Geoscience Course Listings

General Education Courses (100-level)


Undergraduate Level Courses (Geology)


Undergraduate Level Courses (Geography)


Graduate Level Courses

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General Education Courses (100-Level)


Looking to satisfy your Science distribution requirements?

There are many ways to satisfy your 7 units of Science general education distribution requirements. Typically, this is one lecture class (3 units) and one lecture + lab class (4 units). Beginning with Fall 2011, in addition to GEOG 103: Physical Geography of Earth's Environment lecture (DE or classroom), we will also be offering the accompanying lab (GEOG 104) online. You can take the all in one class, all online, or a hybrid. Additionally, we will be offering GEOL 101: Exploring Planet Earth lecture as a distance education class.

View course descriptions below, and register to satisfy your Science requirements with the flexibility of an online course!

Coming soon, Spring 2012:
Two new distance education physical science labs: Distance Education GEOL 100: Natural Disasters + lab, and GEOL 101: Exploring Planet Earth lab.


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GEOL 100
Natural Disasters
(3 cr)
Causes of natural disasters and their impact on people and property. Focuses on geological hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods. Satisfies the University Science Requirement. *Lecture
GEOL 101
Introductory Geology: Exploring Planet Earth
(4 cr)
Basics of geology including the birth and evolution of planet Earth, geologic time, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, natural resources, and surface processes.  Understanding how geology is important to your life. Satisfies the General Education Core requirement for a science course AND a laboratory science course. *Lecture and Lab
GEOL 102
Earth and Life Through Time
(4 cr)
Systematic review of the history of the earth and the methods by which the details of earth history are unraveled. Field trips required. Satisfies the University Science Requirement. *Lecture and Lab, occasional weekend field trips. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or equivalent
GEOL 110
Global Warming
(3 cr)
Learn the science of global warming, including natural climate variability versus human-caused climate change, and impacts on glaciers, water supplies, oceans, and species.  Understand what models tell us about the future and the impact of our carbon footprints on sustainability.  Satisfies the General Education Core requirement for a science course. *Lecture
GEOL 141
Planetary Geology: Moon and Mars
(3 cr)
This class is an introduction to exploration of Mars and the Moon, with some discussion and comparisons to Earth, Venus, Mercury, and the icy satellites. This class will cover topics that include the current events in space exploration and we will follow the activities of currently active missions as well as the ongoing preparations for future missions to the Moon and Mars. *Lecture
GEOG 103
Physical Geography of Earth's Environment
(3 cr)
Introduction to the processes that influence weather, rivers, oceans, climate, deserts, glaciers, and their associated ecosystems. Emphasizes relationships between humans and our environment. Satisfies the General Education Core requirement for a science course. *Lecture may be combined with optional lab (GEOG 104), which satisfies General Education Core requirement for a laboratory science course.
GEOG 104
Physical Geography Lab

(1 cr)
Provides an opportunity to apply concepts in physical geography, including map interpretation, computer GIS, meteorological processes, development of landforms, and an understanding of the dynamics of the earth. *Corequisite: GEOG 103

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Undergraduate Level Courses (Geology)

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GEOL 100
Natural Disasters
(3 cr)
Causes of natural disasters and their impact on people and property. Focuses on geological hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods. Satisfies the University Science Requirement. *Lecture
GEOL 101
Introductory Geology: Exploring Planet Earth
(4 cr)
Basics of geology including the birth and evolution of planet Earth, geologic time, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, natural resources, and surface processes.  Understanding how geology is important to your life. Satisfies the General Education Core requirement for a science course AND a laboratory science course. *Lecture and Lab
GEOL 102
Earth and Life Through Time
(4 cr)
Systematic review of the history of the earth and the methods by which the details of earth history are unraveled. Field trips required. Satisfies the University Science Requirement. *Lecture and Lab, occasional weekend field trips. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or equivalent
GEOL 110
Global Warming
(3 cr)
Learn the science of global warming, including natural climate variability versus human-caused climate change, and impacts on glaciers, water supplies, oceans, and species.  Understand what models tell us about the future and the impact of our carbon footprints on sustainability.  Satisfies the General Education Core requirement for a science course. *Lecture
GEOL 135
Earth Resources and Society

(3 cr)
Geological availability, exploitation, and use of nonrenewable resources including metallic minerals, nonmetallic minerals, and energy resources. Duplicate credit not allowed in GEOL 135 and GEOL 335. *Lecture and Lab
GEOL 220
Mineralogy

(4 cr)
Study of classification, chemistry, physical properties, and crystallography of minerals forming rocks, ore deposits and soils. Identification of hand samples. Study of associations of minerals in geologic environments. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisite: GEOL 101
GEOL 301
Fossil Record

(3 cr)
History and evolution of life as recorded in the fossil record. *Field trips required. Prerequisite:
GEOL 102 or BIOL 197
GEOL 302
Paleontology Lab

(1 cr)
Identification of the major fossil forming groups and analysis of paleontological data, with emphasis on invertebrates. *Field trips required. Prerequisite or Corequisite: GEOL 301
GEOL 303
Global Environmental Change

(3 cr)
Interdisciplinary introduction to the dynamics of the interactions among the lithosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere and their effects on the environment throughout geologic time. Emphasizes dimensions and consequences of both natural and human induced climate change. *Lecture. Prerequisite: Junior Standing
GEOL 330
Introduction to Geochemistry

(3 cr)
Fundamental geochemical processes operating within the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Topics include chemical differentiation of the earth, crystal chemistry, mineral stability and phase diagrams, aqueous geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, organic chemistry. *Lecture. Prerequisites: GEOL 220; MATH 128. Corequisite: CHEM 122
GEOL 333 & 333L
Principles of Geomorphology

(4 cr)
Description and classification of landforms; evaluation of erosional and depositional processes with respect to earth materials, structure, and geologic history. Emphasis on fluvial, marine, eolian, and glacial origins of landforms. *Lecture and Lab; Field trips required.
GEOL 335
Earth Resources and the Environment

(3 cr)
Geological availability, exploitation, and use of nonrenewable natural resources including metallic minerals, nonmetallic, energy resources. Component of the Environmental Studies Program.
GEOL 341
Structural Geology

(4 cr)

Study of structural features of the earth's crust and their development. Laboratory work involves study and preparation of geologic maps and cross sections as well as structural analysis techniques. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites: GEOL 220; MATH 128 or equivalent. Corequisite: PHYS 151 or PHYS 180 & 180L
GEOL 348
Field Geology I

(3 cr)
Basic tools and techniques of geologic mapping, map preparation, and report writing. *Field work. Prerequisite: GEOL 221. Corequisite: GEOL 341
GEOL 372
Advanced Field Geology

(3 cr)
Advanced field techniques including analysis of geologically complex areas; independent and collaborative field projects, and preparation of professional maps and reports. Oral presentation of projects. *Requires three-week commitment after spring semester. Prerequisite: GEOL 370
GEOL 410
Soil Classification and Resource Management

(4 cr)

Morphology and classification of soils based on their physical, chemical and mineralogical composition. Introduction to soil genesis, soil mapping, and the relationship of soils to the limitations and potentials of land use. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites: Junior Standing; GEOG 103 or GEOL 101, or consent of the instructor
GEOL 420
Introduction to X-Ray Diffraction and X-Ray Spectrometry Methods

(4 cr)
Introduction to the principles and methods of x-ray analysis as applied to the study of minerals. Powder camera, diffractometry and spectrometry methods covered. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisite: GEOL 220. Corequisite: GEOL 330
GEOL 427
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology/Petrography

(4 cr)
Description, classification, and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rocks in hand specimen and thin section. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites:
GEOL 220, 221
GEOL 429
Geochemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics

(3 cr)
Survey of the basic principles of thermodynamics and kinetics and their application to geological processes; applications to include igneous, metamorphic, hydrothermal, diagenetic, weathering, and aqueous systems. *Lecture. Prerequisites: GEOL 330; MATH 181
GEOL 430
Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Theory and Applications

(4 cr)
Survey of computer-based techniques in the storage, retrieval, analysis, and representation of spatially referenced data. Emphasis on the application of GIS technology to geologic problems such as natural hazard mapping, surface runoff and erosion, and environmental impact assessment. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisite: MATH 127 or 128
GEOL 433
Glacial and Periglacial Geology

(3 cr)
Origin and regimen of glaciers. Geomorphology and stratigraphic analysis of glacial and associated non-glacial deposits and environments. *Lecture. Prerequisite: GEOL 333
GEOL 434
Quaternary Geology

(3 cr)
Survey of global paleoenvironments, including geologic, climatic, and biotic changes during the Quaternary. Examination of the geological record of marine and terrestrial glaciated and nonglaciated environments. *Lecture. Prerequisite: GEOL 433
GEOL 436
Quaternary Paleoecology

(3 cr)
Examination of the fossil record of the Quaternary including vertebrate, invertebrate, and floral assemblages. Emphasis on paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatological reconstructions. *Field trips required. Prerequisite: GEOL 333
GEOL 437
Paleoclimatology

(3 cr)
Paleoclimatic history of the Earth, with emphasis on the Neogene and Quaternary Periods. Survey of marine and terrestrial geological records of paleoclimate, including physical sedimentology, geochemistry, and pollen profiles of ice and sediment cores and speleothems. *Lecture. Prerequisite: GEOL 333
GEOL 440
Volcanology

(3 cr)
Description and classification of volcanoes, volcanic eruptions, and volcanic deposits. Emphasis on the dynamics of volcanic eruptions, pyroclastic rocks, lava flows, and volcanic hazard assessment. *Lecture. Prerequisite: GEOL 427
GEOL 443
Plate Tectonics

(3 cr)
Study of the earth's origin, age, thermal and magnetic history; the dynamics and internal structure of lithospheric plates; the mechanisms and geometric constraints of plate motion; and a review of the motions of plates in the past. *Lecture. Prerequisite: GEOL 341
GEOL 444
Tectonics of Orogenic Belts

(3 cr)
Study of crustal deformation and the creation of mountain belts around the world. Emphasis on the comparative structural development of different regions around the globe within the context of plate tectonics. *Lecture. Prerequisites:
GEOL 220; GEOL 341
GEOL 445 & 445L
Geophysical Methods

(4 cr)
Introduction to geophysical methods, including measurement techniques, rock properties, and interpretation methods using seismology, gravity, magnetics, ground penetrating radar, resistivity and well logs. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites:
GEOL 101; MATH 182; PHYS 152 or 182
GEOL 446
Geologic Application in Remote Sensing

(3 cr)

Introduction in the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of remote sensing data. Topics covered include basic mapping concepts, the structure of remote sensing data and analysis, thermal and radar techniques, and classification schemes. *Lecture and Computer-Based Lab. Prerequisite: GEOL 101. Corequisite: PHYS 152 or PHYS 182 & 182L
GEOL 449
Geochronology

(3 cr)
Theoretical foundations and modern analytical techniques used in isotopic dating of rocks. Discussion of applications to specific geologic problems and the thermal significance of isotopic dates. Survey of new dating techniques. *Lecture. Prerequisites: GEOL 427; CHEM 122
GEOL 462
Principles of Stratigraphy and Sedimentation

(4 cr)
Analysis and application of stratigraphic concepts, and the genesis and classification of sediments. Study of regional stratigraphic patterns and their related sedimentary environments. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites: GEOL 301; CHEM 121; MATH 181
GEOL 471
Petroleum Geology

(4 cr)
Origin, migration, accumulation, and geologic distribution of petroleum. Surface, sub-surface and geophysical methods of exploration. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites: GEOL 341, 462
GEOL 474
Hydrogeology

(3 cr)
Factors controlling the occurrence and distribution of water resource, its quality and quantity, methods of exploration and development. *Lecture. Prerequisites: GEOL 341; CHEM 122; MATH 181
GEOL 477
Geology of Metallic Ore Deposits

(4 cr)
Geology of metallic ore deposits, origin, occurrence, and alteration. Application of ore deposit characteristics to exploration. *Lecture and Lab; Field trips required. Prerequisites: GEOL 220; CHEM 121
GEOL 478
Hydrogeochemistry

(3 cr)
Principles of aquatic geochemistry such as chemical thermodynamics, tableaux, and oxidation reduction and environmental organic geochemistry such as physicochemical properties of organic compounds and air/water/soil exchange of organic compounds for environmental studies. Concepts for practical environmental problems, geochemical modeling, and contaminant transport. *Lecture. Prerequisites: CHEM 122; MATH 181
GEOL 485
Engineering Geology

(3 cr)
Application of physical geology to the construction industry. Consideration given to landslide problems, sites for dams, bridges, tunnels and canals; and possible control of erosion and sedimentation by rivers and oceans. *Lecture and Lab. Prerequisites: GEOL 333
GEOL 488
Microtechniques in Geoscience

(3 cr)
Microanalytical techniques including transmitted and reflected light petrology and petrography, micro-imaging scanning electron microscope (SEM) and electron microprobe (EMP), chemical microanalyses (EMP), fluid inclusion microthermometry, and melt inclusion petrography. *Project tailored to the student's interest required. Prerequisites: GEOL 220, 221
GEOL 491
Seminar

(1-3 cr)
Lectures in selected fields of geology. *Subject of seminar and number of credits announced in class schedule for the semester course is offered. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
GEOL 495
Independent Study and Research

(1-3 cr)
Independent study and research projects in some field of geology. *Open only to upper-division students. Proposed project for study and/or research must be submitted in writing to the department chair for approval and credit evaluation prior to registration. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Prerequisites: Upper-division student; Consent of the instructor
GEOL 496
Advanced Topics in Geoscience

(1-3 cr)
Variety of advanced studies of current and/or topical interest in specialized areas of geoscience. *May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Prerequisites: Varies depending on the specific topic
GEOL 497
Senior Thesis

(3-6 cr)
Independent original research in geoscience. *Requires a written thesis and an oral exam. Proposed project of study must be submitted in writing to the department chair and undergraduate coordinator at least two weeks prior to registration.

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Undergraduate Level Courses (Geography)

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GEOG 103
Physical Geography of Earth's Environment
(3 cr)
Introduction to the processes that influence weather, rivers, oceans, climate, deserts, glaciers, and their associated ecosystems. Emphasizes relationships between humans and our environment. Satisfies the General Education Core requirement for a science course. *Lecture may be combined with optional lab (GEOG 104), which satisfies General Education Core requirement for a laboratory science course.
GEOG 104
Physical Geography Lab

(1 cr)
Provides an opportunity to apply concepts in physical geography, including map interpretation, computer GIS, meteorological processes, development of landforms, and an understanding of the dynamics of the earth. *Corequisite: GEOG 103
GEOG 116
Introduction to Oceanography

(3 cr)
Fundamentals of oceanography will be covered including a brief history followed by the spatial aspects of geological, physical, chemical and biological oceanography. An emphasis will be placed on the role of oceans on climate change in the past, present and future, including global warming. *Lecture
GEOG 390
Meteorology and Climatology

(3 cr)
Study of the atmosphere and its effect on our daily weather. Horizontal and vertical currents in the atmosphere and the distribution of solar energy, moisture, and storms. *Lecture. Prerequisites:
GEOG 103; MATH 128

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Graduate Level Courses

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GEOL 610
Soil Classification and Resource Management

(4 cr)

Morphology and classification of soils based on their physical, chemical and mineralogical composition. Introduction to soil genesis, soil mapping, and the relationship of soils to the limitations and potentials of land use. *Lecture and Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOG 103 or GEOL 101
GEOL 620
Introduction to X-Ray Diffraction and X-Ray Spectrometry Methods

(4 cr)
Introduction to the principles and methods of x-ray analysis as applied to the study of minerals. Powder camera, diffractometry and spectrometry methods covered. *Lecture and Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 220, 330
GEOL 629
Geochemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics

(3 cr)
Survey of the basic principles of thermodynamics and kinetics and their application to geological processes; applications to include igneous, metamorphic, hydrothermal, diagenetic, weathering, and aqueous systems. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 330; MATH 181
GEOL 630
Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Theory and Applications

(4 cr)

Survey of computer-based techniques in the storage, retrieval, analysis, and representation of spatially referenced data. Emphasis on the application of GIS technology to geologic problems such as natural hazard mapping, surface runoff and erosion, and environmental impact assessment. *Lecture and Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; MATH 127 or 128
GEOL 633
Glacial and Periglacial Geology

(3 cr)
Origin and regimen of glaciers. Geomorphology and stratigraphic analysis of glacial and associated non-glacial deposits and environments. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 333
GEOL 634
Quaternary Geology

(3 cr)
Survey of global paleoenvironments, including geologic, climatic, and biotic changes during the Quaternary. Examination of the geological record of marine and terrestrial glaciated and nonglaciated environments. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 433
GEOL 637
Paleoclimatology

(3 cr)
Paleoclimatic history of the Earth, with emphasis on the Neogene and Quaternary Periods. Survey of marine and terrestrial geological records of paleoclimate, including physical sedimentology, geochemistry, and pollen profiles of ice and sediment cores and speleothems. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 333
GEOL 640
Volcanology

(3 cr)
Description and classification of volcanoes, volcanic eruptions, and volcanic deposits. Emphasis on the dynamics of volcanic eruptions, pyroclastic rocks, lava flows, and volcanic hazard assessment. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 427
GEOL 643
Plate Tectonics

(3 cr)
Study of the earth's origin, age, thermal and magnetic history; the dynamics and internal structure of lithospheric plates; the mechanisms and geometric constraints of plate motion; and a review of the motions of plates in the past. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 341
GEOL 644
Tectonics of Orogenic Belts

(3 cr)
Study of crustal deformation and the creation of mountain belts around the world. Emphasis on the comparative structural development of different regions around the globe within the context of plate tectonics. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 220, 341
GEOL 645 & 645L
Geophysical Methods

(4 cr)
Introduction to geophysical methods, including measurement techniques, rock properties, and interpretation methods using seismology, gravity, magnetics, ground penetrating radar, resistivity and well logs. *Lecture and Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 101; MATH 182; PHYS 152 or 182
GEOL 646
Geologic Application in Remote Sensing

(3 cr)

Introduction in the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of remote sensing data. Topics covered include basic mapping concepts, the structure of remote sensing data and analysis, thermal and radar techniques, and classification schemes. *Lecture and Computer-Based Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 101; PHYS 152 or PHYS 182 & 182L
GEOL 649
Geochronology

(3 cr)
Theoretical foundations and modern analytical techniques used in isotopic dating of rocks. Discussion of applications to specific geologic problems and the thermal significance of isotopic dates. Survey of new dating techniques. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 427; CHEM 122
GEOL 671
Petroleum Geology

(4 cr)
Origin, migration, accumulation, and geologic distribution of petroleum. Surface, sub-surface and geophysical methods of exploration. *Lecture and Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 341, 462
GEOL 674
Hydrogeology

(3 cr)
Factors controlling the occurrence and distribution of water resource, its quality and quantity, methods of exploration and development. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 341; CHEM 122; MATH 181
GEOL 677
Geology of Metallic Ore Deposits

(4 cr)
Geology of metallic ore deposits, origin, occurrence, and alteration. Application of ore deposit characteristics to exploration. *Lecture and Lab; Field trips required; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 220; CHEM 121
GEOL 678
Hydrogeochemistry

(3 cr)
Principles of aquatic geochemistry such as chemical thermodynamics, tableaux, and oxidation reduction and environmental organic geochemistry such as physicochemical properties of organic compounds and air/water/soil exchange of organic compounds for environmental studies. Concepts for practical environmental problems, geochemical modeling, and contaminant transport. *Lecture; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; CHEM 122; MATH 181
GEOL 685
Engineering Geology

(3 cr)
Application of physical geology to the construction industry. Consideration given to landslide problems, sites for dams, bridges, tunnels and canals; and possible control of erosion and sedimentation by rivers and oceans. *Lecture and Lab; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 333
GEOL 688
Microtechniques in Geoscience

(3 cr)
Microanalytical techniques including transmitted and reflected light petrology and petrography, micro-imaging scanning electron microscope (SEM) and electron microprobe (EMP), chemical microanalyses (EMP), fluid inclusion microthermometry, and melt inclusion petrography. *Project tailored to the student's interest required; Graduate level requires additional work. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; GEOL 220, 221
GEOL 701
Research Methods in Geology

(3 cr)
Discussion of the processes of scientific research and research design as applied to modern geoscience. Includes scientific approaches to field and laboratory research, research and professional ethics, writing, and public presentation. Model thesis prospectus and grant proposals prepared. *Weekend field trips are required to familiarize students with the local geology. Prerequisite:
Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 707
Stable Isotope Geochemistry

(3 cr)
Investigates stable isotopes in the hydrologic and geologic cycles, and their use as tracers in paleoclimatology, hydrogeology, and oceanography. Theory and research applications of stable isotopes in geologic, biologic, water, and atmospheric samples, including carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, strontium, and sulfur isotopes. Prerequisite: GEOL 330 or equivalent
GEOL 708
Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry

(3 cr)
Principles of radiogenic isotope geochemistry as a monitor of geochemical processes in the mantle, lithosphere and hydrosphere; applications to petrology, tectonics, economic geology, marine geology and paleoclimatology. Prerequisites:
GEOL 330, 426; MATH 181 or equivalent; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 709
Field Methods in Hydrogeology

(3 cr)
A survey of techniques used to investigate field problems in hydrogeology. Data collection, analysis, and professional presentation of results are emphasized. Topics may include: water balance measures, water table mapping, estimation of hydraulic parameters, and ground-water monitoring. Additional topics suggested by students may also be explored.
GEOL 710
Igneous Petrology

(4 cr)
Origin of igneous rocks, relation of magma types to tectonic settings, physical properties of magmas, application of trace elements and isotopes to petrogenesis, modeling of crystal fractionation and partial melting, phase diagrams. *Lab required. Prerequisite: GEOL 325 or equivalent; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 711
Principles of Hydrology and Hydraulics

(3 cr)
Consideration of modern concepts of hydrology and hydraulics. Includes coverage of statistical methods of analysis, unsteady flow, channel design, modeling and simulation, urban hydrology, and design of hydraulic structures. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
GEOL 712
Watershed Hydrology

(3 cr)
Concepts and processes controlling water movement and distribution within the watershed; analysis techniques for understanding watershed dynamics; numerical simulation of various watershed-scale hydrologic processes. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
GEOL 713
Flow and Transport in Unsaturated Fractured Media

(3 cr)
Explores the current state of understanding regarding fluid flow and contaminant transport in unsaturated fractured geologic media (e.g., rock, soil) through review of recent literature. Competing conceptual models are contrasted in light of existing capabilities for numerical simulation at the scale of pertinent applied problems.
GEOL 715
Advanced Hydrogeology

(4 cr)
Advanced concepts used in ground water investigations, including flow system analysis, resource evaluation, exploration, development, and monitoring. Prerequisite: GEOL 674
GEOL 716
Geostatistics

(3 cr)
Analysis of the spatial and temporal variations in geologic, hydrologic and geochemical data, including derived distributions, time series analysis, correlation and spectral analysis, interpolation techniques, cluster analysis and sensitivity and uncertainty techniques. Prerequisite: STA 491/691; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 719
Vadose Zone Hydrology

(3 cr)

Basic physical properties of soils and water and the physical principles governing the soil-water system. Modeling the transport of moisture and chemicals in unsaturated soil with applications to practical field problems. Prerequisite: GEOL 674
GEOL 720
Advanced Geochemistry

(4 cr)
Contemporary geochemistry applied to igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, economic mineral deposits, and problems of the origin of the Earth and other terrestrial planets. *Lab required. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 725
Seminar in Petrology

(3 cr)
Analysis of current problems, concepts, and research in petrology and closely related fields. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 727
Metamorphic Petrology

(4 cr)

Application of field studies, petrography, mineralogy, phase equilibria, and isotopic methods to the study of metamorphic rocks and crustal evolution; explores relationships among metamorphism, tectonics and thermal evolution of the crust. *Lab required. Prerequisites: GEOL 429/629 or equivalent and Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 730
Seminar in Quaternary Studies

(3 cr)
Evaluation of current methodology focused on solving problems of Quaternary chronology, geomorphic processes, and environmental reconstruction. Emphasis on pluvial and post-pluvial environments of the western United States, the evolution of landforms and the development of stratigraphic units and surficial geology originating during the past three million years. Prerequisite:
Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor

GEOL 735
Seminar in Environmental Geology

(3 cr)

Application of basic geologic concepts to environmental problems: emphasis on geologic hazards, waste disposal, urban planning, resource policy issues, and environmental programs. Prerequisite: GEOL 672 or equivalent; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 740
Arid Zone Soils

(3 cr)
The role soils have in the soil-plant-atmospheric continuum of arid regions, influence of arid zone soils on all aspects of plant growth and development, influence of soil forming factors on the development of arid soils. *Same as BIOL 745. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
GEOL 742
Seminar in Volcanology

(3 cr)
Analysis of current problems, concepts, and research in volcanology and closely related fields. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 743
Seminar in Planetary Geology

(3 cr)
Analysis of current problems, concepts, and research in planetary geology with emphasis on newly available data. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 744
Tectonics and Structures

(3 cr)
Analysis of upper crustal deformation with emphasis on faulting, neotectonics and seismic interpretation; includes a group research project with field and literature data collection, analysis and results suitable for presentation at a professional conference. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
GEOL 745
Advanced Structural Geology

(3 cr)
Analysis of deformation of the earth's crust with emphasis on deformation mechanisms operative in rocks at different crustal levels; the geometry, kinematics, and dynamics of common geological structural associations, and mechanism and styles of deformation in orogenic belts. Prerequisites: GEOL 341, 349
GEOL 746
Strain and Microstructural Analysis

(4 cr)
Examination of the principles and techniques of finite and incremental strain analysis and their application to naturally deformed rocks. Investigation of plastic deformation processes and deformation mechanisms, and recognition and interpretation of microstructures developed during deformation. *Lab required. Prerequisite: GEOL 341; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 747
Geologic Evolution of Western North America

(3 cr)
Study of the geological evolution of western North America. Emphasis on the stratigraphic, structural, and tectonic development of the continent within the framework of plate tectonics. Prerequisites: GEOL 223, 341, 462
GEOL 749
Advanced Geochronology and Thermochronology

(3 cr)
Detailed discussion of isotopic dating of rocks with application to geologic problems. Diffusion theory and reconstruction of thermal histories of rocks. Includes surface exposure dating using cosmogenic isotopes, study of uranium series disequilibrium, luminescence, electron spin resonance, and 14c dating. Prerequisite: GEOL 426
GEOL 750
Seminar in Paleobiology

(3 cr)
Fossil record as a tool for understanding evolutionary processes, early history of life, eruptive radiation, mass extinction, macroevolution, and origin of higher taxa. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Geology or Biology; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 755
Seminar in Paleontology

(3 cr)
Special topics of current interest in paleontology, with emphasis on Great Basin fossil faunas. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Geology or Biology; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 760
Advanced Spatial Modeling with GIS

(4 cr)
Advanced study in computer-based techniques for storage, retrieval, analysis, and representation of spatially referenced data. Emphasis on development of spatially distributed models in the geosciences using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. *Students required to develop system models in their chosen thesis area; Lab required. Prerequisite: GEOL 430/630
GEOL 762
Geological Applications of Computers

(3 cr)
Use of computer algorithms to solve geological problems, geostatistics, modeling of geological processes. Prerequisites: CS 116, 169
GEOL 765
Seminar in Stratigraphy

(3 cr)
Special topics in stratigraphy with emphasis on southern Nevada and adjacent regions. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor

GEOL 766
Earth Systems Change

(3 cr)

Investigate long-term and short-term global climate changes, ocean redox evolution, and their impacts on biospheric innovations. Explore interactions between Earth's sub spheres (lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) during times of extreme environmental changes in Earth history and testing methods and techniques for such interactions. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 770
Sedimentary Basins

(3 cr)
Analysis of current ideas concerning the plate tectonic setting and evolution of sedimentary basins. Emphasis on characteristic styles of basin sedimentation and resulting stratigraphic framework, provenance of basin fill, chronologic relationship of tectonic events and sedimentation, and methods of basin analysis. Prerequisite:
Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 772 & 772L
Reflection Seismic Data Interpretation

(4 cr)
Fundamentals of geologic interpretation using seismic reflection data. Introduction to seismic data acquisition and processing. Interpretation techniques include well log to seismicities, contour maps and time-to depth conversion. Interpretation of data from different structural settings, seismic stratigraphy, and 3-D seismic interpretation. *Lab required. Prerequisite:Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 773
Seminar in Geophysics

(1-3 cr)
Specialized topics in geophysics with an emphasis on current analysis techniques and problems. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 775
Seminar in Economic Geology

(3 cr)
Analysis of current problems, concepts and research in economic geology and closely related fields. Prerequisites: GEOL 677 or equivalent; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 776
Paleosols Records of Past Landscapes

(3 cr)
Recognition and analysis of soil horizons preserved in the rock record. Use of paleosols for reconstructing paleoclimates, tectonics, depositional environments, and other aspects of geologic history. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and GEOL 462 or equivalent; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 777
Instrumental Techniques in Geology

(3 cr)
Use of modern instrumentation to acquire geological and geochemical data. Includes, but not limited to, the practical application of x-ray diffraction and fluorescence and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. *Lab required. Prerequisite:
Graduate standing; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 779
Theory of Ore Deposition

(3 cr)
Study of physical and chemical processes which contribute to metal solubility, transport, and precipitation. Includes fundamental geochemical and thermodynamic concepts as they apply to ore and gangue mineral stability under various geologic conditions. Prerequisites: GEOL 426, 477
GEOL 780
Terrigenous Depositional Systems

(3 cr)
Examination of modern nonmarine and marine depositional environments dominated by terrigenous sediments, processes that operate in these settings, and responses of sediment to processes. Establish criteria for recognizing these environments and processes in ancient terrigenous sequences. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and GEOL 462; Or the consent of the instructor
GEOL 781
Carbonate Depositional Systems

(3 cr)
Examination of modern non-marine and marine depositional environments dominated by carbonate sediments, organisms that produce sediments, processes that operate in these settings, and responses of sediment to the processes. Establish criteria for recognizing these environments and processes in ancient carbonate sequences. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and GEOL 462; Or the consent of the instructor
GEOL 782
Sandstone Petrology

(4 cr)
Description, classification, and interpretation of terrigenous sedimentary rocks. Emphasis on petrographic methods applied to sandstones and interpretation of provenance of sedimentary sequences. Corequisite: GEOL 780; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 783
Carbonate Petrology

(4 cr)
Study of the physical and chemical factors important in the genesis and diagenesis of carbonate sediments and rocks. Various analytical techniques covered, with emphasis on thin section petrography for deciphering rock components and diagenesis. Corequisite: GEOL 781; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 785
Seminar in Sedimentology

(1-4 cr)
Analysis of current problems, concepts, and research in sedimentary geology and related fields. Emphasis may be upon the genesis and diagenesis of specific sedimentary sequences or upon particular depositional or diagenetic environments. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and either GEOL 780 or 781; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 786
Soils Applications: Paleoclimate, Neotectonics, Archeology

(3 cr)
Special topics of current interest in soil science with emphasis on the use of soils for applications in geomorphology, paleoclimate, neotectonics, and/or archeology. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in geology, biology, or anthropology; Or consent of the instructor
GEOL 787
Thesis Research

(1-6 cr)
Supervised research prior to approval of master's program prospectus. *S/F grading only; May be repeated to a maximum of six credits, but only one credit can be applied to the student's program. Prerequisites: Enrollment in the MS Program
GEOL 789
Dissertation Research

(1-6 cr)
Supervised research prior to advancement to candidacy in the doctoral program. *S/F grading only; May be repeated, but only two credits can be applied to the student's program. Prerequisite:
Enrollment in the Doctoral Program

GEOL 792
Seminar in Hydroscience

(1-3 cr)
Specialized topics in hydroscience.
GEOL 793
Independent Study and Research

(1-3 cr)
Independent study and research projects in some field of geology. *Proposed project for study must be submitted in writing to the graduate program coordinator and the department chair for approval and credit evaluation at least two weeks prior to registration; May be repeated for credit, but only three credits are permitted per instructor unless special permission is received. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
GEOL 794
Directed Readings

(1-3 cr)
Supervised readings on special topics in consultation with a geoscience graduate faculty member. *S/F grading only; May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Requires consent of student's academic adviser. Prerequisites: Enrollment in Doctoral Program; Consent of the instructor
GEOL 795
Poster Presentation and Time Management

(1 cr)
Presentation of geological information in poster format and time management skills. Poster presentation includes layout and design, focus, data versus interpretation, computer graphics, verbal presentation and referencing. Time management issues include scheduling, planning, organization, and productivity. *Should be taken during first or second semester of graduate program. Prerequisite: Graduate standing
GEOL 796
Advanced Topics in Geoscience

(1-3 cr)
Variety of advanced studies of current and/or topical interest in specialized areas of geoscience. *May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Prerequisites:
Varies depending on the specific topic
GEOL 797
Thesis

(1-6 cr)
Thesis and defense preparation. *S/F grading only; May be repeated, but only six credits applied to the student's program. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; Consent of the instructor
GEOL 799
Dissertation

(3-6 cr)
Research analysis and writing toward completion of dissertation and subsequent defense. *S/F grading only; May be repeated but only a maximum of 12 credits may be used in student's degree program. Prerequisites: Successful completion of qualifying examination; Department approval