Course Offerings

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.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2018

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.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores . GEOL 100A: First-Year seminar, open to FY students only. 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. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Knapp, Elizabeth P.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores . GEOL 100A: First-Year seminar, open to FY students only. 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. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

Preference given to first-years and sophomores . GEOL 100A: First-Year seminar, open to FY students only. 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. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Harbor, David J.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores . GEOL 100A: First-Year seminar, open to FY students only. 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. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100A - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores . GEOL 100A: First-Year seminar, open to FY students only. 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. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

Geomorphology

GEOL 247 - Harbor, David J.

Investigation of landforms from maps, aerial photographs, digital data, and the analysis of the surficial processes by which they are formed. Laboratory activities include identification and interpretation of topography, field measurements of landscape form and process, and a required weekend field trip. Laboratory course.

Introductory Geophysics

GEOL 275 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

A review of the geophysical methods used to study the interior of the Earth, the magnetic field, isostasy, and earthquake seismology. Attention is given to the methods used in geophysics to collect and analyze data. A gravimeter, a magnetometer, seismic refraction and electrical resistivity equipment are used to collect field data. The data, corrections, and interpretations are incorporated into a technical report for each of the four surveys. Laboratory course.

Earth and Environmental Geochemistry

GEOL 311 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

A laboratory course emphasizing the principles and tools of the chemical composition of Earth materials to interpret petrogenesis. The course focuses on processes occurring below and at the Earth's surface. Topics include: crystal chemistry, magmatic and metamorphic processes, trace element and isotope geochemistry, oxidation and reduction, and water-rock interactions. The laboratory includes both a local field and laboratory component and focuses on using analytical techniques to evaluate chemical composition including electron microscopy, ion chromatography, X-ray diffraction, and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

Tectonics and Thermochronology

GEOL 360 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

An introduction to mountain belts and thermochronologic techniques used to quantify tectonic processes. Topics include: orogenic wedges, metamorphic core complexes, rifting, strike-slip systems, orogenic plateaus, the relationship between tectonics and climate, and the use of bedrock and detrital thermochronology to measure rates of faulting, erosion, and exhumation. Concepts are discussed in the context of natural examples, including the Appalachians, the European Alps, the Himalaya, the Andes, and the Basin and Range Province of the southwestern United States.

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.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.