Course Offerings

Fall 2017

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 - Farris, David W.

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 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

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 - 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 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.

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.

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 - Farris, David W.

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.

Seminar

GEOL 395A - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

Topics vary by term.

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.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

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 - 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.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.

Spring 2017

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 - Leonard-Pingel, Jill S.

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 2017, GEOL 105-01: Earth Lab: Dinosaurs (4). Prerequisite: First-Year or sophomore standing only. Additional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term. A multidisciplinary investigation into the morphology, classification, and ecology of the dinosaurs and their close relatives; the environmental, climatic, and geographic conditions on earth during the time of the dinosaurs and how geologists make those paleo-environmental interpretations; and the biological principles involved in understanding the origin, evolution, and extinction of the dinosaurs. In addition, students discuss how scientific investigations proceed, how science is conveyed to a larger audience, and why dinosaurs in the media are often portrayed with so many scientific errors. (SL) Leonard-Pingel .

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Axler, Jennifer A. (Jen)

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 2017, GEOL 105-02: Earth Lab: Energy, Resources, and the Environment (4). Prerequisite: First-Year, sophomore, or junior standing only. Additional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term. Energy from natural resources is used in many aspects of daily life, powering homes, schools, farms, businesses, and vehicles. In this modern industrial society, affordable energy is integral to sustaining our economic, social, and political standings. Most of our energy comes from the use of fossil fuels which come with a significant environmental impact. This course surveys the production and efficiency of a wide range of energy resources (including oil, gas, coal, solar, and wind), and studies the environmental impacts of obtaining energy and natural resources via each of these systems. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each energy resource and how we might improve our current energy system. (SL) Axler.

Environmental Field Methods

GEOL 231 - Smith, Stephen G.

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 2017, GEOL 373-01: Regional Geology: Iceland (4). Prerequisites: Instructor consent and two geology courses numbered 200 or above. Learn and discover the volcanic and glacial geology of Iceland, and explore sustainability practices. Most of the course is taught in the field in Iceland. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Harbor .

Winter 2017

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 - Smith, Stephen G.

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 - Leonard-Pingel, Jill S.

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 - Axler, Jennifer A. (Jen)

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 - Smith, Stephen G.

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.

History and Evolution of the Earth

GEOL 205 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

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.

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.

Earth Materials II: Geochemistry

GEOL 311 - Axler, Jennifer A. (Jen)

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.

Seminar

GEOL 395A - Harbor, David J.

Topics vary by term.

Winter 2017, GEOL 395A-01: Iceland Seminar (1).    A weekly seminar in which students learn about sustainability and the bedrock and glacial history of Iceland through making maps, examining rocks and minerals, viewing films, and reading and discuss primary literature. This seminar is a required prerequisite for GEOL 373: Regional Geology of Iceland to be taught in Spring 2017. Harbor.

Seminar

GEOL 397A - Leonard-Pingel, Jill S.

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 2017, GEOL 397A-01: Paleontogy Seminar (3). Prerequisite: GEOL 100, 101, or 105. A seminar-style course reviewing the major questions in the field of paleontology today based on readings of the primary literature. Topics include: macroevolution, taphonomy, mass extinctions, the origin of life, and conservation paleobiology. In addition, students will become familiar with the fossil groups used to address these questions. Leonard-Pingel.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

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 402 - 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.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

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 - 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 - Leonard-Pingel, Jill S.

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 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

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.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

Honors Thesis.