Courses

List of Courses:
  • 050 - Service Learning in Geology
    Students volunteer in some capacity to assist in educational outreach in geology and/or environmental studies or in research as a technician. Projects may serve Principia or other communities or outside agencies.
  • 111 - Introductory Geology
    This course studies the internal and external processes that form and shape the Earth as we see it today and interprets the resulting landforms. Internal processes include tectonic plate movement, volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain building. External processes include weathering, erosion, streams, wind, ocean currents, and glaciers. Labs cover mineral and rock identification and topographic and geologic map reading. Field trips reinforce material covered in class.
  • 170 - Geology
    Covers geologic topics specific to a country or region. Topics include the Earth's physical features, tectonic history, depositional environments, and mineral and water resources. Topics will be related to their influence on human activities in a region. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken four times up to a total of 12 semester hours provided topics differ. Offered on Principia abroads or field programs only.
  • 180 - Geologic Field Studies
    Field study and related lab work for a special geologic project. Involves library research and careful record keeping and reporting of scientific findings. Offered upon demand. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken more than once provided topics or depth of research differ. May be taken three times up to a total of 12 semester hours.
  • 185 - Ice Age Mammoth Project
    Field and/or lab work involved in excavating and preparing bones of an Ice Age mammoth found on campus. Topics include basic principles of vertebrate paleontology and stratigraphy, evolution of Proboscideans and other megafauna through time and space, study of glaciers and their impact on the landscape, and climate change during the Ice Age.
  • 225 - Environmental Geology
    Geology from the perspective of the interrelationship of humanity and the Earth and the value of understanding the Earth in land use planning. Topics include geologic hazards, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, coastal erosion; water supply and contamination issues; waste management; hazardous geologic materials; mineral and energy resource issues; and global changes.
  • 230 - Nonrenewable Resources
    Survey of Earth's nonrenewable energy and material, as well as water resources - their occurrence in or on the Earth's crust, how they are extracted, processed, and used, and the impacts of these steps on the environment.
  • 242 - Historical Geology
    The geologic history of the Earth and the historical development of plants and animals. This includes the movement of the tectonic plates over the past 750 million years and the consequent shaping of continents and their mountain belts and sedimentary basins. Labs cover rock and fossil identification, physical and biostratigraphic correlation of rock units. Focus is on the Paleozoic Era and on using stratigraphic evidence seen in lab samples and reinforced in the field to interpret the local geologic history. Recommend taking GEOL 111 first.
  • 280 - Geologic Field Investigations
    Field investigation and related lab work for a special geologic project. Involves library research and record keeping and reporting of scientific findings. Offered on demand. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken three times up to a total of 12 semester hours provided topics or depth of research differ. Prerequisite: GEOL 111 or GEOL 242.
  • 301 - Environmental Mapping & GIS
    Introduction to the concepts, techniques, and applications of mapping and monitoring the environment. Students become familiar with the uses of topographic maps, aerial photography, satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students design and implement an ecosystem mapping project. Prerequisite: at least one geology or 200-level field biology course.
  • 301C - Environmental Mapping and GIS
  • 330 - Sedimentary Geology
    Principles of stratigraphy, sedimentary processes, characteristics, and relationships among marine and nonmarine depositional systems, facie analysis, stratigraphic analysis, and basin analysis. Laboratory includes textural analysis, sedimentary structures, and use of electric logs in subsurface mapping. Prerequisites: GEOL 111 and GEOL 242.
  • 400 - Senior Thesis Seminar
    This course is designed to assist senior environmental studies majors with a geology track as they design, research, and prepare to do their capstone project. Outcomes include a project design and methodology, an annotated bibliography, and a research proposal. Open only to environmental studies majors.
  • 410 - Senior Readings
    This course introduces students to seminal pieces of environmental literature and to cutting edge thinking on environmental problems. It challenges students to define and defend their personal values with regard to the environment and to become active citizens in the environmental issues facing society. Prerequisite: five GEOL courses. Also listed as BNR 410.
  • 411 - Senior Thesis
    Project selected in accordance with student's qualifications, interests, and needs. Project may be a component of an internship. May be offered for variable credit from one to six semester hours. May be taken three times up to a total of six semester hours. Prerequisites: GEOL 111, GEOL 242, GEOL 330, GEOL 400, and two additional GEOL courses.