GEOLOGY 110B – Introduction to Geology
Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or 160B. A math placement score of 22 or above is recommended.
This course provides students with a survey of physical geology and how geologic knowledge can influence the decisions we face as citizens. Students will gain an understanding of the nature and findings of the scientific study of earth materials, selected geologic processes and “deep time”. Content areas will probably include minerals and rocks, geologic time, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, streams, shorelines and glaciers. Students will have input into the final selection of topics.
A Math Placement score of 22 or above is strongly recommended, as some lab exercises incorporate basic math skills and quantitative reasoning.
GEOLOGY 150B - Physical Geology
Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B or 160B.
Geology 150 is a comprehensive introduction to the science of geology and how geology affects our lives every day. The course is recommended for students who are interested in the possibility of a geology major or minor, other science majors, or anyone who is interested in Earth processes and history. The course treats fundamentals of geology (such as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic processes and rocks), Earth’s internal structure and processes as they relate to plate tectonics and earthquakes, and Earth’s surface processes (such as landslides, river flooding, coastal erosion, glacial processes, and climate change). Labs include examination of various rock types and use of topographic maps, aerial photographs, and geologic maps to evaluate the geologic history and risks of natural hazards of particular areas. Some field experiences are also included. Lab manual fee of $5 is billed directly.
GEOLOGY 151 - Physical Geology Lab Practicum
Prerequisites: Geology 160 or one course from the Geol ll0B-115B Series and permission of the
This course is the lab portion of Geology 150. It is available for students who have completed a course in
the Geology 110 series (Geol 110-115) and wish to take advanced geology courses or major in Geology
or Earth Science. Students who have completed Geology 160 and wish to major in Geology or Earth Science are also required to take this course. Will meet for one 3-hour lab per week.
GEOLOGY 170 - Geology of the Critical Zone
This course will examine the Earth’s critical zone, the intersection between the geosphere, the biosphere, and the hydrosphere. Humans greatly alter processes in this zone of important biogeochemical interactions. This course will be of interest to students wanting to explore natural environmental processes as well as those altered by humans (e.g. pristine vs. polluted, short and long term controls of carbon-climate cycles). Laboratories will include field work and hands-on activities that require supporting analyses (e.g. graphing in Excel). Students will also conduct research on environmental issues related to the critical zone of their choosing and be responsible for presenting their findings. This class will focus on scientific process, group learning, and understanding major scientific concepts as they relate to our lives.
GEOLOGY 230 - Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy
Bladh, Katherine and
Prerequisites: Geology 150 OR one course from the Geology 110B-115B Series plus Geology 151
OR Geology 160 plus Geology 151 No college-level knowledge of chemistry is assumed. Relevant foundational concepts from chemistry and physics are developed by the instructors.
Geology 230 is an introduction to advanced techniques of mineral identification using stereoscopic and polarized-light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The first half of the course introduces students to crystallography, mineral physical properties and classification, crystal chemistry, and geological implications of crystal growth theory. The second half of the course introduces students to mineral identification using polarized-light microscopy.
The laboratory provides hands-on experience applying advanced identification techniques to geologically important minerals.
GEOLOGY 240 - Process Geomorphology
Prerequisites: Geology 150, 160, or Geol 110B-115B with permission of instructor
The objective of Process Geomorphology is to introduce students to the study of earth surface processes and landforms. The course will focus on the processes and landforms of local drainage basins and streams, their hydrology and development. Topics will include chemical and physical weathering processes and soils, field and lab description of soils, soil stratigraphy, and taxonomy; drainage basin hydrology, networks, and evolution, and stream reach hydrology and hydraulics, channel pattern, and evolution. Each student will be responsible for developing a research project and poster presentation based on one of the topical areas as it pertains to the course focus.
Geology 270 - Field Seminar - Missouri
Prerequisites: Geology ll0B-115B, or 150, or 160
This course provides practical experience examining a wide variety of lithologies, landforms and
geologic relations, such as unconformities, erosional surfaces, faults and folds in natural settings.
Problem-solving exercises emphasize basic principles of geologic science. Students keep a daily
field notebook during the trip and present a final report at the Fall Student Research Poster
Session. Transportation, camping fees and tents are provided. Enrollment priority given to
Geology majors; open to Geology minors and others as space permits. Will be graded CR/NC
only. Requires a 6 day absence from campus.
GEOLOGY 340 - Earth History
Prerequisite: Geology 260
The objectives of the course are to (1) develop the skills, and learn to use the tools with which to decipher Earth’s history, and (2) learn the general history of Earth and its life forms (as preserved in the fossil record) with emphasis on the North American continent. Students will learn to look at outcrops and geologic maps and interpret the geologic history of a particular area. Students will develop the ability to conjure up an image of a particular setting given a place and geologic time period. Slides and field trips augment the course.
GEOLOGY 492 - Senior Seminar
Prerequisites: Open only to senior geology or earth science majors.
Required of all Geology majors during their senior year. Each student works on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The project culminates in a written thesis, a public poster presentation, and a public oral presentation. Each student registers for this course during both semesters, 0 credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring. Taught every year.