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Academics: Courses in Geology

100 level

112 Earth Science for Educators
(4). May interim, odd-numbered years. An introductory study of physical systems and historical and contemporary processes that shape the surface of Earth. Topics include 1) the physical nature of Earth’s surface based on composition of earth materials and the forces that create landforms, 2) weather and climatic systems and their effect on the global distribution of soils and ecological communities, and 3) the Earth/sun/moon system. Understanding of Earth systems is applied to concepts of stewardship, resources use, and energy consumption. Laboratory, multiple field trips.
-- Not open to students who have completed Geology 151 or Geography/Geology 120
-- This course is designed for students in the education program
120 Earth Systems 
(4). F and S. This course includes an introductory study of physical systems and historical processes that shape the surface of Earth. Topics include: 1) The physical nature of Earth’s surface based on composition of Earth materials and the forces that create landforms, 2) weather and climatic systems and their effect on the global distribution of soils and ecological communities, and 3) the oceans. Understanding of Earth systems is applied to concepts of stewardship, resource use, and energy consumption.
-- Laboratory
-- Also listed as Geography 120
-- Not open to students who have completed Geology 112 or 151
151 Introduction to Geology
 (4). F and S. This course is a study of the materials and processes of Earth leading to a responsible Christian appreciation for and stewardship of Earth. Topics include minerals and rocks, Earth’s interior and surface structure; surface processes producing landforms; geological time and principles for interpreting Earth history; mineral resources and fossil fuels; and geological hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides, and groundwater pollution.
-- Laboratory
-- Not open to students who have completed Geology/Geography 120 or Geology 112
152 Historical Geology 
(4). S. The first portion of this course traces the development of the study of Earth through the past few centuries, as geology became a true scientific discipline and as its practitioners became convinced of Earth’s antiquity. Attention is given to relating views of Earth’s history to the Genesis record. During the remainder of the course, evidence for the particulars of Earth history, with emphasis on North America, is outlined. Topics include the origin of Earth and its moon; the origin of continents and ocean basins; rock deformation caused by plate motion and the creation of mountain ranges through history; and sedimentary deposits of intracontinental seas. The laboratory builds on rock classification and map techniques introduced in Geology 151.
-- Prerequisite: Geology 151 or equivalent
-- Not offered in 2009-2010

200 level

212 Structural Geology 
(4). S, alternate years. An analysis of common geological structures such as folds, faults, joints, and foliations; inquiry into the means by which these structures are formed from stresses within Earth; methods of constructing and interpreting geological maps and cross sections; and introduction to field-mapping techniques.
-- Laboratory, field trip.
-- Prerequisite: Geology 152 or concurrently
215 Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy 
(4). F, alternate years. A study of the principles of crystal structure in minerals with emphasis on the silicates. Modes of geologic occurrence of minerals are reviewed. Crystal morphology and mineral identification, including use of petrographic microscope, are emphasized in laboratory.
-- Laboratory
-- Prerequisites: Geology 151 and Chemistry 103 or concurrently
Not offered in 2009-2010
230 Discovery of Prehistory of Earth, Life and Humanity 
(4). F. This course examines the major discoveries of evidences, over the course of the period A.D. 1400-2000, for the great antiquity of Earth, life and humanity. The laboratory attends to the physical objects which provide these evidences: rocks, fossils, archaeological artifacts. The lectures document major discoveries and their interaction with the history of ideas during this time period. There are two or three required field trips. A Christian perspective on a world of great age is developed.
251 Oceanography 
(4). F, alternate years. This survey course includes: The history of marine exploration; the nature of the ocean floor, including submarine volcanoes, oceanic crust, sea-floor spreading, and marine sediments; coastal geomorphic processes; the properties of seawater; the nature of tides and currents; ecological marine biogeography, including marine plankton, deep-water biota, coral reef communities, and estuarine and intertidal marine communities; and stewardship of marine resources.
-- Laboratory; field trips
-- Also listed as Geography 251
-- Prerequisite: high school chemistry and sophomore standing

300 level

304 Geochemistry 
(3). F, alternate years. This course studies Earth’s major geochemical systems with particular attention to water and rock systems. Topics include fresh and marine water, including groundwater, mineral crystallization and weathering, organic geochemistry, and the application of geochemistry to forensic pollution studies. Stable and radiogenic isotope systematics are reviewed and applied to geological problems and issues.
-- Prerequisites: Geology 215 or 151 plus Chemistry 104 or permission of the instructor
311 Geomorphology
(4). F. The investigation of landforms and the processes which cause them. This course studies the erosional and depositional features resulting from rivers, glaciers, and wind, as well as coastal, gravitational, and weathering processes. Landforms are described and classified from field observations, topographic maps, and aerial photographs. Explanations of the landforms are offered through quantitative modeling of the processes.
-- Laboratory, field trips
-- Also listed as Geography 311
-- Prerequisites: Geography/ Geology 120 or Geology 151
312 Environmental Geology 
(4). S, alternate years. Use of geologic methods and interpretations in understanding and resolving problems related to the environment. Emphasis is on hydrology (groundwater and surface water), coastal zone problems, soil erosion, landslides, and restoration of disturbed geologic regions.
-- Laboratory
-- Prerequisite: Geography/ Geology 311
313 Paleontology 
(4). S, alternate years. A study of the organisms that once lived on the Earth. Includes an examination of the processes of fossilization and methods of discovering the structure, habitat, and relationship of those organisms, and a review of their distribution and life history. A broad spectrum of organisms is studied with emphasis on invertebrate animals.
-- Lectures, laboratories, field trip.
-- Also listed as Biology 313
-- Prerequisite: Geology 152 or Biology 224 and 225
Not offered in 2009-2010
316 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 
(4). S, alternate years. An investigation of the generation, ascent, and emplacement of magma and the mineralogy, chemistry, field associations, tectonic setting, and genesis of igneous rocks, as well as investigation of the tectonic setting, field associations, classification, structure and texture, and genesis of metamorphic rocks. Laboratory stresses rock identification and genetic interpretation, particularly with the use of the petrographic microscope.
-- Laboratory
-- Prerequisite: Geology 215
-- Not offered in 2009-2010
317 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy 
(4) F, alternate years. This includes the study of the classification and origins of sedimentary rocks with emphasis on the physical, chemical, and biological processes responsible for the origin, deposition, and diagenesis of sediments, with particular attention to modern depositional analogs; an investigation of the use of thin-section petrography in the interpretation of the genesis of sedimentary rocks; and graphical techniques for depicting the geometries of layered sedimentary rocks in outcrop and subsurface.
-- Laboratory; field trip
-- Prerequisite: Geology 215 or concurrently
-- Not offered in 2009-2010
322 Coastal Geomorphology
(4) S, alternate years. This course examines the nature and development of coastal landforms and the processes responsible for change in the coastal zone. Topics include waves, currents, tides, wind, changing sea levels, and the coastal environments of beaches, dunes, estuaries, and rocky coasts. Coastal land use and hazards, shoreline protection, and coastal stewardship will be discussed. Great Lakes coasts are emphasized.
-- Laboratory and field trips
-- Prerequisite: Geography/Geology 311
-- Not offered in 2009-2010
359 Seminar in Secondary Geology-Earth Science 
(3). S. A course in perspectives on, principles of, and practices in the teaching of Geology-Earth Science on the secondary level. This course should be taken concurrently with Education 346. The seminar provides a forum for the discussion of concerns that develop during directed teaching.
-- This course is part of the professional educational program and may not be included in the major or minor in geology-earth science.
387 Geology as Vocation 
(1) F. This course examines geology as vocation as it applies to course participants. Topics cover how to discern God’s call, how to identify and pursue future opportunities, and the practices and issues that geologists encounter as they enter their discipline.
-- Lectures, class discussions, short reflection papers and guest participants
-- This course is graded pass/fail
-- Prerequisite: junior or senior standing in a major concentration in geology or permission of the instructor
390 Independent Study
F, I, and S
-- Prerequisite: permission of the department
395-396 Research in Geology
(2-4). F, I, and S. Field and/or laboratory research on an approved geological problem and presentation of the results of the research in seminar.
-- Open to qualified students by permission of the geology faculty
IDIS 310 History of Physical Science 
(3) S. Integrative Studies/Capstone. An examination of natural philosophy in the 17th century and of major developments since then in the physical sciences (predominantly chemistry and physics). Particular attention is given to the philosophical and religious background of scientific ideas and the institutional context in which science develops. A central theme of this capstone course will be the investigation of the interaction of science and religion with a view toward articulating a critical reformed perspective on this historical development. Some primary texts will be considered.