Courses in Geological Sciences (Division 377)

A. Introductory Courses and Courses for Non-concentrators

G.S. 100-115 are short (half-term) courses. They consist of detailed examinations of restricted geologic topics. The department lists the specific courses from this series in the Time Schedule for the terms they are offered (fall and winter terms only). Each course, when offered, meets twice weekly for half of the term (first half or second half), and the specific dates for each course are printed in the Time Schedule. These courses are designed primarily for students with no prior geologic training and they are open to all interested persons. G.S. 100-115 are offered on the graded pattern (OPTIONAL pass/fail).

100. Coral Reefs. (1). (NS).

Coral Reefs will be an in-depth tour of the biological and physical processes active in modern reef systems to provide a detailed understanding of the ecology of the individual organisms and the complex nature of their interactions within the reef community. Evolution of the reef community will be examined, ranging from the crude framework structures formed over one billion years ago by primitive algae to the luxuriant and diversified reefs of the modern-day oceans, to define the evolutionary strategies of reef building organisms. By tracking these evolutionary strategies through geologic time, the implications of man's intervention with the Earth's hydrosphere and atmosphere on the character of future reef communities will be considered. (Lohmann)

103. Dinosaurs and Other Failures. (1). (NS).

This course will provide an introduction to our current understanding of dinosaurs and certain other reptilian groups of the Mesozoic Era. It is intended for students with an interest in geology, paleontology, or evolution, but does not require prior training in these fields. The course will deal with broad features of the evolutionary history of dinosaurs, methods of reconstructing dinosaur behavior and ecology, new developments in our interpretation of the biology of dinosaurs, and possible causes for the extinction of dinosaurs. There will be two lectures each week and a single exam at the end of the course. (Cox)

104. Ice Ages, Past and Future. (1). (NS).

This course looks at the effects of past glaciations on the landscape and on life, man in particular. Concurrent climatic and paleoenvironmental changes, in both continental and oceanic realms, are also reviewed. The causes of the ice ages that have dominated the Earth for the past two million years and predictions of future ice ages based on current geological research are examined. The course consists of lectures, one hour exam, and one final exam. (Farrand)

105. Continents Adrift. (1). (NS).

The seemingly stable land masses of the world are actually in motion. Continental collisions and fragmentation, formation of new ocean floor, and specific patterns of earthquakes and volcanoes are some of the events caused by earth motions. This course presents the modern view of plate tectonics and continental drift, their suspected causes, and the predictable consequences of such a dynamic system. (Ruff)

107. Volcanoes and Earthquakes. (1). (NS).

The course is a study of the earth in action and includes the following topics: geography of earthquakes and volcanoes; catastrophic events in historic times; size and frequency of occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; the products of volcanism; volcanic rocks; volcanic activity through geologic time; volcanic exhalations and the evolution of the earth's atmosphere and oceans; relationship of earthquakes and volcanoes to plate tectonics and the internal dynamics of the earth; volcanism on other planets; volcanism and geothermal energy; manmade earthquakes; and earthquake prediction and control. Instruction by lecture, evaluation on basis of final exam. (Lynnes)

108. Minerals in the Modern World. (1). (NS).

Lectures provide insights into the character, distribution, utilization, economics, politics, and deleterious side effects of mineral resources. The geology, including how a resource occurs, how it originates, and how much exists receive the most emphasis. The course centers around metals, such as iron, aluminum, and copper, essential to modern industrial society, fertilizers, and water, rather than energy, which is covered in Geological Sciences 102. Current events related to minerals and national or international affairs are always incorporated as they arise. Grading will be based on a one hour final only. Texts: Brookins, EARTH RESOURCES, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, Merrill, 1981; G.S. course pack, Dollar Bill Copying. (Kettler)

113. Planets and Moons. (1). (NS).

This lecture course, one of several short courses in the Department of Geological Sciences, provides a current survey of the geology of the various bodies of the solar system in light of the extraordinary advances in planetary exploration during the past two decades. Topics treated include historical development of geological ideas about the solar system, planetary evolution, variability of geological processes throughout the solar system, and individual portraits of the principal members of the solar system family. No previous geological background is required. Course grade will be determined from a single objective type examination. (Pollack)

117. Introduction to Geology. Credit is not granted for G.S. 117 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology. (5). (NS).

A basic single-term course in introductory geology concentrating on the Evolution of the Earth in physical and chemical terms. Reference to the interaction of the external biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere with the Earth's interior is an essential component of the course. The laboratory provides a practical study of minerals, rocks, fossils and geologic maps. One hour each week is scheduled for review and discussion of topics covered in class. Lectures, laboratory and discussion. (Arculus)

119. Introductory Geology Lectures. Credit is not granted for G.S. 119 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology. (4). (NS).

This course consists of lectures shared with Geology 117 but does not include the laboratory section. A separate discussion section is also scheduled to insure continuity with class material and student-teacher contact. Students interested in ONE-TERM LABORATORY introductory science course should elect Geology 117. Lectures and discussion. (Arculus)

201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Man. (4). (NS).

This course is a basic introduction to the field of physical geography and emphasizes various topics including maps, seasons, time, the atmosphere, radiation and heat balance, circulation, moisture and precipitation, air masses (fronts), and water supply. Students also study ground and surface water, climate classification, hot climates, transitional climates, cold climates, permafrost and changes in climate (glaciers). Students in this lecture-laboratory course are evaluated by midterm and final examinations with satisfactory completion of the laboratory work a prerequisite to this final course evaluation. The text is Strahler, INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY while the laboratory workbook is Strahler, EXERCISES IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. (Outcalt)

280. Mineral Resources, Politics, and the Environment. May not be included in a concentration plan in geology. (3). (NS).

The fluctuating costs of oil and gold have focused the world's attention on mineral resources. We are now more aware that our high standard of living depends critically on adequate supplies of energy, metals, fertilizers, construction materials and water, most of which come from a finite supply of mineral deposits that appears to be dwindling rapidly. In the face of these developments, newscasters, politicians and the rest of us have had to form opinions on an apparent mineral resource crisis with little or no information on the topic. It is the purpose of Geology 280 to provide the information necessary to contribute to the solution of mineral resource-related problems in a complex society. This course discusses the origin, distribution and remaining supplies of mineral resources such as oil, coal, uranium, iron, copper, gold, diamonds, potash, sulfur, gravel and water. These and other important mineral resources are reviewed in terms of the economic, engineering, political and environmental factors that govern their recovery, processing and use. Among topics considered are the origin of oil, mineral exploration methods, discovery rates, strip mining, recycling, smelting methods, money and gold, nuclear waste disposal, and taxation vs. corporate profits. The course meets for three lectures per week. Student evaluation is by means of two quizzes, a research paper, and a final exam. One text is suggested for the course, and additional reading is recommended from sources such as SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. No previous background in geology or related sciences is necessary for this course. This course cannot be used as part of a concentration plan in Geological Sciences. (Kesler)

B. Primarily for Concentrators

231. Elements of Mineralogy. Prior or concurrent enrollment in the first term of elementary inorganic chemistry. (4). (Excl).

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the nature, properties, structures, and modes of occurrence of minerals. The first three-fourths of the course (three lectures per week) considers the general features of minerals and includes topics such as introductory crystallography, crystal chemistry, and introductory phase equilibria. During the last portion of the course, the principal rock-forming minerals such as feldspars, proxenes, and olivines are individually reviewed with respect to properties, structures, genesis, and other characteristics. The laboratory (one three-hour laboratory each week) is divided into three sections: (1) three weeks of morphological crystallography plus x-ray diffraction, (2) six weeks of systematic mineralogy during which students become familiar with the properties and associations of approximately seventy-five significant minerals, and (3) four weeks of introduction to the use of the polarizing microscope as applied to both crushed mineral fragments and rock thin sections. There is one required field trip. Optical mineralogy is covered in a separate recitation. Geology 231 is a prerequisite to the professional concentration program in the Dept of Geological Sciences. (Peacor)

305. Sedimentary Geology. An introductory geological sciences laboratory course; or permission of the instructor. (4). (Excl).

Geological Sciences 305 is one of several geology core courses, required of all concentrators. The rigorous course format consists of three lectures and one scheduled two-hour laboratory session each week, in addition to 4-6 hours of evening laboratory work each week that can be carried out individually at the student's own pace. In addition, four one-day field trips are required, and are scheduled from September to November during the Fall Term. The laboratory portion of the course material consists of in-depth familiarization with terrigenous clastic and non-clastic rocks, both in hand-sample and in thin-section, their fabrics, compositions, and classifications. The lecture portion of the course deals with the principles and processes of sedimentation, a survey of modern sedimentary environments, diagenesis of sedimentary rocks, and the general tectono-sedimentological evolution of the phanerozoic North American continent. Evaluation of students is based on three lecture exams, a final exam, laboratory quizzes and assignments, and field trip projects. Sedimentary Geology is intended only for the serious student of the earth sciences. (Wilkinson)

415. Introductory Economic Geology (Metals). G.S. 310, 351, or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

This is a survey economic geology course whose main emphasis is on gaining an understanding of how we study and describe ore deposits as well as studying specific examples of each major type. Fossil fuels and most non-metallic ore deposits are left to other courses in the department. Such a study of the processes, controls on and extent of different kinds of ore deposits will allow the student to better understand the problems in locating concentrations of natural resources as well as the technical, practical, environmental and monetary considerations that decide whether or not an elemental concentration is an ore. The course is directed toward the senior/first-year graduate student who has completed the core courses in geology and as such is an elective outside the required departmental sequence. The method of teaching will combine lecture and discussion with a one hour per week lab session which will be devoted to problem solving the first half of the term and small lab exercises the second half. There will be a midterm and final as well as a term paper on a subject of the students' choosing. No text books are required but THE GEOLOGY OF ORE DEPOSITS by Guilbert and Park is recommended. (Kessler)

418. Paleontology. G.S. 117 (or the equivalent), or Biol. 105 or 114. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to the principles, methods of analysis, and major controversies within paleontology. It will familiarize the student with the fossil record (primarily, but not exclusively, of invertebrates) and its use in dealing with problems in evolutionary biology, paleoecology, and general earth history. Three lectures weekly; midterm, final examination, and term paper. Required text: Raup and Stanley, PRINCIPLES OF PALEONTOLOGY (2nd edition). (Fisher)

419. Paleontology Laboratory. Prior or concurrent enrollment in G.S. 418. (1). (Excl).

This course is an introductory laboratory in paleontology. It will involve observation, analysis, and interpretation of fossil specimens (primarily invertebrates) and relevant material of living organisms. Its goal is to give the student experience in dealing with paleontological problems and to develop a familiarity with the systematics and morphology of important groups of fossil organisms. Students should be registered concurrently or previously in GS 418. One three-hour lab weekly; lab exercises, midterm, and final examination. (Fisher)

420. Introductory Earth Physics. Math. 116. (3). (Excl).

An introduction to the physics of the solid earth. Topics included are: seismology and structure of the earth's interior; geodynamics; gravity and the figure of the earth; isostasy; geomagnetism and paleomagnetism and its implications for plate tectonics; geothermics and the thermal history of the earth. Instruction by lecture; student evaluation on the basis of weekly problem sets and two hour exams. (Lay)

437. Evolution of Vertebrates. A course in general biology or historical geology. (4). (Excl).

The course will cover the fossil evidence of the evolutionary history of the vertebrates. Lectures will describe the diversification, adaptation, and paleoecology of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and birds from the Cambrian to the recent. Laboratories, one three hour session per week, will be devoted to the study and identification of fossils and characteristics of the vertebrate groups. The grading system will be based on two exams and a term paper. (Smith)

448. Pleistocene Geology. An introductory geological sciences laboratory course or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

Pleistocene geology focuses on glaciers, glacial effects on the landscape and the causes of Ice Ages, specifically the mechanics of glacier movement, sedimentation and erosion due to glaciers, phenomena in the "periglacial" region (permafrost, loess, glacial lakes), and climatic change. Global changes associated with glaciation are reviewed briefly, such as sea-level change, pluvial lakes, and deep-sea sedimentation. History of glaciation in the Great Lakes area is illustrated by three or four required field trips. This course is intended for professionally oriented students in geology, ecology, civil engineering, archaeology, etc., and a previous course in physical geology is a prerequisite. Geological Sciences 448 will satisfy the requirement for an advanced elective in Geological Sciences. Grading is on the basis of a midterm, map exercises, a term project, and a final exam. (Farrand)

466. Computational Models of Geochemical Processes. Introductory geology or permission of instructor; BASIC language programming skills. (3). (Excl).

Computational models allow us to test ideas concerning the processes that control the chemical and physical properties of the global environment, to predict possible future changes in these properties, and to reconstruct the history of the evolutionary changes that have led to the world we inhabit. Simple computational models will be developed, concentrating on the composition of atmosphere and ocean. These models will be used to explore controlling processes and the response of the global chemical system to perturbations such as those introduced by human activities as well as those caused in the course of earth history by biological evolution and tectonic activity. Students will develop these computational models themselves, run them on microcomputers to test ideas developed in class, and interpret the results in terms of evidence from the sedimentary rock record to develop new ideas and to design new computational experiments. (Walker)

467. Stratigraphy. G.S. 305, 310, and 351. (3). (Excl).

Stratigraphy is an intermediate level course which evaluates the framework for determining the time-space-rock relationships present within the sedimentary record of Earth history. It will provide an understanding of the principles and terminology of stratigraphy; these will be applied directly to real geological sequences through problem oriented exercises. Synthesis of tectonic, sedimentologic and paleontologic data within this context will provide the basis for resolving the environmental and physical evolution of the Earth as a dynamic, interactive system. Prerequisites: an introductory geology course and Sedimentology (GS 305); recommended background: Structural Geology and Paleontology. Evaluation of student performance will be based on two examinations and ongoing class projects. This course will fulfill the 400-level requirement. (Lohmann and McLeod)

478/A&OS 478. Chemical Oceanography. Chem. 365 or the equivalent. (3). (Excl).

This course will review present knowledge concerning the chemistry of the oceans, identify the areas where this knowledge is limited, and examine conditions and processes that have a significant bearing on the ocean and man's activities. The course begins with a brief synopsis of the chemical composition of seawater. This is followed by a discussion of the physical factors and chemical principles which govern the system and therefore form the theoretical framework of marine chemistry. Finally, important aspects of marine chemistry are examined in detail. These include dissolved gases, carbon dioxide/carbonate equilibria, nutrient cycling, organic materials, primary and secondary productivity, sediments and sedimentary processes, and geochemical models of the oceans. Selected topics of general interest such as marine pollution and chemical resources are also discussed. The interaction of the atmosphere, the biosphere, and sediments with the hydrosphere is stressed throughout the course. Course requirements include a midterm, the final examination and a term paper. Study guides consisting of problems and discussion questions are issued for each major topic in the course. (Meyers)

484. Geophysics: Physical Fields of the Earth. Prior or concurrent election of Math. 216 and Phys. 240, or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

A mathematical and physical description of the gravitational, magnetic and thermal fields of the Earth forms the core of this lecture course with optional laboratory. Implications for plate tectonics and earth dynamics will be highlighted. Weekly problem sets form the basis for evaluation. (Van der Voo)


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