Geology

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Faculty: David Goldsmith (Chair), Tiffany Rivera, Dan Byrne, Jennifer Eden

Program Goals

  • Critical Thinking
    • Ability to synthesize multiple lines of evidence and multiple sources of data to support geologic hypotheses
    • Ability to use an Earth Systems perspective to integrate understanding of geologic processes across disciplines
  • Creativity
    • Ability to evaluate data necessary to answer a particular question
    • Ability to think and extrapolate across a broad range of temporal and dimensional scales
  • Collaboration
    • Ability to work collaboratively to break a complex problem into simpler, individually achievable tasks
    • Ability to work together constructively in challenging field environments
  • Communication
    • Ability to explain geologic information at a level appropriate to the audience
    • Ability to read and understand the geologic literature and to create original research reports
    • Ability to communicate scientific information through verbal and written presentation of data, graphics, and maps.
  • Global Responsibility
    • Ability to assess the effects of human activity on the natural environment
    • Ability to bring a geologic perspective to discussions of social issues

Objectives

The Geology program offers a Bachelor of Science degree for students interested in understanding the earth. The degree incorporates a diversity of both perspectives and methods.  Classes incorporate lecture, lab, and fieldwork to study our planet’s physical, chemical, and biological history.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum 2.3 GPA in all courses required for the major.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Geology major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course descriptions.

Geology Major

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
The student must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Lower Division Geology Courses 14
GEOL 201 Earth Materials I: Mineralogy (4) CHEM 111 and one of: GEOL 110, GEOL 107, or 111
GEOL 214 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4) GEOL 110 or GEOL 107 or 111
GEOL 260 Geoliteracy (2) GEOL 110 or GEOL 107 or 111
Choose one of the following courses:
  • GEOL 107 Geology of the American West (4)
  • GEOL 111 National Parks Geology (4)
III. Upper Division Geology Courses 18
GEOL 301 Earth Materials II: Petrology (4) GEOL 201
GEOL 310 Structural Geology and Tectonics (4) GEOL 110 or GEOL 107 or 111, PHYS 152/212
GEOL 315 Principles of Paleontology (4)
GEOL 360 Field Geology (6) GEOL 110 or GEOL 107 or 111, GEOL 301, GEOL 214, GEOL 310
Electives 9
Students must take an additional nine credits in geology, including at least one course at the 400 level.
Required Courses from Other Programs 24
CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry I (4) co-requisite: MATH 144 or equivalent
CHEM 112 Principles of Chemistry II (4) co-requisite: MATH 144 or equivalent
MATH 201 Calculus I (4) MATH 144 or consent of instructor
MATH 202 Calculus II (4) MATH 201 or 201B or placement test
PHYS 151/211 Principles of Physics I or Physics for Scientists I (4) MATH 144
PHYS 152/212 Principles of Physics II or Physics for Scientists II (4) MATH 144
TOTAL HOURS FOR GEOLOGY MAJOR 73

Recommended Plan of Study for Geology

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year Geology Learning Community
CHEM 111
MATH 201
CHEM 112
MATH 202
GEOL 260
Sophomore Year

GEOL 201
PHYS 151


GEOL 301
GEOL 214
PHYS 152

Junior Year

GEOL 315
MATH 150 (recommended for students
considering graduate school)


GEOL 310
GEOL 360 (summer)
GEOL Electives

Senior Year

GEOL Electives


GEOL Electives


Geology Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Geology Courses 18
GEOL 201 Earth Materials I: Mineralogy (4) CHEM 111 and one of: GEOL 110, GEOL 107, or 111
GEOL 214 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4) GEOL 110 or GEOL 107 or 111
GEOL 260 Geoliteracy (2) GEOL 110 or GEOL 107 or 111
GEOL 301 Earth Materials II: Petrology (4) GEOL 201
Choose one of the following courses:
  • GEOL 107 Geology of the American West (4)
  • GEOL 111 National Parks Geology (4)
Electives 6
Students wishing to complete a minor must take an additional six credits in Geology.
TOTAL HOURS FOR GEOLOGY MINOR 24