IN THIS SECTION
Undergraduate Introductory Course Descriptions
All of these are N&M courses. CASE qualified courses are noted.
GEOL G103 Earth Science: Materials and Processes (3 cr.) N&M CASE Introduction to origin and classification of minerals and rocks. Relationships between rock types, rock structures, surficial geological processes of running water, subsurface water, glaciation, wind, tides, and landform evolution. Geologic time. Two lectures and one demonstration/ laboratory each week. Credit given for only one of the following: G103, G111. II Sem.
EAS E104 Evolution of the Earth (3 cr.) N&M CASE Earth’s history interpreted through five billion years. Deductive approach to understanding the significance of rocks and fossils and reconstructing the plate-tectonic origin of mountains, continents, and ocean basins. A survey of events in Earth’s evolution relevant to contemporary environmental concerns. Two lectures and one laboratory each week. Credit given for only one of the following: G104, G112.
EAS E105 Earth: Our Habitable Planet (3 cr.) N&M CASE Introduction to planet Earth as a dynamic and complex global system. Course materials will demonstrate physical and chemical linkages between biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere that directly impact lifestyles of human populations at time scales of years to centuries. Two lectures and one laboratory each week.
GEOL G111 Journey to the Center of the Earth (3 cr.) N&M CASE P: One high school or college course in chemistry. Basic concepts of geology. Formation of rocks, erosion and landscape evolution, plate tectonics, interpretation of earth processes from geological data. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. One required field trip. Restricted to prospective geology and other science majors. Credit given for only one of the following: G103, G111. I Sem.
COLL-C 105 Earth Processes and Planets (3 cr.) N&M CASE Processes that operate and have operated on, in and around the Earth, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars contributing to their evolution through approximately 4.56 billion years; evaluate the evidence using principles of geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, biology, geography and mathematics. Critical approach course for non-science majors.
COLL-C 105 Records of Global Climate Change (3 cr.) N&M CASE This course explores interactions of astronomic, physical, chemical, and biological processes that control global climate. We examine modern and ancient records of global temperatures and atmospheric compositions, and patterns of ice and vegetation. We evaluate media coverage of climatic issues and international efforts to mitigate the impacts of human activities.
COLL-C 105 Billion Dollar Weather Disasters (3 cr.) N&M CASE Weather disasters costing at least $1 billion impact the United States 5-6 times each year. Worldwide, that number is over two dozen events annually. Why are these events so costly? Can we do anything to mitigate their impacts? Will the frequency of these disasters increase as Earth warms in the 21st century? We will study Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters including major hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, and widespread floods. We will discuss the science behind these phenomena, their threats to life and property, and the aftermath and recovery from catastrophes that can kill hundreds and leave thousands homeless.Class fulfills the College (CASE) Critical Approaches requirement, IUB GenEd N&M credit - Natural Science.
GEOL G114 Dinosaurs and Their Relatives (3 cr.) N&M CASE The origin and evolution of life over the past three billion years. The paleoecological and evolutionary development of plants and animals. Two lectures and one demonstration each week. II Sem. | Course website
GEOL G116 Our Planet and Its Future (3 cr.) CASE N&M The Earth impinges on our lives in many ways, sometimes disastrously through earthquakes and volcanoes, sometimes bounteously through energy and mineral resources, and sometimes ominously as with climate change. This course provides an introduction to these Earth processes and how they have impacted society in the past and will continue in the future.
EAS E118 Sustainability in Water Resources (3 cr.) N&M The term water resources refers to natural waters (vapor, liquid, or solid) that occur on the Earth and that are of potential use to humans. The Earth has over 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water. However, 97% of this is saline seawater. A dependable supply of water is critical to sustaining life but this resource is increasingly at risk because of growing competition among domestic, industrial-commercial, agricultural, and environmental needs. Students will become conversant on the topic of water resources as well as develop an understanding of the key concepts in sustainability and systems thinking.
G121 Meteorites and Geological Processes in Planets (3 cr.) N&M CASE Geological processes operative on earth-like planetary bodies and asteroids; evidence from current meteorite, lunar, Martian, and space research; quantitative and deductive exercises; including demonstration/laboratory. For non–science majors. Credit given for only one of G121 and S121. NOTE: All tests are open book, open notes. Laptops, iPads and equivalent devices are allowed for taking notes, quizzes and examinations but not for communication during class hours.
GEOL G122 Introduction to the Atmosphere, Weather and Climate N&M CASE Specialized and general students are introduced to atmosphere science through climate-change science, atmospheric physics, atmosphere–ocean interactions, forecasting, and severe weather. Tools and techniques for analyzing atmospheric environments and assessing human impact are covered. Students will gain understanding of basic atmospheric properties and processes through rigorous critical thinking and problem solving. Credit given for only one of G122 or GEOG–G 109.
EAS E131 Oceans and Our Global Environment (3 cr.) N&M CASE An introduction to oceanography integrating exploration of ocean basins and plate tectonics, seawater and seafloor sediments, ocean-atmospheric interactions and global climate, and coastal/marine ecology to build understanding of oceanographic processes complemented by on-line assignments that explore and interpret web-based data sets emphasizing ocean dynamics and the climatic and environmental importance of Earth’s oceans. Two lectures per week
GEOL G138 Geology of State and National Parks Revealed (3 cr.) N&M CASE Description: This course introduces principles of physical, chemical, and biological processes that together influence the geologic evolution of the Earth’s landscapes and composition as told through National and State parklands. Geologic concepts of study will include the composition and structure of the Earth, volcanism and magmatism, weathering and erosion, creation of mountainous landscapes and deep ocean basins, and the origin of natural resources. Additionally, emphasis is placed on the protection and degradation of these natural environments and resources within the parks. Three lectures each week and a required field trip.
GEOL G141 Earthquakes and Volcanoes (3 cr.) N&M CASE Examination of the causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanic activity. Impacts of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, including secondary effects such as landslides, mudflows, and tsunamis; climatic effects; energy/mineral resources; and social disruption. Mitigation of effects of natural disasters. Two lectures and one laboratory per week.
EAS E144 Extreme Weather and Its Impacts (3 cr.) N&M CASE Introduces a range of natural disasters and extreme weather phenomena that span regions, seasons, and origins. Emphasizes the ingredients and causes of each phenomenon, as well as their physical and societal impacts. Types of disasters include floods, droughts and wildfires, thunderstorms and tornadoes, and hurricanes.
What are tornadoes? Why do they happen? Why did Katrina kill over a thousand people in New Orleans? What’s the difference between sleet and snow, and why do I care? If you’re interested in severe or extreme weather events, and want to learn more about them, come to G144.
GEOL G171 Environmental Geology (3 cr.) N&M CASE Examination of natural and man-induced geologic hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and land subsidence; environmental issues, disposal and management of solid, chemical, and radioactive waste, acid mine drainage as well as the environmental impact of mineral extraction and water resource utilization. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. I Sem.
EAS E188/190 The Evolving Earth: Volcano Seminar This is a 2–week field course in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California followed by a 2–week independent study research period. | Course website
GEOL G221 Introduction to Mineralogy (3 cr.) N&M CASE P or C: college–level course in chemistry. The importance of minerals, the basic building blocks of rocks and the Earth. Atomic bonding, structures, and symmetry. Mineral chemistry and crystal structures (how their atoms are arranged), and how the minerals respond to changes in temperature, pressure, and environment. Hand–specimen identification of minerals using their physical properties. Three lectures, one 2–hour lab, one 3–day field trip. I Sem. Credit given for only one of GEOL G221 or G225.
GEOL G222 Introduction to Petrology (3 cr.) N&M CASE P: G221. Study of the principal representatives of the major chemical groups of minerals. Emphasis on rock–forming and useful minerals, their crystal structure, chemistry, physical properties, association, and occurrence. Study of major rock types. Two lectures and one 3–hour laboratory per week. II Sem.
EAS E225 Earth Materials (4 cr.) N&M CASE P: one course in chemistry. This course sequentially considers minerals, rocks, sediments, and soils; the materials that comprise the solid earth. The distribution and environmental significance of these materials are studied, as are their chemical and physical interactions with groundwater and plants. Three 50–minute lectures and one 2–hour laboratory per week. Laboratory attendance is required. Credit given for only one of GEOL G225 or G221.
GEOL G226 Earth Processes 3 credits Introduction to the processes that shape our planet, the composition and structure of Earth, and the erosion and deposition of sediments at the surface. Study of processes ranging from forces driving plate motion, fluid flow in and on the earth, crustal deformation and mountain building, erosion of source terrain, the transport system, and the depositional record.
EAS E227 Earth Climate and History (3 cr.) N&M CASE Earth’s climate is linked to geological processes and life on our planet. Covers climate systems in the context of changes in continents, atmospheric composition, and life on land and in the oceans. Focuses on interactions between humans and climate and how climate and its variability are tied to Earth systems.
HON-H 241 Historical Geology (3 cr.) N&M Principles of interpreting earth history from geological data and the rock record. Geologic time; evolution of the Earth System; interaction between inorganic and organic processes; plate tectonics; the biosphere and ancient environments. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. One required field trip. NO written final examination. Credit given for only one of the following: G104, G112. II Sem.
HON-H 241 Earth Beautiful: Why So? (3 cr.) Natural beauty of the mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, patterned edifices, crystals, and gemstones. Processes of their genesis, sustenance, and demise. Plate tectonics, magmatism, uplift, glaciation, weathering, burial, crystal growth. In-class presentations and open-book open-notes examinations. NOTE: Laptops, iPads and equivalent devices, which you may bring to the class and examinations for taking and keeping notes. But, they are NOT for communication of ANY kind. GOAL of the Course: Appreciation of and communicating about the science behind beautiful earth features and earth objects. Course Text: Grotzinger and Jordan: Understanding Earth (2014; 7th Ed., OR, 2010, 6th Ed.; Page Numbers in Study Assignments are from the 7th Edition)
GEOL G271 Introduction to Environmental Field Methods (3 cr.) P: 100–level course in environmental science from geology, biology, or SPEA. R: GEOL–G 171. Application of knowledge gained in introductory courses to the evaluation and remediation of environmental contaminants. Explanation and practice of sampling methods to prepare for further environmental coursework. Two 50–minute lectures and one 3–hour lab per week.