Geology

Marie C. Farson, Assistant Professor

A minor in geology is offered. Also a geology concentration is offered under the environmental studies major. (See Environmental Studies) A student may not earn both a minor in geology and a major in environmental studies (geology concentration).

The minor program in geology provides students with the two fundamental courses in geology, an upper-level geology course, and experience with GIS mapping software, as well as the opportunity to gain experience in other areas, including mineral and energy resources. Class activities develop student skills in methodologies ranging from mineral, rock, and fossil identification to analysis of geologic structures, stratigraphic relations, and depositional systems. Field activities accompany the geology courses.

GEOL 050Service Learning in Geology0.0 SH[  ]

Students volunteer in some capacity to assist in educational outreach in geology and/or environmental studies or in research as a technician. Projects may serve Principia or other communities or outside agencies.

GEOL 111Introductory Geology4.0 SH[GESL]

This course studies the internal and external processes that form and shape the Earth as we see it today and interprets the resulting landforms. Internal processes include tectonic plate movement, volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain building. External processes include weathering, erosion, streams, wind, ocean currents, and glaciers. Labs cover mineral and rock identification and topographic and geologic map reading. Field trips reinforce material covered in class.
Class Level Restriction: Freshman and Sophomore only.

GEOL 170Geology4.0 SH[GESL]

Covers geologic topics specific to a country or region. Topics include the Earth's physical features, tectonic history, depositional environments, and mineral and water resources. Topics will be related to their influence on human activities in a region. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken four times up to a total of 12 semester hours provided topics differ. Offered on Principia abroads or field programs only.

GEOL 180Geologic Field Studies4.0 SH[GESL]

Field study and related lab work for a special geologic project. Involves library research and careful record keeping and reporting of scientific findings. Offered upon demand. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken more than once provided topics or depth of research differ. May be taken three times up to a total of 12 semester hours.

GEOL 205Introduction to Oceanography4.0 SH[GESL]

An introductory survey of oceanography as an interdisciplinary marine science. Topics include geological features and structures of ocean basins; the chemistry of seawater; heat, circulation, the carbon cycle, and air-sea interactions as they relate to climate; and biological processes in the sea.

GEOL 225Environmental Geology3.0 SH[GESN]

Geology from the perspective of the interrelationship of humanity and the Earth and the value of understanding the Earth in land use planning. Topics include geologic hazards, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, coastal erosion; water supply and contamination issues; waste management; hazardous geologic materials; mineral and energy resource issues; and global changes.

GEOL 230Nonrenewable Resources3.0 SH[GESN]

Survey of Earth's nonrenewable energy and material, as well as water resources - their occurrence in or on the Earth's crust, how they are extracted, processed, and used, and the impacts of these steps on the environment.

GEOL 242Historical Geology4.0 SH[GESL]

The geologic history of the Earth and the evolution of life through the study of fossils. Includes the movement of tectonic plates, shaping of continents, and formation of mountains, all interpreted from the study of rock and fossil records. Labs include rock and fossil identification, physical and biostratigraphic correlation of rock units, and interpretation of local geologic history.

GEOL 280Geologic Field Investigations1.0-4.0 SH[  ]

Field investigation and related lab work for a special geologic project. Involves library research and record keeping and reporting of scientific findings. Offered on demand. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken three times up to a total of 12 semester hours provided topics or depth of research differ.
Prerequisite: GEOL 111 or GEOL 242.

GEOL 301Environmental Mapping & GIS4.0 SH[  ]

Introduction to the concepts, techniques, and applications of mapping and monitoring the environment. Students become familiar with the uses of topographic maps, aerial photography, satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students design and implement an ecosystem mapping project.
Prerequisite: at least one geology or 200-level field biology course.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

GEOL 330Sedimentary Geology4.0 SH[  ]

Principles of stratigraphy, sedimentary processes, characteristics, and relationships among marine and nonmarine depositional systems, facies analysis, stratigraphic analysis, and basin analysis. Laboratory includes textural analysis, sedimentary structures, and use of electric logs in subsurface mapping.
Prerequisite: GEOL 111 and GEOL 242.

GEOL 401Senior Thesis1.0-6.0 SH[  ]

Project selected in accordance with student's qualifications, interests, and needs. Project may be a component of an internship. May be offered for variable credit from one to six semester hours. May be taken three times up to a total of six semester hours.
Prerequisite: GEOL 111, GEOL 242, GEOL 330, BNR 400, and two additional GEOL courses.
Class Level Restriction: Senior only.

GEOL 410Senior Readings3.0 SH[  ]

This course introduces students to seminal pieces of environmental literature and to cutting edge thinking on environmental problems. It challenges students to define and defend their personal values with regard to the environment and to become active citizens in the environmental issues facing society.
Prerequisite: five GEOL courses.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.