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Geosciences

A concentration in Geosciences consists of 9.5 units of credit in Geosciences and a two-course sequence in a supporting science, including one course in Principles of Geoscience (101 to 122), 209, 211, 220, 230, 290, 510-511 and two other courses in Geosciences numbered 200 or higher. The sequence of two courses in one of the supporting sciences consists of Chemistry 120 and a second chemistry course numbered 190 or above, Physics 100 and 105 or 190 and 195, Math 113 and 114, Computer Science 110 and 111, or Biology 101 and 102. The supporting science requirement must be discussed with the departmental supporting science advisor at time of declaration of concentration and should be completed before the start of senior year. A Senior Project is required (510-511) for the concentration, and a complete description of the program is available from the chair. All concentrators, especially those planning a career in the earth and environmental sciences, should take additional courses in chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science and biology according to the student’s interests. Departmental honors will be awarded on the basis of excellence in coursework, a superior Senior Project and completion of two additional courses in the supporting sciences as listed above.

A minor consists of a course in Principles of Geoscience and four units of credit in other courses at the 200 level or above that are approved by the department.

Students interested in careers in oceanography should consider concentrations in chemistry or mathematics with supporting courses in geology including 112, 210, 211, 220, 222, 241, 320 and 370 and Biology 213. Students interested in careers in meteorology should consider concentrations in physics or mathematics with supporting courses in geology including 112, 210, 240 and 285 and Chemistry 265.

A small number of seats for juniors and seniors are reserved in some of our 100-level courses.

101S Principles of Geosciences: Earth Resources and the Environment.
A study of Earth’s mineral deposits and energy resources, their distribution, origin, economic significance, and the environmental impact of their extraction and consumption. Field trip. Not open to students who have taken any other course in Principles of Geology. Maximum enrollment 24. Bailey (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Maximum enrollment, 24. Bailey.

103F Principles of Geoscience: Geology and Human Events in North Africa and the Middle East.
An interdisciplinary study exploring the influence of environment, water resources, climate change and bedrock geology of North Africa and the Middle East on prehistory, history, international relations and prospects for the future. Special emphasis on developing GIS skills. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Oral Presentations.) (Proseminar.) Three two-hour class sessions per week. Required field trip to the Adirondack region. Not open to students who have taken any other course in Principles of Geoscience. (Same as Africana Studies 103.) Maximum enrollment, 15. Tewksbury.

110F Principles of Geoscience: Geology and the Environment.
An introduction to the principles of geology as applied to current environmental issues such as solid waste disposal, consumption of conventional and alternate energy resources, and utilization of our natural resources. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of class and one hour of laboratory or field trip. Not open to students who have taken any other course in Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24. Rayne.

[112S] Principles of Geoscience: The Marine Environment.
An introduction to the physical, chemical and biological nature of the marine environment. Topics include marine geology, seawater composition, atmosphere/climate, ocean circulation, waves, tides, coastal processes, life in the sea, ocean resources and marine pollution. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of class and two hours of laboratory. Not open to students who have taken any other course in Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24.

115S Principles of Geoscience: Evolution and the Environment.
This course looks at the intersection of life and earth history as a lens for understanding fundamental concepts in geology. Evolution will be studied on multiple scales from the origins of life in deep time, to hominin evolution in the Quaternary, to looking ahead to how we may have to culturally evolve in the face of anthropogenic climate change. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of class and two hours of laboratory. Not open to students who have taken any other course in Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24. Beck.

[201S] Seminar on Iceland.
An interdisciplinary study of Iceland focusing on geologic features, history and literature of Iceland, and connections between human events and the natural environment of Iceland. One-and-one-half hours per week. One-half credit. Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Only open to students also taking 202. Maximum enrollment, 20.

[202S] Iceland Field Study.
A field study of the volcanic, glacial and tectonic features of Iceland with emphasis on the interaction of volcanic, glacial and tectonic processes. Three-week intensive field study in Iceland. Prerequisite, Principles of Geology. Concurrent registration in 201 required. Extra cost. One-half credit. Maximum enrollment, 20.

209S Hydrogeology.
The study of surface water and groundwater, with emphasis on groundwater. The influence of geologic materials on groundwater flow, an introduction to groundwater hydraulics and groundwater/surface water interactions. Basic hydrogeologic field methods introduced in the laboratory section. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24. Rayne.

211F Sedimentology and Stratigraphy.
A study of the genesis and diagenesis of clastic, carbonate, evaporite and other important sediments and rocks. Emphasis on fluid dynamics of grain transport, facies architecture, seismic stratigraphy and paleoclimatic/ tectonic significance of depositional sequences. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24. Beck.

212S Global Warming: Is the Day After Tomorrow Sooner than We Think?.
Investigates the historical/political/geographic context for our hydrocarbon economy, the scientific and economic debate behind global warming, the social and ecological consequences of action or inaction regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the role of public policy and international relations in global invironmental change. Prerequisite, One semester of science. Not open to students who have taken Environmental Studies/Geoscience 221. May count toward a concentration in environmental studies. (Same as Government 212 and Environmental Studies 212 and Government 212.) Maximum enrollment, 25. Dash.

220F Mineralogy.
An introduction to crystallography, crystal chemistry and optical mineralogy. Identification of minerals by physical, optical and X-ray diffraction techniques. Six hours of class/laboratory with field trip. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24. Bailey.

230S Structural Geology.
A study of the origin, development and study of macroscopic and microscopic structures in deformed rocks. Field, graphical, laboratory and GIS techniques used in mapping and studying deformed rocks. Six hours of class/laboratory with field trip. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 22. Tewksbury.

[236F] Soils and the Environment.
A study of the formation, classification, utilization and environmental significance of soils. Frequent local field trips. Three hours of class and two hours of laboratory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24.

[240F] Meteorology.
A study of the atmospheric environment. Topics include the Earth’s atmosphere, temperature, humidity, condensation, cloud development, precipitation, winds, air masses, storms and climate. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory/discussion. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. Maximum enrollment, 24.

290F Paleontology.
A study of the history of life, evolution and the fossil record. Topics include the general principles of paleontology, nomenclature, taxonomy, identification techniques, fossilization processes, plants, microfossils, invertebrates and vertebrates. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips. Prerequisite, Principles of Geoscience. (Same as Biology 290.) Maximum enrollment, 24. C Domack.

[309F] Advanced Hydrogeology and the Environment.
Advanced topics in hydrogeology, including geochemical principles, an introduction to contaminant transport, computer modeling of groundwater flow and studies of landfills, hazardous waste sites and other environmental problems. Three hours of class and two hour lab/discussion with field trips. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 209. Next offered Fall 2016. Maximum enrollment, 24.

[310] Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology.
A study of the mineralogy, chemistry, origin and evolution of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Emphasis on the physical and chemical processes involved in their formation. Six hours of class/laboratory with field trip. Offered in alternate years. Next offered Spring 2017. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 220. Maximum enrollment, 24.

312S Volcanology.
An examination of active volcanic processes on Earth through focused case studies and laboratory based projects. Emphasis placed on the physical and chemical processes involved in the origin and evolution of volcanic systems. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Field trip. Prerequisite, Geosciences 220. Maximum enrollment, 24. Bailey.

352F Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis.
Theory, practice and application of the scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis to selected research projects. Prerequisite, Two laboratory courses in science. (Same as Biology 352). Open to juniors and seniors with consent of instructor. Bart.

370S Coastal Geology and Environmental Oceanography.
Advanced study of coastal marine processes with an emphasis on environmental issues and case studies. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, one 200-level course in geosciences. Four hours of class. Maximum enrollment, 24. C Domack.

380S GIS for Geoscientists.
Introduction to basic concepts in computer-based GIS emphasizing hands-on practice in portraying and analyzing spatially referenced data sets to produce a variety of types of digital products and to solve geologic problems. Practice using data from multiple sources, including data downloaded from online sources, field-collected data and published map data. Emphasis on mastery of basic skills and techniques using ESRI ArcGIS software. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, any course in geoscience that addresses GIS or permission of the instructor. During junior and senior class pre-registration, open only to geoscience concentrators. Maximum enrollment, 13. Tewksbury.

390F Advanced Paleontology: Special Topics in Paleobiology and the Fossil Record.
Advanced topics in paleontology including exceptional preservation, microfossils, plant lagerstatte, mass extinctions, invertebrate assemblages, and extraordinary vertebrate fossil sites. Three hours of class and one hour of laboratory. Prerequisite, Geoscience 290. Maximum enrollment, 24. Domack.

510-511F,S Senior Project.
A two-term course during which concentrators pursue an independent project and present the results to the department. Proposals must be accepted in the spring semester of the student’s junior year. 511 may not be taken as a separate course. One course credit for 510 and one-half credit for 511. The Department.

(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)

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