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Course Catalog

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Course List


GEOL 1135 GEOLOGICAL LABORATORY (0-2) Experiments and exercises related to geological principles and problems. Prerequisite: permission of department.

GEOL 1136 GEOLOGICAL LABORATORY II (0-2) Experiments and exercises related to geological principles and problems of earth history. Prerequisite: permission of department.

GEOL 1137 GEOLOGICAL LABORATORY III (0-2) Experiments and exercises related to geological principles and problems of environmental science. Prerequisite: permission of department.

GEOL 1415 METEORITES AND IMPACT CRATERS (1-0) An introduction to the geology of the solar system from the perspectives of earth science, and the fascinating world of meteorites, asteroids, comets, and impact craters. Special emphasis is on the meteorite evidence for our understanding of planetary formation, the age and origin of the earth, the role of near synchronous impacts and flood basalts in causing two of the largest mass extinctions in earth history. Weekly practicum with hands on examination of the solar system materials , including observations under polarizing light microscopy. Prerequisite: GEOL 1425

GEOL 1425 EARTH SYSTEMS (3-3) An integrated study of the earth, emphasizing interactions between plate tectonics, the atmosphere, the oceans, the biosphere, and human activity. Course material overlaps GEOL 1420, so credit will not be granted for both.

GEOL 1426 EARTH HISTORY (3-1) History of the earth and evolution of life emphasizing the co-evolution of the atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere.

GEOL 1430 GLOBAL WARMING (3-1) Global environmental challenges confronting humanity such as pollution, depletion of natural resources, ecosystem deterioration, food production, and population growth.

GEOL 1450 INTRODUCTION TO OCEANOGRAPHY (3-1) The study of ocean basins and their origin, ocean currents, waves and tides, properties of sea water, and marine ecosystems, emphasizing the role of the ocean in the Earth system. Discussion of weekly ocean news, and incorporation of web-delivered current oceanographic data into the course material. Formerly offered as GEOL 3301 and GEOL 3184 and GEOL 2412; credit will be granted only once.

GEOL 2404 GEOLOGIC HAZARDS (3-1) Processes producing earthquakes, floods, eruptions and landslides, and their effect on people.

GEOL 2406 NATURAL RESOURCES & SUSTAINABILITY (3-2) Energy, construction, agricultural, and hydrological resources are evaluated in terms of their production and use, including storage and disposal of waste. Emphasis is placed on the importance of preserving clean water, air and soils. The course will concentrate on what humans take from the Earth, the impacts it has on their environment, and what it takes to make the planet sustainable for human habitation.

GEOL 2410 PLANETARY GEOLOGY (3-1) The geology, history and landscapes of the terrestrial planets and satellites of the outer planets. Composition of the planets as a guide to the origin and evolution of the solar system.

GEOL 2414 THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH (3-1) This course will assess the impact on human health of: population growth and available resources; exposure to man-made harmful substances; and environmental degradation.

GEOL 2445 MINERALOGY (3-4) Lectures discuss the physical and chemical principles governing the properties and formation of minerals. There are three major divisions of the subject matter: (a) geometric and optical crystallography; (b) crystal chemistry and properties of minerals, and (c) occurrence, origins, and pressure-temperature stabilities of the major rock-forming minerals. Laboratories are devoted to exercises in crystallography, X-ray diffraction, optical mineralogy and hand-specimen mineral identification. Prerequisites: CHEM 1441 and MATH 1303 (or higher)

GEOL 2446 PETROLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY (3-3) Distribution, description, classification, plate-tectonic setting and origins of igneous and metamorphic rocks in the light of theoretical-experimental multicomponent phase equilibria studies; use of trace elements and radiogenic and stable isotopes as tracers in rock genesis; hand specimen and microscopic examinations of the major igneous-metamorphic rock types in the laboratory. Prerequisite: GEOL 2445.

GEOL 3100 GEOSCIENCE PROFESSIONAL ORIENTATION (1-0) Review of various careers in the Geosciences, and how to prepare a resume, network, and interview. Principles to follow for on-the-job success. Class will involve field trips and guest lectures. Prerequisite: none.

GEOL 3316 ASTROBIOLOGY (3-0) This is an interdisciplinary course between astrophysics, biology, and geology. Topics include properties of life, origin and evolution of life on Earth, mass extinctions, extremophiles, search for life in the Solar System, space missions, stellar habitable zones, SETI, Fermi paradox, Drake equation. Prerequisites: PHYS 1441, 1442, PHYS 2315 or 3315, and BIOL 3315, or permission by the instructor. Prerequisites for BIOL Majors: PHYS 1441, 1442 and BIOL 3315. Offered as BIOL 3316, GEOL 3316, and PHYS 3316; credit will be granted only once.

GEOL 3340 GEOLOGY FOR ENGINEERS (2-1) Introduction to geological materials and processes important to practice of civil engineering. Includes processes forming minerals and rocks; mechanics and deformation of rocks, weathering, erosion and soils; soil hazards, land subsidence and mass movements; groundwater hydrology, geochemistry and contamination; and rivers. Labs will include introduction to geologic materials and use of GIS software to store, analyze and display geologic and engineering data. Prerequisites: PHYS 1443 and CHEM 1465 or CHEM 1442.

GEOL 3387 FIELD GEOLOGY I. (4-4) Stratigraphic and structural mapping and analysis of data collected in the field. Taught for three weeks only in the summer session. Prerequisite: GEOL 2446, 3442, 3443. Special fee covers cost of transportation, room, and board while in the field.

GEOL 3388 FIELD GEOLOGY II (4-4) Mapping and analysis of igneous and metamorphic rock data as well as hydrologic, geochemical and mass wasting data collected in the field. Taught for three weeks after GEOL 3387 only in the Summer session. Prerequisite: GEOL 2446, 3442, 3443, and 3387. Special fee covers cost of transportation, room, and board while in the field.

GEOL 3441 PALEONTOLOGY (3-3) Biology, morphology, and taxonomy of fossil invertebrates. Prerequisite: GEOL 1426, BIOL 1442.

GEOL 3442 SEDIMENTOLOGY AND STRATIGRAPHY (3-3) An introduction to the description, origin, and historical interpretation of stratified rocks. Prerequisite: GEOL 2446 (or concurrent enrollment).

GEOL 3443 STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY (3-3) The genesis, classification, and description of structural features resulting from deformation of the earth's crust. Prerequisite: GEOL 2446 and PHYS 1441 or PHYS 1443.

GEOL 4189 RESEARCH IN GEOLOGY (1-0) Supervised undergraduate research in any one of the various fields of geology. May be repeated but will not meet the requirements of nine hours of 4000 courses as listed in the requirements for a B.S. degree in geology. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor

GEOL 4190 GEOSCIENCE INTERNSHIP (0-1) Work in geoscience for a commercial concern at least 20 hours per week for three months. Requirements include: writing a resume, learning how to interview and function on the job, and a report describing the work. Prerequisite: 16 hours of geology.

GEOL 4289 RESEARCH IN GEOLOGY (2-0) Supervised undergraduate research in any one of the various fields of geology. May be repeated but will not meet the requirement of nine hours of 4000 courses as listed above. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

GEOL 4301 MARINE GEOLOGY & GEOCHEMISTY (3-0) Geologic and geochemical processes of the oceans. Chemistry of seawater; geochemical and biogeochemical cycles; carbonate sediment production. Prerequisite: CHEM 1441 and CHEM 1442.

GEOL 4302 PLATE TECTONICS (3-0) Understanding our dynamic Earth through the study of seafloor spreading, subduction and continental collision. This course will examine the geophysical evidence for plate tectonics: magnetism, gravity, and heat flow; and will review the history of plate motions and their effect on climate, evolution, and the formation of natural resources. Prerequisite: GEOL 3443.

GEOL 4304 SOLID EARTH GEOMECHANICS (3-0) Application of continuum mechanics to understanding deformation in the earth, including mechanical analysis of natural geologic structures such as faults, folds, lava flows, and dikes, as well as practical problems related to reservoir geomechanics and mining applications. Prerequisites: GEOL 3443, MATH 2325 and PHYS 1444

GEOL 4305 SELECTED TOPICS IN GEOLOGY (3-0) Geological topics not treated in the regular curriculum. Topic, format, and prerequisites to be determined by the instructor. May be repeated for geology elective credit as different topics are offered.

GEOL 4307 SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY (3-0) This course introduces sequence stratigraphy within context of all stratigraphy and history of sequence stratigraphy. Includes overview of sequence stratigraphy principles. Review of basic fundamental concepts of surface- and facies-based physical stratigraphy. Review of architectural element analysis, sequence stratigraphic in seismic, borehole expression of sequences and overview of subsurface stratigraphic techniques.

GEOL 4308 ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY (3-0) The geochemistry of natural waters with emphasis on processes that control solute concentrations including complexation reactions, oxidation and reduction reactions, biogeochemistry, and chemical weathering reactions. Prerequisites: GEOL 2445 and CHEM 1441.

GEOL 4309 INTRODUCTION TO GEOPHYSICS (3-0) Introduction to the fundamental physical principles, theory, and techniques of geophysics. Topics include gravity and magnetic fields, heat-flow, earthquakes and elastic wave propagation, and geodesy. Emphasis will be on how geophysical data are used to constrain plate tectonic processes as well as the internal structure and dynamics of the solid Earth. Prerequisites: GEOL 3443; MATH 2425.

GEOL 4320 HYDROGEOLOGY (3-0) Hydrologic cycle, Darcy's law, hydraulic properties, aquifer types and materials, groundwater flow to wells, fracture flow, vadose zone flow, groundwater chemistry, and groundwater modeling. Prerequisite: PHYS 1441 or PHYS 1443.

GEOL 4322 CONTAMINANT HYDROGEOLOGY (3-0) Sources and types of organic and inorganic contaminants; the physical, chemical, and biological factors and processes that affect the transport and fate of contaminants in the subsurface; non-aqueous phase liquids and multiphase flow; and various remedial techniques of contaminated sites. Prerequisite: GEOL 4320 (or concurrent enrollment).

GEOL 4325 PALEOCLIMATE & CLIMATE CHANGE (3-0) Climate change throughout geologic time, especially the last 100 million years: models of the climate system, reconstruction and modeling of past climates, abrupt climate change, warm climates, paleoclimatology, climate change and mass extinctions. Prequisite: GEOL 1425, MATH 1426, and junior standing or permission of instructor.

GEOL 4330 UNDERSTANDING GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (2-1) A practical introduction to GIS and methods of creating, maintaining and displaying spatial data using the ArcGIS software. This course replaces GEOL 4352; credit will not be granted for both. Prerequisite: junior standing.

GEOL 4331 ANALYSIS OF SPATIAL DATA (2-1) Analyzing spatial data using ArcGIS, Spatial Analyst, and 3-D Analyst, topological surface analysis and modeling; 3-D visualization and viewscapes; spatial statistics and data quality management. Prerequisite: GEOL 4330.

GEOL 4332 GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (2-1) Review of the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System and its segments: space, operational control, and GPS receivers. Mechanics of the satellite constellation; GPS signal structure; datums and coordinate systems; precision and accuracy; error factors; absolute (point) versus relative (differential) positioning. Various positioning techniques using several types of GPS receivers; field data collection and input into GIS programs for data analysis and presentation. Prerequisite: GEOL 4330.

GEOL 4333 REMOTE SENSING FUNDAMENTALS (2-1) The electromagnetic spectrum and the interaction of EM waves with matter; various types of sensing devices; spectral and spatial resolution parameters; airborne and satellite sensor platforms; aerial photographs and false-color images. The sequence of data acquisition, computer processing, and interpretation; sources of data; the integration of remote sending data with other data types in GIS. Prerequisite: GEOL 4330.

GEOL 4334 GEOGRAPHIC DATA ANALYSIS (3-0) Acquisition, processing and analysis of a set of spatial data selected by the student with approval of the instructor. A written report of the results is required. Prerequisite: GEOL 4330, 4331, 4333.

GEOL 4342 MICROFOSSILS & THE CORRELATION OF SEDIMENTARY ROCKS (3-0) This course is an introduction to microfossil groups useful in the regional and global correlation of sedimentary rock strata throughout the Phanerozoic. Microfossils record plant, animal, and protist life forms including foraminifers, radiolarians, ostracodes, conodonts, algae and coccolithophorids. Morphology, taxonomy and biostratigraphy of these groups will be stressed along with the principles used in the correlation of sedimentary rocks.

GEOL 4346 BASIN ANALYSIS (3-0) Formation of sedimentary basins and evaluation of their economic potential in context of plate tectonics; paleogeography and paleoclimatology. Prerequisite: GEOL 3442, 3443.

GEOL 4350 STABLE ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY (3-0) Principles governing the fractionation and distribution of stable isotopes (C, H, N, O, S) in nature, and application of stable isotope geochemistry to environmental problems and global climate change. Prerequisite: CHEM 1442.

GEOL 4352 ANALYTICAL METHODS IN GEOCHEMISTRY (3-0) Principles of geochemical analysis of waters, rocks and soils, and gases. Methods to be covered include x-ray fluorescence and diffraction, mass spectrometry, coulometry, inductively-coupled plasma, and gas/ion chromatography with various detection methods. Prerequisite: CHEM 1442.

GEOL 4353 VOLCANOLOGY (2-3) A broad survey of volcanic rocks, landforms, products, minerals, volatiles, and processes at a generally descriptive to semi-quantitative level. Introduces areas of interface with other branches of geology and with socioeconomic interest. Prerequisite: GEOL 2446.

GEOL 4360 GEOLOGICAL PROCESSES OF OCEANS (3-0) Sedimentation in the oceans, chemistry of seawater, geochemical cycles in the oceans, and physical and biological processes that relate to sediment production, origin of seafloor topography, and seafloor spreading. Prerequisite: GEOL 3442.

GEOL 4393 HONORS THESIS/SENIOR PROJECT (0-0) Required of all students in the University Honors College. During the senior year, the student must complete a thesis or project under the direction of a faculty member in the major department.

GEOL 4402 COMPUTER MODELING IN EARTH SCIENCE (3-3) An introduction to basic programming and computation in the earth sciences using MatlabĀ®, with emphasis on development of univariate and bivariate statistical models, spatial and image analysis, time series analysis, and the development of basic deterministic physics-based models of geological processes. Prerequisite: MATH 2425

GEOL 4405 METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY (3-3) A quantitative approach to the study of the structure, energy, and motions of the atmosphere. Prerequisite: MATH 1426 and junior standing, or permission of instructor.

GEOL 4408 ENV GEOCHM/PHY (3-3)

GEOL 4443 SEDIMENTOLOGY (3-1) Analysis of sedimentary rocks. Focus on petrography, sedimentary structures, their interpretation, and recognition of sedimentary facies. Covers physical, chemical, and biological processes of sedimentation, as well as origin of sediments.

GEOL 4465 PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY (3-3) Oceanographic instrumentation and measurement; physical properties of sea water; heat and salt budgets; thermal distribution; wind-driven and thermohaline circulation; mass of the world's oceans; waves and tides. Prerequisites: MATH 1426; PHYSICS 1443.

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