Course Offerings

Fall 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Dynamic Earth: Introductory Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101 or 102.    Involves moderate hiking and other physical activities outside in all types of weather. Additional fee required. The study of Earth systems, our physical environment, and the processes shaping our planet with special emphasis on field study of the region near Lexington. Topics include: plate tectonics; the materials and structure of the Earth's crust; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; the origin of landforms; and the concept of deep time. Additional topics, with emphasis varying by instructor, include: climate change; weathering and erosion; water quality and movement; energy resources; geospatial and quantitative data analysis; and the relationship between humans and the environment. Laboratory course with lab fee. 

Dynamic Earth: Introductory Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100 - Knapp, Elizabeth P.

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101 or 102.    Involves moderate hiking and other physical activities outside in all types of weather. Additional fee required. The study of Earth systems, our physical environment, and the processes shaping our planet with special emphasis on field study of the region near Lexington. Topics include: plate tectonics; the materials and structure of the Earth's crust; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; the origin of landforms; and the concept of deep time. Additional topics, with emphasis varying by instructor, include: climate change; weathering and erosion; water quality and movement; energy resources; geospatial and quantitative data analysis; and the relationship between humans and the environment. Laboratory course with lab fee. 

Dynamic Earth: Introductory Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOL 100A - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101 or 102.    Involves moderate hiking and other physical activities outside in all types of weather. Additional fee required. The study of Earth systems, our physical environment, and the processes shaping our planet with special emphasis on field study of the region near Lexington. Topics include: plate tectonics; the materials and structure of the Earth's crust; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; the origin of landforms; and the concept of deep time. Additional topics, with emphasis varying by instructor, include: climate change; weathering and erosion; water quality and movement; energy resources; geospatial and quantitative data analysis; and the relationship between humans and the environment. Laboratory course with lab fee. 

Sustainable Earth: Introductory Environmental Geology

GEOL 102 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

Additional fee required. The study of Earth systems, our physical environment, and the processes shaping our planet with special emphasis on environmental science and sustainability. Depending on the instructor, various topics include: plate tectonics; the materials and structure of the Earth's crust; climate change; the nature of the Earth's interior; the origin of landforms; weathering and erosion; water quality and movement; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; energy resources; the concept of deep time; geospatial and quantitative data analysis; and the relationship between humans and the environment. Laboratory course.

Selected Topics

GEOL 197A - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

Selected topical coverage of various timely or general interest subject areas in geology. The topic selected varies from year to year and is announced in advance of the registration period. Topics have included impact and extinction of the dinosaurs; volcanoes and tectonics; geologic consideration in land-use planning; and the geology of national parks. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits if the topic is different.

Geomorphology

GEOL 247 - Lyon, Eva C.

Investigation of landforms from maps, aerial photographs, digital data, and the analysis of the surficial processes by which they are formed. Laboratory activities include identification and interpretation of topography, field measurements of landscape form and process, and a required weekend field trip. Laboratory course.

Introductory Geophysics

GEOL 275 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

A review of the geophysical methods used to study the interior of the Earth, the magnetic field, isostasy, and earthquake seismology. Attention is given to the methods used in geophysics to collect and analyze data. A gravimeter, a magnetometer, seismic refraction and electrical resistivity equipment are used to collect field data. The data, corrections, and interpretations are incorporated into a technical report for each of the four surveys. Laboratory course.

Sedimentation and Stratigraphy

GEOL 330 - Greer, Mary L. (Lisa)

Properties, origins, and dynamics of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Correlation, organization, and historical interpretation of the sedimentary rock record. Field and laboratory analyses of sedimentary rocks. Laboratory course.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.

Spring 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

Spring 2020, GEOL 105-01: Earth Lab: Dam It! An Environmental Exploration of Dams (4). An exploration of the impacts of dams from an environmental, hydrologic, geologic, and historical perspective. Dams are used for a variety of purposes--storing water provided by rivers to secure a water supply, mitigating flooding, producing electric power, operating mills. As we look to the future of our energy sector, interest in hydroelectric power is increasing. However, damming rivers can have substantial impacts on rivers, affecting ecosystems and environmental systems up- and down-stream of the dam. The hydrologic and geomorphological changes induced by dams are explored in detail as a basis for learning foundational concepts in geoscience. (SL) Hinkle.

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Lyon, Eva C.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

Spring 2020, GEOL 105-02: Earth Lab: The Geology of National Parks (4). A study of the processes that formed and are continuing to shape this continent through examples from some of our most scenic and special places: the national parks. With examples from throughout the national park system, we examine how different rock types form, the scale of geologic time, and earth-surface processes. Each park tells a story: some stories go back billions of years, but most of these stories are still being written, particularly as we consider the idea that we are "loving our parks to death". Thus, we also think about how the parks are likely to respond to changing climate and other human impacts. The course includes short overnight field trips during the first three weeks and a week-long trip out west during the final week of class. (SL) Lyon.

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Knapp, Elizabeth P.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

Spring 2020, GEOL 105-03: FS: Earth Lab: Geology of Hawai'i (4). First-Year seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. Instructor consent required. Additional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term. An introductory study of earth science and the geology of the Hawaiian Islands taught for two weeks in Hawai'i. Its purpose is to provide an unparalleled opportunity to observe a wide variety of geologic processes in action. This course entails close interaction with the faculty and intensive study amongst the students during the term. (SL) Knapp.

Earth Lab

GEOL 105 - Rahl, Jeffrey M. / Kitch, Gabriella D. (Gabby)

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

Spring 2020, GEOL 105-04: Earth Lab: Tectonics and Climate (4).  Earth's physical environment has continuously changed throughout the planet's 4.5 billion-year old history. Plate tectonics, driven by the internal energy of the Earth, moves continents across the globe and leads to the formation of mountains. Global climate, fueled by energy received from the Sun, also experiences dramatic variations, from episodes of global glaciation to times with tropical poles. Over the past few decades, geoscientists have documented surprising interconnections between these seemingly distinct processes. Through data-driven activities, students will explore Earth's tectonic and climate systems, their complex interrelationships, and how they have evolved throughout Earth's history. (SL) Rahl.

Field Methods in the Appalachians

GEOL 230 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

An introduction to the study of geology in the field with special attention to the methods used by geologists to make, record, and interpret field observations. The course includes study of and field trips in the central Appalachian region.

Winter 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

General Geology

GEOL 101 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 100. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

General Geology

GEOL 101 - Lyon, Eva C.

Preference given to first-years and sophomores. The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 100. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.

Planetary Geology

GEOL 104 - Jay Seymour, Cassidy N.

Large-scale geological features of the Earth are examined and compared with surface features visible on images of other planets and planetary satellites of the solar system. Features examined include those resulting from volcanism, impact cratering, and structure; eolian, fluvial, glacial and periglacial processes; and mass movement. The composition of terrestrial and lunar rocks and extraterrestrial objects is examined. Models of the origin and evolution of planets and their satellites are discussed.

Oceanography

GEOL 155 - Lyon, Eva C.

Introduction to physical oceanography and marine geology; tides, waves, currents, and the interaction of oceans and atmosphere; submarine landscapes; and sedimentary, volcanic, and tectonic activity in the ocean basins.

Earth Materials

GEOL 211 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

A laboratory course introducing Earth materials, including minerals and rocks, with an emphasis on a hands-on approach to identifying and interpreting minerals and their associations in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Students learn the techniques and principles of hand sample identification, optical mineralogy and petrography, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy.

Hydrology

GEOL 240 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Systems and processes of water movement on and below the Earth's surface. Encompasses the theoretical and applied aspects of soil moisture, runoff, flooding, groundwater movement, and water-well use. Numerical evaluation of flow properties from field and lab data describing water movement in soils, aquifers, and streams. Laboratory course.

Petroleum Geology and Geophysics

GEOL 335 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

A survey of the theory and practice of petroleum geology and geophysics. Topics covered include the nature and origin of petroleum, a study of where oil and gas accumulate from the perspective of basin analysis, and the basic principles of reflection seismology and petrophysics. The key petroleum system elements of source, charge, seal, reservoir and trap are studied within the context of how a geologist or geophysicist goes about exploring for and developing petroleum accumulations. Emphasis is placed on the Geology use of industry software and data to analyze geologic features, deposits, and basins that are relevant to petroleum exploration and production. Laboratory course.

Seminar

GEOL 397A - Harbor, David J.

The title, term of meeting, and credits for seminars will be announced to all geology majors. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Winter 2020, GEOL 397A-01: Topic: Regenerative Agriculture and Carbon Sequestration (3). Prerequisites: ENV 110 and either GEOL 100 or 101, or instructor consent. Student backgrounds and interest from science, history, anthropology, economics, and more are necessary and welcomed. Drawdown of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is necessary. Can regenerative agricultural practices, or "carbon farming" sequester carbon permanently in the soil? And how much? Students use the scientific literature and case studies to learn about soils and how they form and store carbon, examine agricultural practices historical and new, interact with the local farming community and discover potential side benefits to farm income and water quality.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Harbor, David J.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Hinkle, Margaret A.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Lyon, Eva C.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

GEOL 401 - Rahl, Jeffrey M.

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor and meeting the special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Harbor, David J.

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Senior Research Thesis

GEOL 472 - Connors, Christopher D. (Chris)

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in geology are urged to undertake research on a field or laboratory problem which can lead to the presentation of a senior thesis. Work on this project should be started in the spring term of the junior year. Interested students should consult members of the faculty who will help define the problem and provide guidance during research.

Honors Thesis

GEOL 493 - Harbor, David J.

Honors Thesis.