Courses in Geological Sciences
A GEO 105 (= A ENV 105) Introduction to Environmental Science (3)
Survey of contemporary environmental issues related to health and disease, nuclear waste disposal, water resources, energy use and conservation, land reclamation, global climate change, and industrial pollution. Scientific principles and data needed for gaining an understanding of environmental challenges on local, regional, and global scales will be emphasized. Three lectures per week. Only one version of A GEO 105 may be taken for credit. Offered spring semester only.
A GEO 110 The Search for Life Beyond Earth (3)
The search for life beyond the Earth is a topic that has engaged many scholars for all of recorded human history. Is life common in the Universe? With NASA’s decision to define one of its strategic goals as the search for the origin and distribution of life in the Universe, scientific progress has been rapid. These investigations involve collaborations among geochemists, astrophysicists, and biochemists. This course will explore how scientists are successfully detecting planets orbiting other stars, determining the environments that led to the origin of life on Earth, and chemical processes and pathways that may have led to the origin of life on Earth and beyond. May not be offered in 2014-2015.
T GEO 110 The Search for Life Beyond Earth (3)
T GEO 110 is the Honors College version of A GEO 110; only one version may be taken for credit.
A GEO 111 Discussion Section for A GEO 110 (1)
Development of strategies and concepts associated with the search for life beyond the Earth. Brief weekly writing assignments dealing with the assignments precede each week’s class discussion of the latest scientific discoveries announced by NASA and the European Space Agency. One 90-minute class per week. Corequisite(s): A GEO 110. Offered fall semester only. May not be offered in 2014-2015.
A GEO 201 (= A ENV 201 & A GOG 201) Environmental Analysis (3)
Uses laboratory work and local field excursions to give students “hands-on” experience in physical geography and environmental sciences. Focuses on human impacts on the environment and on problems of environmental contamination. Only one version of A GEO 201 may be taken for credit. Offered fall semester only.
A GEO 221 Understanding the Earth (3)
Provides an introduction to geology, with an emphasis on the solid Earth. Topics include the evolution of the solar system and the early Earth; structure of the Earth; plate tectonics and seismic processes; the chemical composition, structure, and physical properties of rock-forming minerals; formation of rocks through igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic processes; geologic age determination and geologic time. The interaction between the solid Earth and other components of the Earth system will be stressed. Prerequisite(s): A CHM 120 or 130 or T CHM 130; or permission of instructor.
A GEO 250 (= A ENV 250) Sustainable Development: Energy and Resources (3)
Examination of energy production using non-renewable (coal, oil, natural gas, uranium) versus renewable resources (hydroelectric, solar, wind, geothermal) relative to present and future environmental and societal impacts. A transition to a more sustainable renewable energy infrastructure presents challenges and opportunities that will be examined in this course. In addition to the traditional energy resources, the course covers the sustainability of other mineral resources that may be important in this transition. Only one version of A ENV 250 or A GEO 250 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A CHM 120 or 130 or T CHM 130 or A PHY 105 or A PHY 140 or 141 or T PHY 141; A MAT 111. Offered spring semester only.
A GEO 350Y (= A ENV 350Y) Environmental Geochemistry (4)
Contemporary topics are used to develop concepts of geochemical processes operating in Earth’s environmental system. These topics (a) PCBs in the Upper Hudson River, (b) biogeochemical cycles in the global climate system, and (c) geochemical constraints on long-term disposal of high-level, nuclear wastes. Three hours per week in classroom setting +1 hour per week of oral presentations by students. Only one version of A GEO 350Y may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A ENV 250. May not be offered in 2014-2015.
A GEO 395Z (= A ENV 395Z) Writing in Environmental or Geological Sciences (1)
May be taken with any A ENV or A GEO course at the 300 or 400 level to fulfill a writing intensive version of that course. Students will have an opportunity for assistance during writing and revision of written material with the help of editorial assignments from the instructor. Corequisite(s): any A ENV or A GEO course at the 300 or 400 level. Offered fall and spring semesters.
A GEO 450 (= A ENV 450) Paleoclimatology (3)
Introduction to the field of Paleoclimatology. Focus will be on the use of sediments and other biological and geological archives to reconstruct environmental, climatic, and oceanographic change over a range of time scales. Lecture will also provide an introduction to the fields of climatology, age dating techniques, climatic environmental proxies (tracers), micropaleontology, and time-series analysis. In addition to lectures, the class will involve review of current scientific studies, class presentations by each student, and a review paper on a relevant topic of choice. 3 lectures each week and 2 hours each week of oral presentations by students. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): A CHM 120 or 130 or T CHM 130, A MAT 108, or permission of instructor. May not be offered in 2014-2015.
A GEO 455 (= A ENV 455) Special Topics in Environmental or Geological Science (2-3)
A structured program of reading and seminars leading to an in-depth understanding of a chosen topic in environmental science or geology. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite(s): A ATM 210, A GEO 221, and permission of instructor. May not be offered in 2014-2015.
A GEO 497 (= A ENV 497) Independent Study (1-3)
Field or laboratory investigation of a chosen environmental or geologic problem, including the writing of a research report to be undertaken during the senior year. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor. Offered fall or spring semesters.
A GEO 498 (= A ENV 498) Undergraduate Honors Research (3)
Supervised research for undergraduates admitted to the Department Honors Program. To be taken summer and/or fall semester at beginning of senior year. Written proposal for research must be approved no later than end of spring semester of junior year. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor and chair. Offered fall or spring semesters.