Courses

  • 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. In a civic engagement project, students will also explain their results to the public. The course includes several writing assignments. Two weekend field trips will be included. 6 credit; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2016 · C. Cowan
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 100

    Course Web Page - Sarah Titus

  • 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. Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken another 100-level Geology course. Requires concurrent registration in Geology 110L 6 credit; Science with Lab; offered Fall 2016, Spring 2017 · C. Cowan, B. Haileab
  • 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. Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken another Geology 100-level course. 6 credit; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2017 · D. Maxbauer
  • 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. Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken another Geology 100-level course. Requires concurrent registration in Geology 120L 6 credit; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement; not offered 2016–2017
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 120
  • GEOL 205: Geology of Energy and Mineral Resources

    This course provides a broad overview of the geology of Earth’s finite, non-renewable energy and mineral resources. The main focus of the course will be on the processes of formation, concentration, and geologic and geographic distribution of these resources. In addition we will examine how resource and reserve estimates are made, model future trends in resource production and consumption, and study the environmental impacts of resource exploitation and use. Field trips and laboratories included. Prerequisites: One lab science course or instructor permission 6 credit; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2016–2017
  • 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. Prerequisites: 100 level Geology course or instructor permission; Requires concurrent registration in Geology 210L 6 credit; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2016 · M. Savina
  • 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. Prerequisites: One introductory (100-level) Geology course. 6 credit; Science with Lab, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2016 · S. Titus
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 220
  • GEOL 230: Paleobiology

    Fossils: their anatomy and classification, evolution, and ecology. Special emphasis on the paleobiology of marine invertebrates. Field trips and laboratories included. Prerequisites: 100-level Geology course or an introductory Biology course, or instructor permission 6 credit; Science with Lab, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2017 · D. Maxbauer
  • 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. Prerequisites: One Introductory 100-level Geology course and one Physics introductory course or consent of the instructors 6 credit; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2017 · S. Titus, B. Titus
  • 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. Prerequisites: One introductory (100-level) Geology course, or Chemistry 123 or 128. 6 credit; Science with Lab; offered Winter 2017 · B. Haileab
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 250
  • 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. Prerequisites: Geology 250 6 credit; Science with Lab; offered Spring 2017 · B. Haileab
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 255
  • 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. Prerequisites: One introductory (100-level) geology course 6 credit; Science with Lab, Writing Requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • GEOL 270: Topics: Tasmania Geology and Natural History

    Reading and discussion of sources about Tasmanian natural history, human history and geology, including the geologic and biologic inheritance from Gondwana, the influence of aboriginal culture on the landscape, and current conservation issues. Students will plan field research and excursions for winter break and develop formal proposals for projects. This course is part of the OCS winter break program, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms. This course is the first in the sequence.

    3 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2016 · M. Savina, N. Braker
  • GEOL 271: Tasmania: Geology, Natural History and Conservation Research

    This course is the second part of a two-term course sequence beginning with GEOL 270. Following the winter break trip to Tasmania, students will complete and present research projects. In this course, we will also consider comparative examples of natural history and conservation policy drawn from the American Midwest.

    Prerequisites: Geology 270 prior term 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2017 · M. Savina, N. Braker
  • GEOL 285: Geology in New Zealand: North Island

    In this course, participants will study modern and ancient geologic systems in the North Island with a view to understanding the tectonic, volcanic, and sedimentary history of New Zealand. The course will include projects in a wide range of geological settings. Prerequisites: Enrollment in OCS Program 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • GEOL 286: Geology in New Zealand: Topics in North Island Geology

    This course is tied to the North Island half of the program. Readings and discussions will cover a broad range of topics appropriate to North Island geology Prerequisites: Enrollment in OCS program 2 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • GEOL 287: Geology in New Zealand: South Island

    In this course, students 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, and the Alpine fault are possible. Prerequisites: Enrollment in OCS program 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • GEOL 288: Geology in New Zealand: Topics in South Island Geology

    This course is tied to the South Island half of the program. Readings and discussions will cover a broad range of topics appropriate to South Island geology. Prerequisites: Enrollment in OCS program 2 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • GEOL 289: Geology in New Zealand: Basic Field Drawing

    Formal and informal instruction and opportunity to improve field drawing skills. This course will include an independent field drawing assignment during midterm break in New Zealand.

    Prerequisites: Enrollment in OCS program 2 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • 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.; Requires concurrent registration in Geology 340L 6 credit; Science with Lab, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2017 · M. Hagemann
  • 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. Prerequisites: Three 200-level Geology courses 6 credit; Science with Lab, Writing Requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • 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. Prerequisites: One introductory (100-level) Geology course, six credits of Physics numbered 131 and above is recommended.; Requires concurrent registration in Geology 365L 6 credit; Science with Lab; offered Winter 2017 · S. Titus
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 365
  • 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. Prerequisites: Chemistry 123 or permission of the instructor; Requires concurrent registration in Geology 370L 6 credit; Science with Lab, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2016–2017
    Extended departmental description for GEOL 370
  • 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. 1-6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017