050 - Service Learning in GeologyStudents 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 GeologyThis 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 - GeologyCovers 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 StudiesField 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.
225 - Environmental GeologyGeology 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 ResourcesSurvey 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 GeologyThe geologic history of the Earth and the evolution of life through the study of fossils. Includes the movement of tectonic plates, shaping of continents, and formation of mountains, all interpreted from the study of rock and fossil records. Labs include rock and fossil identification, physical and biostratigraphic correlation of rock units, and interpretation of local geologic history.
280 - Geologic Field InvestigationsField 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 & GISIntroduction 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.
330 - Sedimentary GeologyPrinciples of stratigraphy, sedimentary processes, characteristics, and relationships among marine and nonmarine depositional systems, facies analysis, stratigraphic analysis, and basin analysis. Laboratory includes textural analysis, sedimentary structures, and use of electric logs in subsurface mapping. Prerequisite: GEOL 111 and GEOL 242.
401 - Senior ThesisProject 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. Prerequisite: GEOL 111, GEOL 242, GEOL 330, BNR 400, and two additional GEOL courses.
410 - Senior ReadingsThis 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.