Course Offerings

Fall 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered, with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered, with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Knapp, Elizabeth P.

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered, with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Harbor, David J.

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered, with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100A - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered, with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

History and Evolution of the Earth

GEOL 205 - Lyon, Eva C.

An introductory examination of the origin and physical evolution of the Earth as inferred from the rock record. Areas of particular emphasis include: (1) the origin of the solar system and differentiation of the planets; (2) the evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere and hydrosphere; (3) explanations for the development of life; (4) organic evolution and interpretations of "mass extinctions;" (5) the changing configuration of continental blocks and ocean basins by continental drift, seafloor spreading, and plate tectonics; and (6) the growth of continental blocks and their mountain systems.

Laboratory Study of the Fossil Record

GEOL 209 - Lyon, Eva C.

Examination of the fossilized remains of representative species of major groups of organisms. Emphasis is given to those organisms which, due to uneven distribution in the record, are particularly useful in interpreting the age and setting of ancient rocks.

GIS and Remote Sensing

GEOL 260 - Harbor, David J.

A laboratory course introducing the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing in geological/environmental analyses and decision making. Students use state-of-the-art software with a wide variety of spatial geologic, environmental, economic and topographic data derived from satellites; remote databases and published maps to evaluate geologic conditions; local landscape processes; environmental conditions; and hypothetical land-use cases.

Seminar

GEOL 397A - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

The title, term of meeting, and credits for seminars will be announced to all geology majors. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Fall 2019, GEOL 397A-01: Seminar: Measure Earth through Geodesy (3). Prerequisite: Geology majors, or GEOL 100 or 101 with instructor consent. Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring the position, shape, mass, and orientation of geologic features ranging in size from a few millimeters to the entire Earth. This course explores modern geodesy in the context of societal issues. Topics include active tectonics, earthquake and volcano hazards, topography measurements, slope stability, water resources, ice mass loss, and sea level change. Through in-class activities and assignments, students gain experience with geodetic tools such as GPS positioning, satellite imaging, satellite gravity measurements, and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Students build entry-level computational skills throughout the term. Jay Seymour.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Harbor, David J.

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.

Spring 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Knapp, Elizabeth P.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

Spring 2019, GEOL 105-01: FS: Earth Lab: Hawaii (4). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Additional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term. An introductory study of earth science and the geology of the Hawaiian Islands. Its purpose is to provide an unparalleled opportunity to observe a wide variety of geologic processes in action. This course entails close interaction with the faculty and intensive study amongst the students during the term. (SL) Knapp.

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

Spring 2019, GEOL 105-02: Earth Lab: The Next Big One (4) . Additional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term. Preference given to first-years and sophomores. Some of humanity's biggest threats are a direct consequence of huge, powerful motions of water, air, and earth. In this course, we explore natural hazards through the lens of geology. What do we know about natural hazards? How do we know what we know? Do we know enough to keep people safe? We also think critically about natural hazards communication. How is information about natural hazards communicated to the public? Is the information accurate? Should we, as geologists, address misconceptions, and, if so, how? We focus on case studies of atmospheric, hydrologic, and tectonic natural hazards, and spend 5 days at Mount Saint Helens, observing the geologic and societal aftermath of the destructive 1980 eruption. (SL) Jay Seymour.

 

Environmental Field Methods

GEOL 231 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

An introduction to the study of standard methods, equipment and tools used in environmental field investigations. Special attention is given to methods used by geologists to measure, record, and report field observations associated with groundwater, surface water, soil and air. Focus is given to the validity of data obtained using various investigative strategies as well as data handling and presentation. The course has an intensive field component using the local watershed as a model environmental system.

Regional Geology

GEOL 373 - Harbor, David J.

The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside fieldwork with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. Information about the course is available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements

Spring 2019: GEOL 373-01: Regional Geology of Iceland (4). Where else do glaciers form on a hot spot at a mid-ocean spreading center? Explore the dynamics of Iceland where volcanism creates elevation that invites erosion under glacial icecaps. Discover myriad volcanic flows, rocks and landforms. Unravel a short but complicated volcanic and tectonic history. See glaciers and their deposits and then imagine the processes and forms of the late glacial maximum when Iceland was larger in area but completely covered in ice. Learn how Icelanders live with volcanic, climatic, and other hazards. Experience a culture that prides itself on sustainability but has difficult choices to make about increasingly intense land use, a struggle as old as the sagas. (SL) Harbor, Biemiller.

Winter 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

General Geology

GEOL 101 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 100. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology

GEOL 101 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 100. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

Planetary Geology

GEOL 104 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

Large-scale geological features of the Earth are examined and compared with surface features visible on images of other planets and planetary satellites of the solar system. Features examined include those resulting from volcanism, impact cratering, and structure; eolian, fluvial, glacial and periglacial processes; and mass movement. The composition of terrestrial and lunar rocks and extraterrestrial objects is examined. Models of the origin and evolution of planets and their satellites are discussed.

Global Climate Change

GEOL 141 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

A study of Earth's complex climate system and the impact of human activities on future climates. Through readings, discussions, data analyses and modeling exercises, the past and future changes in temperature, ocean circulation, rainfall, storminess, biogeochemistry, glacial ice extent and sea level are explored.

Water Resources

GEOL 150 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

An examination of the quality and quantity of water resources as a limiting factor for life on earth. Issues include resource depletion, pollution, historical use and over-use, remediation, habitat maintenance, and water supply mechanisms. Resource constraints are analyzed from a scientific perspective in order to understand water resource problems and envision solutions.

Hydrology

GEOL 240 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Systems and processes of water movement on and below the Earth's surface. Encompasses the theoretical and applied aspects of soil moisture, runoff, flooding, groundwater movement, and water-well use. Numerical evaluation of flow properties from field and lab data describing water movement in soils, aquifers, and streams. Laboratory course.

Structural Geology and Tectonics

GEOL 250 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

Description and methods of analysis of large- and small-scale structural features of the Earth's crust. Topics also include the analysis of geometry, strain and stress as they relate to deformation in the earth. Rock mechanics, application of structural geology in environmental engineering and resource exploration, geometric and computational techniques used in structural analysis, interpretation of geologic maps, and the structural development of mountain systems are also covered. Laboratory course.

Sedimentation and Stratigraphy

GEOL 330 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

Properties, origins, and dynamics of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Correlation, organization, and historical interpretation of the sedimentary rock record. Field and laboratory analyses of sedimentary rocks. Laboratory course.

Seminar

GEOL 397A - Harbor, David J.

The title, term of meeting, and credits for seminars will be announced to all geology majors. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Winter 2019, GEOL 397A-01: Seminar: Glaciology and Glacial Geology (3). Prerequisite: Geology majors, or GEOL 100 or 101 with instructor consent. For the last 30 million years, glaciers have marched to the orbital drumbeat of our cooling planet. Glacial advances and retreats are fundamental components of Neogene because of their erosion and deposition shape a good portion of the geological record, and their appearance alters sea level, climate, and tectonics. This seminar explores the creation, movement, and disappearance of glacial ice, the morphology of glaciers, and the landforms and deposits they leave behind. We use textbooks, primary geological literature, numerical and analogue modeling, and discussion to explore the breadth of this field. Harbor.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Harbor, David J.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.