Geological Sciences Courses

Geo 500 Seminar in Geology (1)

Oral presentation by students of their current research and regular attendance at departmental seminars given by invited speakers. Every graduate student in the geological sciences program is required to register for this course each semester and to give one seminar each semester. Grading will be on an S/U-basis exclusively.

Geo 511 Analytical Geochemistry (3)

Theoretical and practical introduction to the use of geochemical instrumentation and methods: x-ray spectrometry/diffraction, electron- beam microanalysis, mass spectrometry, and high-temperature experimental petrology. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 512 General Geochemistry (3)

Origins and histories of major geochemical systems and processes on Earth, including: a) planetary-scale; differentiation and origins of the core, mantle, crust, atmosphere/hydrosphere; b) magmatism and igneous rocks; c) chemistry of sedimentary rocks and the biosphere; and d) fluid/rock reactions during metamorphism. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 515 Environmental Geochemistry (4)

Industrial pollution, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, and fossil fuel waste-products are major sources of biotoxic and phytotoxic heavy metals (e.g., As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sc, Tl) in the environment. The mobilities and pathways of these elements into-and-through soil and groundwater are examined. Analytic methods and sampling strategies for tracing the historical trends of heavy metal fluxes in specific geographic regions are explored. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. To be offered every-other year. Fall semester.

Geo 517 Tectonics (3)

Seismological basis for plate tectonics, kinematics of plate motion, geometry, and evolution of plate mosaics. Analysis of the structure and history of shields, platforms, rift valleys, plateaux, continental margins, island arcs, transcurrent fault zones, and orogenic belts. Independent study of an appropriate topic and an oral presentation will be required. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 518 World Historical Geology (3)

An integrated survey of the geologic history of the earth. A term paper and an oral presentation will be required. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 520 Instrumental Analysis in Environmental Science (3)

A hands-on introduction to instrumental analysis in earth science. Lecture topics include basic principles of spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, sampling methods, and error estimation with specific applications to environmental science and geology. In laboratory, students will gain hands-on experience with ion chromatography, atomic absorption spectrometry, carbon analysis, and other methods. Two hours lecture/2 hours laboratory. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.

Geo 528 (Bio 528) Origins and Extinctions (3)

Detailed consideration of the data, interpretations and controversies associated with the evolution of the Earth and its biosphere, including cosmochemistry, planetary accretion, plate tectonics, biological evolution, and mass extinctions. Preparation and submission of a graduate-level literature research paper required. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Geo 535 Surficial Applied Geohydrology (3)

Classification, origin, and properties of surficial materials; sampling and exploration methods; determination of groundwater and hydrologic properites; groundwater flow systems and introduction to modeling, hydrochemistry, geological factors in environmental studies with respect to remediation and regulatory policy, exercises in surficial well logging, pump test analysis, and brief research papers. Three lectures each week. One or two optional half-day field trips. Spring Semester.

Geo 541 Structural Geology II (3)

Introduction to selected topics in mechanics including stress, strain, and stress-strain relations.

Geo 545 Structural Geology III (4)

Structural analysis, mechanisms of rock fracture and flow, interpretation of regional stress and strain history from structural features. A term paper and oral presentation required. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 550 Climate Change (3)

This class is designed to introduce the field of Paleoclimatology and will specifically focus on the use of sediments and biological and geological archives to reconstruct environmental, climatic, and oceanographic change over a range of time scales with focus on the latest Pleistocene and Holocene In the process we will cover a range of topics in lecture that will provide an introduction to climatology, age dating techniques, climatic proxies (tracers), micropaleontology, and time-series analysis. In addition to lectures, the class will involve review of current scientific studies, a class presentation by each student, and a review paper on a relevant topic of choice. 3 lectures each week

Geo 566 Marine/Estuary Systems (3)

This class is designed as an in-depth study of marine and estuary systems with a focus on marine/estuary sedimentology and biogeochemistry. Additional study of lacustrine systems will be integrated into the class. In addition to lectures, the class will involve review of current scientific studies, a class presentation by each student, and a review paper on a relevant topic of choice. 3 lectures each week.

Geo 612 Sedimentary Geochemistry (3)

Use of chemical compositions and isotope abundances to acquire an understanding of the provenance and tectonic setting of sedimentary rocks. Prerequisite: Geo 512.

Geo 620 Tectonics II (3)

Study of the tectonic evolution of the earth's crust from the Mesozoic to Recent. Prerequisite: Geo 517 or consent of instructor.

Geo 640 Cosmochemistry (3)

Cosmic abundances (elemental and isotopic) and their usefulness in constraining the origins of major chemical systems on planets. Specific topics include core/mantle equilibrium within the earth; origin of atmosphere/hydrosphere on Venus, Earth, and Mars; origin of the earth's moon; and origin of differentiated meteorites. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 650 Isotope Geochemistry (3)

Chemical evolution of the earth, including nucleosynthesis, nebular condensation, and development of the crust/mantle/core. Emphasis on evidence from trace-element and isotope geochemistry. Prerequisite(s): Geo 510 and 515, or consent of instructor.

The following courses offer advanced study by seminar or literature research. Specific topics and credit offerings will be announced by the department prior to preregistration.

Geo 670 Topics in Mineralogy (1-4)

Geo 671 Topics in Igneous Petrology (1-4)

Geo 672 Topics in Metamorphic Petrology (1-4)

Geo 673 Topics in Geochemistry (1-4)

Geo 674 Topics in Stratigraphy-Sedimentation (1-4)

Geo 675 Topics in Structural Geology (1-4)

Geo 676 Topics in Tectonics (1-4)

Geo 677 Topics in Applied Geology and Hydrogeology (3)

Geo 678 Topics in Geophysics (1-4)

Geo 679 Topics in Geochronology (1-4)

Geo 680 Topics in Cosmochemistry (1-4)

Geo 694 Directed Readings in Geology (2-6)

A selected problem, involving topics studied in any of the 400 level or higher courses. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 698 Research I (1-6)

Supervised research for M.S. students, typically for students beginning research activity in the department. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 699 Thesis Research (2-6)

Independent research leading to an acceptable thesis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 740 Tectonics III (3)

Study of the tectonic evolution of the earth's crust from Precambrian to late Paleozoic. Prerequisite: Geo 620.

Geo 894 Directed Readings in Geology (2-6)

Study of particular topics not directly related to the student's research or degree program arranged by student and instructor with the approval of the student's advisors. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 898 Doctoral Research (2-9)

This course is for Ph.D. candidates, for research directly related to their dissertation work. It is intended to distinguish between such work and independent study not directly related to the student's research. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Geo 899 Doctoral Dissertation (1)

Load graded. Appropriate for doctoral students engaged in research and writing of the dissertation. Prerequisite: Admission to doctoral candidacy.