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. Cost:1 WL:4 (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. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (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. [Cost:1] [WL:3 or 4] (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. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (Farrand)

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

In this one-credit course we will explore the mobility of the continents and oceans in present and past times. The goals of this course are to present the most exciting recent developments in the earth sciences, a unifying concept that explains ocean evolution, mountain building, earthquakes and volcanoes. Conceptual and factual material will be used to explain the principles of plate tectonics and the dynamics of the solid earth. No special background is needed. Evaluation will based on a final exam (with a practice exam, not for grade, midway). Cost:1 WL:4 (van der Pluijm)

109. Natural and Unnatural Pollutants in Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers. (1). (NS).

Presence of liquid water, and its interaction with rocks and biota, makes planet earth unique. Industrial and agricultural activities are releasing compounds into the environment. Many of these compounds, although present in low levels in unpolluted natural waters, are being added in what may be hazardous amounts by human activities. To place the effects of pollution into clearer perspective, this course will introduce the student to operation of the hydrologic cycle and to factors controlling rates of chemical exchange among surface waters (oceans, rivers, lakes) and rocks and biological systems. Operation of these exchange cycles over geologic time, as well as important shorter-term human lifetime scales will be discussed. No prerequisites. Two hours of lecture per week. Student performance will be gauged by occasional homework assignments on current topics and a final examination. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Walter)

110. The History of the Oceans. (1). (NS).

The history of past oceanic inhabitants, events, and environments is recorded in the sediments which have accumulated on the ocean bottom throughout geological time. This course gives an introduction to the ways by which this record can be examined, and it discusses the information available about the history of the oceans. Fossils of marine plants and animals are a major part of the historical record; they give evidence of past oceanic living conditions and the evolution of life forms in the sea. Sediment particles eroded from land and carried to the oceans by rivers and winds provide insights into past climates on continents. Changes in ocean currents and in seawater chemistry have left their mark on the sediment record; the possible causes of these changes are explored. Plate tectonics and seafloor spreading have rearranged the shapes of ocean basins and repositioned continents over time. These processes are reflected in the record in marine sediments still present on the ocean floor and also in those now uplifted to form part of the continents. These topics are presented in lectures held twice weekly for a half term. A single exam at the end of the course will determine the course grade. Cost:1 WL:4 (Owen)

111. Climate and Man. (1). (NS).

The intent of GS 111 is to give a heightened awareness to students of the nature and fragility of the Earth's climate, and how changes in climate have affected past civilizations and may affect our future. Course topics will include: a description of the climate systems of the Earth, the atmosphere, oceans and polar ice caps; the information we gather to understand the history of those systems; how changes in climate have affected past civilizations, and what we think will happen to the planet when the long expected "Greenhouse Effect Global Warming" finally arrives. Cost:1 WL:4 (O'Neil)

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

"Planets and Moons" is a survey of the geology of the "solid" bodies of the solar system as revealed by both the manned exploration of our own moon and unmanned, "robotic," exploration of the inner planets and moons of the outer planets. The course will not only provide qualitative description of planetary surfaces as revealed by photographic reconnaissance, but will also provide physical explanations of what we see in terms of external cratering processing and internal dynamic processes. Exploration of the planets reveals that impact cratering is the single most pervasive process in the solar system. Particular emphasis will be placed on why the various bodies have such different morphologies, especially why they are so different from the Earth. Nevertheless, planetary exploration does provide the framework to understand our own Earth better, especially the first billion years of terrestrial evolution. Instruction by lecture; evaluation by means of final exam. [Cost:2] (Gurnis)

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

Until the middle of the 18th century the Earth was generally thought to be less than 10,000 years old, and according to many, close to its apocolyptic end. We now know that the Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago and that the entire history of mankind is nothing but the latest tiny fraction of Earth history. This course explains the formation of rocks, continental drift, volcanoes and earthquakes. It will discuss the discovery of time from the Renaissance to the latest high tech developments in radioactive dating. Finally, the history of planet Earth will be described including its accretion out of dust and giant impacts, the origin of the Moon, the formation of the atmosphere and oceans, the development of life and the building of continents. The course will draw upon examples meaningful to the student to illustrate the principles. Lectures twice weekly for half the term. Course pack provides most of the diagrams. A final one hour examination. Cost:1 WL:3/4 (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 with particular reference to modern plate tectonic theory. 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. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (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. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (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.

222. Introductory Oceanography. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 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 three one-hour exams and a two-hour final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Rea)

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 various oceanography 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. Cost:1 WL:4 (Rea)

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

Fluctuating costs of oil and gold have focused the world's attention on mineral resources and resource-related environmental problems. 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 mineral resource issues ranging from war in the Persian Gulf to global warming 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, strip mining, recycling, smelting methods, transport of oil, 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. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Kesler)

B. Primarily for Concentrators

231. Elements of Mineralogy. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry 125/130 or 210/211. (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. [Cost:2] [WL:3] (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. (Lohmann)

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). [Cost:2] [WL:4] (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 a final problem set. Cost:2 WL:3 (Ruff)

447. Archaeological Geology. G.S. 442 or 448, or equivalent, or permission of instructor; and one 300-level (or higher) course in anthropology or classical archaeology. (3). (Excl).

This course will concentrate on selected geologic topics that are especially pertinent to archaeological studies, such as geological raw materials (flint, obsidian, building stone, clay), soils and paleosols, cave sediments, stratigraphy, dating methods, and paleoclimatology. Lectures will be in-depth treatments assuming some prior geologic and archaeologic knowledge and will commonly be based on case histories of actual archaeological studies. The emphasis will be on answering questions of an archaeological nature by means of geologic studies. Course will consist of lectures and discussions, and will be graded on the basis of one or two hour exams and a term project. Cost:1 WL:4 (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. [Cost:1] [WL:3] (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 (GS 351) and Paleontology. Evaluation of student performance will be based on two examinations and ongoing class projects. This course will fulfill the 400-level requirement. Cost:2 WL:3 (Moore)

492. Paleomagnetism and Geomagnetism. Geol. Sci. 420. (3). (Excl).

Advances made over the past decade in the application of paleomagnetism both to solving geological problems and to understanding the origin of the Earth's magnetic field are the focus of this course. Description and current theories of the origin of the Earth's magnetic (at non-advanced mathematical level) together with an outline of the main magnetic minerals in rocks and the theory of rock magnetism provide the essential background material. Paleomagnetism, its methodology, statistical aspects; applications to plate tectonics, the past history of the Earth, to understanding foldbelts and the growth of continents; the relation of paleomagnetism to understanding the Earth's magnetic field in the geological past. The course format will encourage readings from current scientific literature and discussions. The course grade will be based on a set of take-home problem sets every two weeks and a term paper. (McElhinny)


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