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. (Meyers)

101. Waves and Beaches. (1). (NS).

This short course approaches the subject of "waves and beaches" by combining relevant topics in both oceanography and geology, although no previous background in these subjects is required. We shall attempt to understand this dynamic place where land and sea interact by emphasizing the PROCESSES responsible for the major types of coastlines and the geologic/oceanographic phenomena associated with them. Some of the topics which will be considered include: fundamentals of wave and tide theory; the impact of waves and tides upon beaches; coastal geology; coastal processes on a short- and long-term time scale; estuaries; and, the impact of plate tectonics upon coasts. Instruction will be by lecture. Grades will be based on one exam which shall be given at the end of the course. (Wilkinson)

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 present and past glaciations on the landscape and on life, humans in particular. Glaciers are examined as dynamic, climatically controlled systems of moving ice. Climatic and environmental changes concurrent with glaciation, in both continental and oceanic realms, are reviewed. The causes of the ice ages that have dominated the Earth for the past two million years and predictions of future ice ages are examined in the light of current geological and climatic research. The course consists of lectures, one hour exam, and one final exam. (Farrand)

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 and geothermal energy; manmade earthquakes; and earthquake prediction and control. Instruction by lecture, evaluation on basis of final exam. (Lay)

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

This course concerns the geology, politics and economics of STRATEGIC MINERALS, such as chromium, manganese, nickel and cobalt, which are essential for industrial and defense applications, but which are in short supply in the U.S. The course begins with an overview of strategic mineral positions for major world powers and continues with detailed discussions of production methods, uses, markets, international trade, sources, and remaining reserves of each of the strategic minerals. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the geologic processes that form deposits of each of the strategic minerals in order to better appreciate the accuracy of world and U.S. reserve estimates and the capacity of the U.S. for self-sufficiency. The course closes with an evaluation of means to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers, including a discussion of the Strategic Stockpile. A course pack (Dollar Bill) is strongly recommended. Grading is by means of a final exam and homework/exercises. (Arehart)

112. Geological History of Michigan. (1). (NS).

Michigan has not always been a land of upland temperate forests surrounded by the Great Lakes. During major intervals of time, what is now Michigan lay under broad tropical seas or was beset by extensive volcanism. At other times, vast ice sheets a mile thick sculpted the surface of Michigan. Remains of animal and plant life from these times are distinctly different from those of the present day. This course presents an introduction to the evidence from which this changing geological panorama has been inferred. Topics to be considered include the nature of the Precambrian world and its life; Early Paleozoic coral reefs and associated salt deposits; Late Paleozoic coal swamps; glacial geology of the recent past, the geologic development and history of the Great Lakes; and the rise and fall of the diverse Pleistocene megafauna of mammoths and mastodons. There will be an opportunity to examine some excellent fossil specimens in the collection of the Museum of Paleontology. Grades will be based on a final examination. (Stearley)

115. Geologic Time. (1). (NS).

This course will introduce non-specialists to the subject of the timespan over which the earth has developed, the processes that are involved in the formation of rocks and minerals, the determination of the rates at which these processes occur, and the ways in which we can use the current behavior of the earth to deduce how rocks formed in the past. The course will also include relevant aspects of the historical development of geologic theory. It will be scientifically rigorous but, at the same time, draw upon examples meaningful to the student to illustrate the principle. Lectures twice weekly for half the term. Course pack provides most of the diagrams. A final examination. (Halliday)

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 and geologic maps. One hour each week is scheduled for review and discussion of topics covered in class. Lectures, laboratory and discussion. (Kesler)

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. (Kesler)

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)

222. Introductory Oceanography. No credit granted to those with credit for AOSS 203. (3). (NS).

This course introduces students to the scientific study of the oceans. Contents include the shape, structure, and origin of the ocean basins; the sedimentary record of oceanic life and conditions in the past; the composition of seawater and its influence on life and climate; waves and currents; the life of the oceans and how it depends upon the marine environment; the resources of the ocean and their wise use by society. The course format consists of lectures and readings from an assigned textbook. The course grade will be based on several hour exams. (Meyers)

223. Introductory Oceanography, Laboratory. Concurrent enrollment in G.S. 222. (1). (NS).

This course is an optional laboratory intended to provide students with opportunities to explore further marine topics presented in the G.S. 222 lectures. Laboratory sessions will include sampling procedures, use of equipment, discussions, and demonstrations of how data are generated. The course grade will be based on written laboratory exercises and a final exam. (Meyers)

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 quizzes, exercises, and a final exam. One text is suggested for the course, and additional reading is recommended. 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)

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)

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. (Van der Voo)

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. Geomorphology II: Glacial and Periglacial. An introductory physical geology course or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

This is one of a pair of geomorphology courses. (The other is Geological Sciences 442, "Geomorphology I Non-glacial and Soils" offered in alternate years.) Each of these courses may be taken alone or in either order. Geomorphology II focuses on glaciers, glacial effects on the landscape, and the causes of ice ages. Specific topics are the growth, movement, and climatic controls of glaciers, sedimentation and erosion related to glaciers, periglacial phenomena such as permafrost, eolian dunes and loess, and glacial lakes, as well as short-term and long-term climatic change. Evidence of glaciation in Michigan and around the Great Lakes is examined in the course of three or four required Saturday field trips. This course is intended for professionally oriented students in geology, ecology, archaeology, natural resources, civil engineering, etc., and a previous course in physical geology is a prerequisite. Geological Sciences 448 will satisfy the requirement for an advanced elective in the Geological Sciences concentration program. Grading is on the basis of a midterm, map exercises, a term project, and a final exam. (Farrand)

466. Computational Models of Geochemical Processes. Ability to program computers in the BASIC language and introductory course in a natural science. (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)


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