Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Co-curricular Activities and Organization

Degree and Major Requirements

Concentrations

Minor Requirements


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Department of Geology and Environmental Science
Memorial Hall, Room 7125
(540) 568-6130
http://www.jmu.edu/geology


Department Head
Dr. Stephen A. Leslie

Professors
R. Amenta, S. Baedke, D. Brakke,
L. Fichter, L. Kearns, S. Leslie,
K. St. John, S. Ulanski

Associate Professors
L. Eaton, E. Pyle , S. Whitmeyer

Assistant Professors
A. Courtier, A. Hartshorn, J. Haynes,
E. Johnson

Instructor
C. Kearns

Department of Geology and Environmental Science

Mission Statement
Our mission is to serve two vital needs of the JMU students. First, the majors in geology present high quality programs of specialized study focusing on Earth materials, internal and external Earth processes, analysis of Earth history and application of geology to environmental and engineering issues. In support of this mission is a commitment to foster the ability to think analytically and to communicate both within the discipline and with non-scientists. Course work and research experiences prepare the student for postgraduate study or professional careers that are subject to rapidly changing societal needs. Second, our department strives to enhance the university's general education program by offering timely and challenging courses that provide insight into Earth processes and human-environment interactions. These courses promote life long liberal learning by fostering critical thinking and an awareness of natural science.

Goals

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Co-curricular Activities and Organization
The department encourages majors and interested non-majors to participate in the student Geology Club, which sponsors field trip, camping excursions, and hosts educational activities for elementary school students. Geology majors are encouraged to apply to be laboratory teaching assistants and research assistants for faculty in the department. Majors are also strongly encouraged to become members of one or more of the following geoscience organizations and to present their research at the affiliated regional or national meetings:

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Degree and Major Requirements
There are two bachelor degrees offered in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science, a B.S. in geology and a B.A. in Earth science. Both degree options have a research requirement that includes a formal presentation. The B.S. degree has two concentrations: a general geology concentration designed for students that want to take a wider range of geology elective courses and an environmental and engineering geology concentration designed for students that want to focus their geology electives toward applied environmental science. The B.A. in Earth science prepares individuals to work in a wide range of professional public sector service careers where preparation in Earth science and communication of science to nonscientific audiences is a requirement or an asset. This includes the preparation of Earth science teachers.

Bachelor of Science in Geology

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education 1
41
Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education)
(3)
Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education)
(3-4)
Major requirements (listed below) and electives
62-75

 
120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The quantitative and scientific literacy requirements are met by courses required by the major.

Major Requirements
The following are core courses required for B.S. degree students:

Core Requirements
Credit Hours
GEOL 110. Physical Geology
4
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth
4
GEOL 280. Mineralogy
4
GEOL 291. Geowriting and Communication
1
GEOL 300. Introduction to Petrology
3
GEOL 364. Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis
4
GEOL 365. Structural Geology
3
GEOL 399. Field Geology
6
In addition to GEOL 291, choose from the following to complete the research requirement. Note: All majors must complete a minimum of two credits; Honors students must complete a minimum of three credits.
2-3
     GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research
     GEOL 494. Internship
     GEOL 497. Problems in Geology
     GEOL 499. Honors in Geology

 
27-35


The B.S. degree in geology is designed for students who plan to obtain professional employment in geology or enter graduate school upon graduation. It is recommended that incoming B.S. degree students complete the following courses prior to enrolling in required geology courses numbered 300 and higher.

Courses
Credit Hours
CHEM 131-131L; 132-132L. General Chemistry I-II
8
MATH 235. Calculus I or MATH 231-232. Calculus with Functions I-II
4-8
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics or MATH 236. Calculus-II
3-4
Choose one of the following:
8
     PHYS 140-140L; PHYS 150-150L. College Physics I-II with Laboratories
     PHYS 240-140L; PHYS 250-250L. University Physics I-II with Laboratories

 
24


Students planning graduate study in some areas of the geosciences should consider additional courses in mathematics, physics or chemistry beyond those required for the B.S. major

Concentrations
The B.S. degree option requires that each student complete at least 12-13 credit hours chosen from one of the following two concentrations.

General Geology Concentration
GEOL 220. Genetic Mineralogy
GEOL 340. Soils and Land Use
GEOL 350. Paleobiology
GEOL 355. Geochemistry of Natural Waters
GEOL 385. Geomorphology
GEOL 390. Laboratory Techniques in Geology
GEOL 395. Geological Perspectives in Materials Science and Engineering
GEOL 398. Topics in Field Geology (must be approved by adviser)
GEOL 405. Vertebrate Paleontology
GEOL 410. Engineering Geology
GEOL 415. Geological Evolution of North America
GEOL 442. Field Geophysics
GEOL 460. Geohydrology
GEOL 489. Quantitative Methods in Geology
GEOL 440. Geophysics

Environmental and Engineering Geology Concentration
GEOL 340. Soils and Land Use
GEOL 355. Geochemistry of Natural Waters
GEOL 385. Geomorphology
GEOL 390. Laboratory Techniques in Geology
GEOL 395. Geological Perspectives in Materials Science and Engineering
GEOL 398. Topics in Field Geology (must be approved by adviser)
GEOL 410. Engineering Geology
GEOL 442. Field Geophysics
GEOL 460. Geohydrology
GEOL 489. Quantitative Methods in Geology
GEOL 440. Geophysics

Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science
The B.A. in Earth Science degree is designed to integrate all the Earth sciences in a systems approach to understanding the Earth. This includes incorporating and integrating subjects such as oceanography, meteorology and astronomy. The emphasis is on the preparation of individuals to work in a wide range of professional public sector service careers where preparation in Earth science and communication of science to non-scientific audiences is a requirement or an asset.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education 1
41
Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 2
0-14
Philosophy course(s) (in addition to General Education courses) 3
3
Major requirements (listed below including cognate sciences and math)
55
Electives
7-21

 
120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student's chosen language (typically 232), or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test.
3 100-, 200-, 300- or 400-level course acceptable or consult the list of courses satisfying B.A. degree requirements at http://www/jmu.edu/registrar.

Major Requirements
B.A. degree students are expected to complete CHEM 131-131L before enrolling in required geology courses numbered 300 and higher. The following are core courses required for B.A. degree students:

Core Requirements
Credit Hours
GEOL 110. Physical Geology
4
GEOL 167. History and Philosophy of the Geosciences
3
GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography
3
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth
4
GEOL 291. Geowriting and Communication
1
GEOL 320. Meteorology
3
GEOL 367. Genesis of Solid Earth Materials
4
GEOL 377. Earth Surface Processes
3
GEOL 467. Stratigraphy, Structure and Tectonics
4
GEOL 477. Contemporary Issues in the Geosciences
3
Choose one of the following:
3
     ASTR 220. General Astronomy I
     GEOL 272. Planetary Geology
Research Requirements
2-3
In addition to GEOL 291, choose from the following to complete the research requirement. Note: All majors must complete a minimum of two credits; Honors students must complete a minimum of three credits.
     GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research
     GEOL 494. Internship
     GEOL 497. Problems in Geology
     GEOL 499. Honors in Geology

 
33


The B.A. degree option requires that each student complete at least 16 hours of cognate science credit hours with at least one course from biology, physics and chemistry chosen from:

Cognate Science Area
Credit Hours
Biology  
BIO 114. Organisms
4
BIO 350. Invertebrate Paleontology
4
Chemistry
CHEM 131-131L. General Chemistry I
4
CHEM 132-132L. General Chemistry II
4
Physics
PHYS 140-140L. College Physics I
4
PHYS 150-150L. College Physics II or GEOL 440. Geophysics
3-4
The B.A. degree option requires that each student complete at least 6 credit hours of mathematics, including one of the following:
     MATH 205. Introductory Calculus I
3
     MATH 232. Calculus with Functions II
4
     MATH 235. Calculus I
4
Cognate science and mathematics
22-25

 
59-62

Recommended Minors for the Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science
The B.A. Earth science degree recommends (but does not require) that students complete a minor in a complimentary program (see list below), suitable toward the career goals of the student. Approved minors include:

Minor
Credit Hours
Astronomy
12 1
Biology
12-16 1
Chemistry
20 1
Economics
18
Environmental Information Systems
24
Environmental Management
19 1
Environmental Science
15 1
Environmental Studies
181
Humanitarian Affairs
18
Geographic Science
19
Management Science
18-19
Mathematics
14-18 1
Nonprofit Studies
19-21
Physics
14-22 1
Political Science
19
Public Policy and Administration
19
Science, Technology and Society
18
Secondary Education
22-24
Sociology
18
Statistics
15-16 1
Technical and Scientific Communication
18
Urban and Regional Studies
24
Writing and Rhetoric
18

1 Credit hours for courses in the minor that are already required courses for the BA Earth Science major have been subtracted from the total hours listed here.

Students may also propose a minor that is not list above to their adviser for approval.

Teaching Licensure
Students interested in becoming teachers must meet specific curriculum requirements in their major as part of the undergraduate academic degree. The B.A. in Earth science includes state course requirements in astronomy, meteorology and oceanography, to total no less than 32 hours in the Earth sciences (including geology) and a minimum of 16 hours total in physics, chemistry and biology.
In addition to the general education and academic major requirements, Earth science majors desiring secondary teacher licensure must be admitted to teacher education, complete the pre-professional
program in secondary education at the undergraduate level and complete the graduate level Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

It is critical that students seeking licensure consult regularly with both their education adviser and their major adviser to support their progression through the programs. For a full description of the program in secondary teaching, refer to the Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education, in addition to the College of Education section of the catalog.

B.S. Degree in Geology

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year
Credit Hours
CHEM 131-131L; 132-132L. General Chemistry I-II
8
GEOL 110. Physical Geology
4
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth
4
Choose one of the following:
6-8
     MATH 231-232. Calculus with Fucntions I-II (six credits)
     MATH 235-236. Calculus I-II (eight credits)
Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century
9-12

 
31-36

Second Year
Credit Hours
GEOL 280. Mineralogy
4
GEOL 364. Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis
4
GEOL 291. Geowriting and Communication
1
Geology elective
3
Choose one of the following:
8
     PHYS 140-140L; PHYS 150-150L. College Physics I-II with Laboratories
     PHYS 240-140L; PHYS 250-150L. University Physics I-II with Laboratories
General Education courses
11

 
31

Third Year
Credit Hours
GEOL 300. Introduction to Petrology
3
GEOL 365. Structural Geology
3
GEOL 399. Field Geology (May session)
6
Geology electives
8
General Education courses
9
Electives
3

 
32

Fourth Year
Credit Hours
Choose from the following:
2-6
GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research (3 credits)
GEOL 494. Internship (3 credits)
GEOL 497. Problems in Geology (3 credits)
GEOL 499. Honors in Geology (6 credits)
Electives
9-20

 
10-26

B.A. Degree in Earth Science

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year
Credit Hours
Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century
9-12
GEOL 110. Physical Geology
4
GEOL 167. History and Philosophy of the Geosciences
3
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth
4
MATH 205. Introductory Calculus I
3
CHEM 131-131L. General Chemistry I
4

 
27-30

Second Year
Credit Hours
GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography
3
GEOL 291. Geowriting and Communication
1
GEOL 320. Meteorology
3
GEOL 367. Genesis of Solid Earth Materials
4
GEOL 377. Earth Surface Processes
3
Foreign language courses 1
1-8
General Education courses
12

 
25-32

Third Year
Credit Hours
GEOL 467. Stratigraphy, Structure and Tectonics
4
Choose one of the following:
3
     ASTR 220. Astronomy
     GEOL 272. Planetary Geology
Cognate science and mathematics
9-12
General Education courses
9

 
25-28

Fourth Year
Credit Hours
GEOL 477. Contemporary Issues in the Geosciences
3
Cognate science
3-4
Choose one from the following:
2-3
     GEOL 491. Geological Research Literature
     GEOL 494. Internship
     GEOL 497. Problems in Geology
     GEOL 499. Honors in Geology
Geology electives
4-6
Electives
12-20

 
24-36

1 Foreign language at the intermediate level.

Minor Requirements

Geology Minor
The requirement for a minor in geology is a minimum of 18 credit hours of geology approved by the student's geology adviser.

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