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Geology (GEOL)

Chair: Associate Professor Clinton A. Cowan

Professors: Shelby J. Boardman, Mary E. Savina

Associate Professors: Clinton A. Cowan, Cameron Davidson, Bereket Haileab

Assistant Professor: Sarah J. Titus

Students who discover in themselves a sense of excitement about climate change, volcanoes, fossils, mountains, rivers and earthquakes, will find a good home at Carleton. 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 environmental sciences, industry, academia and the public sector at the local through federal levels. A degree in Geology has also proved to be a good foundation for graduate work in law, architecture, engineering, resource economics, and resource management, conservation and work with the Parks Service. Typical of Carleton, our graduates can also be found in business, medicine, social work, the ministry, and a dozen more other professions, in part because the geology curriculum is both flexible and rooted in the traditions of a liberal arts education.

Requirements for a Major:

A minimum of 42 credits in geology selected from the following courses: one introductory geology course (100 or 110, or 120 or ENTS 100 (Savina), 210, 220, 230, 240, 241, 242, 243, 250, 255, 258, 260, 265, 340, or 370. Biology 348 may count toward the geology major only if Biology 349 is taken concurrently. Only six credits toward the major can be counted from any single off-campus program (e.g. Italy, SEA, Australia) and only twelve credits total can be counted from all off-campus programs. Each student must complete six credits of Geology 400, Integrative Exercise. Each student must also take the following courses: Physics 112 or two of the three following courses: Physics 113, 114 and 115; Chemistry 123, or 128 (and Chemistry 122 if needed as a prerequisite to 123 or 128); and Mathematics 111 and one of the following: Mathematics 121, 215 or Computer Science 117. Students should take three or four 200-level courses before taking advanced (300-level) courses. Participation in a recognized summer field camp is highly recommended for all majors. The basic requirements for the 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. Junior and senior majors in other natural sciences may enroll in geology courses numbered 200 and above without the introductory geology prerequisite with permission of the instructor.

Geology Courses:

GEOL 100. Geology in the Field This course is an introduction to the fundamental principles of geology through first-hand field work. The great majority of our 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 reading, students will gradually piece together the most important elements of the long and complex geologic history of southern Minnesota. Two weekend field trips will be included. Evaluation will be based on weekly reports and an end-of-term summary report and presentation. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, MS, FallS. Boardman

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 Geology 120. 6 cr., MS, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff

GEOL 120. Introduction to Environmental Geology An introduction to the basic principles needed to understand humankind's use and abuse of soil, water, fuels, and other resources. Field trips and laboratories included. Not open to students who have taken Geology 110. 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GEOL 190. 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. 6 cr., MS, WinterC. Davidson

GEOL 210. Geomorphology Study of the geological processes and factors which influence the origin and development of the surficial features of the earth. Laboratories and field trips included. Prerequisite: One introductory geology course (110 or 120), or consent of the instructor. 6 cr., MS, FallM. Savina

GEOL 220. Tectonics Study of the plate tectonics paradigm, including the historical developments, present status of the paradigm, and outstanding problems. Topics include an introduction to geophysical principles, the early evolution of the Earth, and the search for a driving mechanism of this global system. Laboratories included. Prerequisites: One introductory geology course (110 or 120). 6 cr., MS, WinterS. 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 geology course (110, or 120, ENTS 110 or an introductory biology course), or consent of the instructor. 6 cr., MS, SpringC. Cowan

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 geology course (110 or 120), or Chemistry 123 or 128. 6 cr., MS, WinterB. Haileab

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, SpringC. Davidson

GEOL 258. Geology of Soils The study of soil formation, 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 geology course (110 or 120). 6 cr., MS, Not offered in 2006-2007.

GEOL 260. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy This class is based on field examination of local outcrops of Lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. We will spend time determining the processes (and environments) involved in the creation, movement, and deposition of these ancient sediments. Also of interest are the transformation of these sediments into rock and the analysis and correlation of strata. Weekly laboratories and several day-trips (scheduled for weekends) are required. The distance to some outcrops necessitates a late return to campus; participants should note the extended laboratory times for this class. Please consider that both Paleobiology and Geomorphology prepare students for work in Sedimentology, but neither is a prerequisite. 6 cr., MS, FallC. Cowan

GEOL 265. Structural Geology The study of the processes and products of crustal deformation. Topics include the mechanics of deformation at a range of scales­from crystals to continents, earthquakes, mountain-building, and impacts. Laboratories and one weekend field trip are included. Prerequisites: One introductory geology course (110 or 120); Physics 112 or Physics 113 or 114 and Physics 115 is recommended. 6 cr., MS, FallS. Titus

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. Prerequisites: Geology 210 or junior/senior standing in one of the physical sciences. 6 cr., ND, WinterM. Savina

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., ND, SpringB. Haileab

GEOL 395. High Latitude Periglacial In this course, we will read journal articles and explore data sets related to periglacial geomorphology and climate change. Students will compile a field guide and design field projects. Prerequisite: Sophomore or junior standing and either Geology 210 or Geology 258. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, MS, SpringM Savina

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 of 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. 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