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
Provide a stimulating, intellectual environment for students in geology and environmental science that will generate interest and enthusiasm for learning and will provide a solid foundation for graduate work and careers in geology and environmental science.

Teach science as science is practiced. Since the advancement of scientific knowledge often occurs within a social context – collaboration among scientists, conferences, seminars – the goal is to develop a similar mode of operation for the geology program.

Provide high-quality, relevant general studies courses within the discipline that focus on the fundamental science in the societal context (e.g., environmental change, climate change, hazards). These courses will incorporate critical thinking and an appreciation of human-environment interactions.

Career Opportunities

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
The department encourages majors and minors to participate in the student Geology Club, which sponsors field trips, 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 and minors 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 who want to take a wider range of geology elective courses and an environmental and engineering geology concentration designed for students who 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 ) 2 (3)
Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education) 2 (3-4)
Major requirements (listed below) 68-77
General Electives 2-11

  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
Choose one of the following: 3
GEOL 110. Physical Geology  
GGEOL 102. Environmental Earth  
GGEOL 115. Earth Systems and Climate Change  
GEOL 110L. Physical Geology Lab 1
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth 4
GEOL 280. Mineralogy 4
GEOL 291. Geowriting and Communication 1
GEOL 300. Introduction to Petrology 4
GEOL 364. Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis 4
GEOL 365. Structural Geology 4
GEOL 399. Field Geology 6
Research Requirements: 2-6
(In addition to GEOL 291, choose from the following to complete the research requirement. All majors must complete a minimum of two credits; Students conducting research with faculty should select GEOL 497; Honors students doing research with faculty must complete a minimum of six credits in GEOL 499. All students must give a formal presentation to fulfill this requirement.)  
GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research  
GEOL 494. Internship  
GEOL 497. Problems in Geology  
GEOL 499. Honors in Geology  

  33-37

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; CHEM 132-132L. General Chemistry I-II 8
MATH 235. Calculus I 4-8
or MATH 231-232. Calculus with Functions I-II  
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics 3-4
or MATH 236. Calculus-II  
Choose one of the following two sequences: 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  

  23-28

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.

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

General Geology Concentration

GEOL 220. Genetic Mineralogy
GEOL 340. Environmental Soil Science
GEOL 350. Paleobiology
GEOL 355. Geochemistry of Natural Waters
GEOL 377. Earth Surface Processes
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 400. Geology and Ecology of the Bahamas
GEOL 405. Vertebrate Paleontology
GEOL 410. Engineering Geology
GEOL 415. Geological Evolution of North America
GEOL 440. Geophysics
GEOL 442. Field Geophysics
GEOL 460. Geohydrology
GEOL 489. Quantitative Methods in Geology

Environmental and Engineering Geology Concentration

GEOL 340. Environmental Soil Science
GEOL 355. Geochemistry of Natural Waters
GEOL 377. Earth Surface Processes
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 440. Geophysics
GEOL 410. Engineering Geology
GEOL 442. Field Geophysics
GEOL 460. Geohydrology
GEOL 489. Quantitative Methods in Geology

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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 mathematics) 59-63
General Electives 0-17

  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
Choose one of the following: 3
GEOL 110. Physical Geology  
GGEOL 102. Environmental Earth  
GGEOL 115. Earth Systems and Climate Change  
GEOL 110L. Physical Geology Lab 1
GEOL 167. History and Philosophy of the Geosciences 3
GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography or 3
GEOL 401. Oceanography for Teachers  
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: 2-6
(In addition to GEOL 291, choose from the following to complete the research requirement. All majors must complete a minimum of two credits; Students conducting research with faculty should select GEOL 497; Honors students doing research with faculty must complete a minimum of six credits of GEOL 499. All students must give a formal presenation for fulfill this requirement.)  
GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research  
GEOL 494. Internship  
GEOL 497. Problems in Geology  
GEOL 499. Honors in Geology  

  37-41

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

  22

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
Business Analytics 18-19
Chemistry 20 1
Economics 18
Environmental Information Systems 24
Environmental Management 19 1
Environmental Science 15 1
Environmental Studies 18 1
Humanitarian Affairs 18
Geographic Science 19
Business Analytics 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
Urban and Regional Studies 24
Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication 18

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

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

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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 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 teaching 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.

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Recommended Schedule for Majors

B.S. Degree in Geology

First Year Credit Hours
CHEM 131-131L; CHEM 132-132L. General Chemistry I-II 8
GEOL 110. Physical Geology 3
and GEOL 110L. Physical Geology Lab 1
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth 4
Choose one of the following: 8
MATH 231-232. Calculus with Fucntions I-II (six credits)  
MATH 235-236. Calculus I-II (eight credits)  
General Education Courses 12

  36

Second Year Credit Hours
GEOL 280. Mineralogy 4
GEOL 291. Geowriting and Communication 1
GEOL 364. Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis 4
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 4
GEOL 365. Structural Geology 4
GEOL 399. Field Geology (summer session) 6
Geology electives 8
General Education courses 9
General Electives 3

  34

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

  11-26

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B.A. Degree in Earth Science

First Year Credit Hours
Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century 9-12
GEOL 110. Physical Geology 3
and GEOL 110L. Physical Geology Lab 1
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

  27-34

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: 2-6
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

  24-3

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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