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Undergraduate Courses

Exploration of various effects on Earth's long-term physical-chemical systems caused by human consumption and pollution of its vital resources and emphasize environmental and geological issues critical to earth's sustainability.

Earth processes and utilization of geological materials (plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, hydrology, erosion). Earth hazards, pollution, and energy resources in the context of environmental geology.

Geologic record of global change, including measurement of geologic time, global geochemical cycles, sea-level and climate change, biodiversity, evolution, ecological changes and extinctions.

Physical geology; characteristics and origins of rocks and minerals; mechanism and processes of volcanism, plutonism, metamorphism, weathering, erosion, sedimentation, and lithification; evolution of landforms. Tectonic processes of continental drift, sea-floor spreading, and plate tectonics.…

Methods and concepts by which Earth history is interpreted. The geologic time scale; interactions of physical, chemical, and biological processes through time. Origin of life; evolution and distribution of plants and animals through time. Geologic history of North America. Emphasis on…

Environmental geology focusing on understanding global and current environmental problems and their relationships with geological processes. Emphasis on case histories of geologic hazards and environmental impact of resources extraction and use. Requirements for a sustainable society analyzed.…

Characteristics and origins of minerals and rocks. Plate tectonics and structure of the Earth's interior. Geologic processes that affect the Earth's surface: volcanism, earthquakes, coastal erosion, and global climate changes. Natural Earth resources and human interaction.

Measurement of geologic time. Physical and biological history of Earth as recorded in rocks and fossils. Development of the major features of the Earth, with particular emphasis on North America. Course taught during summer session in the field. Traditional methods are combined with field…

Physical and chemical properties, identification, and modes of occurrence of minerals and mineral assemblages. Mineral crystallography, determinations of optical properties with the petrographic microscope, x-ray diffraction and structural formula determinations. Introduction to mineral…

Surface processes; geohydrological, geochemical cycles; and surface geological structures of the Earth.Field Trips Required.

Basic aspects of oceanography: ocean basins and plate tectonics, shallow and deep ocean circulation, waves and tides, marine biology and ecology, marine sediments, chemistry of seawater, paleoceanography, and environmental oceanography.

Gem materials, historical, cultural, mineralogical, technological, and scientific aspects. The identification and evaluation of gems.

Internal processes which are responsible for the formation and physico-chemical evolution of the earth. Study of the basic tools of igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, thermodynamics and heat-transfer mechanisms and their application in field and laboratory investigations.

Groundwater in the hydrologic cycle. Examination of flow through porous media, regional flow, influence of wells, water chemistry, and contaminant transport. Emphasis on practical environmental problems.

Methods of archaeometric analysis including chronometric and instrumental techniques. Absolute age dating and characterization of archaeological materials by physico-chemical analysis.

Principles and applications of geographic information systems (GIS). Examines the nature and accuracy of spatially referenced data, as well as methods of data capture, storage, retrieval, visualization, modeling, and output using one or more GIS software packages.

Provides rigorous hands-on-exercises on the applications of geographic information system (GIS) techniques in geological and environmental sciences. Students will master image processing and spatial analysis techniques (e.g., image classifications, spatial interpolation, georeferencing). The…

Geochemical dispersion and survey of common pathfinder elements; methods of instrumental analysis used in geochemical exploration. Background theory of gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic, and electrical techniques used in resource exploration. Field based projects.

Techniques for the geophysical propsection of near-surface geology, geohydrology, and geomorphology. Techniques include electro-magnetic, radar, sonar, and magnetism.

Archaeological geology examines the use of earth science methods and theories in the study of archaeological sites and their contents. The four major areas covered include: (1) the archaeological site and geology; (2) age determination techniques; (3) exploration techniques; (4) artifact…

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