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Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014


Approved Courses

The following list includes undergraduate courses that have been approved as of  June 2010.  Courses added after that date do not appear in this list.  Courses eliminated after that date may still appear.  Not every course is offered regularly.  Students should consult the Schedule of Classes at www.testudo.umd.edu  to ascertain which courses are actually offered during a given semester.

COURSE NUMBERING SYSTEM

Number   Eligibility
000-099   Non-credit course
100-199   Primarily freshman course
200-299   Primarily sophomore course
300-399   Junior, senior course not acceptable for credit toward graduate degrees
386-387   Campus-wide internship courses; refer to information describing Experiential Learning
400-499   Junior, senior course acceptable for credit toward some graduate degree
500-599   Professional School course (Dentistry, Architecture, Law, Medicine) or post-baccalaureate course
600-899   Course restricted to graduate students
799   Master Thesis credit
899   Doctoral Dissertation credit

Use the search box below to view the approved courses.

Courses in "GEOL-Geology"

GEOL - Geology

GEOL 100 Physical Geology (3) Credit only granted for: GEOL100 or GEOL120. Additional information: CORE Distributive Studies Physical Science Laboratory Course only when taken concurrently with GEOL 110. A general survey of the rocks and minerals composing the earth, its surface features and the agents that form them, and the dynamic forces of plate tectonics.

GEOL 102 Historical Geology (4) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100; and GEOL110. Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Earth's history as revealed through the principles of stratigraphy and the processes of physical geology. Emphasis on formations and geologic development of the North American continent.

GEOL 104 Dinosaurs: A Natural History (3) Dinosaurs, their evolution, and our understanding of their fossil record. Students will examine the geologic record and the tools used by paleontologists to determine: geologic ages and ancient environments; evolutionary history and extinctions; dinosaurian biology and behavior; and their survival as birds. Mechanisms of global change ranging from plate tectonics to asteroid impact will be discussed.

GEOL 110 Physical Geology Laboratory (1) Prerequisite: Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in GEOL120 or GEOL100. Additional information: CORE Distributive Studies Physical Science Laboratory Course only when taken concurrently with GEOL 100. The basic materials and tools of physical geology stressing familiarization with rocks and minerals and the use of maps in geologic interpretations.

GEOL 120 Environmental Geology (3) Credit only granted for: GEOL100 or GEOL120. A review of geologic factors underlying many environmental problems and the interactions between population and physical environment: geologic hazards, land-use planning, conservation, mineral resources, waste disposal, land reclamation, and the geologic aspects of health and disease. The course is aimed at lower division students in education and liberal arts, and should be useful to any student concerned with geologic perspectives of environmental problems.

GEOL 123 Causes and Consequences of Global Change (3) Also offered as: AOSC123. Credit only granted for: AOSC123, GEOG123, GEOL123, or METO123. Study of the major components of Earth's climate system and climate change history. Discussion of 21st century climate change prediction, mitigation and adaptation efforts.

GEOL 124 Evolution of Life and Environment on Planet Earth (3) An exploration of how life has shaped Earth's physical environments, both in the contemporary Earth and over the long course of Earth history. Topics range from evidence for the origin and diversification of life and its impact on Earth environments to the mind-set and methods of the scientists who interpret it, and what those methods tell us about future interactions between life and the environment, both on Earth and in the Solar System.

GEOL 200 Earth's Fury: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunami (3) Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunami frequently remind us of the dangers associated with living on a constantly changing planet. How do people prepare for these rare but dramatic events? Student will study the science behind earthquakes and volcanoes, how it guides monitoring, forecasting, prevention, and response, and the cultural and ethical aspects of these events.

GEOL 204 Dinosaurs, Early Humans, Ancestors, and Evolution; The Fossil Record of Vanished Worlds of the Prehistoric Past (3) Examination of evidence used to reconstruct critical events in the history of life by looking at case studies of significant evolutionary origins, transitions, and extinctions; addressing the role of paleontology in human society, including science education, conservation, and the media.

GEOL 210 Gems and Gemstones (3) A survey of the origin, occurrences, properties, fashioning, and treatments of natural and synthetic materials, with emphasis on diamonds and colored stones.

GEOL 212 Planetary Geology (3) Credit only granted for: ASTR330 or GEOL212. An examination of the geologic and geochemical processes at work in the solar system from the perspectives supplied by space age exploration of the planets and other solar system bodies.

GEOL 214 Global Energy Systems and Resources (3) Prerequisite: A course in the natural sciences, environmental policy, geography; possible courses include: CPSP123, ENSP101, ENSP102, GEOG100, GEOG201, GEOL100, GEOL120, MATH140, PHYS117, CHEM131, CHEM132, CHEM135, CHEM136, and CHEM103; or permission of instructor. Restriction: Permission of instructor is required of non-degree-seeking students. Focuses on energy systems and resources on a global scale. It addresses energy transfer in natural systems, distribution of energy resources in the natural world, and problems of efficiency and limited energy resources. It is appropriate for those interested in science and technical energy issues as well as policy, education and the media.

GEOL 288 Field Studies I (1) Repeatable to 3 credits if content differs. Examination and investigation of Earth Science phenomena in the field, particularly geology. Involves fieldwork of one week or longer duration, which work normally includes both observation and data collection. Particular programs may require certain prerequisites. Permission of Instructor is required. Special fees may be necessary.

GEOL 310 Forensic Geology and Homeland Security (3) Prerequisite: CHEM131, MATH110, and GEOL100; or permission of CMNS-Geology department; or permission of instructor is required of non-degree seeking students. An introduction to the fundamentals of forensic science with special reference to the application of geological techniques, and to the applications of Earth science in understanding problems in homeland security and hazardous materials response.

GEOL 322 Mineralogy (4) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100; and GEOL110. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136); or CHEM103. Restriction: Permission of instructor is required for non-degree seeking students. Basic mineralogy for geology majors. The principles of morphologic crystallography, crystal chemistry, and determinative mineralogy.

GEOL 329 Instructional Assistance Practicum (1-2) Undergraduate teaching assistantship in Geosciences. Individual instruction course. Contact department or instructor to obtain section number.

GEOL 331 Principles of Paleontology (4) Prerequisite: GEOL102; or (BSCI207 or BSCI392); or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Permission of instructor is required of non-degree seeking students. A review of the theory, principles, and applications of Paleontology. A systematic overview of the morphology, evolution, and relationships of the major fossil-producing taxa.

GEOL 340 Geomorphology (4) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100. Restriction: Permission of instructor is required of non-degree seeking students. Analysis of landforms, organized on the basis of the geologic processes that have operated during the late Cenozoic. Constructional and erosional landforms related to physical systems operating on geologic structures through time.

GEOL 341 Structural Geology (4) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100; and GEOL102; and GEOL110. Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Permission of instructor is required of non-degree seeking students. Study of the deformation of Earth's lithosphere, especially stress, rheology, strain, and the origin and significance of structural features. Development of 3-dimensional thinking through drafting and drawing of structures, construction of geologic maps and cross-sections, and stereographic and orthographic representation of structures. Improvement of scientific writing. Two weekend field trips.

GEOL 342 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy (4) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100; and GEOL110; and GEOL322. And CHEM103; or (CHEM131 and CHEM132); or (CHEM135 and CHEM136). Restriction: Permission of instructor is required of non-degree-seeking students. Description, origin, and distribution of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Two mandatory weekend field trips.

GEOL 346 Cycles in the Earth System (3) Prerequisite: MATH140; and (GEOG123, AOSC123, or GEOL123). Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Recommended: PHYS171, PHYS141, PHYS161, or MATH141. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Also offered as: AOSC346. Credit only granted for: AOSC346, GEOG346, or GEOL346. The Earth System operates through some fundamental cycles such as water, energy, and the Carbon Cycle. This course will build on GEOL/GEOG/AOSC123 starting with concept of feedbacks within the Earth System, global energy balance and the Greenhouse Effect. A brief introduction to the atmospheric and oceanic circulation will lead to the water cycle connecting the land, ocean, and atmosphere to the Earth System. Introduction to the Global carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycles will be followed by the concept of long-term climate regulation and short-term climate variability. The concepts of cycles, feedbacks, forcings, and responses in the Earth System will be applied to Global Warming and Ozone Depletion.

GEOL 375 Introduction to the Blue Ocean (3) Prerequisite: MATH140. Recommended: MATH141, PHYS161, or PHYS171. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Also offered as: AOSC375. Credit only granted for: AOSC375, GEOL375 or METO375. Introduction to physical, chemical, and biological properties of the ocean. Role of the ocean in climate as a component of the Earth system. El Nino and the ocean, impact of global warming on the ocean and marine habitats including fisheries.

GEOL 386 Experiential Learning (3-6) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Junior standing or higher.

GEOL 388 Field Studies II (3) Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Examination and investigation of Earth Science phenomena in the field, particularly geology. Involves field work of one week or a longer duration, which would normally involve both observations and data collection, with associated classroom lectures and/or laboratory study, normally including additional analysis of collected observations and data. Particular programs may require certain prerequisites. Permission of instructor required. Special fees may be necessary.

GEOL 393 Geology Senior Thesis I: Proposal (3) Prerequisite: PHYS141 and MATH141. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136). And must have completed at least two upper-level geology courses and be concurrently enrolled in a third. Restriction: Junior standing or higher; and must be in Geology program; and non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. The first semester of the two-semester Geology Senior Thesis. Emphasis is on developing a plan for original research in the geosciences and presenting that plan both in writing and in public presentations that adhere to geosciences professional standards.

GEOL 394 Geology Senior Thesis II: Research (3) Prerequisite: GEOL393; and must have completed at least three upper level GEOL courses. Restriction: Must be in Geology program; and junior standing or higher; and in addition, non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the department. The second semester of the two-semester Geology Senior Thesis. Investigation of specific original research question in geosciences. Emphasis is on completion of original research proposed in GEOL393 and presentation of results both in writing and in public presentations that adhere to geosciences professional standards.

GEOL 410 Industrial Rocks and Minerals (3) Prerequisite: GEOL322. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. The origin; occurrence; mineralogy; extraction and treatment technology; production and deposit-evaluation of rocks and minerals used in the construction, ceramic, chemical and allied industries. Restricted to non-fuels, non-metallic, non-gem materials. Field trips to industrial locations are required.

GEOL 412 Geology of the Terrestrial Planets (3) Prerequisite: GEOL341 or GEOL340. Credit only granted for: GEOL489A or GEOL412. Formerly: GEOL489A. Geological features of Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Moon with an emphasis on results from recent NASA planetary mission. Topics include interior structure, impact cratering, tectonic and volcanic history, surface conditions, climate change, and habitability.

GEOL 423 Optical Mineralogy (4) Prerequisite: GEOL100 or GEOL120; and GEOL110; and GEOL322. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136); or CHEM103. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. The optical behavior of crystals with emphasis on the theory and application of the petrographic microscope.

GEOL 435 Environmental Geochemistry (3) Prerequisite: MATH115; and (GEOL100 or GEOL120); and (GEOL436 or GEOL444). And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136). Restriction: Nondegree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Credit only granted for: GEOL489W or GEOL435. Formerly: GEOL489W. An understanding of geochemical cycles of Earth's surface systems including soils, rivers, lakes, and estuaries and causes and implications of alteration of geochemical cycles. Topics include chemical weathering, soils, chemical composition of inland waters, hydrologic tracers, salinization, eutrophication, nutrient and metal pollution, and global geochemical cycles.

GEOL 436 Principles of Biogeochemistry (3) Prerequisite: MATH140 or MATH220; and (GEOL100 or GEOL120); and GEOL322. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136). Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Also offered as: AOSC436. Credit only granted for: GEOL436 or AOSC436. An introduction to the basic principles of biogeochemistry including aspects of organic geochemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, global geochemical cycles, the origin of life and paleoenvironmental evolution.

GEOL 437 Global Climate Change: Past and Present (3) The goal of the course is to highlight the fact that global climate change is part of the Earth's past as well as of its present and future. Changes in climate that have occurred in the geologic past can be viewed as the Earth's natural climate variability. These changes are different from, though could be linked with, historical and present anthropogenically-induced climate change. We will discuss the modern climate system, the factors capable of forcing climate change on various time scales, the geologic proxies of past climate change and what these proxies tell us. Finally, we will compare and contrast past climate change with what is understood (and not understood) about modern climate change.

GEOL 443 Petrology (4) Prerequisite: GEOL322. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136); or CHEM103. And must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in GEOL423; and (GEOL100 or GEOL120); and GEOL110. Corequisite: Permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Study of igneous and metamorphic rocks: petrogenesis, distributions, chemical and mineralogical relations, macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, geologic significance.

GEOL 444 Low Temperature Geochemistry (4) Prerequisite: GEOL322, GEOL100, and MATH115. And CHEM103; or (CHEM131 and CHEM132); or (CHEM135 and CHEM136). Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Basic chemical principles, thermodynamics, and kinetics of low-temperature inorganic and organic geochemical reactions in a wide range of surface environments. These geochemical tools will be used to provide a context for understanding elemental cycling and climate change. Laboratories will include problem sets as well as wet chemical and mass spectrometric techniques used in low temperature geochemistry.

GEOL 445 High Temperature Geochemistry (4) Prerequisite: GEOL322, GEOL100, and MATH115. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136); or CHEM103. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Review of chemical principles and their use in understanding processes of Earth, and solar system formation and differentiation. Topics include nucleosynthesis and cosmochemical abundances of elements, bonding and element partitioning, equilibrium thermodynamics and phase stabilities, radiogenic isotopes and geochronology, kinetics, and diffusion.

GEOL 446 Geophysics (3) Prerequisite: PHYS141, MATH141, and MATH140. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Introduction to solid earth geophysics, heat transfer, fluid flow, gravity, geomagnetism, rock and mineral physics, seismology, exploration geophysics. Basic knowledge of integral and differential calculus is required.

GEOL 447 Observational Geophysics (3) Prerequisite: MATH140 and MATH141; and (PHYS141, PHYS161, or PHYS171). An introduction to practical signal processing, data analysis, and inverse theory in geophysics.

GEOL 451 Groundwater (3) Prerequisite: GEOL110 and MATH140; and (GEOL120 or GEOL100); and (CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136); or CHEM103). Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor; and junior standing or higher. An introduction to the basic geologic parameters associated with the hydrologic cycle. Problems in the accumulation, distribution, and movement of groundwater will be analyzed.

GEOL 452 Watershed and Wetland Hydrology (3) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor; and junior standing or higher. Physical processes by which water moves in watershed and wetland systems. Topics include: precipitation, infiltration, flow in the unsaturated zone, streamflow generation processes, and groundwater flow.

GEOL 453 Ecosystem Restoration (3) Prerequisite: MATH220 or MATH140; and (CHEM131 or CHEM135); and (CHEM132 or CHEM136); and (GEOL100, GEOL120, or ENST200). Restriction: Junior standing or higher; and permission of instructor is required of non-degree-seeking students. Credit only granted for: GEOL453 or GEOL489L. Formerly: GEOL489L. Overview of ecosystem functions across biomes/geologic settings, and considerations and tradeoffs in ecosystem restoration strategies. Specific case studies and discussions will be aimed at understanding how structure can influence biophysical and biogeochemical processes supporting ecosystems, and then describes how rates, timing, and location of physical, chemical, and ecosystem processes can be altered by different restoration strategies to enhance ecosystem services.

GEOL 455 Marine Geophysics (3) Prerequisite: MATH141 and MATH140; and (GEOL120 or GEOL100). Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Credit only granted for: GEOL455 or GEOL489E. Formerly: GEOL489E. Plate tectonics, earthquakes and faulting, isostasy and gravity, heat and mantle dynamics, ocean ridges and transform faults, hydrothermal vents, trenches and oceanic islands, subduction zones, accretionary and erosion wedges, sedimentary basins and continental rifts. Exploration of the oceans using geophysical methods.

GEOL 456 Engineering Geology (3) Prerequisite: PHYS141 and MATH141; and (GEOL120 or GEOL100). Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Credit only granted for: GEOL456 or GEOL489Z. Formerly: GEOL489Z. An overview of engineering geology with an emphasis on physical understanding of natural hazards and natural resources. General theories of stress and strain, failure criteria, frictional stability, fluid flow in porous media and poroelasticity are introduced. Quantitative approaches on earthquakes, landslides, land subsidence, and geotechnical aspects of oil/gas exploration are discussed.

GEOL 457 Seismology (3) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100; and (MATH141, GEOL110, and MATH140). Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Recommended: PHYS171, PHYS141, or PHYS161. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Credit only granted for: GEOL457 or GEOL489A. Formerly: GEOL489A. General overview of the basics of seismology, starting with wave propagation, seismic reflection and refraction. Applications to the determination of the seismic velocity and anisotropy structure of the Earth. Earthquake generation, postseismic deformation and creep events, relation to faulting and plate tectonics.

GEOL 462 Geological Remote Sensing (3) Prerequisite: GEOL100 and GEOL110; or (GEOL120 and GEOL110). Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. An introduction to geologic remote sensing including applications of aerial photographic interpretation to problems in regional geology, engineering geology, structural geology, and stratigraphy. Films, filters, and criteria used in selecting imagery are also discussed. Laboratory exercises include measurements of geologic parameters and compilation and transference of data to base maps.

GEOL 463 Economic Geology (3) Prerequisite: GEOL322; and (CHEM131 or CHEM135); and (CHEM132 or CHEM136). Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Credit only granted for: GEOL489Q or GEOL463. Formerly: GEOL489Q. The geological setting, and mineralogy of ore bodies, as well as the chemical and physical factors affecting the source, transport and deposition of metallic ores, petroleum and natural gas will be covered. The economics of mineral resources will be discussed.

GEOL 471 Geochemical Methods of Analysis (3) Prerequisite: CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136); or CHEM103. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Principles and application of geochemical analysis as applied to a variety of geological problems. X-ray and optical spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption, electron microprobe, and electron microscopy.

GEOL 472 Tectonics (3) Prerequisite: GEOL120 or GEOL100; and (GEOL102, GEOL341, and GEOL110). Or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Study of the development of the lithosphere on Earth and other rocky planets and moons. Emphasis on student-led discussions. Improvement of scientific writing.

GEOL 473 Origin and Evolution of the Continents (3) Prerequisite: GEOL445 and GEOL443; or permission of instructor. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Formerly: GEOL489I. Introduction to current theories regarding the origin and evolution of the continents. Emphasis on development of critical reading and reasoning skills, and improvement of verbal and written communication.

GEOL 489 Special Topics (3) Prerequisite: Must have completed at least 2 upper-level GEOL courses plus one additional GEOL course. Corequisite: GEOL393. Restriction: Must be in Geology program; and junior standing or higher. Recent advances in geology.

GEOL 490 Geology Field Camp (6) Prerequisite: GEOL341 and GEOL443. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Intense field geology course taught off campus during the summer. Students describe and compile maps of formations and structures from outcrops, subsurface, and remotely sensed data. Special fees required.

GEOL 491 Environmental Geology Field Camp (3-6) Prerequisite: GEOL341, GEOL342, and GEOL451; or permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Credit only granted for: GEOL490 or GEOL491. Intensive field course designed for students of environmental geology. Students will learn to make maps, to describe soil profiles and site characteristics, to monitor hydrologic and groundwater conditions, and to measure geologic structures and stratigraphic sections.

GEOL 497 Recent Advances: Geology (3) Prerequisite: Must have completed at least 2 upper-level GEOL courses. Corequisite: GEOL393; and a third upper-level geology course. Restriction: Must be in Geology program; and GPA of 3.0 or better in both overall and in all courses required for the major; and senior standing; and to be taken as late as possible in the program. Credit only granted for: GEOL497 or GEOL489H. Formerly: GEOL489H. A survey of important recent advances in geological sciences in the context of the methods and practices of scientific research.

GEOL 499 Special Problems in Geology (1-3) Prerequisite: (GEOL120 or GEOL100; and (GEOL102 and GEOL110)); or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department. And permission of CMNS-Geology department. Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Intensive study of a special geologic subject or technique selected after consultation with instructor. Intended to provide training or instruction not available in other courses which will aid the student's development in his or her field of major interest.

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