picture of vpac

Geological Sciences


College of Science and Mathematics

Courses


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 using this course to satisfy the Natural Sciences section of General Education may satisfy the corresponding lab requirement by completing GEOL 102. Students may not receive credit for both GEOL 100 and 101. 3 hours lecture, field trip.


GEOL 102. Geology of Planet Earth Lab (1)

Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 100 or 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. Satisfies the lab requirement in Natural Sciences of General Education provided either GEOL 100 or 101 is completed. 3 horus lab, field trips.


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, 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. (Cross listed with GEOG 106LRS.)


GEOL 107/L. Geology Goes Hollywood and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: GEOL 107L. This online lecture and laboratory combination 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, Natural Sciences, fulfills lecture and lab credit.)


GEOL 112. Earth and Life through Time Lab (1)

Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 110. Course content includes introduction to fossil, relative-age relationships and construction and interpretation of maps and cross-sections that emphasize paleogeography and sedimentary rocks. May be used satisfy the lab requirement in Natural Sciences of General Education provided GEOL 110 is completed. 3 hours lab, 1-day field trip.


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. Students using this course to satisfy a General Education requirement may satisfy the corresponding lab requirement by completing GEOL 123. 3 hours lecture, field trips.


GEOL 123. World Ocean Lab (1)

Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 122. Introduction to oceanographic data, its collection and interpretation. May be used to satisfy the lab requirement in the Natural Sciences of General Education provided GEOL 122 also is completed. 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 207/L. Mineralogy and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: 207L. Preparatory: GEOL 101, 102; CHEM 101 or 100. Study of the nonsilicate and silicate minerals with emphasis on crystallography, mineral chemistry, physical properties, occurrence, origin and associations. 3 horus lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 235. Introduction to Field Methods (2)

Preparatory: GEOL 102. Study of and practice in techniques and methods of geologic field studies, including note taking, mapping, analysis of geologic history and structures, and introduction to geologic illustration and report writing. Approximately 6 days of field work (including overnight weekend trips) associated with a weekly 3-hour instructional and advisement meeting designed to develop skills in field techniques and to use GIS and other relevant software in creating geologic illustrations.


GEOL 300. Environmental Geology (3)

Preparatory: 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. Students using this course to satisfy a General Education requirement in the Natural Sciences may satisfy the corresponding lab requirement by completing GEOL 301. 3 hours lecture, field trips.


GEOL 301. Environmental Geology Lab (1)

Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 300. 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. May be used to satisfy the lab requirement in the Natural Sciences of General Education provided GEOL 300 also is completed.


GEOL 307/L. Petrology and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: 307L. Preparatory: GEOL 207/L. 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.


GEOL 310/L. Structural Geology and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite GEOL 310L. Recommended Corequisite or Preparatory: GEOL 307. 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.


GEOL 322/L. Introductory Oceanography and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: GEOL 322L. Preparatory: GEOL 101; Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Designed for the engineering or science major who requires a general background in oceanography. Study of biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography. 3 hours lecture, 3 hors lab, field trips.


GEOL 341/L. Sedimentary Geology and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: 341L. Preparatory: GEOL 307; Instructor consent. Introduction to the processes of sedimentation; the texture, composition and classification of sedimentary rocks; and depositional systems. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 345. Geology of California (2)

Preparatory: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Study of the geologic history, structure, minerals, rocks, fossils and modern geologic processes of California. 2 hours lecture, field trips.


GEOL 351/L. Fundamentals of Paleontology and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: GEOL 351L. Preparatory: 2 courses in either Geology or Biology. Survey of past life on the Earth, including fossil cyanobacteria, macroscopic algae, protoctists, plants (also spores and pollen), invertebrate and vertebrates, and their evolution, distribution and paleontology, with emphasis on methods used by paleontologists, especially for environmental studies. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 406LRS. Liberal Studies Science Experience Capstone (1)

Prerequisites: BIOL 100, 101 or 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, 341/L, 443/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 during 4 weeks of field study. Field work for GEOL 430A is completed during the first 2 weeks and field work for GEOL 430B is completed during the second 2 weeks. During the remaining weeks of the Summer session, students must complete 2 comprehensive formal geologic field reports, including geologic maps and cross-sections, one for 430A and one for 430B. Students must enroll in both courses during the same Summer session. Available for graduate credit.


GEOL 431A-R. Advanced Field Studies (1)

Preparatory: GEOL 435. Advanced techniques of field observation, recording, analysis and report writing in various fields of geology. (A) Minerals, (B) Igneous Rocks, (C) Metamorphic Rocks, (D) Sedimentary Rocks, (E) Sedimentary Environments, (F) Invertebrate Paleontology, (G) Micropaleontology, (H) Oceanography, (I) California Geology, (J) Environmental Geology, (K) Engineering Geology, (L) Hydrogeology, (M) Geophysics, (N) Remote Sensing, (O) Geochemistry, (P) Structural Geology, (Q) Quaternary Geology, (R) General Geology. Individual courses may not be repeated. (Requires 6 days of field work, usually on weekends.)


GEOL 443/L. Principles of Stratigraphy and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: GEOL 443L. Recommended preparatory: GEOL 341/L. Introduction to the basic principles of stratigraphy and application of stratigraphic methods (e.g., lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, magnetic stratigraphy) essential for basin analysis and interpretation of sedimentary facies. Available for graduate credit. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 452/L. Mathematical Tools in Geology and Lab (2/1)

Corequisite: 452L. Introduction to the mathematical methods used in the field of Geology. Introductory topics are introduced in general problem solving, algebra, vector and calculus, with applications to geological problems. Geological applications, such as sediment basins, geotherms, gradients, topography, volume calculations of volcanic flows and planetary bodies, tectonics and mineral fractionation. Quantitative material is presented in an encouraging, approachable, yet challenging methodology that is intended to be easily grasped by those with a fundamental background in University mathematical requirements. Final exercises consider typical geological data sets, linear and nonlinear data analysis, significant figures, measurement and collection errors, and statistics. Exposure also will be provided to computer programs using Excel, Matlab and AutoCAD. Designed for senior-level undergraduate and beginning graduate students in Geology and/or Geophysics. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours lab. Available for graduate credit.


GEOL 460. Theoretical Geophysics (3)

Preparatory: PHYS 225, 226, 227; MATH 250; or instructor consent. Application of classical physics to the study of the Earth. Topics include origin of the Earth, its gravitational, geomagnetic and geothermal characteristics, seismicity and the dynamics of the Earth's crust, plate tectonics and continental drift. 3 hours lecture, field trips.


GEOL 464/L. Applied Geophysics and LAB (3/1)

Corequisite: GEOL 464L. Preparatory: GEOL 235, 307; MATH 150A or 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. 3 horus lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 471LB. Petroleum Geology (2)

Recommended prerequisite: GEOL 341. This course will introduce students to various aspects of petroleum geology — the geochemistry and generation of petroleum, methods of exploration, including seismic and electric logs, migration and trapping mechanisms, and aspects of petroleum production, including reservoir characterization. Students also will examine the geology of some major petroleum provinces. 2 hours lecture/discussion, field trips. Available for graduate credit.


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 499. Independent Study (1-3)

See Independent Study under Courses of Study. Cannot be used for General Education credit.Graduate CoursesGEOL 500. Environmental Geology Seminar (3)


GEOL 505. The Evolution of Global Systems (3)

Preparatory: GEOL 351. The impact of biological, physical and astronomical forces on the evolution of Earth systems throughout all of geologic time are studied. Combination of lecture/discussion and student seminars on material from the scientific literature, including use of internet resources.


GEOL 508/L. Invertebrate Paleontology and Lab (3/1)

Corequisite: 508L. Preparatory: GEOL 351, or BIOL 313 and 392B. Detailed study of mega-invertebrate fossils, including their taxonomy, morphology, skeletal chemistry, fossil record, evolutionary trends, ecology and paleoecology. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 510. Advanced Topics in Paleontology (3)

Preparatory: GEOL 341, 351, 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 513/L. Micropaleontology and Lab (2/2)

Corequisite: 513L. Preparatory: GEOL 351 or BIOL 313. Study of microfossils, especially Foraminifer and Radiolara; their classification, common genera, morphology, evolutionary trends, ecology, paleoecology and use as indicators of present and past environments. Students are required to work and report on unknown material. 2 hour slecture, 6 hours lab.


GEOL 520/L. Advanced Stratigraphic Analysis and Lab (1/1)

Corequisite: 520L. Preparatory: GEOL 341 or instructor consent. Principles and techniques of stratigraphic analysis, with emphasis on interpreting the stratigraphic record to aid in reconstruction of environment of deposition and paleogeography. Revolves around a field problem and includes application of methods from physical stratigraphy, biostratigraphy and sedimentary petrology to solution of the problem. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours lab.


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, 335, 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 horus lecture, 6 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 525/L. Seismic Stratigraphy Seminar and Lab (1/2)

Corequisite: GEOL 525L. Preparatory: GEOL 464. Introduction to the fundamentals of seismic stratigraphy, emphasizing the interpretation of seismic reflection profiles. 1 hour seminar, 6 hours lab, field trip.


GEOL 528/L. Sedimentary Petrology and Lab (2/2)

Corequisite: 528L. Preparatory: GEOL 341 or instructor consent. Lecture topics include review of the depositional characteristics and classification of sedimentary rocks, followed by discussion of diagenesis and its impact on rock properties. Lab study emphasizes common techniques used in the study of sedimentary rocks, such as standard and cathodoluminescence petrography, scanning-electron microscopy, heavy-mineral separation and X-ray diffraction. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours lab.


GEOL 530. Seminar in Structural Geology and Tectonics (3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 310. Critical review of selected topics concerning the analysis, interpretation and origin of geologic structures, and the mechanics of rock deformation and of large scale crustal deformation. 3 hours seminar.


GEOL 532/L. Microtectonics and Lab (3/1)

Preparatory: GEOL 307/L, 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 535. Advanced Geologic Field Methods (2)

Preparatory: GEOL 310/L. Advanced geologic field mapping of structurally complex sedimentary, igneous, and/or metamorphic rocks. At least 6 days of field work (including overnight weekend trips) associated with a weekly 3-hour instructional and advisement meeting designed to provide extensive practice in writing and illustrating geologic reports and analysis of field data.


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 538/L. Metamorphic Petrology and Lab (1/1)

Corequisite: 538L. Preparatory: GEOL 307. Study of the various facies of metamorphic rocks, with emphasis on classification, mineralogy and environments of formation. Mineral assemblages and textural relationships are studied in thin sections. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours lab, field trips.


GEOL 545. Plate Tectonics (3)

Preparatory: GEOL 310, GEOL 464; or consent of instructor. This course will provide a look at the quantitative side of plate tectonics, a subject to which many geology students are introduced at a qualitative level in introductory courses. The course will examine the power and limitations of the theory of plate tectonics and cover such topics as driving mechanisms; absolute plate motion; velocity vectors and finite rotations; Euler poles; plate reconstructions; gravity and heat flow of the Earth; and controversies related to mantle convection and hotspots. 3 hours lecture/discussion.


GEOL 550. Paleomagnetism (3)

This course will examine: (1) the properties of Earth's magnetic field and its behavior in the historical and geologic past (geomagnetism); (2) the fossil magnetization preserved in rocks and sediments (paleomagnetism); and (3) the use of physical stratigraphy and magnetic zonation to solve problems in stratigraphic correlation (magnetostratigraphy). One weekend field trip will involve sample collection for paleomagnetic analysis. Topics will include reversals of Earth's magnetic field, polar wandering, rock magnetism, oceanic magnetic anomalies, the geomagnetic time scale, paleomagnetic sampling and demagnetization techniques, statistical data interpretation, and the application of paleomagnetism to studies of tectonic rotations and latitudinal translations of microplates. 3 hours lecture, one 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 553. Analytical Geochemistry (1)

Preparatory: CHEM 102; GEOL 307; or instructor consent. Instrumental analysis of rocks and minerals. Includes theory and practical application of X-ray spectrography, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, mass-spectrometry and electron microprobe. 3 hours lab.


GEOL 563. Marine Geology (3)

Preparatory: GEOL 307, 322; or instructor consent. Plate tectonics and evolution of the ocean; geomorphology and structure of the ocean floor; classification, distribution and environment of marine sediments; and paleo-oceanography. Field trips, class participation and research paper required. 3 hours lecture/seminar.


GEOL 567/L. Geological Remote Sensing and Lab (1/2)

Corequisite: GEOL 567L. Preparatory: Upper Division standing in Geology or instructor consent. By using multiple types of airborne and satellite remote sensing imagery, including analog and digital photography, radar (SAR) and satellite thematic mapper and SPOT images, students will learn to identify and map geologic and environmental features and conditions. Field trips to JPL and a geologic/environmental site. 1 hour lecture, 6 hours lab.


GEOL 570VLA. Volcanology (3)

Preparatory GEOL 307, 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: 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 578. Groundwater Modeling (3)

Preparatory: GEOL 575 and computer literacy. Approximation of groundwater equations by finite-difference and finite-element methods. Practical exercises on calibration, verification and prediction of groundwater behavior and solute movement under various initial and boundary conditions.


GEOL 580/L. Engineering Geology and Lab (2/1)

Corequisite: 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. (A) Crystallography, (B) Mineralogy, (C) Geochemistry, (D) Igneous Petrology, (E) Sedimentary Petrology, (F) Metamorphic Petrology, (G) Structural Geology, (H) Economic Geology, (I) Stratigraphy, (J) Seismic Stratigraphy, (JL) Seismic Stratigraphy Lab, (K) Engineering Geology, (L) Isotope Geology, (M) Paleontology, (N) Field Problems, (R) Current Research, (S) Groundwater Modeling, (T) Advanced Hydrogeology, (U) Hydrogeochemistry, (V) Geologic Evolution of California, (W) Remote Sensing and the Environment, (X) Marine Paleoecology and Sedimentation, (Y) Geological Sciences Teacher Enhancement, (YG) General Geology for the K-12 Teacher, and (ZOL) Global Geologic Issues for the K-12 Teacher (online). Topics may be repeated with advisor approval.


GEOL 599A-C. Independent Study (1-3)

See Independent Study under Courses of Study. Cannot be used for General Education credit.


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 696. Directed Graduate Research (1-3)

No course description


GEOL 698. Thesis or Graduate Project (1-6)

No course description


GEOL 699. Independent Study (1-3)

See Independent Study under Courses of Study. Cannot be used for General Education credit.


GEOL110. Earth and Life through Time (3)

Introduction to the dynamic study of the Earth’s evolution, including changes in its crust, oceans, atmosphere and climate and how these changes, woven into the fabric of geologic time, affected major groups of plants and animals, including dinosaurs and humans. Students using this course to satisfy a General Education requirement Natural Sciences may satisfy the corresponding lab requirement by completing GEOL 112.