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Department of Physics and Geosciences

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Courses in Geology (GEOL)

  • 1191 Freshman Research. This course is for those who have received a freshman research grant. This course fulfills the first semester of that research.
    Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

    1347 Meteorology (3-0). An introduction to atmospheric properties, phys­ical processes that govern weather and climate, and interactions between the atmosphere and the other components of the Earth system.

    1391 Freshman Research II. This course is for those who have received a freshman research grant. This course fulfills the second semester of that research.
    Prerequisites: Geology 1191 and instructor approval.

    1401/GEOL 1403 Physical Geology (3-2). Earth materials, structure, landforms, mineral resources, and the processes that form them. Includes plate tectonics and how humans are affected by Earth processes.

    1402/GEOL 1404 Historical Geology (3-2). Application of geological principles to interpret four billion years of Earth history recorded in rocks. Includes evolutionary changes and the use of fossils in time and space.

    3102 Field Methods in Geology and Hydrogeology (0-3). An introduction to techniques used by geologists and hydrogeologists in the field. Tools used include Brunton compass, aerial photographs, and hydrology equip­ment. Techniques will be applied to construct a geologic map during a re­quired field trip.
    Prerequisites: Geology 1401 or 1402, and Geology 3411.

    3302 Hydrology (3-0). A quantitative overview of the hydrologic cycle in­cluding both surface and groundwater hydrology. Topics to include surface water, aquifer properties, groundwater, modeling, human use and abuse of water resources, contamination, and extraction.
    Prerequisites: Geology 1401 or 1402 and Mathematics 1302.

    3303 Environmental Geology (3-0). This course emphasizes the complex physical relations between land, sea, atmosphere, and human activity. Top­ics include geologic hazards, land management, water resources, hazard­ous waste disposal, energy resources, mineral resources, conservation of resources, and ocean science.
    Prerequisites: Geology 1401 or 1402 and Mathematics 1302.

    3304 Geomorphology (3-0). Geomorphology is the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur on the surface of a planetary body. This course focuses on the origin, development and relationship of landforms created by fluvial, glacial, aeolian, and karst processes.
    Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.

    3310 Geochemistry (3-0). An introduction to the field of Geochemistry including topics of traditional rock Geochemistry, Aqueous Geochemistry, and Isotope Geochemistry using data collection and modeling techniques and scientific software.
    Prerequisites: Geology 1401, Chemistry 1411, 1412, and Mathemat­ics 2331.

    3371 Geomapping Fundamentals (3-0). An overview of geomapping concepts and terminology. Application of geomapping (GIS: Geographic Information Systems) software to analyze geological information. Topics include relational databases, spatial data analysis, and digital mapping. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Management Information Systems 3371).
    Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor.

    3400 Mineralogy and Petrology (3-3). Description, classification, and in­terpretation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Descriptions include tectonic setting, sedimentary environment, and pressure-tempera­ture conditions. Laboratory work consists of hand sample description, ex­amination of thin sections under a petrographic microscope, and field trips.
    Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.

    3411 Structural Geology (3-2). A study of ways rocks and continents deform by faulting and folding, methods of picturing geologic structures in three dimensions, and causes of deformation. Includes a weekend field trip project and an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS).
    Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.

    3600 Field Geology (0-12). A five or six week summer field course on geologic mapping techniques. Techniques emphasized: measuring strati­graphic sections, collecting and plotting fold and fault data, drafting geo­logic maps and cross-sections, and preparing reports.
    Prerequisites: Geology 3400, 3411.

    4181 Seminar in Geoscience (1-0). A course designed to introduce students to various geoscience topics and to encourage discussion and exchange of ideas amongst the geoscience majors and faculty. May be repeated once when topics vary.
    Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the instructor.

    4191, 4291, 4391 Research. Individual research problems for students seeking a minor in geology. May be repeated for a total of six semester credit hours.

    4300 Introduction to Geophysics (3-0). This course is an introduction to the geophysical methods used to explore the Earth’s subsurface with an emphasis on application. Topics include seismicity, ground penetrating radar, magnetics, gravity, and resistivity. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Physics 4300.)
    Prerequisites: Geology 1401 and Mathematics 2331.

    4303 Planetary Geology (3-0). A capstone study of terrestrial objects including planets, moons, and asteroids to describe and understand the past evolution and current dynamic state of planetary surfaces. Major top­ics include planetary evolution and differentiation, and surface morphology as an expression of internal dynamics, atmospheres, volcanic activity, and impact cratering.
    Prerequisites: Geology 1401 and Mathematics 2331.

    4304 Introduction to Volcanology (3-0). Introduction to the physical and chemical properties of magma, including magma generation, rise, storage, and eruptive mechanisms. Types of volcanoes, volcanic hazards, volcano monitoring, and the effect of volcanoes on climate change will also be dis­cussed. Prerequisites: Geology 1401 and Mathematics 2331.

    4402 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (3-3). This course focuses on sedimentary rocks and the stratigraphic record. Topics covered include the origin and classification of sediments and sedimentary rocks, sedimentary structures, diagenesis, and basin analysis. Students are introduced to the principles and practice of stratigraphy.
    Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or Geology 1402.