Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences


Undergraduate Courses

See Also: Complete Course Listing

101

The Dynamic Earth (4)

Physical processes within and upon the Earths surface, including the formation of rocks, plate tectonics and earthquakes, and landscapes. Must be taken in sequence. 3 lecture hours and one 2-hour lab or field period.

102

Earth, Life, and Time (4)

Fossils, evolution and ancient environments, plus a review of 4.5 billion years of Earth history. Must be taken in sequence. 3 lecture hours and one 2-hour lab or field period.

103

The Earth's Environments (4)

Contemporary problems and solutions related to human disturbance of the environment: topics include: global climate change, pollution, resource depletion. 3 lecture hours and one 2 hour lab or field period. Fulfills laboratory science sequence requirement for College of Arts and Sciences.

104

Exploring the Planets (4)

Spacecraft investigation of the geology and geological processes operating on and within planetary bodies, as well as satellites, asteroids, and comets. Topics include planetary formation processes, composition of the planets and their atmospheres, formation of moons and other small bodies, geologic processes (tectonics, volcanism, water- and wind-driven processes, climate evolution, impact cratering) that affect planetary surfaces, and the spacecraft missions that have provided data for geologic interpretation. Contact Hour Distribution:  3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab

107

Honors: The Dynamic Earth (4)

Laboratory and field emphasis to understanding physical processes, including the formation of rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and landscapes. 3 lecture hours, 1 2-hour lab, and 2 field trips. Consult current College of Arts and Sciences guidelines. Students may not receive credit for both Geology 101 and 107.

108

Honors: Earth, Life, and Time (4)

Laboratory and field emphasis to understanding fossils, evolution, and ancient environments throughout 4.5 billion years of Earth history. 3 lecture hours, 1 2-hour lab, and 2 field trips. Prereq: Grade of B or better in Geology 107, grade of A in Geology 101, or permission of the instructor. Students may not receive credit for both Geology 102 and 108.

201

Biodiversity: Past, Present, and Future (3)

Introduction to how biodiversity has changed through time, especially past mass extinctions and current extinctions from human activities. Topics include measurement of biodiversity, how biodiversity originates, and the dynamics of extinction. May not be applied toward the Geology major.

202

Earth as an Ecosystem: Modern Problems and Solutions (3)

Study of the Earth as an integrated system between physical and biological processes. Focus is on human disturbances such as habitat destruction and pollution. No prerequisite.

203

Geology of National Parks (3)

Geologic principles, processes, and Earth materials responsible for the spectacular landscapes of national parks. Focus on interactions among internal Earth processes, surficial Earth processes, and human interactions. 3 lecture hours, plus an optional field trip. Writing emphasis course. May not be applied toward the Geology major.

205

Age of Dinosaurs (3)

Survey of the major groups of dinosaurs: skeletal structure, ecology, environments, evolutionary history, and extinction. May not be applied toward the Geology major.

206

Sustainability: Reducing our Impact on Planet Earth (3)

An introduction to the field of “sustainable living,” which emphasizes reducing the environmental footprint of individuals and cultures. Topics include: environmental footprints, green living, green consumerism, ethical consumption, voluntary simplicity, green technologies and other ways for people to reduce their environmental impact.

207

Honors Age of the Dinosaurs (4)

Students in this course will attend the lectures of Geology 205 and complete all assignments for that class. In addition, the students will participate in a field trip, hands-on exercises, and discussion sessions with the instructor. (NS) Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hour discussion and 1 field trip. Credit Restriction: Students may not receive credit for both 207 and 205.

208

Honors Earth as an Ecosystem: Modern Problems and Solutions (4)

Students in this course will attend the lectures of Geology 202 and complete all assignments for that class. In addition, students will participate in field trips, site sampling, and research discussions with the instructor. (NS) Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hour discussion and 2 field trips. Credit Restriction: Students may not receive credit for both 208 and 202.

310

Mineralogy (4)

Introduction to the concepts of crystal chemistry, x-ray diffraction, optical mineralogy, and geochemical analysis of the important rock-forming minerals. Laboratory includes hand-specimen, x-ray diffraction, and microscopic identification of minerals. Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. (RE) Prerequisite(s): Chemistry 120. (DE) Corequisite(s): Chemistry 130. Recommended Background: Two 100-level geology courses.

320

Paleobiology (4)

Critical analysis of the preserved record of ancient life, with emphases on recognition of evolutionary patterns, processes, and extinctions. Interpretation of ancient environments and the integrated use of fossils and other geological features in solving problems of geologic correlation and age dating. Statistical and qualitative approaches applied to field and laboratory data. Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. Recommended Background: Two 100-level geology courses.

330

Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (4)

Study of the properties of crystalline rocks, the processes that produce them, and the tectonic envi- ronments in which they form. Topics include interpretation of rock textures, phase diagrams, geochemical and isotopic compositions, magma generation and differentiation, effects of temperature, pressure, and fluids on mineral equilibria and kinetics. Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. (RE) Prerequisite(s): 310.

340

Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (4)

Earth surface processes applied to interpretation of the stratigraphic record — weathering and soil formation, the hydrologic cycle, physical sediment transport, biological and chemical sedimentation, and sediment diagenesis. Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. Recommended Background: Two 100-level geology courses or consent of instructor.

370

Earth Structure and Geophysics (4)

Stress and strain. Mechanics and recognition of geologic structures ― faults, joints, folds, foliations, lineations, microstructures. Introductory plate tectonics and introductory earthquake and reflection seismology. Laboratory ― geologic map interpretation, cross-section construction, fabric diagrams, fault-plane solutions, strain analysis, and seismic interpretation. Field work includes field observation and measurement, recording data, and regional geology. Contact Hour Distribution:  3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. (RE) Prerequisite(s):  Mathematics 142. Recommended Background:  310, 330, 340, and Physics 135 or consent of instructor.

380

Planetary Geoscience (4)

Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical systems and processes at planetary scales. Topics include accretion, differentiation, outgassing, seismology, magnetism, geochronology, remote sensing, processes modifying surface morphology and materials, geochemical cycles, and planetary exploration. Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. (RE) Prerequisite(s): 330 and 370.

425

Data Analysis for Geoscientists (3)

An overview of sampling schemes, data analysis, and statistical methods as applicable to earth sciences.Recommended Background:  Introductory geology and introductory calculus, or consent of instructor.

440

Field Geology (5)

Summer field course for advanced undergraduate geology majors and first-year graduate students in geology. Taught off-campus and requires the full time of the student. The course pro- vides a synthesis of the major aspects of the geological sciences in a societal context. Field techniques demonstrated, practiced, and applied to the solution of geologic problems. Recommended Background: At least 16 hours from 310, 320, 330, 340, 370. Registration Permission: Consent of instructor.

450

Process Geomorphology (3)

Integrative approach to the development of the surface of the Earth based upon case histories, maps, remote sensing imagery. (Same as Geography 450.) Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hours lecture and one 2-hour lab. Recommended Background: Two 100-level or 200-level geology courses or con- sent of instructor.

451

Planetary Geomorphology (3)

A survey of planetary processes and geomorphology. Important planetary processes, including impact cratering, volcanogenic, fluvial, Aeolian, glacial/periglacial, coastal, and tectonic processes will be evaluated in terms of their physical effect on planetary surfaces and their resultant geomorphic expression. Course will include instruction and utilization of GIS.  Recommended Background:  Introductory geology or consent of instructor.

455

Basic Environmental Geology (3)

Applications of the geological sciences toward a comprehension of the effects of geological processes on humans and the effects of human activities on the Earth’s environ- ments. Recommended Background: Two 100-level or 200-level geology courses or con- sent of instructor.

456

Global Climate Change (3)

Examines natural and anthropogenic changes in global climate systems. Topics include biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases and the water cycle, including water resources and pollutants and changes in the biosphere (extinctions) as both cause and effects of physical global changes. Historical (baseline) dynamics are compared to current changes in order to predict human impacts and suggest technical and policy solutions. Recommended Background:  Introductory geology or consent of instructor.

459

Introduction to Oceanography (3)

Principles of oceanography, including physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes and patterns. Emphasis on the physical, chemical, and geologic structure of the oceans and their role in oceanic circulation, global climate change, and the biogeochemical evolution of the oceans through geologic time.  Recommended Background:  Introductory geology or consent of instructor.

460

Principles of Geochemistry (4)

Applications of chemical principles to geologic systems with emphasis on problem-solving techniques. Topics include phase diagrams, partitioning of trace elements, thermody- namic principles for evaluating stabilities of mineral assemblages, aque- ous solutions, and applications of radiogenic and stable isotopes to geologic systems. Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and one 2-hour tutorial. (RE) Prerequisite(s): Chemistry 130 and Mathematics 142. Recommended Background: 330.

470

Applied Geophysics (3)

Basic principles of data collection, processing, and analysis for several common geophysical techniques will be pre- sented through lectures, computer assignments (labs), and field work. Passive (earthquake) and active (reflection and refraction) seismology, potential fields (gravity and magnetics), heat flow, electromagnetics (including ground penetrating radar), and electrical techniques will be covered. Contact Hour Distribution: One 3-hour meeting per week consisting of lecture, computer lab, or field work. One optional day or weekend field trip will be scheduled. (RE) Prerequisite(s): Mathematics 141 and Physics 135. Recommended Background: 8 hours from 330, 340, or 370 or consent of instructor.

473

Principles of Near-Surface Geophysics (3)

Basics of several standard near-surface geophysics techniques (for example, seismic reflec- tion, seismic refraction, surface wave and GPR, electrical resistivity, mag- netics, and EM), using state-of-the-art field equipment to develop the skills necessary to process and interpret data. Includes a significant field component. Recommended Background: Introductory calculus.

485

Principles of Hydrogeology (3)

Physical principles of flow, flow equations, geologic controls, aquifer analysis, water well design/testing, and introduction to transport processes. (Same as Civil Engineering 485.) Recommended Background: Introductory calculus, physics, and geology.

490

Special Problems in Geology (1-3)

Directed study or special topics. Prereq: Consent of instructor. May be repeated. Maximum 6 hours.

491

Foreign Study (1-12)

May be repeated. Only a maximum of 3 hours can be applied to major. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

492

Off-campus Study (1-12)

May be repeated. Only a maximum of 3 hours can be applied to major. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

493

Independent Study (1-12)

May be repeated. Only a maximum of 3 hours can be applied to major. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

497

Honors: Senior Thesis (3)

Student- or instructor-initiated independent study resulting in completion of an approved senior thesis. Credit Restriction: Applies only to honors geology concentration or Chancellor’s Honors. Registration Permission: Consent of instructor.



 

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