Skip to main content
College of Natural Science and Mathematics »

Geological Sciences

Information » Programs » GEOL Courses »

Courses - GEOL Upper Division

300. Earth Systems and Global Change (3)

Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirement, upper division standing, and CHEM 100 or CHEM 111A or GEOL 102 or GEOL 106 with a grade of "C" or better.
Interaction of Earth's systems (biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere) and links between life, oceans, climate, and the solid earth. This approach is used to understand important issues confronting society regarding climatic and environmental change.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs.)

303. Coastal Systems and Human Impacts (3)

Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirement, one or more Exploration courses, and upper-division standing; BIOL 200; GEOL 102 or GEOL 160.
Natural processes impacting human activities in coastal zone and human influence on natural processes. Includes global warming, sea level rise, El Nino, port development, ocean outfalls and water quality, fisheries, and coastal erosion.
May not apply units towards elective requirements of Geology and Earth Science majors. Letter grade only (A-F). Not open for credit to students with credit in BIOL 303. (Lecture 3 hrs.)

322. Crystallography, Mineralogy and Optical Methods (5)

Prerequisites: GEOL 250; CHEM 111A.
Morphological and structural crystallography, crystal structure, chemistry, classification, origin, occurrence, and association of minerals reviewed. Analysis and identification of minerals by megascopic, qualitative, chemical, and instrumental means. Optical properties of minerals reviewed including nature of light. Petrographic microscope used.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs., laboratory 6 hrs., field trip)

339. Introduction to Geomorphology (3)

Prerequisites: GEOL 102 with GEOL 104 or GEOL 105; or GEOL 106; or GEOG 140.
Study of landforms and processes producing and modifying them. Emphasis on mechanics of geomorphic processes and relationships between properties of earth materials and forces applied to them by gravity, wind, ice, water, waves, and humans. Conceptual basis of geomorphology addressed.
Designed for Geology, Geography, Biology, Anthropology, and Civil Engineering majors. Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 2 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs., field trips).

341. Paleontology and Biostratigraphy (4)

Prerequisite: GEOL 240 and GE Life Science requirement B.1.a.
Morphologic, systematic, and ecologic aspects of invertebrate fossils; methods and techniques in collection, preparation, illustration, and description of fossils; uses of fossils in stratigraphic work; principles of biostratigraphy.
(Lecture 3 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs., fieldtrips) Course fee may be required. Information on fees related to this course can be found here.

350. Spring Field Geology (2)

Prerequisites: GEOL 250 and GEOL 443 with grades of "C" or better. Prerequisite/Corequisite: GEOL 433.
Development of proficiency in geological mapping skills. Construction of stratigraphic columns and structural cross sections.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Field trips, 5 days per unit)

370. Geology for Engineers (2)

Prerequisite: CE 200
Earth processes and materials which influence the design, construction and operation of engineering works, construction materials. Not open for credit to geology majors.
(Lecture 2 hrs., field trips.)

420. Geologic Writing (3)

Prerequisites: GE Foundation completed, upper division standing, GEOL 102, GEOL 104, GEOL 240, GEOL 250; and at least 6 units of Geology courses at 300-level or above. Students must have scored 11 or higher on the GWAR Placement Examination or completed necessary portfolio course that is a prerequisite for a GWAR Writing Intensive Capstone.
A writing-intensive capstone. Writing for a geological audience; writing scientific/geological content at an advanced level emphasized. Journal articles and abstracts reviewed. Includes handling scientific data, distinction between data and interpretation, logic and argument, clarity of style, and types of writing (abstracts, proposals, articles, etc.). Library search methods. Extensive writing, editing, and peer review. Enrollment limited.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 1 hr. and laboratory (6 hrs.)

428. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology and Petrography (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 322; CHEM 111A, B.
Magmatic and metamorphic rock bodies and systems characteristics, including mineralogical and chemical aspects. Fabrics' origin, evolution of igneous and metamorphic rocks, modeling of magma genesis. Microscopic, hand specimen and x-ray analysis of rocks, including fabric and mineral content.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 2 hrs., laboratory 6 hrs., and field trips)

433. Structural Geology (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 250, GEOL 322; PHYS 151.
Theories/principles of structural geology, orogenesis, and tectonics. Planar/linear structures in naturally deformed rocks. Description, classification, interpretation, and kinematic and dynamic analysis of faults/folds. Field measurement, analysis and mapping of structures. Deformation, strength, fracture, and rheological properties of rocks.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs., required field trips)

443. Stratigraphy/Sedimentology (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 240, GEOL 322.
Introduction to sedimentology and stratigraphy, flow mechanics and sedimentary structures, laboratory and field methods for the description and classification of sedimentary rocks, depositional systems, sequence stratigraphy, subsurface stratigraphic methods, sedimentation and tectonics, and preparation of sedimentologic field reports.
Not open for credit to students with credit in GEOL 343. Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs., required field trips)

450. Summer Field Geology (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 350, GEOL 428, GEOL 433, and GEOL 443.
An integrative learning capstone. Four weeks of geological field mapping at a selected area. Preparation of geological reports of the field problems.
(Lecture as needed, daily field work)

460. Introduction to Geophysics (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 151, PHYS 152; and MATH 123, all with a grade of "C" or better.
Introduction to geophysics; principles and processes; methods of investigation.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 2 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs., field trips.)

461. Introduction to Geochemistry (3)

Prerequisites: CHEM 111A,B and MATH 123.
Abundance and migration of elements in the earth; chemical processes in evolution of earth and its crust including geochemistry of organic compounds.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 2 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs.)

462. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (3)

Prerequisites: GEOL 240, GEOL 428; PHYS 152.
Structure and composition of the Earth's interior. Origin and evolution of the Earth. Review of geophysical data, petrologic analyses, and other types of evidence for Earth structure and compositional models.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs.)

465. Physical and Chemical Oceanography (3)

Prerequisites: CHEM 111B; PHYS 100B, and upper division standing in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or Engineering.
Physics and chemistry of the oceans, carbon cycle; minor and trace elements in sea water, nutrients, water masses and currents; physical concepts and interpretative theories related to ocean circulation.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs.)

466. Oceanography Laboratory and Ocean Studies (1)

Prerequisite/Corequisite: GEOL 465.
Analysis and interpretation of oceanographic data, acquisition of data at sea on field trip, and post-cruise analysis and presentation of results.
Not open for credit to students with credit in GEOL 462. (Laboratory 3 hrs., sea trips.)

471. Petroleum Geology and Well Log Analysis (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 240, GEOL 443.
Geological application in exploration and production of petroleum, including uses of surface and subsurface techniques. Basic well logging techniques employed, including data collection, reduction, interpretation, and integration among various logging methods as well as with surface geology and geophysical data.
(Lecture 2 hrs., laboratory 6 hrs., field trips.)

474./574. Physical Hydrology (3)

Prerequisites: GEOL 102, MATH 122; PHYS 151. (Undergraduates enroll in GEOL 474; graduates enroll in GEOL 574.)
Quantitative study of the terrestrial water cycle; prediction and measurement of precipitation, surface water, soil water, and groundwater.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 2 hrs, lab/field trips 3 hrs)

477./577. Hydrogeology (4)

Prerequisites: GEOL 102, GEOL 104; CHEM 111B; PHYS 152; MATH 123. (Undergraduates enroll in GEOL 477; graduates enroll in GEOL 577.)
Groundwater flow, occurrence, development, chemistry, and contamination. Elementary groundwater flow theory. Well hydraulics.
Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs.)

489. Current Topics in Geological Sciences (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topics of current interest in the geological sciences selected for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units. Field trips may be required. (Lecture 2 hrs., laboratory 3 hrs.)

490. Current Topics in Geological Sciences (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topics of current interest in the geological sciences selected for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units. Field trips may be required.

496. Investigations in Geology and Other Earth Sciences (1-4)

Prerequisites: Senior standing in geology, earth science or related fields, completion of an upper division course in geology or earth science in the area of the topics chosen and approval of the topic chosen by the Geological Sciences faculty.
Supervised research in geology or the other earth sciences. Field trips may be required.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
University Course Listings
PDFPrint (PDF) Versions of the Catalog