Department of Geosciences

Professor Richard E. Peterson, Chairperson.

Horn Professor Chatterjee; Pevehouse Professor Asquith; Professors Barnes, Barrick, Cebull, Güven, Haragan, Jacka, and Leary; Associate Professors Chang, Jurica, Karlsson, and Lehman; Assistant Professor Gurrola; Joint Professors Arnold, Lee, and Rainwater; Adjunct Faculty: Cavallaro, Danielli, Gill, and Johnson.

This department supervises the following degree programs: GEOSCIENCE, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy; ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE, Master of Science. Areas of specialization at the undergraduate level include geology and geophysics and a minor in atmospheric science.

All bachelor's degree programs require an 18-hour minor which may be in a single discipline or selected from a variety of disciplines with departmental approval. The minor for a Bachelor of Science degree program is usually in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering, supporting areas of geosciences, or a combination thereof. Fewer restrictions are placed on the selection of a minor for a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Grades below C in required courses of either the major or minor of a geosciences program are not acceptable in fulfillment of the degree requirements.

The program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to provide a broad liberal arts background and basic training in the principles of geosciences. The program is designed for the student with strong interests in earth processes and the history of nature's initiation of and response to continuous change. The degree is tailored toward instruction in making one aware of the transient character of both physical and aesthetic resources. Programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree provide more intensive training in the physical sciences.

Teacher Education. The Department of Geosciences cooperates with the College of Education in offering plans for teacher certification in earth science, and life-earth science at both the elementary and secondary school levels. The student should consult the Department of Geosciences concerning course work required for earth science certification and the College of Education for requirements in professional education.

Students who major in geology (B.A. or B.S. degrees) and wish to teach earth science at the secondary level must complete the following courses in the earth sciences, in addition to other degree requirements and professional education courses: ASTR 1300, 1100; ATMO 1300, 1100; GEOL 1303, 1101, 1304, 1102, 2305, 3301, 3302, 3322, 3421, 3450, and 6 hours from the following: GEOL 3323, 3600, 4318, or 4324.

Students who major in another field and wish to qualify to teach earth science at the secondary level must complete (in addition to other degree requirements and professional education courses) ASTR 1300, 1100; ATMO 1300, 1100; GEOL 1303, 1101, 1304, 1102, 2305, 3322, 3421, 3450, and one of the following: GEOL 3301, 3302, 3323, or 4318.

Students may also satisfy the requirements for teaching earth science at the secondary level under the Multidisciplinary Science Major, with an emphasis in earth science. This major is administered by the College of Education. In addition to the basic science course work, the earth science emphasis requires GEOL 2305, 3301, 3322, 3421, 3450, and 6 hours from the following: GEOL 3302, 3323, 3600, 4318, or 4324.

The life-earth science option for secondary science is designed to satisfy requirements for science teachers at the junior high school level. Required courses include BIOL 1401, 1402, 3301; MBIO 3400; ZOOL 2403, 4407, or BOT 3304; ATMO 1300, 1100; GEOL 1303, 1101, 1304, 1102, 2305, 3322, 3450, and one of the following: GEOL 2305, 3301, 3323, or 4318.

Students choosing the earth science option in elementary education must take ATMO 1300, 1100; GEOL 1303, 1101, 1304, 1102, 3301, 3322, 3450, and one of the following: GEOL 2305, 3323, or 4318. the life-earth science option in elementary education requires BIOL 1401, 1402, 3301; MBIO 3400, GEOL 1303, 1101, 1304, 1102, 3450, and one of the following: GEOL 3301, 3322, 3323, or 4318.

Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements. All curricula include the general requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree (see "General Degree Requirements, Bachelor of Science"). The specializations in geology and geophysics also require MATH 1350, 1351, and 1352; CHEM 1307, 1107, 1308, and 1108; PHYS 1308, 1105, 2301, and 1106; and GEOL 3310.

Students desiring an area of specialization in geology should include GEOL 1101, 1102, 1303, 1304, 2305, 3302, 3421, and 3600 plus five of the following: GEOL 3301, 3450, 4320, 4321, 4420, any 4000 level geophysics course, or an approved substitute.

An area of specialization in geophysics requires GEOL 1101, 1303, 1102, 1304, 2305, 3302, 3310, 3421; GPH (two of the following) 4321, 4322, 4323; CHEM 1307, 1107; PHYS 1308, 1105, 2301, 1106, 4304; MATH 1351, 1352, 2350; and an additional 15 hours of approved electives (at least 6 of these hours must be in physics, engineering, and/or mathematics).

A well-prepared student should be able to complete the B.S. in geology with a minimum of about 40 hours in geosciences plus the 18 hour minor as well as the 28 hours in mathematics and physical sciences. For other students, leveling courses may be required. For the major the residency requirement is 12 hours, for the minor, 6 hours.

Courses in Atmospheric Science, Geology, and Geophysics with an asterisk may be used in fulfilling natural (laboratory) science requirements. Courses marked with double asterisks may be used in fulfilling technology and applied science requirements.

Courses in Atmospheric Science. (ATMO)

*1100. Atmospheric Science Laboratory (1:0:2). Prerequisite: ATMO 1300 or concurrent. Discussion and practical experience in weather analysis, methods of instrumentation, and observational meteorology.

*1300. Introduction to Atmospheric Science (3:3:0). An investigation of atmospheric properties and physical processes which determine current weather events and long-term climate conditions.

**2301. Weather, Climate, and Human Activities (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ATMO 1300 or consent of instructor. Observation and analysis of the impacts of weather and climate on human activity, e.g. storms, climate change, forecasting, weather modification, health, energy, transportation.

**3301. General Meteorology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: MATH 1351 or consent of instructor. A basic study of atmospheric processes and the principles which control them.

4300. Independent Studies in Atmospheric Science (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Independent studies in atmospheric science. May be repeated once for credit.

Courses in Geology. (GEOL)

*1101. Physical Geology Laboratory (1:0:2). Prerequisite: GEOL 1303 or concurrent enrollment. Laboratory study of rocks, minerals, and geologic mapping.

*1102. Historical Geology Laboratory (1:0:2). Prerequisite: GEOL 1304 or concurrent enrollment. Laboratory study of fossils, geologic maps, and geologic structure.

1105. History of Life Laboratory (1:0:2). Introduction to and application methods employed by paleontologists to interpret the fossil record. Not for credit for majors.

*1303. Physical Geology (3:3:0). Beginning course. A study of earth materials (rocks and minerals), gradation (erosion and deposition), diastrophism (earth movements and mountain building), vulcanism and earth resources.

*1304. Historical Geology (3:3:0). A study of the history and evolution of the earth and life from the beginning of time to the present.

1350. History of Life (3:3:0). A survey of the evolution of life on earth as interpreted from the fossil record and the processes that produced extinct and modern ecosystems. Not for credit for majors.

2305. Introduction to Crystallography and Mineralogy (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 1101, 1303, and CHEM 1307. Introduction to symmetry, crystal chemistry, and atomic structures of minerals. Classification of minerals and description of rock-forming minerals.

3301. Geomorphology and Aerial Photointerpretation (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 1303, 1101, 1304, 1102, or consent of instructor. Introductory course in processes which produce morphogenic changes at earth's surface. Evolutionary development of hillslopes and drainage channels. Illustrated by aerial photos.

3302. Structural Geology (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 2305 or GPH 2300. Topics include rock mechanics, folds, joints, faults, structural petrology, and crystalline-rock structures. Laboratory work concerns structural aspects of surface and subsurface mapping and interpretation including the use of stereonets.

3310. Quantitative Methods in Geology (3:3:0). This class will emphasize error propagation in geologically-sampled data, and computer methods to process and model these data.

3322. Oceanography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOL 1303 or GEOG 1301, 1302 or ATMO 1300. The physiography and origin of ocean basins and the processes and systems operative in them including physical, chemical, and biological factors as well as sedimentation patterns.

3323. Environmental Geology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOL 1303 or 2303 or GEOG 1302 or consent of instructor. Study of geological processes that affect human activities, emphasizing natural hazards, water resources, waste disposal, energy, mineral resources, and land use and planning.

3421. Petrology (4:2:6). Prerequisite: GEOL 2305. Origin, identification, and mode of occurrence of rocks. Systematic classification of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, with emphasis on field-based methods.

3450. Paleontology and Paleoecology (4:3:3). Classification, evolution, and paleobiology of invertebrate fossils. Applications of paleontological data in geological dating, correlation, and paleoenvironmental analyses.

3600. Field Geology (6). Prerequisite: Junior standing in geology. Comprehensive study of field relationships of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Standard methods of field analysis are applied.

4001. Problems in Geosciences (V1-6). Independent study under guidance of a faculty member.

4101. Undergraduate Seminar (1:1:0). May be repeated for credit.

4300. Independent Studies in Geology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Independent studies in geology. May be repeated for credit.

4312. Undergraduate Research (3). Prerequisite: Senior standing. Independent research in an area of current interest in the geosciences. Prior approval from specific professor required.

4318. Geology of Texas (3:3:0). A comprehensive study of the structure, stratigraphy and economic geology of Texas and parts of adjacent states.

4320. Optical Mineralogy (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 2305. Principles of transmitted light within isotropic and anisotropic crystals, and the identification of minerals by observation and measurement of their behavior in plane-polarized light. Emphasis on variations due to chemical changes in the common rock-forming silicates.

4321. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrography (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 4320. The study of rock texture and paragenesis in thin section.

4324. Geology of Hydrocarbons (3:3:0). A study of the world-wide distribution and geologic setting of petroleum in addition to methods of exploration.

4420. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4:3:3). Prerequisite: Senior standing in geosciences or approval of instructor. Sedimentary textures and structures, classification, petrography, and diagenesis of sedimentary rocks, lithostratigraphy, facies, and basin models.

Courses in Geophysics. (GPH)

**2300. Introduction to Geophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOL 1303. A basic introduction to solid earth geophysics with emphasis on the internal structure of the earth.

4300. Independent Studies in Geophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Independent studies in geophysics. May be repeated for credit.

4321. Seismic Exploration Methods (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 3302 or MATH 1351 or consent of instructor. Methods to collect, process, and interpret seismic data are discussed.

4323. Applied Electrical Methods (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GPH 4321. Electromagnetic, resistivity, and ground penetrating radar methods of geophysical investigation are discussed.

Return to Home Page

Page Maintained by: Cheryl Hedlund

Page Administrator: Gale Richardson


Apr 27, 2017