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Department of the Earth Sciences

317 Lennon Hall
(585) 395-2636, FAX (585) 395-2416

Chair and Associate Professor: Mark R. Noll, PhD, University of Delaware; Associate Dean of Letters and Sciences and Associate Professor: Jose A. Maliekal, PhD, University of Hawaii; Professor: Judy A. Massare, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University; Associate Professors: Whitney J. Autin, PhD, Louisiana State University; Scott M. Rochette, PhD, St. Louis University; Robert Weinbeck, PhD, Iowa State University; James A. Zollweg, PhD, Cornell University; Assistant Professors: L. Gustavo Pereira, PhD, Colorado State University; Paul L. Richards, PhD, The Pennsylvania State University.

Directly or indirectly, beneficially or adversely, humanity affects and is affected by the physical processes occurring within the earth system, which encompasses the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that sustains us. The sphere of knowledge known as the earth sciences includes the study of all physical aspects of the earth system, including how its composition, properties, resources and processes change over time. By applying physical, chemical, mathematical and biological principles, earth scientists strive to enhance the understanding of the earth system so that humanity is better prepared to properly use its resources, and anticipate, detect, and mitigate the adverse impacts of its processes.

Students who major in geology, meteorology or water resources focus their study on the geologic, atmospheric, or hydrologic components of the earth's environment. They also study the interrelationships between these environments, enabling them to expand the breadth of their expertise. In contrast, students who major in earth science acquire a broadly based and integrated understanding of the knowledge and methodologies of geology, meteorology, and hydrology. Regardless of the academic major, the departmental curricula render science accessible, relevant, and meaningful to students. Students are also afforded the opportunity to explore and discover the processes and interactions occurring within the earth system through research with faculty assistance.

Academic majors: earth science, geology, meteorology and water resources.

Academic minors: earth science, geology, meteorology, water resources, and interdisciplinary communication meteorology.

Major in Geology

Geology majors must earn a minimum of 42 credits in required core courses and complete two semesters each of physics, calculus and chemistry. This major offers sound training in the study of the earth and its resources, and equips the student for graduate studies in geochemistry, petroleum exploration, paleontology, hydrogeology, ground water, environmental geology, or sedimentology/stratigraphy. It also provides a strong background in geology for those who seek employment at the bachelor's level, e.g., as a laboratory or environmental technician, in regulatory agencies, and as field geologists.

Course Code Course Number Course Name Credits
Required Core:
GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology 4
GEL 302 Historical Geology 4
GEL 306 Paleontology 4
GEL 312 Mineral Science 4
GEL 408 Structural Geology 4
GEL 411 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology 4
ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences 3
ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences 1
ESC 493 Seminar on Earth Science Problems 2
  Designated electives by advisement 12
Total: 42
Designated Electives: Credits
GEL 415 Geomorphology 4
GEL 457 Geochemistry 4
GEL 462 Groundwater 4
ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science 3
Required Corequisite Courses: Credits
CHM 205-206 College Chemistry I and II with Lab 8
MTH 201-201 Calculus I and II 6
PHS 201-202 College Physics I and II with Lab 8
Total: 22

Note: ESC and GEL courses other than the designated electives may NOT be taken as credit toward the geology major without written departmental approval. To make normal progress toward the degree, GEL 201 and 302, and ESC 350 and 391, physics, calculus and college chemistry should be completed before entering the junior year. ESC 493 should be taken in the senior year. Most required courses are taught once every two years.

A career as a professional geologist requires knowledge of all the natural sciences. Students who intend to pursue graduate studies should consider a minor in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or biology, depending on their specific field of interest within geology. Recommended supporting courses include:

Course Code Course Number Course Name
ESC 200 Introduction to Oceanography
ESC 230 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
ESC 351 Lab Experiences in Scientific Programming
ESC 412 Hydrology
ESC 418 Watershed Science
ESC 431 Environmental Applications of GIS
CHM 303 Analytic Chemistry
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
BIO 436 Water Quality Analysis
BIO 419 Limnology
MTH 203 Calculus III

Minor in Geology

Eighteen credits are required and must include GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology, and GEL 302 Historical Geology, and other courses as advised.

Major in Meteorology

Meteorology majors must earn a minimum of 41 credits in required core courses, complete one year of college-level physics with lab, two semesters of calculus, differential equations and chemistry. Additional supporting work in the sciences and mathematics is strongly recommended.

This major prepares students for careers in weather forecasting, atmospheric research, environmental consulting and air quality management. The strong physical science orientation of the program allows students to compete in related fields, such as environmental and computer science, hydrology and alternative energy utilization. The major meets the federal guidelines for meteorologists, enabling graduates to begin careers in federal, state and private employment.

Required Core Courses: Credits
Introduction to Meteorology
Synoptic Meteorology
Weather Forecasting
Writing in the Earth Sciences
Computational Methods in the Field Sciences
Laboratory Experience in Scientific Programming
Hydrology with Laboratory
Environmental Climatology and Lab
Physical Meteorology
Thermodynamics and the Boundary Layer
Dynamic Meteorology
Atmospheric Sensing Methods
Seminar on Earth Science Problems
Designated electives by advisement
Designated Electives:
Introduction to Oceanography
Air Pollution Meteorology
Hydrology with Laboratory
Environmental Climatology
Climatology Lab
Tropical Meteorology
Mesoscale Meteorology
Meteorology Internship
Weather Briefing
Independent Study
Required Corequisite Courses:
Calculus I, II
Differential Equations
College Physics I, II
Chemistry I
ESC 350 and 391 should be taken by the end of the sophomore year.
ESC 493 should be taken in the senior year.
Be aware that most required courses are offered once every two years.

Additional mathematics, computer science, or science courses are recommended, depending on individual goals. In some cases, these may be applied toward the major with written departmental approval. Recommended supporting courses, outside of meteorology, include:

CHM 206 College Chemistry II
CSC 203 Fundamentals of Computer Science I
CSC 205 Fundamentals of Computer Science II
MTH 203 Calculus III
MTH 281 Discrete Mathematics I
MTH 346 Probability and Statistics I
MTH 456 Advanced Differential Equations
MTH 471 Numerical Analysis
PHS 300 Classical Physics
PHS 301 Mathematical Methods of Physics
PHS 302 Dynamical Systems

Minor in Meteorology

Eighteen credits are required, to be selected from the ESC courses required for the meteorology major; includes ESC 211 (or its equivalent) and 311.

Minor in Communication Meteorology

Information on the interdisciplinary communication meteorology minor is found following the communication course descriptions.

Major in Water Resources

Water resources majors must earn a minimum of 43 credits in required core courses. Additional requirements are two semesters each of calculus, college chemistry with lab, and college physics with lab.

This major prepares students for careers in hydrology, resource management, and pollution control; the course of study includes most courses recommended for federal employment as a hydrologist. The major is offered to meet the growing demand for hydrologists and other water resources professionals by federal, state and local government agencies; private sector environ-mental and consulting firms; and industrial and educational institutions.

Required Core Courses: Credits
ESC 211 Introduction to Meteorology 4
ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences 3
ESC 351 Laboratory Experience in Scientific Programming 1
ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences 1
ESC 412 Hydrology 4
ESC 418 Watershed Sciences 3
ESC 493 Seminar in Earth Science Problems 2
GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology 4
GEL 462 Groundwater 4
Designated electives by advisement 17
Total: 43
Designated Electives: Credits
ESC 313 Environmental Climatology 3
ESC 325 Wetlands Systems 3
ESC 431 Environmental Applications of GIS 3
ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science 3
GEL 312 Mineral Science 4
GEL 363 Environmental Geology 3
GEL 411 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology 4
GEL 415 Geomorphology 4
GEL 457 Geochemistry 4
BIO 419 Limnology 3
BIO 436 Water Quality Analysis 4
Required Corequisite Courses:
MTH 201-202 Calculus I, II 6
CHM 205-206 Chemistry I, II 8
PHS 201-202 College Physics I, II 8
Total: 22
ESC 350, ESC 391, physics, calculus and college chemistry, should be taken by the end of the sophomore year.
ESC 493 should be taken in the senior year.

The study of hydrology and water resources depends strongly on skills and knowledge from physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, mathematics and computer science. A professional career in water resources is supported by additional course work in these disciplines. Recommended supporting courses outside of water resources include:

Course Code Course Number Course Name
BIO 303 Ecology
BIO 422 Pollution Biology
CHM 303 Analytical Chemistry I
CHM 305-306 Organic Chemistry I and II
ESC 200 Introduction to Oceanography
ESC 311 Synoptic Meteorology
ESC 420 Atmospheric Sensing Methods
ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science
GEL 343 Environmental Geology
MTH 455 Differential Equations
PLS 466 Environmental Politics

Minor in Water Resources

Nineteen credits are required and must include ESC 211, ESC 412, ESC 418 and GEL 201. Select one elective course from the following: GEL 462, GEL 457 or GEL 415.

Major in Earth Science

Earth science majors must earn a minimum of 32 core and elective credits and an additional 19 credits in related lab sciences and mathematics. The core and elective courses that constitute the curriculum of this interdisciplinary major embody the knowledge base and methodologies of geology (solid earth and its resources), meteorology (the atmosphere and its movement), and hydrology (water and its cycling through the environment). As such, this major offers a flexible and broadly based program of study that is well suited for students who are preparing for school teaching (elementary or secondary) or planning for a career in environmental regulation, resource management or park service. By supplementing the major-related course work with additional electives, or an appropriate minor, a student may structure her/his study toward a special interest area, such as journalism, technical writing business, or graduate study in geography, resource management, urban planning, or museum science.

Required Core (17 Credits): Credits
GEL Introduction to Physical Geology 4
ESC Introduction to Oceanography 3
ESC Introduction to Meteorology 4
ESC Computational Methods in the Field Sciences 3
ESC Writing in the Earth Sciences 1
ESC Seminar in Earth Science Problems 2
Geology Elective (choose one of the following)1: 3-4
GEL Historical Geology (4)
GEL Mineral Science (4)
GEL Environmental Geology (3)
Meteorology Elective (choose one of the following)1: 3-4
ESC Environmental Climatology (3)
ESC Atmospheric Sensing Methods (3)
ESC Air Pollution (3)
Water Resources Elective (choose one of the following)1: 3-4
ESC Wetland Systems (3)
ESC Hydrology (4)
GEL Groundwater (4)
General Electives: 3-6
  Chosen from ESC/GEL courses with advisement
  ESC/GEL Minimum Total: 32
Science Corequisites (8 Credits):
CHM College Chemistry I and II 8
MTH Calculus I 3
PHS General Physics I and II 8
PHS College Physics I and II
  Total: 19
Please note: ESC 350 and 391 should be taken by the end of the sophomore year. ESC 493 should be taken in the senior year.
Many electives are offered only once every two years.
1An upper-division course from the major requirements corresponding to that elective area may be substituted with written permission, i.e. another course required for the geology major may be used in place of GEL 302, 363, or 312.

Minor in Earth Science

Eighteen credits are required and must include ESC 200, ESC 211, and GEL 201.

Policy on Majors and Minors in the Earth Sciences

Majors within the Department of the Earth Sciences are strongly encouraged to have second majors or major/minor combinations with chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics or computer sciences rather than within the department. Upper division courses applied towards fulfilling the major cannot also be applied to a minor within the department. Where the same courses are required, only the lower division courses can apply to the minor. Upper division credit for the minor must be in addition to courses applied to the major.

Earth Sciences Courses

ESC 102 Elements of Geography (A). Covers locating, describing, and explaining physical processes and features of the earth; and relating them to cultural, economic, and political activities of people. Includes location and characterization of places; human-environment interactions; and unifying features of regions. Seeks to understand how earth processes and features affect and are affected by human activities. Not acceptable credit toward any major or minor offered through the Department of the Earth Sciences. 3 Cr.

ESC 110 Weather (A,N). An introduction to scientific inquiry in atmospheric investigations, emphasizing weather study as it demonstrates relationships between directly-observed weather and weather systems as depicted on weather maps. Lecture only. Students taking this course may not take ESC 211 for credit. 3 Cr.

ESC 195 Natural Disasters (A,D,L). Examines the causes, effects, and options available to respond to and potentially mitigate the effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, landslides, severe weather, and floods. Differing impacts in developing and industrialized countries will be discussed. 4 Cr. Every Semester

ESC 200 Introduction to Oceanography (A,N). Covers fundamental knowledge concerning the oceans, techniques and instruments utilized in the study of the oceans, and environmental problems relating to oceans and their resources. Lecture only. 3 Cr. Fall

ESC 211 Introduction to Meteorology (A,L). Studies the composition of the atmosphere, motions and forces, energy flow, clouds, precipitation, weather systems, violent weather and atmospheric electricity, and sound and light phenomena. Explores the bases and limitations of scientific inquiry in atmospheric investigations. Includes a laboratory component to construct and analyze weather maps and charts involving surface and upper-level atmospheric soundings. Students taking this course may not take ESC 110 for credit. 4 Cr. Every Semester

ESC 230 Introduction to Computer-Geographic Information Systems (A). Prerequisite: Computer Literacy. Provides an introduction to the use of computer-geographic information systems (GIS). Examines the geographic and information data processing methods associated with earth systems science studies. Covers geographic data selection, analysis and presentation using spatial data processing hardware and software techniques. Requires use of earth systems data to develop an individual hands-on study application. 3 Cr. Every Spring

ESC 311 Synoptic Meteorology (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211 or equivalent. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of mid-latitude weather systems via conceptual models and theoretical ideas. Covers meteorological data and analysis products, scales of atmospheric motion, kinematic properties of the wind field, fronts and frontogenesis, and extratropical cyclones and cyclogenesis. Lab emphasizes subjective/objective analysis and application of meteorological data. 4 Cr.

ESC 312 Weather Forecasting (A). Prerequisite: ESC 311. Application of qualitative and theoretical concepts to the prediction of mid-latitude weather systems. Covers geostrophic and ageostrophic winds, upper-level jet streak dynamics, methods of computing vertical motion, quasi-geostrophic theory, quantitative evaluation and verification methods, and numerical weather prediction products. Lab emphasizes real-time diagnosis and prediction of local, regional, and large-scale weather systems. 4 Cr.

ESC 313 Environmental Climatology (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211 or BIO 303. Discusses the physical, chemical, and biological factors regulating the climate of the earth. Covers radiation and energy balance, climatic elements, atmospheric and oceanic circulations, natural and anthropogenic climate change and variations. 3 Cr. Spring

ESC 314 Climatology Laboratory (A). Prerequisite or corequisite: ESC 313. Covers principles and analytical techniques used to study global, regional, and local climate. 1 Cr. Spring

ESC 319 Biological Oceanography (A). Cross-listed as ENV 319. Prerequisite: ESC 200 or instructor’s permission. Review of the ocean’s physical, geological and chemical properties followed by study of the classification, biology and life history of marine animals and plants. Concludes with ecology of selected marine ecosystems such as intertidal, deep sea and coral reef. 3 Cr.

ESC 325 Wetland Systems (A). Prerequisites: One of the following: BIO 202, GEL 201, ESC 211, ENV 400, or ESC 364. Covers the soils, plants, and hydrology that are characteristic of wetland systems; the history of attitudes towards and use of these areas; methods of classification of wetlands; legal and regulatory issues; management and preservation strategies; and design and use of constructed wetlands. 3 Cr. Fall

ESC 327 Broadcast Meteorology (A). Learn: 1) how to improve weather presentation skills by developing a plain language weather presentation and forecast using the National Weather Service Forecast Discussion and Model Output products; 2) the common meteorological terminology and concepts used in weather broadcasts; 30 how television viewers process weather information, and the reasoning skills associated with scientific information processing. 3 Cr. Fall

ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences (A). Prerequisite: One or more courses in the natural sciences and mathematics. Discusses methods of collecting, analyzing, and visualizing field data. Covers descriptive statistics, graphical and exploratory data analysis techniques, data transformations, parametric and nonparametric hypotheses testing, relational statistics, and linear modeling. 3 Cr.

ESC 351 Laboratory Experiences in Scientific Programming (A). Prerequisite or corequisite: ESC 350. Provides laboratory activities concerning writing scientific computer programs in FORTRAN or C. Covers basic features of FORTRAN or C programming languages, including arithmetic computations, control structures, data files, array processing, and modular programming. Also familiarizes students with commonly used numerical methods in earth sciences. 1 Cr.

ESC 362 Climate Change & Global Warming Issues (A,I). Explores various aspects of the global warming debate, including the present understanding of the science of climate change, uncertainties associated with future climate predictions and how developed, developing and underdeveloped countries perceive potential impacts of climate change. Assesses how science impacts and is impacted by politics. 3 Cr. Odd Fall

ESC 364 Water Resources Issues (A,I). Studies water and hydrologic perspectives on problems of politics, economy and environment. Addresses issues involving the water resource by case studies ranging in scope from local to international. Requires participants to address and debate points of view in selected issues involving water resources. Does not apply to the requirements for the earth science major. 3 Cr. Fall

ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences (A). Covers style and the conventions of scientific writing including letters, memoranda, proposals, data reports, abstracts, as well as longer technical papers. Emphasizes style requirements of major professional earth science societies and their journals. 1 Cr. Every Semester

ESC 399 Independent Study in Earth Science (A). Prerequisites: ESC 200 or 212. To be defined in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and in accordance with College procedures. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement

ESC 412 Hydrology with Lab (A). Prerequisites: MTH 201, ESC 211 or GEL 201, ESC 350 and 391 or instructor’s permission. Covers the water cycle, including precipitation, runoff, streams and lakes, ground water, snow and other hydrologic topics. Also covers water storage and processes, analytical skills dealing with hydrologic events, and the utilization and conservation of water resources in terms of its distribution, quality and flow. 4 Cr. Odd Fall

ESC 415 Physical Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 311, ESC 350, ESC 391, PHS 201, PHS 202 and MTH 202. Covers atmospheric thermodynamics; physical processes of condensation; electrical phenomena in the atmosphere; radiative transfer. 3 Cr. ESC 416 Thermodynamics and the B

ESC 417 Dynamic Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 312, ESC 350, ESC 391, PHS 201, MTH 203 and MTH 455 or PHS 301. Covers the development of the governing equations of motion and simplifications, introduction to concepts of divergence, circulation, vorticity; mid-latitude synoptic scale motions; numerical methods and linear perturbation theory. 3 Cr.

ESC 418 Watershed Sciences (A). Prerequisite: ESC 412 or GEL 462, ESC 350 and ESC 391. Covers the art and science of evaluating water, air and land resources in a watershed to provide scientific information for management policy decisions. Utilizes maps and other physical resource information, sampling, data processing and analysis. 3 Cr.

ESC 420 Atmospheric Sensing Methods (A). Prerequisites: ESC 211 or equivalent, ESC 350 and MTH 122, ESC 391 pre- or corequisite. Theory and applications of conventional and remote sensing instruments: in situ instruments, radars, Doppler radars, and satellites. Emphasizes applications to National Weather Service networks and weather forecasting. Laboratory exercises will include basic electrical circuits, instrument calibration, launching and analyzing soundings, and interpreting radar and satellite imageries. 4 Cr.

ESC 421 Air Pollution Meteorology (A). Prerequisites or corequisites: ESC 350 and ESC 391. For students, engineers and professional people training to measure air pollution levels or measure and evaluate meteorological parameters which affect the diffusion and concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere. Provides knowledge of the effects of meteorology in air pollution. Covers factors related to site selection, control programs, and interpretation of surveys. Also studies diffusion using mathematical models. 3 Cr.

ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (A). Prerequisite: ESC 230. Introduces students to spatial analysis theories, techniques, and issues associated with ecological and environmental applications. Provides hands-on training in the use of spatial tools while addressing a real problem. Students will be able to experience linking GIS analyses to field assessments and monitoring activities. 3 Cr.

ESC 432 Tropical Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 311, ESC 350, ESC 391, MTH 201 and PHS 201. Provides a comprehensive understanding of the climatology and weather systems of the tropics. Also covers the atmosphere-ocean interaction at various time scales and discusses the possible influence of the tropical tropospheric processes on the weather and climate of the middle latitudes. 3 Cr.

ESC 452 Mesoscale Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 312, ESC 350, ESC 391, MTH 201 and PHS 201. An introduction to mesoscale processes and precipitation systems, with an emphasis on deep convection and severe weather. Covers severe storm type, structure, and organization, radar and satellite signatures of mesoscale and convective features, and the roles of atmospheric instabilities in the growth of mesoscale phenomena. Diagnosis and short-term prediction of severe storms via lecture and exercises. 3 Cr.

ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, CHM 205, ESC 350 and ESC 391 or instructor’s permission. Covers the formation, properties and characterization of soils, especially those found in New York state; measurement of physical and chemical properties in field and classroom; and management, conservation, and applications of Soil Survey. 3 Cr.

ESC 457 Marine Geology-Bahamas (A). Cross-listed as BIO 457. Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission. Prepare in the fall semester for a two-week January intersession field experience in coral reef biology and geology on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. Study identification, behavior, and ecology of marine organisms in five habitats associated with coral reefs. Learn how to prepare a scientific field notebook and to design, conduct and write a paper on a personal research project. 3 Cr.

ESC 460 Meteorological Internship (A). Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission. Provides first-hand knowledge and experience concerning the application of meteorology to industrial and governmental requirements. Requires group work in scientific fields. Allows students to design and conduct applied meteorological research. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement

ESC 462 Hydro Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 350, ESC 211 and MTH 201. The interface between meteorologic and hydrologic processes governs the impact that weather has on the human and natural environment. This course examines underlying processes behind extreme events such as flooding, storm surge, and desertification. In this course students will learn about the processes that govern them as well as the extent of their effects, their causes and the models used to predict them. 4 Cr. Even Fall

ESC 464 Environmental Internship (A). Prerequisite: ESC 412 and 455 or instructor’s permission. Allows for application of skills acquired in course work to selected environmental problems. Directed by professionals in the field; project work must meet their standards. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement

ESC 490 Weather Briefing (A). Prerequisite: ESC 312. Familiarizes students with state-of-the-art weather analysis and forecasting systems. Provides for observation and presentation of weather briefings and forecasts using these products. 1 Cr.

ESC 493 Seminar in Earth Science Problems (A). Prerequisites: ESC 350 and ESC 391, senior status, and instructor’s permission. In-depth consideration of an earth sciences topic beyond formal course offerings; synthesis of material from background of courses taken to be applied in technical report. Requires the report to also be presented in a critical, professional setting to faculty and students. 2 Cr.

ESC 499 Independent Study in Earth Science (A). Prerequisite: ESC 200, 212, 350 and 391. To be defined in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and in accordance with College procedures. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement

Geology Courses

GEL 100 Our Earth (A,N). Develops an understanding of our earth and of the processes that operate within it and upon its surface; and basic scientific principles and earth phenomena of importance including the observation of rocks, minerals, landforms, structures, volcanoes, earthquakes, water on and beneath the surface, and other natural processes that affect earth and life. 3 Cr. Every Semester

GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology (A,L). Covers basic scientific principles and phenomena, including mineral and rock formation, volcanoes, earthquakes, landforms, structure, surface and groundwater and other natural processes which affect earth and life. Includes laboratory study of minerals, rocks, maps used by geologists, aerial photographs and up to two local field trips. 4 Cr.

GEL 302 Historical Geology (A). Prerequisite: GEL 201. Covers the origin and evolution of the earth and the historical development of life and the North American continent; and the background of the modern concepts of geology, including plate tectonics. Develops observational skills in the laboratory and field. Saturday field trip required. 4 Cr.

GEL 306 Introduction to Paleontology (A). Prerequisite: GEL 302 or instructor’s permission. Covers the principles of paleontology and the study of fossils including facies and index fossils, environmental control of species morphology, the basis of taxonomy, general biostratigraphic concepts and practices, and the use of fossils in the economic and scientific world. Presents various invertebrate and vertebrate groups as examples of the concepts. 4 Cr. Even Fall

GEL 312 Mineral Science I (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, CHM 205 and CHM 206. Introduces the structure and properties of mineral materials with emphasis on principles of bonding, crystal chemistry, crystal symmetry and morphology. Covers composition, atomic arrangement, identification and classification of major mineral groups, their geologic occurrences, and their role in understanding the rock record. Focuses in laboratories on physical and chemical properties of minerals, and suites of minerals found in common rocks. Requires weekend field trip. 4 Cr.

GEL 362 Energy and Mineral Resources Issues (A,D,I). Examines the significance of energy and mineral resources to modern social, economic, and political forces. Covers current issues involving energy and mineral resources through local to global case studies. Requires participants to discuss perspectives on energy and mineral resource development and exploitation, present use and management, and alternatives to current utilization practices. Does not apply to the earth science major. 3 Cr. Even Spring

GEL 363 Environmental Geology (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201 and GEL 415, or instructor’s permission. Explores human interaction with the geologic environment; response of land and water systems; strategies of mitigation and management; emphasis on recognizing natural system behavior; developing solutions to current environmental questions. 3 Cr. Odd Spring

GEL 399 Independent Study in Geology (A). To be defined in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and in accordance with the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement prior to registration. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement

GEL 408 Structural Geology (A). Prerequisites: GEL 302, ESC 350 and ESC 391 or instructor’s permission. Covers the principles of mechanical behavior of rocks during deformation; theories of origin of major and minor rock structures (folds, faults, rock cleavage, etc.) and their relationships to each other; and plate tectonics models for some major crustal structures. Emphasizes techniques of analyzing and solving three-dimensional problems, and gathering structural data in the field. Requires a weekend field trip and report. 4 Cr.

GEL 411 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 350, ESC 391 and GEL 302. Covers the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of sedimentary materials; sedimentary environments and geologic time; and the application of stratigraphic principles to a variety of problems involving sedimentary rocks in the geologic record. Employs techniques and instruments used in stratigraphy and sedimentology. 4 Cr.

GEL 415 Geomorphology (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, ESC 350 and ESC 391. Covers the surface features of Earth and their origin. Emphasizes processes, both internal and external, which interact to produce landforms. Stresses an analytical approach to the formulation of valid inferences based on accurate observations. 4 Cr.

GEL 457 Geochemistry (A). Cross-listed as CHM 457. Prerequisites: CHM 205, CHM 206 and GEL 201. Course fee. Applies basic chemical principles of thermodynamics, kinetics, and equilibrium to the investigation of common geologic problems ranging from the crystallization of silicate melts to surface reactions on soil minerals. Focuses on laboratory exercises on application of good laboratory practices to wet chemical and instrumental techniques involving geologic materials. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. 4 Cr.

GEL 462 Groundwater (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, ESC 350, ESC 391 and MTH 201. Studies groundwater; and its occurrence, movement and use, and its place in the hydrologic cycle. Examines the origin of aquifers, use and effects of wells, and water quality and groundwater problems. Laboratory focuses on practical application of principles to solving hydrogeologic problems. 4 Cr.

GEL 476 Geologic Techniques (A). Prerequisites: GEL 306 and GEL 312 or instructor’s permission. Covers techniques needed by the professional geologist, complex mineral and rock forms, interpretation of map and structure sections, thin-sectioning, surveying, photo-micrographic methods, and the use of seismograph methods. 2 Cr. By Arrangement

GEL 499 Independent Study in Geology (A). Prerequisite: ESC 350, ESC 391 or GEL 302. Arranged in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and in accordance with the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement prior to registration. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement. y of problems in

Last Updated 10/27/20

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