GEOL 101. Geology of Planet Earth (3)
Studies of the geologic materials and processes that shape our Earth and environment are explored as they relate to our everyday lives. Topics include global tectonics; earthquakes and other geologic hazards; glacial, river and coastal processes that form our landscapes; water, mineral and energy resources; and waste disposal and pollution.Students may not receive credit for both GEOL 100 and GEOL 101. 3 hours lecture, field trip. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science. Students may satisfy the B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement by completing GEOL 102.)
GEOL 102. Geology of Planet Earth Lab (1)
Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 100 or GEOL 101. Identification of rocks and minerals. Introduction to topographic maps and how they are used to interpret geologic processes and geologic history. Interpretation of geologic maps and data relating to earthquakes and plate tectonics. 3 hours lab, field trips. (Available for General Education, B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement provided either GEOG 100 or GEOL 101 is completed.)
GEOL 104. Living with Earthquakes in California (3)
Not for credit in Geology major. Examines the revolution in earthquake hazard awareness that has occurred in California since the mid-1980’s when the scale of the earthquake hazard began to emerge from scientific discovery. Students will investigate the reciprocal ways in which science has informed the public, political and economic debate over the implications of earthquake hazard as well as exploring the manner by which public and political priorities have shaped the direction of scientific and engineering response to the hazard. Lecture 3 hours. (Available for General Education, E Lifelong Learning.)
GEOL 106LRS. Earth and Space Science for Liberal Studies Majors (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. Analysis of Earth systems (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere), the solar system and the universe. Selected topics include structure and composition of the Earth; minerals and rocks; plate tectonics; landforms and surface processes; natural hazards, such as floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; physical oceanography, the water cycle, weather and climate; formation of the universe and solar system; and evolution of stars and galaxies. 3 hours lecture per week. Available for Earth Science credit for Liberal Studies majors. (Cross-listed with GEOG 106LRS.)
GEOL 107. Geology Goes Hollywood (2)
Corequisite: GEOL 107L. This online lecture explores how Earth science issues that impact society are depicted in film and television and how these depictions influence the viewers’ perceptions of Earth science. Students will learn fundamental concepts of Earth science, and how to evaluate the appropriateness and accuracy of Earth science portrayed in fictional and documentary film and television. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science. Students satisfy the B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement by completing GEOL 107L.)
GEOL 107L. Geology Goes Hollywood Lab (1)
Corequisite: GEOL 107. This online laboratory explores how Earth science issues that impact society are depicted in film and television and how these depictions influence the viewers’ perceptions of Earth science. Students will learn fundamental concepts of Earth science, and how to evaluate the appropriateness and accuracy of Earth science portrayed in fictional and documentary film and television. (Available for General Education, B3 Science Laboratory Activity. Students satisfy the B1 Physical Science requirement by completing GEOL 107.)
GEOL 110. The Fossil Record of Ancient Life on Earth (3)
Introduction to the dynamic study of the Earth’s evolution, including changes in the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. This course focusses on how these changes, woven into the fabric of geologic time, affected major groups of plants and animals, including dinosaurs and humans. Students may not receive credit for both GEOL 110 and GEOL 113. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science or B2 Life Science.)
Note: Students should only enroll in GEOL 110 if they are taking a course other than GEOL 112 to meet the B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement.
GEOL 112. Earth and Life Through Time Lab (1)
Corequisite: GEOL 113. Course content includes introduction to fossil, relative-age relationships and construction and interpretation of maps and cross-sections that emphasize paleogeography and sedimentary rocks. 3 hours lab, 1-day field trip. (Available for General Education, B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement provided GEOL 113 is also completed.)
GEOL 113. Earth and Life Through Time (2)
Corequisite: GEOL 112. An exploration of evolution, environmental change, and the history of life on Earth using the fossil record over the last 4.6 billion years. Particular emphasis will be placed on the coevolution of organisms and Earth surface conditions through time. Students may not receive credit for both GEOL 113 and GEOL 110. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science or B2 Life Science. Students satisfy the B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement by completing GEOL 112.)
GEOL 117. Geological Disasters (2)
Corequisite: GEOL 117L. This lecture and lab combination explores the hazards associated with geological processes, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and flooding. Students will learn fundamental scientific concepts, evaluate risks posed by natural hazards, and assess potential mitigation strategies. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science. Students satisfy the B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement by completing GEOL 117L.)
GEOL 117L. Geological Disasters Lab (1)
Corequisite: GEOL 117. This lecture and lab combination explores the hazards associated with geological processes, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and flooding. Students will learn fundamental scientific concepts, evaluate risks posed by natural hazards, and assess potential mitigation strategies. (Available for General Education, B3 Science Laboratory Activity. Students satisfy the B1 Physical Science requirement by completing GEOL 117.)
GEOL 122. The World Ocean (3)
Introduction to the oceans. Evolution of the ocean basins, their environment and resources. Aspects of biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science. Students may satisfy the B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement by completing GEOL 123.)
GEOL 123. World Ocean Lab (1)
Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 122. Introduction to oceanographic data, its collection and interpretation. 3 hours lab, field trips. (Available for General Education, B3 Science Laboratory Activity requirement provided GEOL 122 is also completed.)
GEOL 125. Introduction to Environmental Science (3)
Adverse impacts to this environment affect the well-being of humans and other living organisms. This course provides an understanding of how human impacts to the Earth system have caused environmental change across the planet. Students will learn principles of geology, ecology, atmospheric sciences, and examine today’s most pressing environmental issues including human population growth, biodiversity loss, air, water, and soil pollution, climate change, energy-use conservation, and sustainable agriculture. Students will also gain an understanding of the ways in which the challenges of environmental degradation are (or are not) being addressed by society and government. 3 hours lecture. (Available for General Education, B1 Physical Science or B2 Life Science.)
GEOL 300. Environmental Geology (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. Study of the relationship between humans and the Earth and the application of geology to environmental problems. Topics include geological hazards, pollution, mineral and energy resources, land use planning and environmental impact. 3 hours lecture, field trips. (Available for General Education, B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning.)
GEOL 301. Environmental Geology Lab (1)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 300. An introduction to geologic materials and processes as they are applicable to the human environment. Included are practical exercises on rocks, minerals, geologic maps and water, mineral and energy resources. Earthquake, volcanic, landslide and flood hazard evaluations are also performed. 3 hours lab, field trips.
GEOL 303. Communicating Geoscience (2)
Prerequisite: Any 3-unit 100-level GEOL course. Scientific discoveries are only useful to the community if they are shared clearly, concisely, and convincingly. Scientists use different communications strategies based on the audience they are addressing, the purpose of their communication, and the mediums available to them. This course introduces students to a range of written, visual, and oral communications products that are common in geoscience. Students practice elements of effective communication by critiquing samples, creating their own products, and learning to revise them. 3 hours in class and 3 hours online assignments.
GEOL 306/L. Earth Materials and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisite: Any 3-unit 100-level GEOL course. Corequisite: GEOL 306L. Recommended Preparatory: Any 100-level CHEM course. Study of the origin and distribution of the solid materials that comprise the Earth. Students will learn the physical and optical properties of minerals and use those properties to perform mineral and rock identifications. The course will emphasize placing earth materials in the context of the rock cycle and plate tectonic theory. Homework assignments organized around real data sets will simulate research experience and provide important problem solving opportunities. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trip, fee required.
GEOL 307/L. Petrology and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisites: GEOL 306/L, CHEM 101 and CHEM 101L. Corequisite: GEOL 307L. Introduction to the classification and origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks, including the optical properties of minerals. Lab study of these rocks utilizing hand-specimen characteristics and the petrographic microscope. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips, fee required.
GEOL 309/L. Earth Tectonics and Structure and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisite: Any 3-unit 100-level GEOL course. Corequisite: GEOL 309L. Study of the basic principles of plate tectonics and structural geology that provide ways to interpret Earth’s interior. Topics will include the basics of plate tectonic theory, stress and strain, classification of structures, and structural-tectonic evolution of modern and ancient plate boundaries. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trip, fee required.
GEOL 310/L. Advanced Structural Geology and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisites: GEOL 309/L. Corequisite: GEOL 310L. Study of rock deformational processes and resulting structures in the Earth’s crust. Lab work emphasizes the use of graphic methods to assist in the geometric and kinematic interpretation of rock structures. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trip, fee required.
GEOL 313. Field Methods (2)
Corequisite: GEOL 306/L. Study of and practice in techniques and methods of geologic field studies, including note taking, mapping, analysis of geologic history and structures, geologic illustration, and report writing. 3 hours per week and approximately 6 days of fieldwork (including overnight weekend trips). Fee required.
GEOL 314/L. Earth Systems and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisite: Any 3-unit 100-level GEOL course. Corequisite: GEOL 314L. This course focuses on the four Earth systems (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) and interactions between these systems and humankind. Major course topics include water and energy resources, global climate change, sedimentary processes at the Earth’s surface, and how the fossil record is used to understand Earth history and the geologic timescale. Special focus will be placed on feedbacks between each system and the role of humans in these interactions. The laboratory will reinforce and expand concepts introduced in the lecture. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips, fee required.
GEOL 324. The World of the Dinosaurs (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. This course is a study of dinosaurs and the world in which they lived from the time of their first appearance to their extinction. The evolutionary patterns exhibited by dinosaurs are explored via an examination of their spatial and temporal distribution through time, considering connections to the evolving Mesozoic world’s paleogeography, paleoclimate, and paleo-environment as interpreted from the rock record. Topics include dinosaur origins, anatomy, reproduction, diets, diversity, and classification, as well as a survey of other vertebrate animals that lived at the same time. Hypotheses for dinosaur extinction are compared and contrasted. (Cross-listed with BIOL 324.) (Available for General Education B5, Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning.)
GEOL 327. Geoforensics (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. A comprehensive introduction to the application of geoscience to criminal investigations and forensic problems solving. The course explores the use of geological evidence (rocks and minerals, soils, geochemistry, etc.) to aid in forensic investigation. Students review case studies in criminal justice, national security and environmental contamination. (Available for General Education, B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning.) (IC)
GEOL 341/L. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisites: GEOL 314/L. Corequisite: 341L. Introduction to the processes of sedimentation; the texture, composition and classification of sedimentary rocks; depositional environments; and stratigraphic sequences and correlation techniques. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips, fee required.
GEOL 344. California Geology (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. Investigations of aspects of California geology. California-related topics may include: plate tectonic history, earthquakes, geologic hazards, geology of national parks, climate record and hydrogeology. (Available for General Education, B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning.) (IC)
GEOL 362. Energy Resources and the Environment (3)
Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or GEOL 125 or equivalent. A comprehensive overview of several primary energy resources (coal, petroleum, nuclear fuels, geothermal systems, and renewable energy) and their impact on the environment. Students will understand the geologic origins of energy resources, geological and geophysical techniques used to explore for and exploit resources, and evaluate the environmental impact of resource exploration and production of energy. 3 hours lecture.
GEOL 406LRS. Liberal Studies Science Experience Capstone (1)
Prerequisites: BIOL 100, BIOL 101 or BIOL 102; PHSC 170; GEOL 106LRS or GEOG 106LRS. This laboratory course serves as a culminating science experience for Liberal Studies majors in the Pre-Credential and ITEP options. An interdisciplinary blend of biology, physics, chemistry, and Earth and space sciences from lower division courses will be integrated into the course as various topics are explored through the broad lens of Earth science. Hands-on investigations will include topics linked to California K-6 State Science Standards, such as the nature of science, astronomy and the solar system, solar energy and meteorology, the water cycle, fossils and the evolution of life, rocks and minerals, natural resources, plate tectonics and Earth’s structure, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and geomorphology. 3 hours lab.
GEOL 430A/B. Summer Field Geology (2-2)
Prerequisites: GEOL 310/L and GEOL 341/L. A two-course sequence on advanced observation and collection of geologic field data and the construction of geologic maps, cross-sections and stratigraphic sections. Students must enroll in both A and B courses during the same summer session, and fieldwork for both courses is completed during the first four weeks of the session. During the remaining weeks of the session, students must complete two comprehensive formal geologic field reports, including geologic maps and cross-sections, one for GEOL 430A and one for GEOL 430B. Available for graduate credit. Course fee required.
GEOL 440/L. Environmental Sampling and Analysis and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisites: Any 3 unit 100- or 300-level GEOL course; CHEM 101. Corequisite: GEOL 440L. The study of physical and biogeochemical processes in a range of environmental settings, with a focus on developing hypothesis-driven sampling and analysis plans. Students will learn how to select analytes of interest, assess a variety of sampling and analytical methods, and evaluate data trends/data quality using existing and class-collected environmental data sets. Lab: An introduction to environmental water and sediment/soil sampling techniques and basic laboratory analyses, including on-campus and off-campus field trips. Available for graduate credit. 3 hour lecture, one 3-hour lab per week, and one 8-hour weekend sampling event.
GEOL 456. Environmental Hydrogeology (3)
Prerequisites: Any 3-unit 100-level GEOL course; CHEM 101. This course investigates environmentally relevant hydrogeological issues, including natural and anthropogenic surface and groundwater contamination, water resources, and impacts of climate change. The course also surveys a range of environmental challenges and covers a variety of approaches for researching and mitigating them. Specific topics may include carbon sequestration, hydraulic fracturing, surface and groundwater contamination, multiphase flow in porous medium systems, and various modeling approaches. Available for graduate credit.
GEOL 464/L. Applied Geophysics and Lab (3/1)
Corequisite: GEOL 464L. Preparatory: GEOL 313, GEOL 307; MATH 150A or MATH 255A; or instructor consent. Introduction to the basic principles and techniques of geophysics. Includes study of seismic reflection and refraction, earthquakes, gravity, magnetic, electrical resistivity, ground penetrating radar and global positioning system satellites. Available for graduate credit. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.
GEOL 490. Senior Capstone (3)
Prerequisites: GEOL 303, GEOL 306, GEOL 309, GEOL 313, GEOL 314; B.S. Geology majors only. Students engage in a semester-long case study problem where a community must make a decision about how to effectively use a geologically complex site such as an eroding coastline, a contaminated industrial site, or a landfill facing landslides (topics change yearly). Students work in collaborative teams to investigate the geologic, economic, social, and political factors that affect that decision.
GEOL 497. Research Methods and Design (1)
Preparatory: Junior or senior standing; Instructor consent. Students are advised and guided in research methods and design. Students use critical reasoning and the scientific method to develop and write their own research proposal to execute the project for their senior thesis. The written proposal is patterned after those required by the National Science Foundation.
GEOL 498. Senior Thesis (3)
Prerequisites: GEOL 497; Instructor consent. Following approval by the thesis advisor of a written proposal, the student completes an original research project in consultation with the faculty advisor. Upon completion of the research, the student will submit the written thesis to the advisor and give an oral presentation to the Department of Geological Sciences.
GEOL 499A-C. Independent Study (1-3)
See Independent Study under Courses of Study. Cannot be used for General Education credit.
GEOL 501. Teaching and Learning About the Natural World (3)
An overview of science education research methodologies and findings that have an impact on science classrooms at all levels. Introduces practical techniques to identify students’ prior knowledge and construct effective educational experiences that help them build on that knowledge. Topics include: Common misconceptions; novice v. expert thinking; attention span with 21st century learners; developing spatial reasoning skills; science in urban settings; field trips; affect and attitudes towards science; and designing effective assessments. Students learn qualitative and quantitative science education research methodologies firsthand through a small-scale original research project.
GEOL 510. Advanced Topics in Paleontology (3)
Preparatory: GEOL 341, GEOL 351, GEOL 508. Seminars in various topics in invertebrate paleontology, such as biostratigraphy, paleoecology, functional morphology, etc. May be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 hours seminar.
GEOL 521. Sedimentary Environments (3)
Preparatory: GEOL 341 or instructor consent. Study of the characteristics of modern sedimentary environments and how these characteristics are used to recognize ancient sedimentary environments. 3 hours seminar.
GEOL 523/L. Sedimentation and Tectonics and Lab (2/2)
Corequisite: GEOL 523L. Preparatory: GEOL 310, GEOL 335, GEOL 341; or instructor consent. Lecture topics include a review of plate tectonic theory, followed by detailed discussions of the sedimentary and structural histories of basins from assorted tectonic settings. Labs include study of thin sections of sediments and sedimentary rocks, particularly clastic sedimentary rocks from basin types discussed in lecture and the collection and analysis of field data used in basin studies. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours lab, field trips.
GEOL 532/L. Microtectonics and Lab (3/1)
Preparatory: GEOL 307/L, GEOL 310/L. This course will emphasize the microstructural and textural analysis of metamorphic rocks in thin section to aid in the interpretation of tectonic evolution. Topics include identification of igneous and metamorphic assemblages; identification of textures and microstructures; identification of deformation mechanisms at the grain- and crystal-lattice scale; secondary foliation and lineation development; the origin of lattice preferred orientation; porphyroblast growth; microgauges of temperature, pressure and differential stress; and special techniques used to study deformation fabrics. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab.
GEOL 533/L. Geology of Earthquakes (2/1)
Preparatory: GEOL 310. Lecture topics will include a review of plate tectonics, rock mechanics, seismology, tectonic geodesy, paleoseismology, tectonic geomorphology and seismic hazard assessment. Detailed discussions will include study of recent major earthquakes that have occurred in strike-slip, thrust-reverse, megathrust (subduction zone) and normal-fault tectonic settings. Labs will include study of air photos, geologic maps, trench logs and core descriptions from studies of recent earthquakes, and the collection and analysis of field data used in earthquake studies. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.
GEOL 536/L. Igneous Petrology and Lab (3/1)
Corequisite: GEOL 536L. Preparatory: GEOL 307. Study of the more important kinds of igneous rocks, emphasizing distribution, origin, causes of compositional variation and relation to tectonic factors. Representative rock suites and computer techniques are studied in the lab. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.
GEOL 546/L. Geodynamics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisites: MATH 255A, GEOL 101. Corequisite: GEOL 546L. Recommended Preparatory: MATH 280, GEOL 307. This course provides fundamental concepts necessary for understanding of the interior and surficial processes of the Earth and other planets through quantitative analysis of elastic plate flexure, heat flow, heat production, convection, geophysical fluid dynamics, gravity, surface stresses, and rheology and deformation of planetary materials. Geological areas of application include earthquakes, tectonic plate flexure, volcanic eruptions, magma plumbing, mountain building, mantle convection, Earth’s interior heat budget, core dynamo, upper mantle flow and deformation mechanisms. Designed for senior-level undergraduate and graduate students in geology, geophysics, physics, or astronomy. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab.
GEOL 548/L. Seismology and Lab (3/1)
Prerequisite: MATH 150A or MATH 255A. Corequisite: GEOL 548L. Recommended Preparatory: GEOL 101, MATH 280. This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in seismology and the study of elastic waves in the solid earth. Topics include: seismic wave equation, stress/strain theory, ray theory, tomography, reflection seismology, body waves, surface waves, source theory, anisotropy, inverse problems, signal processing, and introduction to normal modes. Concepts will be approached through lectures, scientific readings, group projects, analysis of seismic data sets, and study of basic seismology theory. Designed for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in geology, geophysics, and related sciences. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab.
GEOL 551. Quaternary Geochronology (3)
Prerequisites: GEOL 207L, CHEM 101, PHYS 100A. The course examines recent advances in Quaternary geochronology. Topics include defining the time period, common landforms and deposits, oxygen isotope stratigraphy, and geochronologic methods including radiocarbon (14C) dating, Uranium series disequilibrium, cosmogenic nuclides (10Be, 26Al, 36Cl), luminescence dating, and magnetostratigraphy. Lecture 3 hours, 1 field trip.
GEOL 552. Geochemistry (3)
Preparatory: GEOL 307 or instructor consent. Application of the principles of chemistry to geological problems. Topics include nucleosynthesis, origin of the solar system, elemental distribution, and stable and unstable isotopes. 3 hours lecture.
GEOL 570VLA. Volcanology (3)
Preparatory: GEOL 307, GEOL 341; or consent of instructor. Course topics include styles of volcanic eruptions, volcanic landforms, physicochemical controls on eruptions, characteristics and interpretation of volcanic deposits, emplacement of pyroclastic density currents, volcanic hazards and impacts of volcanism on Earth’s environment. 3 hours lecture.
GEOL 575/L. Hydrogeology and Lab (3/1)
Corequisite: GEOL 575L. Preparatory: Upper division standing in Geology; Formal geologic field reports, including geologic maps and cross-sections, one for GEOL 430A and one for GEOL 430B. Students must enroll in both courses during the same Summer session. Available for graduate credit.
GEOL 580/L. Engineering Geology and Lab (2/1)
Corequisite: GEOL 580L. Preparatory: Upper division standing in Geology or consent of instructor. Application of geologic factors to such engineering projects as residential developments, buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels and waste-disposal sites. Topics include an introduction to soil mechanics, groundwater in engineering geology, landslides, earthquakes, subsidence, waste disposal, and engineering geologic site investigations, maps and reports. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.
GEOL 590. Literature Seminar (1)
Preparatory: Senior undergraduate or graduate standing in Geological Sciences. Students will make oral presentations of and lead discussions about current research literature in geological sciences.
GEOL 595A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses in Geological Sciences (1-3)
Preparatory: Instructor consent. Experimental topics in the geological sciences with the course content to be determined. Topics may be repeated with advisor approval.
GEOL 694. Graduate Thesis Research Design (1)
Instruction and practice in the process required to construct a research proposal, culminating in the development of a graduate-level research proposal suitable as a master’s thesis project.
GEOL 696C. Directed Graduate Research (3)
Directed Graduate Research
GEOL 698C. Thesis or Graduate Project (3)
Thesis or Graduate Project
GEOL 699A-C. Independent Study (1-3)
See Independent Study under Courses of Study. Cannot be used for General Education credit.