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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015

Geology (GEOL)

College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences
1120 Geology Building, 301-405-4082
www.geol.umd.edu
Chair: R. Rudnick
Professors: M. Brown, P. Candela, J. Farquhar, A. Kaufman, D. Lathrop (Prof & Dir), W. McDonough, R. Walker, A. Wylie (Distinguished Scholar Teacher)
Associate Professors: M. Evans, S. Kaushal, L. Montesi, S. Penniston-Dorland, K. Prestegaard, W. Zhu
Assistant Professors: S. Hier-Majumder, V. Lekic (Asst Prof), A. Martin, S. Penniston-Dorland
Lecturers: T. Centorbi, T. Holtz (Senior Lecturer), J. Merck (Senior Lecturer)
Affiliate Professors: A. Busalacchi (Prof & Dir), G. Helz (Res Prof), B. James (Prof & Dir, Affiliate Prof), M. Kearney (Affil Assoc Prof, Prof), R. Murtugudde
Affiliate Associate Professors: N. Zeng
Adjunct Professors: J. Bohlke, Y. Fei, S. Shirey, D. Smith (Adjunct Prof), S. Sorensen, A. Steele, E. Zen
Adjunct Associate Professors: A. Campbell, E. Cottrell (Adjunct Assoc Prof)
Adjunct Assistant Professors: R. Arevalo, J. Roberts, A. Shahar (Adjunct Asst Prof)
Professors Emeriti: P. Stifel (Assoc Prof Emeritus)
Visiting Faculty: H. Becker (Visit Res Prof), J. Day (Visit Asst Prof), T. Johnson (Visit Res Assoc), X. Liu (Fac Res Asst), W. Minarik (Visit Asst Res Sci), P. Tomascak (Visit Asst Res Sci), Z. Zajacz (Visit Res Assoc)

The Major

Geology is the science of the Earth. In its broadest sense, geology concerns itself with planetary formation and subsequent modification, with emphasis on the study of planet Earth. Geologists study Earth's internal and surficial structure and materials, the chemical and physical processes acting within and on Earth, and utilize the principles of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology to understand our planet and its environments.

Geological sciences encompass all the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of Earth. Increasingly, geologists are taking a holistic approach in the collection and interpretation of data about Earth, which means that the wider context of the geological sciences is broad and diverse. In studying Earth as a system, we are concerned with geology and geophysics, hydrology, oceanography and marine science, meteorology and atmospheric science, planetary science, and soil science. A major in any relevant discipline can lead to a satisfying career within the geological sciences. In general, graduate training is expected for advancement to the most rewarding positions and for academic employment.

Program Objectives

Geologists are employed by governmental, industrial, and academic organizations. Geologists work in exploration for new mineral and hydrocarbon resources, as consultants on engineering and environmental projects, as teachers and researchers in universities, and in many other challenging positions. For many, the attraction of a career in geology is the ability to divide time between work in the field, the laboratory, and the office. Although the employment outlook within geology varies with the global economic climate, the long-range outlook is good. This is because our dwindling energy, mineral, and water resources, along with increasing concerns about natural hazards and environmental issues, present new challenges for geologists.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Geology program at Maryland includes a broad range of undergraduate courses to accommodate both Geology majors and students within the Environmental Science and Policy program.  Within the Geology major, a requirement exists for a senior undergraduate research project to be performed under the direction of a faculty advisor.  This requirement provides invaluable experience in writing proposals and reports, gathering, analyzing and evaluating data, and delivering scientific talks.  In addition, a Departmental Honors Program and a combined B.S./M.S. Program are available.

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for the Geology Major, Professional Track

The geology curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of industry, graduate school, and government. For the B.S. degree, the students are required to complete the departmental requirements (49 credits) and the supporting requirements (23/24 credits) in addition to the General Education Program requirements and the completion of at least 120 credits. The department requires that to receive a degree in Geology, students must have a grade of C- or better in the required geology courses, and an average of C- or better in the supporting courses.

Courses required for the B.S. in Geology are listed below. Some courses require field trips for which the students are expected to pay for room (if required) and board. Field camp is taken during the summer at institutions other than the University of Maryland, College Park, that offer camps approved by the department.

• Geology Courses

One of the following:

GEOL100/110 - Physical Geology and Laboratory

GEOL120/110 - Environmental Geology and Lab

GEOL102 - Historical Geology

GEOL322 - Mineralogy

GEOL340 - Geomorphology

GEOL341 - Structural Geology

GEOL342 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentation

GEOL393 - Technical Writing

GEOL394 - Research Problems

One of the following:

GEOL444 - Low-Temperature Geochemistry

GEOL445 - High-Temperature Geochemistry

GEOL446 - Introduction to Geophysics

GEOL451 - Groundwater

GEOL423 - Optical Mineralogy

GEOL443 - Petrology

GEOL490 - Field Camp

• Supporting Courses

One of the following:

CHEM131 - Fundamentals of General Chemistry and CHEM132 - Fundamentals of General Chemistry Laboratory (4)

CHEM135 - Chemistry for Engineers and CHEM136 - Chemistry for Engineers Laboratory (4)

MATH140 - Calculus I

MATH141 - Calculus II

One of the following:

PHYS141 - Principles of Physics

PHYS161 - General Physics: Mechanics and Particle Dynamics and PHYS174 - Physics Laboratory Introduction

PHYS171 - Introductory Physics: Mechanics and Relativity and PHYS174 - Physics Laboratory Introduction

One of the following:

PHYS142 - Principles of Physics

PHYS260 - General Physics: Vibration, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism and PHYS261 - General Physics: Vibrations, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism (Laboratory)

PHYS272 - Introductory Physics: Fields

BIOM301 - Introduction to Biometrics

Any of GEOL444, 445, 446 or 472 not already completed to meet the requirements above or any other 3-4 credit 300 or 400 level Geology course not listed above.

Requirements for the Geology Major, Secondary Education Track

The Secondary Education Track in Geology leads to a B. S. degree in Geology with special emphasis on course work that helps prepare the student for teaching at the secondary school level. Further coursework and student teaching are required for an education certification. This track also prepares the student for work as a geologist in government or industry, or for further graduate study, although students primarily intending to attend graduate school in geology are advised to choose the Professional Track. Students seeking professional opportunities in secondary education are urged, also, to consult with advisors in the College of Education.

Relative to the professional geology track, in the secondary education track, there is a reduction of two upper-level geology requirements, and the addition of two education courses and the option of an atmospheric and oceanic science or astronomy course. Further coursework in education (including student teaching) will be required in order to obtain a Maryland State Teaching Certification. Although geology is by nature interdisciplinary, it is recommended that students consider taking additional courses in biology and the philosophy of science in order to add to their educational breadth. The department requires that to receive a degree in Geology, students must have a grade of C- or better in the required geology courses, and a C- average or better in the supporting courses.

• Geology Courses

One of the following:

GEOL100/110 - Physical Geology and Laboratory (4)

GEOL120/110 - Environmental Geology and Lab (4)

GEOL102 - Historical Geology (4)

GEOL322 - Mineralogy  (4)

GEOL340 - Geomorphology (4)

GEOL341 - Structural Geology (4)

GEOL393 - Technical Writing (3)

GEOL394 - Research Problems (Capstone) (3)

GEOL443 - Petrology (4)

GEOL490 - Geological Field Camp (6)

Three of the following:

GEOL212 - Planetary Geology (3)

GEOL342 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentation  (4)

GEOL/AOSC375 - Introduction to the Blue Oceans (3)

GEOL444 - Low-Temperature Geochemistry (4)

GEOL445 - High-Temperature Geochemistry (4)

GEOL451 - Groundwater (3)

• Supporting Courses

One of the following:

ASTR100 - Introduction to Astronomy (3)

ASTR101 - General Astronomy (4)

AOSC200 - Weather and Climate (3)

One of the following:

CHEM131 - Fundamentals of General Chemistry and CHEM132 - Fundamentals of General Chemistry Laboratory (4)

CHEM135 - Chemistry for Engineers and CHEM136 - Chemistry for Engineers Laboratory (4)

MATH140 - Calculus I (4)

MATH141 - Calculus II (4)

One of the following:

PHYS141 - Principles of Physics (4)

PHYS161 - General Physics: Mechanics and Particle Dynamics (3) and PHYS174 - Physics Laboratory Introduction (1)

   PHYS171 - Introductory Physics: Mechanics and Relativity and PHYS174 - Physics Laboratory Introduction

• Education Courses. Six credits selected from among the following:

EDPL210 - Historical and Philosophical Perspective on Education (3)

EDPL301 - Historical and Philosophical Perspective on Education (3)

EDHD413 - Adolescent Development (3)

EDHD426 - Cognitive and Motivational Basis of Reading I (3)

EDCI463 - Teaching Reading in Content Area II  (3)

• Recommended:

BSCI105 and BSCI106 - Principles of Biology I and II (4)

PHIL 250/HIST174 - Philosophy/History of Science (3)

PHYS142 - General Physics, second semester (4)

The remaining 6 credits of the Education courses listed above

 

 

Other Requirements for the Major

Combined B.S./M.S. in Geology

The Combined B.S./M.S. program is designed to permit a superior student to earn both the Bachelor's and the Master's degrees in as few as five years of study. Although designed to provide an integrated experience of undergraduate and graduate work, the combined B.S./M.S. program is not a course of study separate and distinct from the traditional B.S. and M.S.  Students in the combined B.S./M.S. program will, at any given time, be either undergraduate or graduate students. The program provides the opportunity for a superior student to telescope these degrees by taking up to nine graduate credits (600-level or higher) while still an undergraduate and counting them toward both degrees. A grade of "B" or better must be earned in each of these courses. Under optimal circumstances, one might complete both degrees in five years. Actual completion time will vary depending on one's individual circumstances. The master's thesis may be a continuation of work begun as part of the undergraduate senior thesis.

Acceptance into the combined B.S./M.S. normally would occur after the end of the sophomore year. The minimum requirements for acceptance into this program are similar to those for the geology honors program, namely an overall GPA of at least 3.0 at the end of the sophomore year and a GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses required for the major. Interested eligible students must provide the following material to be considered:

1. At least three letters of recommendation. At least one of these must be from a prospective graduate advisor, who must outline the applicant's sources of potential funding.
2. An essay or statement of purpose.
3. An interview with the undergraduate Honors Director and the Graduate Director.

Based on this, students may be provisionally accepted into the program. Students so accepted will be permitted to enroll in appropriate graduate-level courses. The combined B.S./M.S. program allows 9 credits of graduate courses (600-level or above) to be counted towards both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. A grade of "B" or better must be earned in each of these courses. Acceptance is provisional pending satisfaction of the following:

1. Completion of the undergraduate curriculum.
2. A GPA of 3.5 or better in GEOL393 and GEOL394.
3. Maintenance of a 3.0 overall GPA and a GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses required for the major.
4. Successful completion of the General GRE exam, usually taken during the fall term of the senior year.
5. Formal application and admission to the Graduate School. Your application for graduate admission is completely separate from your application to the combined B.S./M.S. Your participation in the combined BS/MS as an undergraduate does not give you priority over other graduate applicants.

Upon enrollment as a graduate student, the participant may designate the graduate courses that should be counted toward both degrees.

Requirements for the Minor

Geology

An undergraduate minor recognizes concentrated study in a designated field in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. The award of a minor will be noted on the student's transcript at the time of graduation.

These minors may be earned by students not majoring in Geology and are administered by the Geology Undergraduate Studies director.  A grade of "C-" or better must be earned in all courses required for the minor. See www.geol.umd.edu for more information.

    Credits
 Minor in Surficial Geology  
GEOL100/110Physical Geology/Lab, OR 4
    GEOL120/110Environmental Geology/Lab 4
GEOL123Causes and Implications of Global Change 3
GEOL340Geomorphology 4
                Two from:  
GEOL342Sedimentation and Stratigraphy 4
GEOL451Groundwater 3
GEOL452Watershed and Wetland Hydrology 3
GEOL331Principles of Paleontology 4
GEOL499Special Problems in Geologoy 3
    
 Minor in Earth Material Properties  
GEOL100/110Physical Geology/Lab, OR 4
GEOL120/110Environmental Geology/Lab 4
GEOL322Mineralogy 4
                Two from:  
GEOL341Structural Geology 4
GEOL423Optical Mineralogy 3
GEOL443Petrology 4
GEOL445High Temperature Geochemistry 4
GEOL446Introduction to Geophysics  3
GEOL499Special Problems in Geology  3
    
 Minor in Earth History  
GEOL100/110Physical Geology/Lab, OR 4
GEOL120/110Environmental Geology/Lab 4
GEOL102Historical Geology 4
               Three from:  
GEOL331Principles of Paleontology 4
GEOL341Structural Geology 4
GEOL342Sedimentation and Stratigraphy 4
GEOL436Principles of Biogeochemisty 3
GEOL437Global Climate Change: Past & Present 3
GEOL499Special Problems in Geology  3
    
 Minor in Hydrology  
GEOL110/110Physical Geology/Lab, OR 4
GEOL120/110Environmental Geology/Lab 4
GEOL322Mineralogy 4
GEOL342Sedimentation and Stratigraphy 4
               Two from:  
GEOL436Principles of Biogeochemisty 3
GEOL444Low Temperature Geochemistry 4
GEOL451Groundwater 3
GEOL452Watershed and Wetland Hydrology 3
GEOL499Special Problems in Geology 3
    
  Minor in Geophysics  
 GEOL110/110 Physical Geology/Lab, OR  4 
        GEOL120/110 Environmental Geology/Lab 4
 GEOL446 Introduction to Geophysics  3 
 GEOL457Seismology 3
                Two from:  
 GEOL322Mineraology 4
 GEOL341Structural Geology 4
 GEOL472Tectonics 3
 GEOL455Marine Geophysics 3
 GEOL499Special Problems in Geology 3


Depending on the optional course taken, there is a total of 16-18 required credits (see prerequisites).

All Geology minors are an appropriate disciplinary combination with Astronomy, Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physics majors within CMPS. The minors are also appropriate for majors outside the college with appropriate matches including, but not limited to:

Geography/Remote Sensing (Surficial Geology)
Engineering and Material Sciences (Earth Material Properties)   
Evolutionary Biology and Physical Anthropology (Earth History)
Biology, Biological Diversity, and Ecology (Earth History, Hydrology)

Planetary Science

The Departments of Astronomy and Geology jointly sponsor a minor program in Planetary Science. Details about this minor and its course requirements are provided in Chapter 8.

Advising

The Geology Undergraduate Studies Director serves as the advisor for the geology majors, 1119 Geology Building, 301-405-4379. Students who have been away more than two years may find that due to curriculum changes the courses they have taken may no longer be adequate preparation for the courses required to complete the major. Students in this situation must meet with the Undergraduate Studies Director to make appropriate plans.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Both the Professional and Secondary Education tracks of the Geology major require students to complete a two-semester, six credit senior research thesis (GEOL393 and GEOL394), involving independent original geosciences research under the mentorship of a member of the faculty.  Senior thesis students give presentations of proposals, progress, and final results to the entire department.

Honors Program

Admission to the Program is by invitation of the Honors Committee, normally at the end of the sophomore year and normally will be extended to students with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better and a GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses required for the major. Graduation with Honors normally requires completion of the curriculum, a GPA of 3.5 or better in GEOL393H and GEOL394H, and maintenance of a 3.0 overall GPA and a GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses required for the major. Maintenance of a GPA of 3.5 or above and a grade of A in both GEOL393H and GEOL394H will earn the distinction of Graduation with High Honors.

The curriculum for Honors in Geology follows the Honors College Track I:  Thesis Option with a 15 credit minimum.

1.   The requirement for upper division Honors courses will be met by a minimum of 9 hours as follows:      

a.   GEOL497H - Recent Advances in Geology (3 credit hours), and     
b.   6 credit hours from the following:
i)  a  3 credit hour graduate-level course approved by the Departmental Honors Committee
 ii)  Honors Option project in a three or four credit hour upper-level course from the offerings in the Geology Department
iii)  no more than one Honors College seminar (3 credit hours) addressing a relevant topic in natural sciences. (Typically, this would include seminars offered by faculty in the College of Computer Mathematical and Natural Sciences).  The  Honors College seminar must be approved in advance by the departmental honors committee.

The Honors Option Proposal must be approved by the departmental honors committee, the professor teaching the course and the Honors College. A proposal must be approved by the Department and submitted to the Honors College by the 10th day of class in the semester in which the course will be taken and the project completed.

2.   The research and thesis requirement will be met by completion of GEOL393H and GEOL394H with a GPA of 3.5 or better (6 credit hours).

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Sigma Gamma Epsilon, National Honor Society for Earth Sciences, and the Geology Club.

Awards and Recognition

  • Washington Gems & Mineral Scholarship

  • Green Scholarship in Environmental Science and Policy

  • Marc Lipella Memorial Scholarship

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