Earth Science Courses

+ Course has separate required lab

+Geol 111 Physical Geology (4)

An introduction to the materials of the earth and the internal and surficial processes that have acted upon the earth through time. Laboratory work includes identification and classification of minerals and rocks and exercises involving topographic and geological maps.

+Geol 112 Historical Geology (4)

Prerequisite: Geol 111

Introduction to the geological evolution of the earth through time using basic principles of stratigraphy and paleontology. Laboratory work includes identification and classification of fossils and correlation of sedimentary environments.

Geol 121 Field Study 1 (1)

Prerequisite or corequisite: Geol 111

Local geology of the San Luis Valley and surrounding areas on day trips. Grades are pass/fail only.

Geol 122 Field Study 2 (1)

Prerequisite or corequisite: Geol 111

Local geology of the San Luis Valley and surrounding areas on day trips. Grades are pass/fail only.

+Geol 321 Geomorphology with Environmental Applications (4)

Prerequisite: Geol 111

A study of the processes that control the development of the materials and landforms found on the earth's surface. An emphasis is placed upon the hydrologic variables in generating landforms and human interactions with these formative processes. Field trips, topographic map, and aerial photo exercises are required. Spring semester of even-numbered academic years.

+Geol 326 Lithology (3)

Prerequisite: Geol 331

The study of rocks through hand-specimen analysis. Emphasis will be on the textures, minerals, nomenclature, and occurrence of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Course includes required field trips. Spring semester of odd-numbered academic years.

+Geol 331 Mineralogy (4)

Prerequisites: Geol 111

Systematic identification of natural minerals and gemstones utilizing their physical and crystallographic characteristics. Fall semester of odd numbered academic years.

+Geol 338 Petrology (4)

Prerequisite: Geol 331 and corequisite Geol 326

The study of the occurrence and origin of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Laboratory exercises will emphasize the petrographic analysis of thin sections. Course includes required field trips. Spring semester of odd-numbered academic years.

+Geol 340 Introduction to Hydrogeology (4)

Prerequisite or corequisite: Math 106

Dynamics of the groundwater system and its relationship with surface water systems of rivers, lakes, and oceans. Fall semester of even-numbered academic years.

+Geol 343 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4)

Prerequisite: Geol 112

The study of the origin and occurrence of sedimentary materials and their vertical succession. Sediment dynamics and structures will be explored within various depositional settings. Course includes required field trips. Fall semester of odd-numbered academic years.

Geol 350 Geological Excursion to the Texas Region (2)

Prerequisite or corequisite: Geol 112

A field trip of approximately one week, generally during spring break, every third year, to the Texas region of the western U.S. Each field excursion may be taken only once for credit. An additional fee is required.

Geol 351 Geologic Excursion to the Arizona Region (2)

Prerequisite or corequisite: Geol 112

A field trip of approximately one week, generally during spring break, every third year, to the Arizona region of the western U.S. Each field excursion may be taken only once for credit. An additional fee is required.

Geol 352 Geologic Excursion to the Utah Region (2)

Prerequisite or corequisite: Geol 112

A field trip of approximately one week, generally during spring break, every third year, to the Utah region of the western U.S. Each field excursion may be taken only once for credit. An additional fee is required.

+Geol 361 Geographic Information Systems (3)

Prerequisite: completion of Technical Proficiency requirements

This course is an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS). The course will allow students to become familiarized with the new technology of spatial distributions and mapping. Terminology, conceptual understandings and experience with some of the available GIS software are the basic goals of this course.

+Geol 371 Structural Geology (4)

Prerequisite: Geol 111

Recognition, representation, and significance of geologic structures of the earth’s crust. Course includes occasional required field trips. Fall semester of even-numbered academic years.

Geol 388 (1 credit), 488 (2 credits) Problems in Geology (1-2)

Prerequisite: Permission of department head

Opportunity for laboratory or field research into problems of special interest. Fall and spring semesters upon sufficient interest.

Geol 430 Tectonics of North America (3)

Prerequisite: Geol 371

An integrative course examining the lithologic, stratigraphic, and structural evidence supporting current tectonic models for the evolution of the North American Plate. Spring semester of even-numbered academic years.

Geol 433 Environmental Geochemistry (3)

Prerequisite: Chem 131, 132; Geol 111

A lecture course examining the interaction of geological materials with the surface environment. Processes of transport and fate of contaminants and pollutants from natural and manmade sources will be addressed, as well as the geology of some natural resources that contribute pollutants. Spring semester of odd-numbered academic years.

Geol 446 Field Methods (2)

Prerequisite: Geol 371 or permission of instructor

Techniques and concepts of basic geologic field mapping and section measuring including the use of the plane table and alidade, theodolite, Brunton compass, and GPS. Spring semester of even-numbered academic years.

Geol 495 Field Geology (6)

Prerequisite: Geol 446, or permission of instructor

Course teaches fundamental applications of traditional geological field mapping methods and recognition of of geological features in an outdoor setting. Report writing, presentations, and planning for fieldwork are also covered. Modern technology is included wherever appropriate to learning field-based methods. Spring semester of even-numbered academic years.