Geology

Geology Course Descriptions

GEOL 101 Introduction to Geology
Credit Hours:
4

Studies forces, processes, and events which have shaped our physical environment. Laboratory and field trips.

GEOL 104 Earth History
Credit Hours:
4

Studies the methods and principles employed in deciphering the geologic history of the earth and the development of life. Emphasis is upon the geological evolution of the North American continent and the main features of the fossil record. Laboratory and field trips. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or 110.

GEOL 105 Geohazards
Credit Hours:
3

An overview of the geological and human factors that contribute to natural disasters, including the role of plate tectonics in driving earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity; the atmospheric and hydrological cycles and their role in weather and climate related disasters; and anthropogenic impact of human civilization on Earth processes and the potential effects on health, safety and property.

GEOL 110 Environmental Geology
Credit Hours:
4

Focuses on the interaction between humans and the geologic environment. Geologic phenomena, such as flooding, volcanoes, earthquakes, shoreline erosion, and soil erosion are examined. Environmental problems to be discussed include groundwater pollution, geologic constraints on sewage and solid waste disposal, resource utilization, acid rain, and the greenhouse effect. Students gain a strong understanding of how geology influences many of these environmental problems. Laboratory and field trips.

GEOL 200 Oceanography
Credit Hours:
3

A broad study of the marine environment which emphasizes the interrelationships of living and non-living systems. Current concepts of ocean evolution are analyzed with respect to their physical, chemical, and biological importance. Laboratory and field trips.

GEOL 220 Landform Evolution
Credit Hours:
3

A comprehensive analysis of geological processes operating at or near the earth’s surface. Topics include weathering, soil development, mass wasting and fluvial, glacial, eolian, and coastal erosion and deposition. Geomorphic systems are viewed primarily from a process-response perspective. Laboratory and field trips.

GEOL 230 Introduction to Well Logging
Credit Hours:
3

Focuses on understanding the different types of well logs, their purpose, and limitations. Case studies allow students to gain practical experience in well log interpretation and correlation.

GEOL 295 Research Experience
Credit Hours:
1-3

Offers course credit to freshman or sophomore students interested in geology, earth science, and/or geoscience who would like to obtain some research experience.

GEOL 301 Mineralogy
Credit Hours:
4

Deals with the physical properties of minerals. The course includes descriptive crystallography, optical mineralogy, and x-ray methods. Laboratory. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

GEOL 302 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Credit Hours:
3

Studies igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and their genesis. Laboratory. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or 110, 301.

GEOL 303 Sedimentary Petrology
Credit Hours:
3

A study of the petrology and petrography of sedimentary rocks. Emphasis is upon recognition, classification and interpretation of sediments via field methods and optical petrography. Laboratory and field trips. (2 CEUs)

GEOL 311 Paleontology
Credit Hours:
3

Encompasses the taxonomy, morphology and recognition of stratigraphically-significant invertebrate fossils. Biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and the evolutionary history of organisms as viewed from the standpoint of the fossil record are also included. Micropaleontology, vertebrate paleontology, and paleobotany are introduced. Laboratory and field trips. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

GEOL 313 Structural Geology
Credit Hours:
3

Deals with the mechanical principles of rock deformation and the resulting development of folds, faults, joints, and other tectonic features. The related causes and mechanisms of mountain building are also discussed, along with continental drift, sea floor spreading, and plate tectonics. Laboratory and field trips. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or 110, 104.

GEOL 322 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Credit Hours:
3

Studies the principles that govern the distribution and variability of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Emphasis is upon interpretation of source, mode of transport, and environment of deposition of sedimentary sequences by analysis of vertical and lateral variations in texture, composition, sedimentary structures, and geometry of sedimentary rock bodies. Laboratory and field trips. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or 110, 104.

GEOL 350 Petroleum Geology
Credit Hours:
3

Focuses on the specific aspects of petroleum geology, such as petroleum migration, seismic exploration and production geology, that are not covered in more general geology courses

GEOL 395 Topics in Geology
Credit Hours:
1-4

Provides the opportunity to pursue advanced studies in subjects not offered as formal courses. The department offers such studies in the areas of geomorphology, geochemistry, and other topics.

GEOL 410 Subsurface Geology
Credit Hours:
3

Focuses on the major techniques used by exploration and production geologists to determine the nature of stratigraphic and structural variations in the subsurface. This course also incorporates computer techniques including Geographic Information Systems in the study of subsurface geology.

GEOL 495 Literature Seminar
Credit Hours:
2

A part of the capstone for the geology major. Students develop arguments, lead discussions, and make oral presentations about current research in the geological sciences.

GEOL 496 Senior Research
Credit Hours:
3

A part of the capstone for the geology major. Students complete an intensive study of a selected problem in geology.

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