Undergraduate Geology Courses

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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 surfaces, and other natural processes that affect earth and life. Not acceptable credit towards major or minor offered through the Department of the Earth Sciences. Cannot be taken for credit after successful completion of GEL 201. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology (A,L). Covers processes that form physical environments of the earth and principles used to interpret rocks, landscapes, and geologic events. Includes tectonic processes, mineral and rock formation, measurement of geologic time, volcanoes, earthquakes, surface and groundwater, glaciers, landforms, and mountain-building. Laboratories focus on rock and mineral identification, and interpretation of topographic and geographic maps. Required local field trip during lab session. 4 Cr. Fall.

GEL 302 Historical Geology (A). Prerequisite: GEL 201. The origin and evolution of the earth, emphasizing observations of rocks and fossils to interpret geologic events. Introduces principles of stratigraphy, tectonic settings, and the geologic history of North America. Develops observational skills in the field and laboratory. Laboratories emphasize identifying sedimentary rocks and fossils, reconstructing paleoenviroments, constructing and interpreting stratigraphic sections, and using geologic maps. Saturday field trip required. 4 Cr. Spring.

GEL 303 Field Geology of New York (A). Prerequisite or Corequisite: GEL 302. Examines regional stratigraphy, lithologic correlation, and paleoenvironments in the context of the geologic history of Western New York. Emphasizes identification of rocks and sedimentary structures in the field, interpretation of stratigraphic sections and techniques of gathering and recording geologic data in the field. Eight day-long field trips occur during the first summer session. One field trip may involve an overnight stay. This course is not applicable to the earth science or geology major. 3 Cr.

GEL 305 Paleontology and Paleoenvironments (A). Emphasizes the principles of paleontology, and how fossils are used to reconstruct paleoenvironments, to infer the mode of life of extinct animals, to determine the relative ages of rocks, and to explain how evolution works on a large time scale. 3 Cr.

GEL 306 Introduction to Paleontology (A). Prerequisite: GEL 302. Principles and concepts using fossils to interpret history of the biosphere. Covers mode of preservation and taphonomy, reconstructing ancient environments, the basis of taxonomy, inferring mode of life, tempo and mode of evolution, and biostratigraphic methods. Uses various invertebrate and vertebrate groups as examples. Requires local field trip during lab session or Saturday. 4 Cr. Even Fall.

GEL 310 Mineralogy-Petrology I (A). An integrated study of mineralogy and petrology beginning with basic fundamentals of mineral identification and symmetry. Systematic mineralogy will be discussed in the context of the formation of granitic rocks, basalts, regional metamorphism and selected ore deposits. Requires a weekend field trip. 3 Cr.

GEL 312 Mineral Science I (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, CHM 205 and CHM 206. Introduces the structure and properties of minerals, 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 occurrence, and their role in understanding the rock record. Laboratories focus on physical and chemical properties of mineral and suites of mineral found in common rocks. Requires a weekend field trip. 4 Cr. Odd Fall.

GEL 362 Energy and Mineral Resources Issues (A,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. Not acceptable credit towards any major or minor offered through the Department of the Earth Sciences. 3 Cr. Even Spring.

GEL 363 Environmental Geology (A). Prerequisite: GEL 201. 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 prior to registration, in accordance with the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement.

GEL 402 Petroleum Geology (A). Geology of Petroleum is a course for geoscience and engineering students. Course objectives are to provide students with a basic understanding of the concepts and methods of petroleum geology in use in current exploration and development programs. Among the topics covered are sedimentary basins, origin and migration of hydrocarbons, reservoir traps and seals, and geologic methods used in exploration and development. 3 Cr. Even Fall.

GEL 408 Structural Geology (A). Prerequisites: GEL 302, ESC 350 and ESC 391. Covers the principles of the mechanical behavior of rocks during deformation; theories of origin of major and minor rock structures (fold, faults, rock cleavage, ect.) 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. Even Spring.

GEL 411 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (A). Prerequisites: GEL 302, ESC 350, and ESC 391. 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. Requires a weekend field trip and report. 4 Cr. Odd Fall.

GEL 415 Geomorphology (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, ESC 350, and ESC 391. Covers the surface features of the Earth and their origins. 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. Requires two Saturday field trips. 4 Cr. Odd Spring.

GEL 431 Petrology (A). Prerequisite; GEL 312. Studies the processes by which igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks form. Covers the principles of rock examination which reveal operation of those processes, as well as the relationships of rock forming processes to plate tectonics. Entails recognition, description and interpretation of mineralogic and textural features in hard specimens and thin, along with whole rock geochemical data. 3 cr. Even Spring. 3 Cr. Even Spring.

GEL 457 Geochemistry (A). Course fee. Cross-listed as CHM 457. Prerequisites: CHM 205, CHM 206 and GEL 201. 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. Even Spring.

GEL 462 Groundwater (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, ESC 350, ESC 391, and MTH 201 or permission of instructor. Studies groundwater 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 other groundwater problems. Laboratory focuses on practical applications of principles to solve hydrogeologic problems. 4 Cr. Odd Spring.

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 492 Field Geology of New York State (A). Provides a general overview of the geology of New York State to earth science majors and science education graduate students. A series of six field trips are designed to enhance knowledge of the geologic events that shaped New York State. The course provides an understanding of the geologic features and processes that shaped the landscape of New York State. 3 Cr. Summer.

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

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