizes application of sedimentologic and stratigraphic principles to identifying and interpreting depositional systems and examines how eustasy (sequence theory) and local tectonics influence the distribution of depositional systems under different plate tectonic regimes. Lab emphasizes critical field observation, application of theory to stratigraphic analysis and writing scientific papers. Prerequisite: GEOL 230.

GEOL 365. Structural Geology (3, 2). 3 credits.

Major and minor structures of the earth’s crust. Mechanical principles involved in folding, faulting, jointing and penecontemporaneous structures. The causes and results of mountain building processes. Preparation and interpretation of geologic maps. Prerequisite: GEOL 110; GEOL 230 recommended.

GEOL 380. Regional Geography Studies. 3 credits.

Students will focus on one of 10 world regions (A-US/Canada; B-Latin America; C-Middle East/North Africa; D-Sub-Saharan Africa; E-Europe; F-Russia/Central Asia; G-East Asia; H-South Asia; I-Southeast Asia; J-Australia/Pacific).  All student enrolled will meet with the instructor as a group once a week for discussion of general characteristics of world regions. Most work will be guided/independent.

GEOL 385. Geomorphology (2, 2). 3 credits.

The description, classification, analysis, origin and evolution of land forms. The physical and chemical processes that have formed the present landscape. Advanced interpretation of topographic maps. (This course is required by the U.S. Civil Service Commission for employment as a geologist in the federal government.) Prerequisite: GEOL 110 or GEOG 210.

GEOL 390. Laboratory Techniques in Geology (2, 2). 3 credits.

An elective course for science majors. A study of the basic theories and techniques of laboratory methods and instrumentation. Implementation and application of techniques to geological problems. Prerequisites: GEOL 280 and permission of the instructor.

GEOL/MATS 395. Geologic Perspectives in Materials Science & Engineering. 3 credits.

A one-semester course which emphasizes the commonalities between the geological sciences and materials science. Course includes topics from mineralogy, crystallography, petrology and structural geology which are also important in metallurgy and ceramics. Prerequisites: An introductory course in any physical science or integrated science and technology (GEOL 110, CHEM 131, PHYS 140 or ISAT 141) and at least one additional advanced course in the major.

GEOL/MATS 396. X-ray Characterization of Solid Materials.  3 credits.

Covers fundamental principles and theory behind two powerful, X-ray based, technologies: X-ray Diffraction and Energy Dispersive Analysis of X-rays (EDS). Students will collect and analyze data from a single crystal Gandolfi X-ray camera, automated powder diffraction system (focusing goniometer), and EDAX system (EDS). Prerequisites: GEOL 280 or MATS/CHEM/PHYS 275 or ISAT 300.

GEOL 399. Field Geology. 6 credits.

Field methods include use of Brunton compass, telescopic alidade and plane table and compass traversing. A synthesis of geologic concepts and principles leading to the construction and interpretation of geologic and topographic maps. Prerequisites: GEOL 364 and GEOL 365 or permission of the instructor.

GEOL/BIO 405. Vertebrate Paleontology (3, 1). 3 credits.

A study of the origin and evolution of the vertebrates. Emphasis will be on understanding how the processes of earth evolution and biological evolution have interacted through time to produce a coherent picture of vertebrate history. Prerequisite: GEOL 230, BIO 124 or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 410. Engineering Geology (2, 2). 3 credits.

Study of the applications of geology to engineering practice. Topics include soil mechanics, foundations, engineering classification of soils, slope stability and mineral aggregates. Prerequisites: GEOL 340 and MATH 205 or MATH 235 or equivalent.

GEOL 415. Geological Evolution of North America. 3 credits.

A systematic survey of the tectonic evolution of the North American continent and the corresponding evolution of depositional basins and paleoenvironments. Prerequisites: GEOL 364 and GEOL 365 or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 450. Geology Seminar. 1 credit.

An in-depth study of a particular problem in geology (e.g., plate tectonics, astrogeology, low-temperature geochemistry, etc.) Scientific literature will be reviewed and discussed. Prerequisite: 20 credits in geology.

GEOL 460. Hydrogeology (2, 2). 3 credits.

Basic concepts of subsurface water as a part of the hydrologic cycle. Topics include storativity and permeability in porous media, principles of flow, computer applications, groundwater exploration, mapping and environmental aspects of groundwater. Prerequisites: GEOL 110 and two semesters of calculus or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 489. Quantitative Methods in Geology (3). 3 credits.

An introduction to the mathematical methods and statistical techniques that are employed by scientists in the disciplines of geochemistry, geophysics, hydrology, and the petroleum/mineral industry. The course provides the quantitative skills necessary to manipulate geological data.

GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research. 3 credits.

Provides instruction in the definition of a geological problem, sources and strategies for a literature search and the preparation of both written and oral reports. Prerequisites: Geology major (senior standing) and permission of the instructor.

GEOL 493. Geophysics (3,2). 3 credits.

A survey of applied geophysical methods, with particular attention to shallow subsurface investigations. Topics include gravity, magnetics, electrical and electromagnetic techniques, and seismology and ground-penetrating radar. Practical experience with data acquisition, reduction, and interpretation. Prerequisites: GEOL 110 and two semesters of calculus or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 494. Internship in Geology. 1-3 credits.

Student conducts a research or applied project in geology outside of the university. Requires an approved proposal prior to registration and a final report at the culmination of the project. Prerequisites: Minimum of 8 credit hours in Geology and a Geology GPA of 2.5 or higher.

GEOL 497. Problems in Geology. 1-3 credits each semester.

An undergraduate research course in one of the fields of geology. Open to advanced students who have adequate preparation. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

GEOL 499. Honors in Geology. 6 credits.

Three semester sequence. Required 3.25 GPA or higher.


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Last Modified: 6/6/2003