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Geological Sciences

The Department of Geological Sciences offers: (1) a General Concentration Program in Geological Sciences, for students who wish to emphasize geological sciences in their liberal education; (2) a Professional Concentration Program in Geological Sciences, for those seeking professional training in geological sciences; more specialized professional training through (3) an Environmental Geology Concentration Program and (4) an Oceanography Concentration Program; as well as (5) Honors Concentrations in any of the above programs, and (6) a Teacher's Certificate Program, for prospective science teachers who are candidates for a secondary teaching certificate in earth science and general science.

Junior/Senior Writing Requirement. The College requires that every student satisfy an upperlevel writing requirement before graduation. The writing program that satisfies this requirement in the Department of Geological Sciences is explained in detail in a publication that every concentrator should obtain from the Geological Sciences writing program coordinator, Professor Stephen E. Kesler (4022 C.C. Little Building, 763-5057) or the Geological Sciences web page.

Advising and Advance Approval of Program and Elections. A concentration plan in the Department of Geological Sciences is developed in consultation with a concentration advisor. A proposed plan must be approved in its entirety by the appropriate advisor prior to registration for the first term of concentration. Thereafter, progress through the plan and future elections must be reviewed, and approved in advance, whenever a change is proposed and in any case no less frequently than at the beginning of each new academic year of residence. Certification must also be obtained from an advisor, on an official LS&A Concentration Release Form, immediately prior to submission of the application for the degree.

Information about concentration program options in geological sciences and about appointments with concentration advisors is available at 2534 C.C. Little Building.

Teaching Certificate. The Department of Geological Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a concentration in Geological Sciences while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.

Summer Field Courses. The department offers an introductory course in geological sciences (G.S. 116) at Camp Davis, the University's Rocky Mountain Field Station near Jackson, Wyoming, where geologic structures, sedimentary strata, fossils, and igneous and metamorphic rocks are well exposed. Although similar to introductory geological sciences courses taught on campus, this course offers students an opportunity for direct observation of geological phenomena. The course is open to any student in good health and good academic standing.

Two advanced summer field courses (G.S. 440 and 441) are also offered at Camp Davis. These courses provide training and direct observation not paralleled by any course work offered by the department during the regular academic year. The Department of Geological Sciences considers field instruction fundamental to its programs of study and requires G.S. 440 of students in the professional program. G.S. 441 is strongly recommended to students electing other concentrations or a teaching certificate.

Details on all of these courses are available at 2534 C.C. Little Building and on the Geological Sciences web page.

The Museum of Paleontology has collections of fossils arranged systematically and available for study to geological sciences students. More than 120,000 catalogued specimens are grouped in the fields of invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. Some of the more striking paleontological specimens are on exhibit in the Hall of Evolution.

The Mineralogical Collections of the department include a study collection of minerals and rocks for use by advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Some specimens and suites of minerals, crystals, rocks, and ores are on exhibit in hall cases in the C.C. Little Building.

Honors Concentration

The Honors concentration consists of a series of special academic opportunities supplementary to any of the regular Concentration Programs listed above. The Honors concentration is tailored to fit the needs and interests of individual students. Geological Sciences 490 is elected for one credit during each of the four terms of the junior and senior years for: (1) reading and discussion of the professional literature; (2) library research and reporting on a special research problem; (3) research as an assistant to a faculty member or as part of a graduate seminar; or (4) individual research and reporting on a problem or graduate seminar. A thesis is required to complete the program. The Honors concentration offers well-qualified students an opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of their undergraduate experience. To be eligible for the Honors concentration, students must have at least: (1) a 3.3 grade point average in geological sciences courses elected in the department; and (2) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 at the time of acceptance. Students admitted to the Honors concentration must complete the requirements for their principal Concentration Program.

Ideally, the selection of candidates for Honors concentration is made at the beginning of the junior year, but qualified students may be admitted to the program as late as the end of the junior year. Interested students should contact the departmental office for referral to the Honors advisor, 2534 C.C. Little Building, 764-1435.


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