Students who discover in themselves a sense of excitement about the environment, mountains, climate change, volcanoes, fossils, rivers and earthquakes, will find a good home in the Carleton Geology Department. Founded by Dr. Laurence M. Gould, former President of the College and one of the first geologists to explore Antarctica, the geology department retains a spirit of exploration and adventure. Fieldwork in the out of doors is central to our curriculum. The interests and goals of geology students are diverse; more than three-fourths go to graduate school as preparation for careers in academia, environmental sciences, science journalism, industry, and the public sector at the local through federal levels. A degree in Geology has also proved to be a good foundation for graduate study and work in conservation, architecture, engineering, resource economics, environmental education, and resource management. Typical of Carleton, our graduates can also be found in almost any profession.
The geology curriculum is flexible, rigorous, and rooted in the traditions of a liberal arts education. Junior and senior majors in other natural sciences and Environmental Studies are welcome to enroll in geology courses numbered 200 and above without the introductory geology prerequisite with permission of the instructor. Students may receive credit for only one 100-level geology course.
Requirements for a Major
In addition to any introductory geology (100 level) course that includes a laboratory section, students must take 36 credits from the 200- and 300-level Geology course offerings. The requirement for introductory geology may be waived for juniors who come to geology from another science major. Six credits toward the major can be counted from any single off-campus program where appropriate, with a maximum of twelve credits toward the major from all off-campus programs. Each student must complete six credits of Geology 400, Integrative Exercise and attend seminars associated with comps fall, winter and spring terms senior year (students planning to spend a term off-campus during senior year should attend the appropriate seminars during junior year). Each student must also complete six credits of Physics from courses numbered 131 and above; six credits of Chemistry from courses numbered 123 and above; and twelve credits of Mathematics from courses numbered 111 and above; Computer Science courses numbered 111 and above may count for six credits of the mathematics requirement. Geology students should take three or four 200-level courses before taking 300-level courses. Geology majors are encouraged to participate in a recognized field camp and take part in summer research opportunities. These requirements for the geology major are considered to be minimal; students planning a career in geology or the earth sciences should take several additional courses in mathematics and other sciences as well as geology. Students interested in earth science education should discuss their plans with Ms. Savina because a number of specific courses must be taken for teacher certification.
Note: Students may receive credit for only one 100-level geology course.
GEOL 100. Geology in the Field This course introduces fundamental principles of geology and geological reasoning through first-hand field work. Much class time will be spent outdoors at nearby sites of geological interest. Using field observations, descriptions, data-gathering, hypothesis-testing, and interpreting, supplemented by lab work and critical reading, students will piece together the most important elements of the long and complex geologic history of southern Minnesota. They will learn how geologists ask questions, evaluate information and construct arguments. The course includes several writing assignments. Two weekend field trips will be included. 6 cr., ND, WR; AI, WR1, QRE, FallC. Davidson
GEOL 110. Introduction to Geology An introduction to the study of earth systems, physical processes operating on the earth, and the history of the earth. Field trips, including an all-day trip, and laboratories included. Not open to students who have taken another Geology 100-level course 6 cr., MS; LS, Fall,SpringB. Haileab, S. Titus
GEOL 115. Climate Change in Geology This course is designed to introduce the study of paleoclimatology broadly, and is based on investigating local deposits that span a broad range of geologic time. We will perform research projects on topics of local interest, which may include: analyzing fossils in 450 million year old rock, scrutinizing reported Cretaceous dinosaur gizzard-stones, researching post-Ice Age climate change using cave or lake deposits, and using dendrochronology (tree rings) and seismic surveys to study disruption of the prairie-big woods landscape by European settlers. Participants should be prepared for outdoor laboratories and one Saturday field trip. Not open to students who have taken another Geology 100-level course. 6 cr., MS; LS, QRE, WinterC. Cowan
GEOL 120. Introduction to Environmental Geology An introduction to geology emphasizing environmental health and humankind's use and abuse of soil, water, fuels, and other resources. Field trips and laboratories included. Not open to students who have taken another Geology 100-level course. 6 cr., MS; LS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 210. Geomorphology Study of the geological processes and factors which influence the origin and development of the surficial features of the earth, with an emphasis on some or all of the processes in Minnesota. Laboratories and field trips included. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course or consent of instructor. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, WR2, QRE, Offered in alternate years. FallC. Jennings
GEOL 215. Energy and the Environment This course focuses on the scientific evidence of climate change and how human behavior impacts the composition of the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. We also explore the potential of reducing or eliminating carbon from the energy stream. Students work in groups to research and present the scientific, economic, political, legal, and/or social consequences/implications of 1) global warming, 2) our current energy system, and 3) alternative energy systems in three related case studies. Writing briefs, oral presentations and panel discussions are emphasized. Does not count toward the Geology major. Prerequisite: One introductory lab science course. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, QRE, Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 220. Tectonics This course focuses on understanding the plate tectonics paradigm and its application to all types of plate boundaries. We will explore the historical development of the paradigm, geophysical tools used for imaging the structure of the Earth and determining plate motions, and possible driving mechanisms of this global system. Students will independently explore a particular tectonic plate in detail throughout the term. Laboratories included. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, WR2, FallS. Titus
GEOL 230. Paleobiology Fossils: their anatomy and classification, evolution, and ecology. Special emphasis on the paleobiology of marine invertebrates. Field trips and laboratories included. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course or an introductory Biology course, or consent of the instructor. 6 cr., MS; LS, SpringC. Cowan
GEOL 232. Tropical Marine Biogeoscience This course will focus on background needed to perform fieldwork in Belize. We will use sources from the primary literature, as well as borrowings from textbooks, to learn some basics about oceanography, tropical marine ecosystems, benthic marine organisms and their habitats, the Caribbean Sea, and global changes that are affecting these things. Students will work in teams to formulate research topics that they will then pursue during the two weeks of fieldwork over Winter Break. We may need to get together several times during Fall Term to practice snorkeling in the pool. This course is part of the off-campus winter break Belize Program, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms. This course is the first class in the sequence. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in either Geology or Biology. 6 cr., ND; NE, FallC. Cowan
GEOL 233. Field Research in Belize Tropical Marine Environments This course is the second part of a two-term course sequence beginning with Geology 232. This course will consist of fieldwork in Belize for two weeks at the University of Belize's Calabash Caye Field Station followed by on-campus work during winter term. Prerequisite: Geology 232. 6 cr., ND; NE, WinterC. Cowan
GEOL 240. Geophysics This applied geophysics course focuses on understanding the near-surface structure of the Earth using a hand-on approach. Students will collect, process, model, and interpret geophysical data using gravitational, magnetic, and seismic methods. Weekly laboratories and one weekend field trip will be required. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course and one Physics introductory course (131, 132, 141, 142) or consent of the instructors. 6 cr., MS; LS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 250. Mineralogy The study of the chemical and physical properties of minerals, their geologic occurrence and associations. Topics include crystallography, crystal chemistry, x-ray analysis, phase equilibria, classification, optical mineralogy, and environments of formation. Laboratories are included. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course, or Chemistry 123 or 128. 6 cr., MS; LS, WinterC. Davidson
GEOL 255. Petrology An introduction to the fundamental physical, chemical and tectonic principles that are relevant to the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Labs emphasize description and interpretation of the origin of rocks based on hand specimen and thin section study. Field trips and laboratories are included. Prerequisite: Geology 250. 6 cr., MS; LS, SpringC. Davidson
GEOL 258. Geology of Soils The study of soil formation, and physical and chemical properties of soils especially as related to geomorphology and land use. Laboratories and field trips will emphasize how to describe and interpret soils. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course, or permission of instructor. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 285. Geology in New Zealand: North Island In this course, we will study modern and ancient geologic systems in the North Island with a view to understanding the volcanic, sedimentary and geomorphologic history of New Zealand. These may include projects and visits to sites such as volcanic systems, hot springs, modern marine-estuarine settings, and terraced fluvial-alluvial systems, among others 6 cr., MS; NE, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 286. Geology in New Zealand: Topics in North Island Geology This reading and discussion course focuses on the Geology of the North Island. Including topics such as: (a) risk and mitigation of flood, landslide, volcanic and seismic hazards in New Zealand (b) connections between the Gondwanan geologic heritage of New Zealand and its natural ecosystems, and (c) present environmental geology issues in New Zealand. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, MS; LS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 287. Geology in New Zealand: South Island In this course, we will study the tectonic evolution of the South Island. Participants will work in small teams to hone their field observation skills, make structural measurements, and develop their mapping skills in several field sites across the South Island. Visits to additional field sites such as glaciers, fjords, slivers of the mantle, and the Alpine fault are possible. 6 cr., MS; NE, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 288. Geology in New Zealand: Topics in South Island Geology This reading and discussion course focuses on the Geology of the South Island. Readings, exercises, and discussions will focus on topics such as: (a) the development and assembly of New Zealand, (b) the distribution of current plate motion across New Zealand, and (c) how tectonic processes continue to shape New Zealand. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, MS; LS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 340. Hydrology A seminar on major principles of ground and surface water hydrology and their application to contemporary hydrologic problems. The course will draw considerably on student-directed investigation of critical areas of study in hydrology. Prerequisite: Geology 210 or junior/senior standing in one of the physical sciences. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, WR2, QRE, SpringR. Tipping
GEOL 350. Special Topics in Advanced Geology Intensive study of the original journal literature of a particular geologic province or subfield of geology, culminating in cooperative preparation of a professional field trip guide, review paper or major presentation. Prerequisite: Senior standing in Geology or permission of instructor 3 cr., MS; NE, Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 360. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy This course is based on field examination of outcrops of Lower Paleozoic sedimentary rock. We will interpret the processes involved in the creation, movement, and deposition of these ancient sediments, and try to determine their paleoenvironments. Also of interest are the transformation of these sediments into rock and the analysis and correlation of strata. Weekly laboratories, one overnight trip, and one Saturday trip are required. Please note the late laboratory times. Both paleobiology and geomorphology prepare students for work in sedimentology. This course is intended for upperclass Geology majors, and much of the work is done in teams. Prerequisite: Three 200-level Geology courses. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, WR2, FallC. Cowan
GEOL 365. Structural Geology This course focuses on rock deformation at scales ranging from the collision of continents to the movement of individual atoms within crystals. We will examine structures that develop within different layers of the Earth's lithosphere and discuss how and why these structures form. Reading, discussion, and presentation of scientific literature is expected throughout the term as we focus on deformation and tectonics in a single region. Laboratories and one weekend field trip are included. Prerequisite: One introductory (100-level) Geology course, six credits of Physics numbered 131 and above is recommended. 6 cr., MS; LS, WinterS. Titus
GEOL 370. Geochemistry of Natural Waters The main goal of this course is to introduce and tie together the several diverse disciplines that must be brought to bear on hydrogeochemical problems today. This course will explore: principles of geochemistry, applications of chemical thermodynamics to geologic problems, mineral solubility, stability diagrams, chemical aspects of sedimentary rocks, geochemical tracers, radiogenic isotopes and principles of stable isotope fractionation. Laboratories included. Prerequisite: Chemistry 123 or instructor's consent. 6 cr., MS, WR; LS, WR2, QRE, Not offered in 2012-2013.
GEOL 400. Integrative Exercise Each senior geology major must take a total of six credits of Geology 400. One of the credits will be awarded in the spring term for the preparation and delivery of a formal talk and attendance at the talks or other seniors. The other five credits must be taken in the fall and/or winter terms. Credits can be divided between those two terms or all five credits may be taken in the same term. All seniors must attend the Geology 400 seminars which will meet weekly fall and winter term. Geology 400 is a continuing course, and the grade will not be awarded until the end of spring term. 6 cr., S/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff