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Course Descriptions

Geology Course Listings - Fall 2012

GEOLOGY 110B - Introduction to Geology
(4 credits)
Bladh, Kenneth

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or 160B. A math placement score of 22 or above is recommended.
This course provides students with a survey of physical geology and how geologic knowledge can influence the decisions we face as citizens. Students will gain an understanding of the nature and findings of the scientific study of earth materials, selected geologic processes and "deep time". Content areas will probably include minerals and rocks, geologic time, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, streams, shorelines and glaciers. Students will have input into the final selection of topics. A Math Placement score of 22 or above is strongly recommended, as some lab exercises incorporate basic math skills and quantitative reasoning.

GEOLOGY 111B - Volcanoes and Earthquakes
(4 credits)
Bladh, Katherine

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or 160B. A math placement score of 22 or above is recommended.
Intended for non-science majors. Fulfills General Education requirement for natural science with a lab. This course focuses on the geology of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. A geologic understanding of these hazards, by means of class study of such topics as the products of deadly eruptions and how earth materials respond to earthquake shaking, allows educated citizens to make informed decisions in order to lessen damage and loss of life caused by these hazards. $15.00 will be added to tuition bill to pay for class books. This amount covers the textbook and lab manual (no other book is required). The course has two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Attendance at both hours of lab is required.

GEOLOGY 112B - The Hydrologic Cycle
(4 credits)
Ritter, John

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or 160B. A math placement score of 22 or above is recommended. This course will survey the hydrologic cycle, reservoirs, amounts, and pathways of water in it, methods geologists use to study it, its role in shaping earth's landscape, and environmental issues associated with it. The laboratory component of the course will concentrate on methodology, experimentation, and observations used by geologists in attempting to understand the hydrologic cycle and its impact on our earth. Numerous field experiences augment the course. A $5.00 charge for the lab manual will be billed directly.

GEOLOGY 113B - Ohio Geology
(4 credits)
Zaleha, Michael

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or 160B. This General Education course is intended for the non-science major. The course treats the geologic history of Ohio, from ancient oceans, rivers, and swamps preserved in sedimentary rocks, to massive glaciers that sculpted the landscape. In order to understand the geology of Ohio, many fundamentals of geology, in general, also will be covered. Such topics include the identification and interpretation of igneous and sedimentary rocks, Earth structure and plate tectonics, paleontology and evolution, geologic time, and the use of topographic and geologic maps. However, the course format is flexible to allow for more in-depth exploration of topics that are of most interest to students. Numerous field experiences augment the course. Lab manual fee of $5 is billed directly.

GEOLOGY 115B - Topics in Physical Geology
(4 credits)
Fortner, Sarah

This course will explore geologic environmental cycles and the role of humans in their alteration. For example: Will we always have abundant fossil fuels and what are the consequences of our rate of consumption? How have natural cycles of rock deposition and erosion been altered by agricultural practices? Are humans responsible for the greatest mass extinction? Students will be engaged in both quantitative (e.g. taking measurements in the field and then using MS Excel to calculate rates) and qualitative learning (discussions/debates). Individual papers will also be completed and evaluated by peers who will suggest improvements for final drafts. Readings will be assigned prior to many activities to minimize lecture time and maximize group work and active learning.

GEOLOGY 116N - Time Earth
(4 credits)
Zaleha, Michael

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B, 150B, or 160B. The objectives of this General Education course are to provide non-science majors with a contemporary view of the Earth sciences by exploring some of the most fascinating processes and events in Earth's history, including plate tectonics, the origins of the planet and life, mass extinctions, and glaciations. Two main themes that underlie and permeate the course are seeking answers to the questions, "From where do we come?" and "Why is the world the way it is?" In order to understand these significant events, many fundamentals of geology, in general, also will be covered. However, the course format is flexible to allow for more in-depth exploration of topics that are of most interest to students. Classes will include lecture, demonstrations, discussions, online research, and hands-on activities.

GEOLOGY 150B - Physical Geology
(5 credits)
Zaleha, Michael

Open to all students, except those who have previously taken Geology 110B-115B or 160B. Geology 150 is a comprehensive introduction to the science of geology and how geology affects our lives everyday. The course is recommended for students who are interested in the possibility of a geology major or minor, other science majors, or anyone who is interested in Earth processes and history. The course treats fundamentals of geology (such as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic processes and rocks), Earth's internal structure and processes as they relate to plate tectonics and earthquakes, and Earth's surface processes (such as landslides, river flooding, coastal erosion, glacial processes, and climate change). Labs include examination of various rock types and use of topographic maps, aerial photographs, and geologic maps to evaluate the geologic history and risks of natural hazards of particular areas. Some field experiences are also included. Lab manual fee of $5 is billed directly.

GEOLOGY 151 - Physical Geology Lab Practicum
(1 credit)
Zaleha, Michael

Prerequisites: Geology 160 or one course from the Geol ll0B-115B Series and permission of the Department Chair. This course is the lab portion of Geology 150. It is available for students who have completed a course in the Geology 110 series (Geol 110-115) and wish to take advanced geology courses or major in Geology or Earth Science. Students who have completed Geology 160 and wish to major in Geology or Earth Science are also required to take this course. Will meet for one 3-hour lab per week.

GEOLOGY 170 - Geology of the Critical Zone
(5 Credits)
Fortner, Sarah

This course will examine the Earth's critical zone, the intersection between the geosphere, the biosphere, and the hydrosphere. Humans greatly alter processes in this zone of important biogeochemical interactions. This course will be of interest to students wanting to explore natural environmental processes as well as those altered by humans (e.g. pristine vs. polluted, short and long term controls of carbon-climate cycles). Laboratories will include field work and hands-on activities that require supporting analyses (e.g. graphing in Excel). Students will also conduct research on environmental issues related to the critical zone of their choosing and be responsible for presenting their findings. This class will focus on scientific process, group learning, and understanding major scientific concepts as they relate to our lives.

GEOLOGY 230 - Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy
(5 credits)
Bladh, Katherine and
Bladh, Kenneth

Prerequisites: Geology 150 OR one course from the Geology 110B-115B Series plus Geology 151 OR Geology 160 plus Geology 151 No college-level knowledge of chemistry is assumed. Relevant foundational concepts from chemistry and physics are developed by the instructors.

Geology 230 is an introduction to advanced techniques of mineral identification using stereoscopic and polarized-light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The first half of the course introduces students to crystallography, mineral physical properties and classification, crystal chemistry, and geological implications of crystal growth theory. The second half of the course introduces students to mineral identification using polarized-light microscopy. Mineral identification is then applied to the classification and textures of igneous rocks. This, together with relevant phase diagrams, is then used to interpret processes involved in igneous rock formation.

The laboratory provides hands-on experience applying advanced identification techniques to geologically important minerals.

GEOLOGY 270 - Field Seminar - West Virginia
(3 credits)
Ritter, John
Zaleha, Michael

Prerequisites: One course from the Geology 110B-115B Series, 150B, 160B, or equivalent and permission of the Geology Chairperson.
This course provides practical experience examining a wide variety of lithologies, landforms and geologic relations, such as unconformities, erosional surfaces, faults and folds in natural settings. Problem-solving exercises emphasize basic principles of geologic science. Students keep a daily field notebook during the trip and do a final project. Transportation, camping fees, and tents are provided. Will be graded CR/NC only. Requires a 5 day absence from campus. Enrollment priority given to Geology majors; open to Geology minors and others as space permits.

GEOLOGY 492 - Senior Seminar
(1-4 credits)
Zaleha, Michael

Prerequisites: Open only to senior geology or earth science majors. Required of all Geology majors during their senior year. Each student works on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The project culminates in a written thesis, a public poster presentation, and a public oral presentation. Each student registers for this course during both semesters, 0 credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring. Taught every year.

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