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).

102. Energy from the Earth. (1). (NS). (BS).

Essentially all of the energy to run our modern society comes to us from the Earth. A survey of the principle energy resources from the Earth; hydrocarbon (oil and natural gas), coal, tar sand, oil shale, uranium, and geothermal. Discussions will cover the geology of these resources (e.g., composition, setting, and nature of deposits), recovery technology, use, and the impact of energy resources on social, political, and ecological policies. No prerequisites; a course in elementary chemistry (high school or university) would be helpful. Lecture only. Grade is based on one short assignment or quiz and a final examination. Cost:1 WL:4 (Nolen-Hoeksema)

105. Continents Adrift. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 205 or 270. (1). (NS). (BS).

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 is based on final exams. Cost:2 WL:1 (Ruff)

106. Fossils, Primates, and Human Evolution. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 125. (1). (NS). (BS).

Anatomical and behavioral characteristics of living primates are reviewed, and the fossil record is used to document the course of human evolution through the past 60 million years. No special background is required. Students seeking a more detailed course with laboratory exercises may follow this with Geology 438 (Evolution of the Primates). Course consists of 12 lectures, and a one-hour final examination. Cost:1 WL:4 (Gingerich)

107. Volcanoes and Earthquakes. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 205, 270, or 271. (1). (NS). (BS).

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. Cost:1 WL:3 (Pollack)

110. The History of the Oceans. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 222. (1). (NS). (BS).

The history of past oceanic inhabitants, events, and environments is recorded in the sediments which have accumulated on the ocean bottom throughout geological time. 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. Selected topics include: the origin and destruction of oceans and mountains, El NiÒo events, the Eocene greenhouse, and the origin of life. 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:3 (Owen)

117. Introduction to Geology. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 116, 119, or 120. Those with credit for GS 205 may only elect GS 117 for 4 credits. (5). (NS). (BS).

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, and to the interaction of the external biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere with the Earth's interior. 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 (Mukasa, Van der Voo)

118. Introductory Geology Laboratory. Prior or concurrent enrollment in GS 119, or 205 and 206, or 135. Credit is not granted for GS 118 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology (GS 116, 117, 121, 122, or 218). (1). (NS). (BS).

The laboratory provides hands-on experience with minerals, rocks, and maps. Participants will learn to identify common minerals and rocks, use topographic and geologic maps, and draw and interpret geologic cross sections. Examples will be drawn from areas of recent glaciation, volcanism, and earthquakes to show how these features are depicted in maps. Cost:2 WL:4 (Mukasa)

119. Introductory Geology Lectures. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 116, 117, 120. No credit granted to those who have completed both 205 and 206. Those with credit for GS 205 may only elect GS 119 for 3 credits. (4). (NS). (BS).

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 (Mukasa, Van der Voo)

120. Geology of National Parks and Monuments. Credit is not granted for GS 120 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology (116, 117, 119). No credit granted to those who have completed both GS 205 and 206. (4). (NS). (BS).
Geology of National Parks and Monuments
approaches Earth history by examining the geology of places rather than by taking a process approach. It is designed for all interested undergraduates at the University of Michigan. The course format consists of three lectures each week and one two-hour demonstration-laboratory period, for four credits. Lecture material deals with the geologic history of selected National Parks and Monuments, which are chosen and scheduled so that those in which the oldest rocks are exposed (thus relating to the earliest portions of Earth history) are covered first. In so doing, we cover Earth history in a temporal progression, but do so by discussing different geographic areas. The demonstration-laboratory portion of the course will give you first-hand experience with rocks, minerals, and fossils; and an opportunity to discuss these in small groups. Cost:1 WL:1 (Pollack)

123/AOSS 123/Environ. Stud. 123. Life and the Global Environment. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 277. (2). (NS). (BS).

See Environmental Studies 123. (Walker)

130. The Physical World. High-school algebra. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

The physics, chemistry, and pre-calculus (algebraic) concepts of comprehensive Earth and planetary science will be covered for those students who feel less than fully prepared for existing college-level science classes. The course is aimed at students in need of a science course, particularly those who will not readily select more than one physical science course as undergraduates at UM. Weekly discussions by a TA will complement the lectures and amplify on them. Extensive weekly homework (quantitative exercises) will form 40% of the grade, with the remaining 60% based on two in-class exams and one final exam. Textbook: K.B. Krauskopf and A. Beiser, The Physical Universe, McGraw Hill, 7th ed. 1993. Cost:2 WL:1 (Van der Voo)

135. History of the Earth. High school chemistry, physics and mathematics recommended. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 269. Those with credit for GS 115 may only elect GS 135 for 2 credits. (3). (NS). (BS).

This course provides a broad and fundamental introduction to the Earth and explains the formation of rocks and the major geological features, as well as the changes that have occurred over the 4.5 billion years of Earth history. The course is intended for students considering a Geological Sciences concentration, as well as for students interested in studying Earth sciences as part of their general educational background. Topics include minerals and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, fossils and the evolution of life, the interior of the Earth, the measurement of time, continental drift, and the effect of the Earth's atmosphere, climate, oceans and rivers on shaping the surface of the Earth. The history of the planet will be followed from Earth's accretion from dust, through the origin of life, the building of the current continents and ocean basins, and the origin of humankind. Lectures three times a week for the full term. Textbook and course pack required. Evaluation will be based on four exams. Cost:2 WL:3/4 (Halliday)

201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Mankind. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 268. Those with credit for GS 111 may only elect GS 201 for 3 credits. (4). (NS). (BS).

This course is a basic introduction to physical geography which emphasizes many topics including maps, seasons, the atmosphere, greenhouse gasses, radiation and heat balance, the dangers of global warming, circulation, moisture and precipitation, air masses, and water supply. Students also study climate classification, and geologic and historical climate changes, and landforms and their formation. Students in this lecture-lab course are evaluated by hourly and final examinations with satisfactory completion of the lab work a prerequisite to the final course evaluation. Cost:2 WL:3 (Stearns)

205. How the Earth Works: the Dynamic Planet. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 117, 119, or 270. No credit granted to those who have completed both GS 105 and 107. Those with credit for one of GS 105 and 107 may only elect GS 205 for 1 credit. (2). (NS). (BS).

The dynamic Earth has given us oceans, continents, and an atmosphere. Its continuing activity is manifested today by the destructive powers of such natural phenomena as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and mountain building. The unifying concept of plate tectonics contains the clue to the shape and changes in the physical environment of the Earth from its initial formation to today. Our goal is to present a fully integrated approach to the evolving Earth's unique features in our solar system and explain its physical and chemical principles using conceptual and factual material. Extensive use is made of videos, slides, and classroom demonstrations. Two lectures/week; evaluation based on midterm and final exam. No special background required. Course reading: Earth's Dynamic Systems by W.K. Hamblin and a course pack. This course can be taken singly or concurrently with its companion course (GS 206); together they constitute a balanced introduction to modern earth sciences. Cost:2 WL:1 (Lange)

206. How the Earth Works: the Water Cycle and Environment. Those with credit for GS 109 may only elect GS 206 for 1 credit. (2). (NS). (BS).

This course describes behavior of earth materials in the surficial environment. Water is the main transport agent in the geological cycle; its unique properties and exchange rates among oceans, lakes, rivers, and groundwater are one focus. Interaction between water reservoirs and physical and chemical weathering of soils, sediments and rocks also are discussed. Impact of humans on the surficial environment is a unifying theme because we can affect hydrologic and geochemical cycles. No special background required. Two lectures per week. Evaluation based on exams and participation. This course, and its companion course (GS 205), may be taken singly or concurrently and together constitute a balanced introduction to modern earth science. Cost:2 WL:4 (Meyers)

222. Introductory Oceanography. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in AOSS 203. (3). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

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 (Moore)

223. Introductory Oceanography, Laboratory. Concurrent enrollment in GS 222. (1). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

This course is an optional laboratory intended to provide students with opportunities to explore further various oceanography topics presented in the GS222 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

272. Seminar: Environmental Geology. High school math and science. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 284. Those with credit for GS 109 may only elect GS 272 for 2 credits. (3). (NS). (BS).

This seminar will focus on a wide spectrum of possible interactions between people and their physical environment and could be described as a course in applied geology. Fundamental principles important to the study of environmental geology will be presented followed by readings of case histories and discussions of selected environmental problems including natural hazards (flooding, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions), water resources, global warming, nuclear waste disposal, and geological aspects of environmental health. Students can study this subject without any previous exposure to the geological sciences. The goal of the seminar is to provide a scientific basis for making informed decisions on the myriad environmental problems that challenge a modern technocratic society. Students will be evaluated on the basis of midterm and final examinations as well as a short term paper and an oral presentation. Cost:2 WL:1 (O'Neil)

273. Contemporary Dinosaurs. Those with credit for GS 103 may only elect GS 273 for 2 credits. (3). (NS). (BS).

This course will examine a current understanding of dinosaurs and other fossil reptiles, and the history and philosophy of their study. (Cox)

274. Dinosaur Extinction and Other Controversies. (3). (NS). (BS).

The extinction of dinosaurs has been ascribed to a variety of causes including, most recently, meteor impacts. This controversial idea and other such hypotheses related to the history of the earth are the subject of this course. The course will examine, among others, topics related to catastrophic vs. gradual history of the earth, the age of the earth, continental drift and plate tectonics, origin and extinction of species, catastrophic vs. gradual history of the earth, the age of the earth, continental drift and plate tectonics, origin and extinction of species, and climatic change. Some questions to be dealt with include: (1) How do we distinguish science from non-science? (2) Is experimentation critical to doing science? (3) What roles do social and historical factors play in the construction of scientific theories? Readings will be drawn from a variety of sources, including primary scientific literature. Requirements: reading, several one-page writing assignments, midterm, final paper (seven pages). Cost:3 WL:4 (Baumiller)

277/Environ. Stud. 361. Humans and the Natural World. Those with credit for GS 123 may only elect GS 277 for 1 credit. (3). (NS). (BS).

See Environmental Studies 361. (Walker)

278. Earthlike Planets. High school science and math recommended. Those with credit for GS 113 may only elect GS 278 for 2 credits. (3). (NS). (BS).

In a small class room setting, Earthlike Planets introduces the undergraduate to the terrestrial planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, moon, and Mars. Studies of solid planets will be used as a vehicle to better understand our own world and the methodology and limitations of science in the presence of conflicting hypotheses and ambiguous data. Since western society has made a significant commitment of resources toward the exploration of the planets, we must consider not only the scientific merits of the endeavor but also its historical origins. Grades will be based upon class participation, a midterm exam, and a final project. The final project will provide the basis for a written report and an in-class oral presentation. Cost:2 WL:4 (Van Keken)

283. Evolution of North America. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 411. (3). (NS). (BS).

This is a seminar course that will provide an introduction of the geological history of the earth using North America as an example. An introduction to the geological history of the earth will comprise the first third of the course. The students will then lead discussions on specific topics related to the geological history of the earth through time for two-thirds of the course, and each student will prepare a 9-10 page term paper on their topic. A required four-day field trip will be conducted after the end of classes of the term. It will involve camping out as well as short hikes to examine various rock outcrops. The trip will encircle Lake Huron from Ann Arbor to Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury to Parry Sound and back to Ann Arbor, examining rocks that range in age from Precambrian to the Pleistocene. (Essene)

B. Primarily for Concentrators

310. Petrology. G.S. 231 and either an introductory geological sciences course or G.S. 351 to be elected prior to or concurrently with G.S. 310. (4). (Excl). (BS).

Petrology is the study of the origins of rocks. Emphasis is placed on igneous and metamorphic rocks in this course. The evidence for the deep crustal and upper mantle sources of igneous rocks is traced using petrographic, geochemical, and phase diagrammatic observations. In metamorphic petrology the response of metamorphites to changes in pressure, temperature, and fluid composition will be evaluated, primarily using petrographic and phase equilibrium data. Plate tectonic processes will be tied in to the origin and evolution of many igneous and metamorphic rocks. Some comparisons with extra-terrestrial igneous petrology will be made. The lectures are coordinated with microscopic laboratories using optical techniques to identify and evaluate mineral assemblages. The grade is determined through a combination of midterms, laboratory exams, and a final. Cost:3 WL:3 (Mukasa)

351. Structural Geology. G.S. 117 or 119 or the equivalent; or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl). (BS).

The description and analysis of geological structures in the Earth's crust and an introduction to global tectonics. Three lectures and one laboratory session weekly. The following topics are covered: the description of geological structures; the kinematics and dynamics of folding and faulting; stress, strain, deformation and rheology; introduction to dislocation theory; micro-structural analysis; principles of plate tectonics; selected orogenic systems of the world. This is a core course for concentrators, but is open to all who want to have a basic knowledge of geology. Evaluation is based on graded lab assignments, a lab test, a midterm and a final exam. Textbooks: Earth Structure, in press, by B.A. van der Pluijm and S. Marshak (lectures) and Basic Methods of Structural Geology by S. Marshak and G. Mitra (labs). Web site at http://www.personal.umich.edu/~vdpluijm/gs351.htm. Cost:2 WL:4 (van der Pluijm)

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

This course deals with the range of geologic processes that concentrate metallic and some non-metallic elements to form ore deposits. Although some attention is given to the economic, engineering, and exploration aspects of economic geology, the course concentrates on the geology and geochemistry of ore deposits. Most attention is given to hydrothermal ore deposits, including the solution and isotopic geochemistry of these ore-forming systems. Hydrothermal deposits associated with sedimentary basins, metamorphic terranes, submarine and continental volcanic areas, and deeper intrusive zones are discussed in detail. Deposits formed by other processes such as magmatic differentiation and immiscibility, weathering, and stream action, are given less attention. A laboratory associated with the course deals with geochemical calculations, examination of representative suites of ore samples in transmitted and reflected light, and study of fluid inclusions. A textbook, The Geology of Ore Deposits by Guilbert and Park, is strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:4 (Kesler)

422. Principles of Geochemistry. G.S. 231, 305, 310 and Chem. 125/130. (3). (Excl). (BS).

The course is designed to provide a quantitative introduction to geochemical aspects of the rock cycle. Topics which will be covered include: thermodynamic and kinetic controls on the distribution of the elements, trace element and isotope geochemistry, geochemistry of the oceans and atmosphere, environmental geochemistry, and geochemical cycles. Instruction will consist of lectures and discussion of homework problems. The course is intended primarily for seniors concentrating in the geological sciences, but is also open to graduate students with advisor approval. Evaluation will be made on the basis of homework problems, a short term paper, a midterm examination, and a final comprehensive examination. Required text: Brownlow, Geochemistry, (1996). Cost:3 WL:4 (O'Neil)

425. Environmental Geochemistry. Introductory chemistry. (3). (Excl). (BS).

This course deals with geochemistry as it relates to humans and their environment. The intended audience for the course includes advanced undergraduates and graduate students in Geological Sciences, as well as students at a similar level in related divisions such as Chemistry, Natural Resources, Public Health, and Engineering. The course begins with a review of geochemical fundamentals and goes on to a review of the composition of the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere and the ways that they are related to the composition of the biosphere. Special attention is given to naturally-occurring elements and compounds of environmental interest and to geochemical processes of environmental significance. Lecture material is supplemented by problem sets and discussions. Evaluation is based on these assignments, as well as a midterm and a final exam. Reading comes largely from a course pack, class handouts, and research papers. Cost:2 WL:4 (Kelser, Meyers, O'Neil)

449. Marine Geology. G.S. 222/223 or introductory physical geology. (3). (Excl). (BS).

This course is an examination of the geology of the ocean basins and the adjacent continental margins. Topics covered include methods of marine data collection, geologic structure of the ocean floor and margins, sea-floor spreading and plate tectonics, the processes of terrigenous, biogenous and chemical sedimentation, and the interpretation of the sedimentary record in terms of past ocean circulation and global climate history. Grades are based on a midterm and final examination and a term project designed to reveal the geologic history of one of the major ocean basins to be selected each year by the class. The class is given in a lecture format, class discussions are encouraged. The textbook is Marine Geology by J.P. Kennett. Cost:3 WL:4 (Rea)

455. Determinative Methods in Mineralogical and Inorganic Materials. One term of elementary chemistry and physics. (4). (Excl). (BS).

Determinative methods is a course in techniques of analysis of inorganic materials with lectures aimed at providing theoretical background for understanding of the techniques as practiced in laboratory exercises. The major emphasis is placed on X- ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe analysis, X- ray fluorescence, and atomic absorption. Although silicate and mineralogical analysis is emphasized, no background in geology is required. Entrance to the course is by permission of the instructors. The grade is determined by laboratory grades, three midterms, and a final. Cost:2 WL:3 (Peacor, Essene, Owen)


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.