Graduate Courses

This course is designed to permit graduate students the opportunity to accomplish research necessary for the completion of a Master's Degree in Geology.Offered every term. Variable hours.1-12 Credits
Number of Credits: 12
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
The geologic odyssey course is required for all new ms and phd students in geology and planetary science. It is designed to introduce students to the professors and science carried out in the department. Each week will be run by a different professor who will present their background, research, and conduct a "micro-class" on some aspect of this work.
Number of Credits: 2
Prerequisites: Geology and Planetary Science (Ph.D. or MS) or Geographical Information System (MS)
Geology Colloquium is a required course for MS and PhD students in Geology and Planetary Science each term. It is a formalization of the seminar series with weekly guest speakers from industry, academia, and government. Each seminar will focus on a different research topic in the earth sciences and describe active and on-going projects of immediate interest to students.Offered every term.... Read More
Number of Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
The origin and characteristics of the common igneous rocks and minerals are studied in light of natural and synthetic rock systems. Main topics covered are equilibria relations of the main silicate systems, petrogenesis of the principal igneous rock types and their relation to plate tectonic regimes, and generation and source of magmas.Offered occasionally. Lecture, 3 hours. No prerequisites.
Number of Credits: 3
The goal of this course is to present an overview of the methods used to reconstruct the earth's climate history and the techniques used to determine the timing of environmental changes. Paleoclimate data from proxy records, such as ice cores or tree rings, provides a longer perspective on climatic variability than is possible from instrumental or historical records. Particular emphasis will be... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Geobiochemical Landscapes serves as an introductory overview to soil science, providing a foundation for subsequent advanced work in chemical weathering, interpretation of paleosols, etc. Lectures will provide a fundamental understanding of soil formation, the resulting chemical and physical properties of these soils, and the interactions of soil with coupled geological, biological, and chemical... Read More
Number of Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
Historical background of the concept of plate tectonics. Geophysical evidence for reconstructing the motions of continental and oceanic areas. Plate tectonic processes and characteristics of plate boundaries. Dynamics -- the nature of the driving forces. Geosynclines, orogenic belts and crustal evolution will be examined with regard to plate tectonic theory. Types of plate boundaries (divergent... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
The integrated study of sedimentary basins as geodynamic entities, including tectonic environment, geologic history and associated strength of the lithosphere, rock weathering and erosion, and sediment transport. The class will give students a background in driving mechanisms for basin formation and subsidence, sedimentary record preservation and alterationk, sedimentary geometry, facies and... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: GEOL 1100 AND GEOL 1020; LVL: GRADUATE
This course serves as an introduction to physical and chemical processes controlling movement and composition of groundwater. The course will emphasize both theoretical (e.g., derivation of governing equations from first principals) and practical aspects (e.g., tools for characterizing groundwater contamination) of groundwater. Most of the class will be devoted toward physical process in geologic... Read More
Number of Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
The goal of this course is to continue to gain expertise in ARC/INFO GIS and computer workstations. Students will use GIS instruments to collect GIS data, import and export DEM and DLG data in a variety of format, be introduced to map projections, ModelBuilder models, and work with the TIN, grid, and network modules of ARC/INFO on computer workstations.Offered every spring term. Lecture, 3 hours.
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
The goals of this course are to develop an understanding of the principles and applications of well logging,  an understanding of geological lithology, unit and stratigraphic characteristics, structure geology, fault structure and other geological concepts relevant to well log analysis. We focus on the student's ability the ability to interpret well logs and field analysis based upon well logs,... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
The goal of this course is to gain expertise in the methods of Geographic Information Systems using the GeoTRANS and ArcGIS software packages on PC based workstations. No previous computer classes are required. Students will be graded on the basis of approximately 5 computer assignments, in-class exercises, a project, and final exam. This course is a core course for the GIS Certificate.Offered... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Designed as a follow on to the introduction to remote sensing course currently offered, this advanced class emphasizes field-oriented problems, data collection, and verification. The ultimate goal is to explore the connection between remotely-gathered imagery and the real-world factors which influence those data. Students will come away with an appreciation of current remote sensing issues, an... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
This course is offered in conjunction with the introduction to remote sensing (geol-1460) - this course provides a foundation in the theory and techniques of remote sensing and geospatial data visualization spanning the electromagnetic spectrum from the ultraviolet to microwave wavelength region. Topics will include light/matter interaction, optics and sensor design, image analysis using... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PLAN: Geology and Planetary Science(PHD or MS) or Geographical Information Sys(MS)
This is mainly a lecture course that will examine the carbon cycle and the life cycle of the organisms that are responsible for the eventual accumulation of organic materials in sediments. The processes involved in the simultaneous preservation and transformation of organic materials into coal, petroleum, natural gas, kerogen and other dispersed organics will be reviewed in light of modern... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
This course will focus on techniques used in the mineralogical, elemental, and isotopic analysis of geological and environmental samples, including inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and isotopic ratio measurement by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Topics include the basics of instrument theory and operation, sample collection and preparation, and... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
This course explores the complex interactions of Earth's rock, water, air, and life systems that determine the chemical characteristics of our environment. We will examine the distribution, cycling, and transport of chemical compounds in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and terrestrial environment on local and global scales. Topics will include water chemistry, organic and inorganic pollution and... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Isotope ratios are used as tracers and geochronological tools for a wide range of applications in geology, hydrology, oceanography, biology, cosmochemistry, and other fields. In this course, the student will be introduced to isotope systematics (including mass dependent fractionation, radioactive decay, generation of cosmogenic nuclides, and nucleosynthesis) and will go into depth on applications... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Isotope ratios are used as tracers and geochronological tools for a wide range of applications in geology, hydrology, oceanography, biology, cosmochemistry, and other fields. In this course, the student will be introduced to isotope systematics (including mass dependent fractionation, radioactive decay, generation of cosmogenic nuclides, and nucleosynthesis) and will go into depth on applications... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
This course will provide students with a thorough introduction to the stable isotope systematics of light elements (hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur). The course examines the fundamental concepts of isotope equilibrium and kinetics, physiochemical and biogenic mechanisms of isotope exchange, and the principles of mass spectrometry and stable isotope extraction techniques.Offered... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: GEOL 2520
The geological and natural processes that affect the human environment in catastrophic ways are examined in this class in terms of science, prediction, mitigation, avoidance and the policy/safety issues involved. These problems commonly result from human activity modifying and impinging the natural geologic processes. Detailed topics covered include the four primary hazards that are common in the... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
This course will cover the geochemical evolution of the solar system, including nucleosynthesis, planetary accretion and differentiation, formation of Earth's moon, and continuing geochemical processes on the terrestrial planets. We will approach models for planetary geochemical evolution using the meteorite record, lunar sample chemistry, and data from planetary surface probes (e.g., Venus, Mars... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
This is an introductory course in physical volcanology offered at the graduate level (although advanced undergraduates may enroll with instructor permission). Main topics covered are the geomorphology of volcanic landforms, physical properties and appearance of lava flows; the mechanisms of explosive eruptions, their associated transport and depositional processes and the nature of the products... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
This course permits graduate students to explore specific topics in the geological sciences. The course is designed in a more flexible format than a directed study, stressing a higher degree of independent library research.Offered every term. Variable hours.1-12 Credits
Number of Credits: 12
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
Number of Credits: 1-12 This course permits graduate students to explore specific topics in the geological sciences. The course is designed in a more flexible format than a directed study, stressing a higher degree of independent library research. Offered every term. Variable hours.  
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
This course is designed to permit graduate students the opportunity to accomplish research necessary for the completion of a PHD Degree in geology.Offered every term. Variable hours.1-12 Credits
Number of Credits: 12
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
Various geophysical techniques‑‑seismic, gravimetric, magnetic, and electro‑magnetic‑‑are frequently utilized in the exploration of the Earth's crust for mineral or petroleum deposits of economic value. The basic principles of these techniques, the interpretation of geophysical data, and their application to geology will be discussed in quantitative detail.Offered every other year. Lecture, 3... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Understanding the science of watersheds is critical to improving water quality. This course will examine surface water hydrology, biogeochemistry, and management of watersheds. In addition, we will focus on how varying land uses influence the dynamics of hydrology and biogeochemistry across these systems. Student will develop an understanding of the biogeochemistry of various major elements in... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Orbital remote sensing of the earth has been a reality since the first imaging satellites were launched in the early 1960¿s.  Hundreds of satellites and thousands of sensors are now currently in orbit measuring diverse data sets important for geological, weather, environmental, and climate processes.  This graduate-level, seminar style course will explore many of these missions and sensors by the... Read More
Number of Credits: 1
This is a course designed to permit graduate students an opportunity to explore facets of research possibly leading to project/thesis/dissertation topic.Offered every term. Variable hours.
Number of Credits: 12
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
Number of Credits: 1-12 This is a course designed to permit graduate students an opportunity to explore facets of research possibly leading to project/thesis/dissertation topic. Offered every term. Variable hours.
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
This is a course designed to permit graduate students an opportunity to explore facets of research possibly in the area of information science systems related to their project/thesis/dissertation topic.Offered every term. Variable hours.
Number of Credits: 12
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.
This course allows the flexibility of exploring, in depth, a new topic in geology each time it is taught.  The instructor teaching the course in any given term will select the specific topic for that term.
Prerequisites: None
This graduate level course provides students with an introduction to the multi-disciplinary sciences of paleoclimatology and paleoceanography and, more importantly, with a review of recent advances in climate and ocean change research. Specifically, this course will examine the evolution of climate through the Cenozoic, Milankovitch orbital theory, past solar variability, and models of oceanic... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: GEOL 2049
This graduate class will focus on the study lake sediments as archives of climatic change. Lake deposits form a significant part of the geologic record and contain high resolution records of past climatic and environmental changes in continental environments. Because lake deposits are the product of diverse geochemical experiments they provide a framework to discuss numerous problems, which are... Read More
Number of Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None. Department Consent Required.

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