Geology Courses

 

GEOS101 Earth Science
[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]
An introduction to Earth-system processes in the context of astronomy, meteorology, geology, and oceanography.  This course examines the Earth's relationship to the Sun, Moon, and planets in the solar system.  The Earth's major processes, including the hydrologic cycle, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, global wind circulation, ocean circulation, global climatic phenomena, and human-induced changes in the environment are examined through lectures and hands-on laboratory investigations.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None


 GEOS107 Natural Disasters
[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]
Focused on the causes, effects, and mitigation of natural disasters around the world.  Topics covered will include plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, landslides, meteor impacts, and major weather events such as tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes.  Topics will include methods used by scientists to monitor and study these natural phenomena and the economic/societal impact of and response to the events.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None

GEOS120 Oceanography

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

A comprehensive study of major components of oceans, including the origin of evolution of ocean floors, energy and mineral resources of oceans, chemical constituents and reactions in seawater, air-sea interactions, marine organisms and the relationships between these organisms and the environments of oceans. Ocean-related environmental concerns, including beach erosion, wetland loss, sea-level fluctuations, and point sources and non-point sources of pollution are discussed. (This course is required for majors in Secondary Education/Earth and Space Science, Secondary Education/General Science, and Biology/Marine Biology. Therefore they will receive preference for registering for the course. A required four-day field trip to Wallops Island, VA for which the students have an out of pocket expense of $100 at the field station, plus meal expenses on the trip to and from the Marine Science consortium station.)

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS125 Geology of Gemstones (3.0 sh)

An introduction to the composition, origin, occurrence, properties, and identification of gemstones.  The course illustrates how internal Earth processes produce various minerals commonly used as gemstones and how surficial Earth processes act to release and concentrate gemstones into economically viable deposits.  Students will learn the geologic setting of gemstones, basic principles of mineralogy, crystallography, and gemology.  Course topics will emphasize the rarity of gemstone deposits as it applies to geologic conditions necessary for their formation.

Prerequisites:  None


 

GEOS130 Principles of Geology I

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

An introduction to the composition, structure, and internal physical processes of the earth, nature of minerals and rocks, surface erosional and depositional features, and the agents that form them.  Topics include plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, minerals, igneous rocks, weathering, erosion, and glacial processes, groundwater and stream processes, sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS131 Principles of Geology II

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

Designed to gain an appreciation of the deepness of geologic time and the vastness of space and to develop an understanding of the geologic and biologic processes through which the Earth and life on Earth evolved over geologic time. Students acquire hands-on experience on the use of scientific equipment and mapping tools in the field and in laboratory settings. Applications of stratigraphic principles to interpret Earth's history and the trend in evolution of life are emphasized.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS130 ) OR ( GEOS110 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS135 Geology of National Parks (3.0 sh)

An introduction to basic geologic concepts through examples from our national parks and monuments.  The course illustrates how Earth's internal processes are responsible for earthquakes, volcanoes, and the formation of mountain ranges, and how teh action of wind, water, and ice at Earth's surface results in erosion and exposure of older rocks.  Students will learn how national park geology relates to the theory of plate tectonics, a framework that has revolutionized thinking in the geosciences.

Prerequisites:  None


 

GEOS140 Sustainability Science (3.0 sh)

An investigation of interconnectedness of global trends in population growth, natural resources, energy, water resources, biodiversity, agriculture, land use and urbanization, human health, food security, inequality in economic development, and global environmental threats in the context of climate change.  The strategies and decision making skills to formulate pathways for economic growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable at the global scale will be discussed.

Prerequisites:  None


 

GEOS213 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

An introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) with emphasis on capturing, storing, editing, querying, displaying, and analyzing geographically referenced data. Lecture and laboratory materials are designed to provide students with hands-on experience on real-world applications of GIS in their respective fields.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS215 Environmental Geology

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

Students will traverse the spectrum of applied geology focusing upon its relation to human activities. Included among topics are water availability; geologic hazards such as earth quakes, landslides, and land subsidence; mineral and energy resources; engineering geology, waste disposal and pollution; land-use planning; coasts and coastal management; and medical and legal aspects of geology.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS110 ) OR ( GEOS130 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS230 Geomorphology

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3sh ]

A study of landforms and the factors involved in their formation including geologic processes, composition, structure, and climate. The laboratory emphasizes the recognition of various landforms using topographic and aerial photographs.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS110 ) OR ( GEOS130 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS260 Geology Field Trip
[Minimum Semester Hours: 1 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 1sh ]
Guided field trips focusing upon various areas of geologic interest. Successive trips have different emphases. Pre-trip meeting required. Participants should expect to incur expenses for meals and lodging.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS130 ) OR ( GEOS110 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS301 Invertebrate Paleontology
[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]
An introduction to the study of invertebrate fossils including: system of classification, types of fossil preservation, nomenclature, characteristic structures, ecology and evolution of the paleontologically important invertebrate phyla.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS210 ) OR ( BIOL240 ) OR ( GEOS131 )

Corequisite: None


 

GEOS305 Mineralogy and Petrology

[Minimum Semester Hours: 4 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 4 sh]

An introduction to the origin, occurrence, crystallography, and chemical and physical properties of geologically important minerals. Includes a study of the classification and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS110 ) OR ( GEOS130 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS313 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

Deals with advanced topics in geographic information systems (GIS), including spatial reference data, geometric transformation, raster data analyses, terrain mapping, viewsheds and watersheds, spacial interpolation, geocoding, dynamic segmentation, path analyses, geostatistics, mobile GIS, and GIS models and modeling. Lecture and laboratory exercises are designed to provide students with hands-on experience with real-world applications of GIS in solving problems in diverse fields.

Prerequisite: ( BIOL213 ) OR ( GEOS213 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS315 Sedimentology

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

The study of sedimentary materials, processes, depositional environments, and the products of sedimentation. Laboratories focus upon collection, analysis, and presentation of field data and the description and interpretation of both consolidated and unconsolidated sedimentary materials applying various petrologic and petrographic techniques.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS210 ) OR ( GEOS131 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS328 Science Seminar

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

The course looks at how scientists search for knowledge and try to gain an understanding of natural phenomena. Students explore the roles science and technology play in human activities both locally and globally. Specific topics vary and are based on the expertise and interest of the faculty member responsible for teaching the course that semester.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS360 Hydrogeology

[Minimum Semester Hours: 4 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 4 sh]

A course that emphasizes practical hydrogeologic principles, stressing interactions between geology and both surface and underground water. Topics include occurrence, production, and management of groundwater, water quality, flooding and flood control, and sources of information for the practicing hydrogeologist.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS110 AND MATH141 ) OR ( GEOS130 AND MATH141 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS361 Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3sh ]

An upper-level course designed to help students develop in-depth knowledge of geochemical processes and factors controlling chemical composition and chemical reactions that impact the quality of both surface water and groundwater in natural and anthropogenically disturbed/perturbed geological systems.

Prerequisite: ( CHEM121 AND GEOS110 ) OR ( CHEM121 AND GEOS130 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS415 Stratigraphy
[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3sh ]
The principles of lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy form the core of this course. Geochronology and the recently developed techniques of seismic, magnetic, and isotopic stratigraphy supplement those classical principles. Laboratories emphasize the field identification and interpretation of vertical and lateral relationships of sedimentary sequences.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS315 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS420 Geology of Energy & Mineral Resources
[Minimum Semester Hours: 4 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 4 sh]
Geologic occurrence and methods of locating, mining, evaluating, and processing fossil fuels and industrial and ore minerals. Geology of major, worldwide fuel and mineral deposits and environmental problems associated with their exploitation.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS221 ) OR ( GEOS305 )

Corequisite: None


 

GEOS430 Structural Geology

[Minimum Semester Hours: 4 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 4 sh]

The constant movements of lithospheric plates relative to one another throughout the immensity of geologic time account for the regional and local displacement and deformation of the Earth's outer layers. These deformational processes along with the changes in the size and shape of the coherent rock masses and the internal arrangement of their constituent elements are the focus of this area of geological investigation.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS210 ) OR ( GEOS131 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS450 Geophysics and Tectonics

[Minimum Semester Hours: 4 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 4 sh]

Geophysical methods used to study the Earth and other planetary bodies, including geophysical foundations of plate-tectonic theory. The course includes geophysical techniques used in mineral-resource exploration, engineering, and characterization of waste-disposal sites.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS210 ) OR ( GEOS131 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS451 Coastal Environmental Oceanography

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

Advanced topics in coastal geomorphology and environmental issues pertinent to coastal settings, including human impacts on coastal landforms, shoreline erosion, wetland loss, sea-level fluctuations, nutrients in estuaries, metals in bays, and climate change. Lecture, field trips, and laboratory exercises are designed to provide students with hands-on experience with field and laboratory equipment used to solve real-world problems in diverse coastal settings.

Prerequisite: ( GEOS120 ) OR ( GEOS130 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS458 Advanced Applied Nanotechnology Laboratory

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3 sh]

Laboratory experience drawn from an undergraduate foundation in sciences including areas of current research in nanotechnology. Experimental methods and analysis are used, with emphasis on group and individual work in the planning, execution, and presentation of research. Students may repeat for credit.

Prerequisite: ( PHAP206 )

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS490 Capstone Research Project

[Minimum Semester Hours: 2 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 2 sh]

Students engage in an intensive independent research project related to their major concentration that will culminate in a research paper and presentation based on data collected and interpreted using scientific methods.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite:   None


 

GEOS628 Science Seminar

[Minimum Semester Hours: 3 sh; Maximum Semester Hours: 3sh ]

The course looks at how scientists search for knowledge and try to gain an understanding of natural phenomena. Students explore the roles science and technology play in human activities both locally and globally. Specific topics vary and are based upon the expertise and interest of the faculty member responsible for teaching the course that semester.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite:   None

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