GEOL 100: General Geology with Field Emphasis (4)
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Same as GEOL 101 with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. Contact the instructor for additional information. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Laboratory course.
GEOL 101: General Geology (4)
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.
GEOL 105: Earth Lab (4)
Prerequisite: Three credits in geology Permission of the instructor. 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 fall term.
GEOL 104: Planetary Geology (3)
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 rocks and extraterrestrial objects is examined. Models of the origin and evolution of planets and their satellites are discussed.
GEOL 141: Global Climate Change (3)
A study of Earth's complex climate system and the impact of human activities on future climates. Through readings, discussions, data analyses and modeling exercises, the past and future changes in temperature, ocean circulation, rainfall, storminess, biogeochemistry, glacial ice extent and sea level are explored.
GEOL 144: History of Geology (3)
A history of geology, from the 17th century to today. Topics include: nature of geologic time (cyclical versus linear) and duration of geologic events (uniformitarianism versus catastrophism), development of the geologic time scale, debates about the age of the Earth, continental drift and its rejection by the scientific community, and the formulation and acceptance of plate tectonics. Developments in geology are discussed in the context of various philosophies of science, including ideas promoted by Bacon, Gilbert, Chamberlin, Popper, Kuhn, and others.
GEOL 150: Water Resources (3)
Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 101. A seminar examining the quality and quantity of water resources as a limiting factor for future generations. Issues include resource depletion, pollution, historical use and abuse, remediation, and habitat maintenance. Resource constraints are analyzed from a scientific perspective in order to understand or predict water resource problems and solutions.
GEOL 155: Oceanography (3)
Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 101; BIOL 111; CHEM 111; or PHYS 111. 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.
GEOL 197: Selected Topics (3)
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 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 with permission and if the topic is different.
GEOL 205: History and Evolution of the Earth (3)
An introductory examination of the origin and physical evolution of the Earth as inferred from the rock record. Areas of particular emphasis include: (1) the origin of the solar system and differentiation of the planets; (2) the evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere and hydrosphere; (3) explanations for the development of life; (4) organic evolution and interpretations of "mass extinctions;" (5) the changing configuration of continental blocks and ocean basins by continental drift, seafloor spreading, and plate tectonics; and (6) the growth of continental blocks and their mountain systems.
GEOL 247: Geomorphology (4)
Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 101. 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.