110. Physical and Environmental Geology (Fryer, Martin)
An introduction to Earth’s dynamic systems, the materials that make up the planet, and the environmental consequences of geologic processes. We engage in the Earth Systems approach that emphasizes the interactions of Earth processes within and between the solid Earth, the atmosphere and oceans, and the biosphere, particularly human interaction with the planet. Topics include planetary origin, plate tectonics, the nature and origin of rocks and minerals, volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building, surficial processes that shape the human environment, and global change. F, S.
111. Field and Lab Geology (.025 unit, Mann)
Field and laboratory experiences focusing on key ideas and materials of geology. Topics include mineral, rock, and fossil identification, and topographic and geologic map interpretation. Includes seven field trips during lab time. Optional for those students currently enrolled in GEOL 110 and open to those who have taken GEOL 110 previously. F, S, with sufficient demand.
112. History of the Earth (Mann)
This course covers the 4,500,000,000-year history of the Earth. It examines the physical (lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere) and biotic histories as well as the interrelationships among these two realms. The first portion of the course focuses on “how we know what we know” while the second portion concentrates on “what we know”. The course presents and then uses the primary concepts (geologic time, evolutionary theory, and plate tectonic theory) that are used in understanding, interpreting, and appreciating Earth history. Prerequisites: 110 or advanced standing in another science with permission of instructor. F, S.
260. Scenic America (Fryer, Mann, Martin)
Explores North American geology using the spectacular natural settings of national parks, monuments, seashores, battlefields and other areas. The natural history of these scenic areas forms the basis for the introduction and illustration of the fundamental principles, processes, and materials of geology. No prerequisite. Satisfies one unit of the natural science requirement (group II). Does not count towards the major or minor. Summer only.
270. Economic Geology (Martin) (Alternate years. Not offered 2008-09)
An introduction to the Earth’s geological resources emphasizing the geology and origin of the Earth’s major metallic, non-metallic, and energy resources. Other major topics include resource exploration techniques; the development and exploitation of geologic resources; the use of geologic resources by society; the environmental consequences of resource utilization; and the political and strategic concerns surrounding resource use. Lecture and laboratory. At least one field trip to a working mine. Prerequisite: 110. F.
275. Hydrogeology (Mann) (Alternate years. Offered 2009-10)
A general overview of hydrogeology and an investigation of the occurrence, distribution, movement, chemistry, and environmental effects of groundwater in a geologic framework. The course presents the basic principles, methods, and applications of the discipline and prepares students to address simple groundwater problems. It also prepares students to ask appropriate questions when faced with groundwater management and protection problems. The course addresses groundwater from several perspectives, as an integral part of the hydrologic cycle, as a geologic agent, and as a managed natural resource in an environmental context. The course presents numerous hydrogeologic methods, including quantitative tools, and then requires students to apply these methods to address problems commonly encountered by professionals. The course uses numerous case studies to cultivate student understanding of groundwater in a variety of geologic settings. Prerequisite: 110 or GEOG 111. Additional natural science courses highly recommended. S.
280. Volcanology (Martin) (Alternate years. Offered 2008-09)
A systematic examination of volcanic phenomena. The course examines the types of volcanic eruptions, the generation and emplacement of magma, the products of volcanic activity, the impact of volcanism on humans and the environment, the monitoring and forecasting of volcanic events and planetary volcanism. Case studies of individual volcanoes and volcanic systems are used to illustrate the principles of volcanology. Prerequisite: 110. F.
285. Tectonics: Earthquakes and Mountain Belts (Fryer) (Alternate years. Offered 2009-10)
The geological and geophysical basis for the plate tectonic theory, with critical evaluation of historic and current research through reading of primary sources. Special emphasis on earthquake research including prediction efforts, and on processes of mountain belt formation. Other topics include plate kinematics, paleomagnetism, driving mechanisms, Precambrian tectonics, and tectonic geomorphology. Seminar format with emphasis on oral and written communication. Prerequisite: 112 or permission of instructor. F.
290. Mineralogy (1.25 units, Martin) (Alternate years. Offered 2009-10)
Contemporary society relies upon minerals for many of the products that it uses. Mineralogy involves the systematic study of minerals with an emphasis on the common rock-forming minerals. The basic principles of chemistry and symmetry are used to understand mineral properties and crystal structures. Topics include crystallography, crystal chemistry, the origin of mineral color, environmental issues related to minerals, and systematic study of major silicate and non-silicate minerals. Lecture and laboratory. Field trip in GEOL 290 or 310. Prerequisites: 110 and CHEM 110, or CHEM 110 concurrent with permission of the instructor. F.
310. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (1.25 units, Martin) (Alternate years. Offered 2009-10)
Knowledge about rocks, their origin, and their distribution contributes to the solution of many geological problems. Petrology focuses on the systematic study of igneous and metamorphic rocks including techniques of hand-specimen identification and classification. Basic principles of phase equilibria and geochemistry are used to understand the origin and behavior of magmas, the crystallization of magma, the origin of rock textures, and metamorphism. The dynamic nature of metamorphism in response to changes in the geological environment, as well as the relationships among tectonic processes, magma generation and metamorphism are examined. Lecture and laboratory. Field trip in GEOL 290 or 310. Prerequisite: 290. S.
315. Petrography (1.25 units, Fryer) (Alternate years. Offered 2009-10)
Principles and practice of identification and interpretation of minerals and rocks using the polarizing light microscope and the scanning electron microscope. Students learn the use of automated thin sectioning equipment, and produce, analyze, and interpret their own thin sections as a research project. Topics include optical mineralogy, description and interpretation of the major rock types, and chemical analysis of minerals using the X-ray analysis system of the SEM. Meets twice a week in 3-hour blocks. Field trip. Prerequisite: 290. S.
318. Electron Microscopy: Theory and Practice (Tuhela-Reuning)
An exploration of the physical nature of electron microscopy with emphasis on the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Students investigate the influence of electron beam parameters on imaging and how to correct imaging problems to optimize analysis. Topics covered include sample selection, sputter coating, cryo preparation, and elemental analysis by energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS). Students gain extensive, hands-on experience using the SEM. Lecture and laboratory. Additional lab time required outside of scheduled lab. Prerequisites: any two science courses that count towards a science major or permission of instructor. Also listed as BOMI 318 and ZOOL 318. F.
320. Paleontology (1.25 units, Mann) (Alternate years. Offered 2008-09)
Paleontology studies life’s history and elucidates our understanding of the role of life through time. It offers a unique historical perspective of humankind in nature, provides tools for the discovery and development of resources on which industry and agriculture depend, presents a framework for understanding the sensitivity of the global system to past perturbations, and helps us identify possible consequences of recent ecosystem change. Although Paleontology (320) covers the systematics and taxonomy of the major fossil producing invertebrate phyla, the course focuses on the paleobiology of fossils. Such topics as preservation (taphonomy), growth (ontogeny, heterochrony, and functional morphology), evolution (phylogeny, evolutionary theory, evolutionary patterns, and extinction), and fossil distribution (paleoecology and paleobiogeography) are the primary concepts addressed. The class also contains seminars in which students read and discuss the primary literature. The laboratory portion of the course is dedicated to examining fossils and addressing paleontologic questions. The laboratory includes several field trips so students have the opportunity to collect and work on the excellent fossilized material preserved in the sediments of central and southern Ohio. Prerequisite: 112 or advanced standing in botany or zoology. F.
330. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (1.25 units, Mann) (Alternate years. Offered 2009-10)
Sedimentology and stratigraphy are branches of geology that deal with the identification, description, interpretation, and the distribution (both temporal and spatial relationships) of strata. The course begins by considering classic sedimentology (the formation of sedimentary rocks) and then progresses to consider sedimentation in the context of depositional environments. This is followed by examining sedimentation at a larger scale: sedimentation in basins (tectonics, eustasy, and isostasy). The course also covers classic stratigraphy as well as the many other developments (sequence stratigraphy, quantitative biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, and chemostratigraphy) in the field. The field-oriented laboratory spends at least half of the sessions in the field addressing geologic problems. In addition to working on the local geology, the class visits Central Pennsylvania during a four-day trip to examine the Paleozioic history of the Appalachian Basin. Prerequisite: 112 or permission of instructor. F.
340. Structural Geology (1.25 units, Fryer) (Alternate years. Offered 2008-09)
Geometry and mechanisms of deformation of the Earth’s crust. Classification and interpretation of fault and fold structures, theories of stress and strain, deformational fabrics, and methods of structural analysis; fundamentals of plate tectonics and structural regions of the world. Lecture and laboratory; four-day field trip. Prerequisite: 112 or permission of instructor; 345 recommended but not required. S.
345. Geological Techniques (1.25 units, Fryer) (Alternate years. Offered 2008-09)
Techniques for the investigation and solution of geologic problems. Emphasized are the techniques and equipment of field geology and technical writing. Topics include interpretation of geologic, topographic, and tectonic maps and aerial photographs; methods of field mapping and field data interpretation; drafting and presentation of geologic data; writing of technical reports. Lecture, laboratory, and four-day field trip. Prerequisite: 112 or permission of the instructor. F.
490. Independent Study (Fryer, Mann, Martin)
Collaborative and independent research with and under the supervision of a faculty member. Field and/or laboratory investigations culminating in a research paper. Prerequisite: discussion with and consent of supervising faculty prior to preregistration. F, S.
491. Directed Readings (Fryer, Mann, Martin)
Individually supervised study of geological fields not covered by the regular curriculum or for consideration of topics in greater depth than possible in regular courses. Some examples include geochemistry, geophysics, oceanography, paleobiology, and planetary science. Prerequisite: discuss with instructor prior to preregistration. F, S.
Supervised geology-related work experience that earns credit. Must be approved by geology faculty prior to preregistration.
499. Seminar (staff)
Special topics in geology; an integrative course for geology majors who have departmental consent. F, S, with sufficient demand.