Geology Course Descriptions
Studies forces, processes, and events which have shaped our physical environment. Laboratory and field trips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Offers course credit to freshman or sophomore students interested in geology, earth science, and/or geoscience who would like to obtain some research experience.
Deals with the physical properties of minerals. The course includes descriptive crystallography, optical mineralogy, and x-ray methods. Laboratory. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Studies igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and their genesis. Laboratory. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or 110, 301.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A part of the capstone for the geology major. Students complete an intensive study of a selected problem in geology.