Geology

Majors:


Minor:


Geology is the study of the Earth, both past and present. It incorporates many aspects of our complex planet including its composition, structure, environment, internal and surficial processes, and the development of life, continents, and oceans through time. Geology plays a critical role in interpreting the Earth's long history of physical and biological changes, finding and managing natural resources, and understanding natural hazards and future environmental change.

The geology department offers two programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in geology and environmental geology. The geology (GEO) major provides basic courses in the geological sciences as well as a range of advanced level classes that allow students to develop courses of study that complement particular interests within the field such as energy and mineral resources, plate tectonics or paleontology.

The environmental geology (EVG) program is broad in scope, providing a broad foundation in the fundamentals of earth and environmental science as well as an interdisciplinary curriculum that includes geology, biology, chemistry, and other allied science courses. The EVG curriculum stresses the interdisciplinary nature of modern environmental issues such as climate change and the development of alternative energy resources.

The geology department also offers a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Program. GIS is used in a wide range of disciplines, and the certificate program is a great option for professionals, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are interested in becoming proficient at managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

The geology department aims to prepare students for both careers in the geological sciences, and for further academic studies. Hence, graduates of the department are also highly competitive for entry to graduate programs. Geology department majors pursue careers in a wide range of settings including:

  • State and Federal Geological Agencies
  • Geological Consulting Companies
  • Natural Resource Exploration, Development and Management
  • Museums
  • Research Laboratories
  • Education


Environmental geologists address critical needs of our society including global climate change, groundwater protection, energy resources, and the identification and assessment of natural hazards.

A minor in geology consists of 12 semester hours.


Faculty

Daniel Goldman, Chairperson
Professor Emeritus: Ritter
Professors: Goldman, Pair, Sandy
Associate Professors: Haritashya, Koziol, A. McGrew, Wu
Lecturer: Bedaso
Lab Coordinator: Klosterman
 

Bachelor of Science, Environmental Geology (EVG) minimum 120 hours

The following program, leading to the Bachelor of Science with a major in environmental geology, is designed to present students with the basic courses in the geological sciences as well as provide specific environmental geology courses. The program also requires additional related science courses.

Common Academic Program (CAP)
*credit hours will vary depending on courses selected
First-Year Humanities Commons 112
West and the World
Introduction to Religious and Theological Studies
Intro To Philosophy
Writing Seminar I 2
Second-Year Writing Seminar 30-3
Writing Seminar II
Oral Communication3
Principles of Oral Communication
Mathematics3
Social Science3
Social Science Integrated
Arts3
Natural Sciences 47
Crossing Boundariesvariable credit
Faith Traditions
Practical Ethical Action
Inquiry
Integrative
Advanced Studyvariable credit
Philosophy and/or Religious Studies
Historical Studies
Diversity and Social Justice3
Major Capstone0-3
1

Completed with ASI 110 and ASI 120.

2

Or ENG 100A and ENG 100B, or ENG 200H, by placement.

3

Completed with ENG 200H or ASI 120.

4

Must include two different disciplines and accompanying lab.

Science Breadth Requirements
(Satisfies CAP Mathematics and CAP Natural Science)
BIO 151Concepts of Biology I: Cellular & Molecular Biology3
BIO 152Concepts of Biology II: Evolution & Ecology3
CHM 123
123L
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHM 124
124L
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
MTH 168Analytic Geometry & Calculus I 14
MTH 169Analytic Geometry & Calculus II 14
PHY 206General Physics I - Mechanics 23
PHY 207General Physics II - Electricity & Magnetism 23
Major Requirements61
Year 1
GEO 115
115L
Physical Geology
and Physical Geology Laboratory
4
GEO 116
116L
Geological History of the Earth
and Geological History of the Earth Laboratory
4
Year 2
GEO 201
201L
Mineralogy
and Mineralogy Laboratory
4
GEO 208Environmental Geology3
Year 3
GEO 301
301L
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Laboratory
4
GEO 307
307L
Geomorphology
and Geomorphology Laboratory
4
GEO 310
310L
Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
and Stratigraphy and Sedimentology Laboratory
4
Year 4
GEO 308Problems & Decisions in Environmental Geology3
GEO 309
309L
Surface & Groundwater Hydrology
and Surface and Groundwater Hydrology Laboratory
4
GEO 479LEnvrionmental Instrumentation Laboratory2
GEO 498Geological Research and Thesis (Satisfies CAP Major Capstone)4
Select GEO electives from:4
Glacial Geology
and Glacial Geology Laboratory
Field Geology
Paleontology
and Paleontology Laboratory
Advanced Stratigraphy
and Sedimentology Laboratory
Problems in Geology
Petrology
and Petrology Laboratory
Introductory Geochemistry
and Introductory Geochemistry Laboratory
Applied Geographic Information Systems
Select six science electives from:17
Ecology
and Ecology Laboratory
Applied Microbiology
and Applied Microbiology Laboratory
Biology of Rivers & Lakes
and Biology of Rivers & Lakes Laboratory
Environmental Ecology
and Environmental Ecology Laboratory
Geotechnical Engineering
and Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory
Environmental Pollution Control
Water & Wastewater Engineering
and Water & Wastewater Engineering Laboratory
Quantitative Analysis
and Quantitative Analysis Laboratory
Physical Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Environmental Chemistry
and Environmental Chemistry Laboratory
Computer Programming for Engineering & Science
Introduction to Computer Programming
Analytic Geometry & Calculus III
Applied Differential Equations
Statistical Methods I
Statistical Methods II
Breadth
ASI 150Introduction to the University Experience1
Social and Behavioral Sciences (Includes CAP Social Science)6
Total Hours to total at least120
1

May substitute MTH 148-MTH 149 with permission of department chairperson.

2

May substitute PHY 201-PHY 202 with permission of department chairperson.

Bachelor of Science, Geology (GEO) minimum 120 hours

Common Academic Program (CAP)
*credit hours will vary depending on courses selected
First-Year Humanities Commons 112
West and the World
Introduction to Religious and Theological Studies
Intro To Philosophy
Writing Seminar I 2
Second-Year Writing Seminar 30-3
Writing Seminar II
Oral Communication3
Principles of Oral Communication
Mathematics3
Social Science3
Social Science Integrated
Arts3
Natural Sciences 47
Crossing Boundariesvariable credit
Faith Traditions
Practical Ethical Action
Inquiry
Integrative
Advanced Studyvariable credit
Philosophy and/or Religious Studies
Historical Studies
Diversity and Social Justice3
Major Capstone0-3
1

Completed with ASI 110 and ASI 120.

2

Or ENG 100A and ENG 100B, or ENG 200H, by placement.

3

Completed with ENG 200H or ASI 120.

4

Must include two different disciplines and accompanying lab.

Science Breadth Requirements
(Satisfies CAP Mathematics and CAP Natural Sciences)
CHM 123
123L
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHM 124
124L
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
MTH 168Analytic Geometry & Calculus I 14
MTH 169Analytic Geometry & Calculus II 14
PHY 206General Physics I - Mechanics 23
PHY 207General Physics II - Electricity & Magnetism 23
Major Requirements54
Year 1
GEO 115
115L
Physical Geology
and Physical Geology Laboratory
4
GEO 116
116L
Geological History of the Earth
and Geological History of the Earth Laboratory
4
Year 2
GEO 201
201L
Mineralogy
and Mineralogy Laboratory
4
Year 3
GEO 301
301L
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Laboratory
4
GEO 307
307L
Geomorphology
and Geomorphology Laboratory
4
Year 4
GEO 303Field Geology6
GEO 310
310L
Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
and Stratigraphy and Sedimentology Laboratory
4
GEO 401
401L
Paleontology
and Paleontology Laboratory
4
GEO 403
403L
Advanced Stratigraphy
and Sedimentology Laboratory
4
GEO 498Geological Research and Thesis (Satisfies CAP Major Capstone)4
Select GEO electives from:4
Glacial Geology
and Glacial Geology Laboratory
Problems & Decisions in Environmental Geology
and Problems & Decisions in Environmental Geology Laboratory
Surface & Groundwater Hydrology
and Surface and Groundwater Hydrology Laboratory
Problems in Geology
Petrology
and Petrology Laboratory
Introductory Geochemistry
and Introductory Geochemistry Laboratory
Applied Geographic Information Systems
Honors Thesis Project
Science electives and laboratories where applicable from:8
BIO, CHM, CPS, GEO, MTH, PHY, Engineering 3
Breadth
ASI 150Introduction to the University Experience1
Social and Behavioral Sciences (Includes CAP Social Science)6
Total Hours to total at least120
1

May substitute MTH 148-MTH 149 with permission of department chairperson.

2

May substitute PHY 201-PHY 202 with permission of department chairperson.

3

 With permission of department chairperson.

Minor in Geology (GEO)

Geology
Select four GEO courses (300/400 level) 112
Total Hours12

1

Appropriate prerequisites must be completed.

Environmental Geology

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
ASI 1501GEO 116
116L
4
GEO 115
115L (CAP Natural Science w/lab)
4MTH 1694
MTH 168 (Satisfies CAP Mathematics)4CHM 124
124L
4
CHM 123
123L
4REL 103, PHL 103, or HST 103 (CAP Humanities Commons)3
ENG 100 (CAP Humanities Commons)3REL 103, PHL 103, or HST 103 (CAP Humanities Commons)3
 16 18
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEO 201
201L
4GEO 2083
BIO 151 (CAP Natural Science)3Geology elective w/lab4
PHY 2063BIO 1523
ENG 200 (CAP Writing Seminar)3PHY 2073
REL 103, PHL 103, or HST 103 (CAP Humanities Commons)3CMM 100 (CAP Communication)3
 16 16
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEO 301
301L
4GEO 310
310L
4
GEO 307
307L
4Science Elective3
Science Elective3CAP Arts 3
SSC 200 (CAP Social Science)3CAP Advanced Historical Studies3
CAP Adv. Philosophy/Religious Studies (Practical Ethical Action/Faith Traditions)3CAP Adv. Philosophy/Religious Studies (Practical Ethical Action/Faith Traditions)3
 17 16
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
GEO 498 (Satisfies CAP Major Capstone)4GEO 479L2
GEO 3083Science Elective4
GEO 309
309L
4Science Elective3
Science elective w/lab4CAP Inquiry3
CAP Integrative3CAP Diversity and Social Justice3
 Social Science - elective3
 18 18
Total credit hours: 135

Geology

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
ASI 1501GEO 116
116L
4GEO 3036
GEO 115
115L (CAP Natural Science w/lab)
4Science elective w/lab4 
MTH 168 (Satisfies CAP Mathematics)4MTH 1694 
ENG 100 (CAP Humanities Commons)3REL 103, PHL 103, or HST 103 (CAP Humanities Commons)3 
REL 103, PHL 103, or HST 103 (CAP Humanities Commons)3  
 15 15 6
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
GEO 201
201L
4CHM 124
124L
4 
CHM 123
123L
4PHY 2073 
PHY 206 (CAP Natural Science )3GEO elective w/lab4 
REL 103, PHL 103, or HST 103 (CAP Humanities Commons)3CMM 100 (CAP Comunication)3 
Social Science - elective3ENG 200 (CAP Writing Seminar)3 
 17 17 
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
GEO 301
301L
4GEO 307
307L
4 
Science elective4SSC 200 (CAP Social Science)3 
CAP Arts 3CAP Inquiry3 
CAP Faith Traditions3CAP Advanced Philosophy/Religious Studies3 
CAP Adv. Philosophy/Practical Ethical Action3CAP Advanced Historical Studies3 
 17 16 
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
GEO 498 (Satisfies CAP Major Capstone)4GEO 310
310L
4 
CAP Integrative3GEO 401
401L
4 
CAP Diversity and Social Justice3GEO 403
403L
4 
General elective (optional)3General Elective3 
 13 15 
Total credit hours: 131

Courses

GEO 103. Principles of Geography. 3 Hours

The study of spatial processes that shape the Earth's physical and cultural environment through a survey of major branches of physical and human geographic inquiry.

GEO 104. Biology-Geology Field Course. 3 Hours

Fundamental earth science topics with emphasis on direct field experience. One week on campus, three weeks in the Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado, and one week of travel. For all non-geology and non-biology majors. Corequisite(s): BIO 104; (BIO 104L or GEO 104L).

GEO 104L. Biology-Geology Field Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 104.

GEO 109. Earth, Environment, and Society. 3 Hours

This course examines the complex relationship between natural geologic processes and their effects on human society. The course will examine fundamental geologic processes and associated hazards (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, flooding) while also assessing human impacts such as pollution, energy industry and land-use planning. This course provides an opportunity to discuss, from a geologic perspective, the ramifications of and potential solutions to problems associated with utilization of Earth’s resources. Laboratory optional but not required. No prerequisite.

GEO 109L. Earth, Environment, and Society Lab. 1 Hour

Laboratory exercises in Earth and Environmental Science to accompany GEO 109 Lecture. Two hours each week.

GEO 115. Physical Geology. 3 Hours

Introductory course in geologic principles and processes. Examines Earth's major systems including the solid Earth, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere. Laboratory optional for non-majors.

GEO 115L. Physical Geology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Physical Geology Lab - laboratory excercises in Physical Geology to accompany GEO 115 lecture.

GEO 116. Geological History of the Earth. 3 Hours

Study of earth history over the last 4.6 billion years - from its origins to the present day. Includes earth origins, the development of the earth during the Precambrian including evolution of the atmosphere, and the appearance of prokaryotic and eukaryotic life. Major biological development and environmental, tectonic, and climatic changes during the last half-billion years (the Phanerozoic) will be examined, including the Pleisotocene "Ice Age" and Anthropocene conditions. Prerequisite(s): (GEO 109 or GEO 115); permission of instructor.

GEO 116L. Geological History of the Earth Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 116. Two hours each week.

GEO 198. Geology, Landscape & Environment of the Miami Valley. 3 Hours

Field-based course examining the geologic history of the Miami Valley and Dayton area; processes leading to the modern landscape; the impact of human activity will be assessed. Prerequisite(s): GEO 109 or GEO 115 or permission of instructor.

GEO 201. Mineralogy. 3 Hours

Introduction to crystallography, crystal chemistry and crystal structure. Study of the major groups of rock-forming minerals, their association and occurrence with emphasis on identification by physical properties and optical techniques. Prerequisite(s): (GEO 109 or GEO 115) or permission of instructor.

GEO 201L. Mineralogy Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 201. Three hours per week.

GEO 202. The Inner Earth. 4 Hours

Exploration of the Earth’s internal processes of magmatism, metamorphism and deformation as part of its larger-scale processes of convection, conduction, and plate tectonics. Prerequisite(s): GEO 201 and GEO 201L.

GEO 204. Geology for Teachers. 4 Hours

Introduction for preservice teachers to the Earth system and the processes that operate in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and solid Earth. Emphasis is on understanding how interactions among these fundamental Earth systems maintain our livable planet. Students will explore the Earth system through best practices in teaching and inquiry, and through field trips. For ECE, EMS, and EMM majors only. Students completing this course may not take SCI 210. Prerequisite(s): EDT 110; SCI 190.

GEO 208. Environmental Geology. 3 Hours

Envirionmental Geology is the study of the relationship of geologic factors to natural hazards and the problems of water supply, pollution, erosion, land use, and earth resource utilization. Laboratory optional.

GEO 208L. Environmental Geology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Laboratory course to accompany GEO 208. This lab is designed to provide practical exercises that will enhance a student’s understanding of how human beings interact with the geological environment. Lab activities will take an experiential, inquiry-based approach to topics relevant in past, present, and future societies. One two-hour laboratory per week concurrently run with the GEO 208 lecture course. Prerequisite(s): GEO 208 (or co-requisite).

GEO 218. Geological Site Investigation for Engineers. 3 Hours

Exploration of the principles of geological site investigation applied to land-use planning, geohazard risk analysis, and diverse engineering applications.

GEO 234. Energy Resources. 3 Hours

The chemical and geological aspects of formation, production, and benefits/costs (including environmental impacts) of energy derived from fossil fuels (coal and hydrocarbons), biofuels (e.g., ethanol production), radioactive materials (nuclear power), and renewable sources (e.g., geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar power).

GEO 301. Structural Geology. 3 Hours

The origin and development of structural features of the earth's crust; folding, faulting, volcanism, mountain building, and metamorphism. Prerequisite(s): GEO 115, GEO 116, GEO 201.

GEO 301L. Structural Geology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 301. Two hours each week.

GEO 302. Glacial Geology. 3 Hours

The origin of mountain and continental glaciers; their depositional features and erosive activity; history of glaciation in geologic past with special emphasis on North American Quaternary ice advances. Prerequisite(s): GEO 115, GEO 116.

GEO 302L. Glacial Geology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 302. Two hours each week.

GEO 303. Field Geology. 6 Hours

Field studies in Geology and Environmental Geology. This course focuses on geologic field techniques, and rock outcrop description and interpretation. Current field sites include Colorado and New Zealand. Prerequisite(s): GEO 115 or Geo 109 or Geo 208 or SCI 210, and GEO 116.

GEO 307. Geomorphology. 3 Hours

Detailed study of landforms and the erosional processes that develop them. Prerequisite(s): GEO 115, GEO 116.

GEO 307L. Geomorphology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 307. Two hours each week.

GEO 308. Problems & Decisions in Environmental Geology. 3 Hours

An in-depth examination of selected environmental problems and the way in which scientific information guides practice and policy. Topics will range from investigations of natural hazards to considerations of land use and water resources. Prerequisite(s): (GEO 109 or GEO 115) or permission of instructor.

GEO 308L. Problems & Decisions in Environmental Geology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 308. Two hours each week and periodic field work.

GEO 309. Surface & Groundwater Hydrology. 3 Hours

This course is designed to provide a science or engineering student with the fundamental concepts and principles central to the study of water as a resource. This will include an examination of all components of the hydrologic cycle including surface-water hydrology and management, groundwater hydrogeology, and water resource management. Prerequisite(s): (GEO 109 or GEO 218) or permission of instructor.

GEO 309L. Surface and Groundwater Hydrology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Laboratory exercises to accompany GEO 309. Three hours per week.

GEO 310. Stratigraphy and Sedimentology. 3 Hours

Investigation and interpretation of sedimentary rocks, sedimentary environments, and the stratigraphic record. Prerequisite(s): GEO 116.

GEO 310L. Stratigraphy and Sedimentology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Laboratory exercises to accompany GEO 310. Two hours each week. Corequisite(s): GEO 310.

GEO 401. Paleontology. 3 Hours

The study of ancient life. The morphology, ecology, evolution, and stratigraphic distributions of selected invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants.

GEO 401L. Paleontology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 401. Two hours each week.

GEO 403. Sedimentology. 3 Hours

Detailed study of sediments: their sources, environments of deposition, and methods of consolidation. Emphasis on the interpretation of ancient sediments. Prerequisite(s): GEO 201.

GEO 403L. Sedimentology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 403. Two hours each week.

GEO 404. Problems in Geology. 1-4 Hours

Consideration of special problems involving advanced work in the laboratory and library; arranged to meet the needs of individual students.

GEO 411. Petrology. 3 Hours

Study of the formation of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Prerequisite(s): GEO 201.

GEO 411L. Petrology Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 411. Two hours each week. Prerequisite(s): GEO 201.

GEO 412. Introductory Geochemistry. 3 Hours

Study of elementary thermodynamics, aqueous geochemistry, and principles governing the distribution of trace elements, radioisotopes and stable isotopes in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Emphasis on applications and solution of geological problems. Prerequisite(s): GEO 201 or permission of instructor.

GEO 412L. Introductory Geochemistry Laboratory. 1 Hour

Course to accompany GEO 412. Three hours each week.

GEO 450. Applied Geographic Information Systems. 4 Hours

Introduction of concepts and implementation of analysis in geographic information systems (GIS).

GEO 455. Envrionmental Remote Sensing. 4 Hours

Introduction to principles and concepts of remote sensing, a sophisticated technology of earth observation that provides fundamental data for global environmental investigation. Prerequisite(s): GEO 208 or permission of instructor.

GEO 477. Honors Thesis Project. 3 Hours

First of two courses leading to the selection, design, investigation, and completion of an independent, original Honors Thesis project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor. Restricted to students in the University Honors Program with permission of the program director and department chairperson. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary thesis topic may register for three semester hours each in two separate disciplines in consultation with the department chairpersons. Prerequisite(s): Approval of University Honors Program.

GEO 478. Honors Thesis Project. 3 Hours

Second of two courses leading to the selection, design, investigation, and completion of an independent, original Honors Thesis project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor. Restricted to students in the University Honors Program with permission of the program director and department chairperson. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary thesis topic may register for three semester hours each in two separate disciplines in consultation with the department chairpersons. Prerequisite(s): Approved 477; approval of University Honors Program.

GEO 479L. Envrionmental Instrumentation Laboratory. 2 Hours

The understanding and use of field and laboratory based equipment to study current environmental issues. Emphasis on team-centered approaches to investigating environmental problems. Prerequisite(s): (BIO 151, BIO 152) or (GEO 115, GEO 116) or permission of instructor.

GEO 480. Senior Capstone Project & Presentation. 3 Hours

Project and presentation in the scholarship, activity and/or practice related to the major. Students will present their work in a forum appropriate to the major.

GEO 485. Geographic Information Systems Applications in Water Resources Planning & Management. 4 Hours

An introduction to GIS applications in water resource management. Following an introduction to GIS basics, this course focuses on GIS techniques in surface water modeling and floodplain delineation and management.

GEO 495. Geology Seminar. 1 Hour

Introduction to professional practices in the geosciences. Students will attend seminar talks by guest speakers, research career options and graduate programs in the earth sciences, develop a professional resume, and participate in other profession-building activities. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

GEO 498. Geological Research and Thesis. 4 Hours

Research project within an area of the geological sciences, including, but not limited to, environmental geology, geochemistry, geomorphology, or paleontology. The results are to be presented in a written thesis. Prerequisite(s): Permission of Instructor.