Geological Sciences Courses
Three lectures and one laboratory. Study of the earth including materials, internal and external processes, deformational events, and plate tectonics. Offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Three lectures and one laboratory. Survey of earth's history including origin of the earth, plate tectonics and evolution of the continents and ocean basins, and the development of life. Offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
This course is an introductory study of the Earth Ocean system, including processes shaping the ocean floor and coastlines; basic physical and chemical properties of the seawater; ocean circulation and climate change, and biological productivity and marine life.
This natural science course examines geologic and other Earth hazards that impact humans and ways that human activities often increase these hazards. The course consists of lecture and lab, and includes field trips and videos that illustrate various natural hazards.
Three lectures and one laboratory. Lecture and laboratory provide an understanding of important earth resources (rocks and minerals, soil, water, fossil fuels, alternative energy) and how their utilization by humans impacts the environment. Includes discussion of water pollution, air pollution and waste disposal as primary issues related to resource utilization.
Introduction to the principles of groundwater flow, groundwater exploration, water quality, and groundwater contamination; environmental topics in groundwater. Offered in the fall semester.
Three lectures and one laboratory. Megascopic and microscopic study of igneous and metamorphic rocks, with emphasis on identification, classification, genesis, and relationships to tectonism. Offered in the spring semester.
This course provides an introduction to computer programming in the Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. The course covers basic coding concepts, theory, and logic in context of examples related to modeling and data analysis in the Earth Sciences. Students that take this course will have a foundation in basic programming in an interpreted language sufficient for more advanced computational courses in the discipline. Computing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course.
Two lectures and one laboratory. Study of landforms with emphasis on the basic geomorphic processes that contribute to their origin. Offered in the fall semester.
This is an introductory course that focuses on the current study of the evolution, adaptation, and extinction of dinosaurs, and other Mesozoic reptiles. Using dinosaurs as a “biological model”, students will be introduced to key concepts of evolutionary biology, historical geology, fossilization, functional morphology, physiology, biomechanics, among others. Also, this is a writing course and therefore, writing proficiency within the discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
Two lectures and one laboratory. An introductory study of the deformation of rocks, including mechanical principles, description and identification of folds and faults, map interpretation, and regional tectonics. Offered in the fall semester.
Three lectures and one laboratory. Study of the principles involved in the description and classification of sedimentary rocks and stratigraphic units, with emphasis on sedimentary processes and depositional environments. Offered in the spring semester.
Introduction to the major fields of exploration geophysics such as seismology, isostasy, heat flow, gravity and magnetic prospecting, and electrical methods. The course includes both principles and applications to petroleum, mining, and environmental problems. Offered in the fall semester.
A maximum of 4 hours can be applied toward the major in geology. Approval of the department chairperson is required prior to registration. Offered according to demand.
This course provides an overview of earthquake seismology for both upper-level and graduate geo-science students. Topics include elastic wave propagation, seismic ray theory, travel time interpretations, surface wave dispersion, and seismic tomography.
Methods for restoring contaminated soil groundwater by examining the factors and processes influencing the efficacy of remediation systems. Emphasis placed on the scientific principles upon which soil and groundwater remediation is based.
This course will cover topics related to the transport and fate of contaminants in subsurface systems. Specifically, this course will discuss the many factors and processes influencing contaminant transport such as the effects of dispersion, inter-phase mass transfer, transformation reactions, and porous-media heterogeneity. In addition, representative conceptual/mathematical models describing contaminant transport phenomena will be discussed.
Study of the physical properties of magmas, eruptive mechanisms, volcanic products, and the relationship between volcanism and tectonism. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course. Offered in the fall semester.
Special topics in the following areas: economic geology, geochemistry, geophysics, geomorphology, hydrogeology, mineralogy, paleontology, petrology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, and tectonics. Offered according to demand.
Oral presentations on current geological topics. Offered in the fall semester.
Oral presentations on current geological topics. Offered in the spring semester.
This course serves as an introduction to statistics for the Earth and Environmental Sciences. Topics include an introduction to probability theory, experimental design, statistical hypothesis testing, regression, clustering, Kriging and other forms of spatial analysis, time series analysis, and an introduction to machine learning. All material is covered theoretically and with practical implementation in Matlab. Computing proficiency is required for a passing grade in this course. Writing proficiency within the discipline is required for a passing grade in this course. The course includes two lectures and one computer lab weekly.
This course will provide an overview of the major processes that have shaped our Solar System, with some focus on extra-terrestrial materials and mission data. The course will examine the major aspects of our Solar System, considering physical, chemical and geological concepts. We will explore the different bodies in the Solar System, and learn from the data collected from missions and analytics on samples. Writing proficiency within the discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
This course is an introduction to concepts of stable isotope fractionation, and the application of stable isotopic measurements to answering geological questions. This class specifically focuses on light elements, primarily H, C, O, S, and N, though other elements/systems may be explored if there is time/interest.
Introduction to the field of low-temperature geochemistry (elementary chemical equilibria and thermodynamics, solubility and redox equilibria, organic geochemistry), with an emphasis on solving geologic problems. Writing proficiency within the discipline is required for a passing grade in this course. Offered in the Spring semester.
Theory, techniques, and applications of methods for the environmental sampling and geochemical analysis of rocks, soils, and aqueous fluids. Offered in alternate Fall semesters.
Seminar on and field trip to important geologic localities. May be repeated for credit. Offered according to demand.
Introduction to the methods of field geology, geology of the southeastern U.S., geological writing, and presentation techniques. Offered according to demand.
Offered according to demand.