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Geological Sciences (GEO) Course Descriptions

GEO 5023  Environmental Statistics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: MAT 1033 and STA 1993 or their equivalents, or consent of instructor.
Introductory course in systems analysis emphasizing its application for the management of environmental and public systems. Problem formulation, mathematical modeling, and procedures are introduced through case studies that include energy consumption, soil contamination, leak detection, and air pollution. In these case studies, students become acquainted with quantitative governmental regulations formalized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Quantitative tools include exploratory data analysis, design of experiments, analysis of variance, regression analysis, and time series. Optimization techniques are taught within regression analysis. (Formerly EES 5023. Same as ES 5023. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: EES 5023, ES 5023, or GEO 5023.)

GEO 5033  Geographical Information Systems
(2-2) 3 hours credit.
Application of the computer to environmental planning and management problems through a Geographical Information System (GIS). Using the computer as a mapping device for query, analysis, creation and display of spatially related data. Additional topics include using the Global Positioning System (GPS) for data acquisition. (Formerly EES 5033. Same as CE 5293. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 5293, EES 5033, or GEO 5033.)

GEO 5043  Global Change
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the program or consent of instructor.
Changes in the global distribution of plants and animals and the causes of the changes will be examined. Factors that are apparently coupled to changes in the atmosphere and environmental temperature will be examined. (Formerly EES 5043. Same as CE 6113 and ES 5043. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 6113, EES 5043, ES 5043, or GEO 5043.)

GEO 5053  Remote Sensing
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: MAT 1073, and PHY 1603 or PHY 1943.
Fundamental remote sensing theory and technology will be introduced and emphasized as well as remote sensing applications to land surface, ocean, and atmosphere. Emphasis will be on the interaction of electromagnetic energy with the Earth’s surface and different types of remote sensing for data collection. (Formerly EES 5053. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5053 and GEO 5053.)

GEO 5083  Remote Sensing Image Processing and Analysis
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 4093 or GEO 5053, or consent of instructor.
Fundamentals, algorithms, and techniques of remote sensing image processing, information extraction and analysis, including radiometric and geometric corrections, image enhancement, image sharpening, principal components analysis, image classification, spectral analysis, vectorization, integration with GIS, etc. (Formerly EES 5083. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5083 and GEO 5083.)

GEO 5093  Remote Sensing in Hydrology
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 4093 or GEO 5053, or consent of instructor.
Apply remote sensing to derive parameters of surface hydrology and hydrometeorology such as precipitation, land surface temperature and emissivity, heat flux, evaporation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, surface water, water quality, snow and ice, and soil erosion. The contents will also include radar hydrology, microwave techniques and mapping of soil moisture and precipitation, and remote sensing in hydrologic modeling. (Formerly EES 5093. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5093 and GEO 5093.)

GEO 5103  Current Topics in the Geosciences
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geology or consent of instructor.
Evaluation of current research trends and methodology in the geosciences.

GEO 5223  Advanced Environmental Geology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 4063 and ES 5213, or consent of instructor.
Study of the geology of the environment, with emphasis on the physical and social effects of catastrophic geologic processes. (Formerly EES 5223. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5223 and GEO 5223.)

GEO 5303  Petroleum Geology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 3103 and GEO 3123, or consent of instructor.
Integrated study of the generation, migration, and entrapment of petroleum. Survey of surface and subsurface geological and geophysical techniques for exploration and production. Case studies of petroleum systems including economic aspects of the petroleum industry.

GEO 5404  Dynamics of Geomorphic Landscapes
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 4113 or GRG 3723, or consent of instructor.
Mechanics of surficial processes. Application of geomorphic principles to select environmental issues. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5404. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5404 and GEO 5404.)

GEO 5413  River Science
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology, environmental science, geology, or civil engineering, or consent of instructor.
An in-depth examination of river sediment transport principles. Topics include water and sediment supply, sediment dynamics, river morphology, and channel instability. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5414 and GEO 5414. Same as CE 5653. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 5653, EES 5414, GEO 5414, or GEO 5413.)

GEO 5424  Landscape Evolution
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 5404, or consent of instructor.
Introduction to landscape evolution with an emphasis on interactions between climate tectonics, and geomorphic processes. (Formerly EES 5424. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5424 and GEO 5424.)

GEO 5454  Advanced Paleontology
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3063 or GEO 3063, or consent of instructor.
In-depth paleontological analyses. Current literature and scientific deliberations will be emphasized.
Topic 1: Focused Paleontology. Detailed study of one to three taxonomic groups.
Topic 2: Vertebrate Paleontology. The evolutionary history of the Vertebrata.
Topic 3: Earth Systems Paleontology. Survey of past interactions between the biosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere.
May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5454. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5454 and GEO 5454.)

GEO 5483  Environmental Hydrogeology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Focuses on the physical and chemical processes that control natural variation in the chemical and isotopic composition of groundwater, fate and transport of groundwater contaminants, and modeling of groundwater quality using publicly available computer programs. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5483. Credit cannot be for both EES 5483 and GEO 5483.)

GEO 5504  Advanced Stratigraphy
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 3123 and GEO 3131, or consent of instructor.
Chronologic study of stratigraphic systems, physical properties and facies, depositional and paleogeographic implications, correlation, nomenclature, and biostratigraphy. Sequence stratigraphy and seismic and log analyses are studied. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5504. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5504 and GEO 5504.)

GEO 5603  Physical Hydrogeology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 4623 with a grade of “C-” or better, or consent of instructor.
Geologic principles governing the flow of subsurface water with an emphasis on physical hydrogeology, interaction of surface and groundwater, hydrogeologic properties and their measurement, flow in the unsaturated zone, mass transport, evolution of aquifer systems, and an introduction to groundwater modeling. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5603. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5603 and GEO 5603.)

GEO 5713  Groundwater Modeling
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 5603 or consent of instructor.
Focus is on using MODFLOW code to model the occurrence and movement of groundwater. Course will discuss hydrogeologic data for modeling, modeling protocol, and MODFLOW packages. Multiple graphics-rich user model interfaces commonly used in groundwater science will be learned. Other computer programs for simulating flow of subsurface fluids may be included. (Formerly EES 5713. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5713 and GEO 5713.)

GEO 5804  Igneous-Metamorphic Petrology
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 3043, GEO 3051, GEO 3103, and GEO 3111, or consent of instructor.
Origin and evolution of magmas. Origin and development of metamorphic grade, facies, and textures. Detailed study of igneous and metamorphic rock suites. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5804. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5804 and GEO 5804.)

GEO 5863  Field Analysis of Complex Geologic Problems
(0-6) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 4933 and GEO 4943, or an equivalent, and consent of instructor.
Field study of an area of complex geology. Field mapping, written reports, and field trips are required. May be repeated for credit up to a maximum of 6 hours when topic varies. (Formerly EES 5863. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5863 and GEO 5863.)

GEO 5894  Advanced Structural Geology
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 3103 and GEO 3111, or consent of instructor.
In-depth study of the various aspects of structural geology: stress and strain, behavior of materials, failure criteria, fault analysis, rheological properties of geologic materials, fold analysis, and subsurface analysis. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5894. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5894 and GEO 5894.)

GEO 5904  Carbonate Petrology
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 3043, GEO 3051, GEO 3123, and GEO 3131, or consent of instructor.
Thin-section analysis and hand-specimen study of carbonate sediment and rocks, carbonate classifications, carbonate facies, models, and carbonate diagenesis. Field trips required. (Formerly EES 5904. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5904 and GEO 5904.)

GEO 5954  Sandstone Petrology
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 3043, GEO 3051, GEO 3123, and GEO 3131, or consent of instructor.
Thin-section analysis and hand-specimen study of clastic rocks, classifications, interpretation of provenance, clastic sedimentary facies, and clastic diagenesis. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 5954. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5954 and GEO 5954.)

GEO 5971-3  Directed Research
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the student’s Graduate Advisor of Record.
The directed research course may involve a laboratory, field-based, or theoretical problem. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 3 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree. (Formerly EES 5971-3.)

GEO 5991  Graduate Seminar in Geology
(1-0) 1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geology or consent of the Graduate Advisor of Record.
Topical issues chosen by faculty and current research seminars presented by faculty, visiting lecturers, and Master’s degree candidates. May be repeated for credit but only 2 hours may be applied toward the Master’s degree. (Formerly EES 5991.)

GEO 6001  Seminar in Geochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry
(1-0) 1 hour credit.
Seminar will focus on literature review of cutting-edge research in geochemistry and isotope geochemistry, such as mantle geochemistry, evolution of mantle plumes, global climate and paleoclimate reconstructions, etc. (Formerly EES 6001.)

GEO 6011  Seminar in Geospatial Science and Applications
(1-0) 1 hour credit.
Seminar will focus on literature review of cutting-edge research in remote sensing, GIS, geoinformatics, and their applications to water resources, surface hydrology and cryosphere.

GEO 6021  Seminar in Polar Marine Science
(1-0) 1 hour credit.
Seminar will focus on literature review of cutting-edge research in polar marine system—defined as the sea ice covers of the Antarctic, Arctic, and sub-Arctic seas—and will cover the characteristics of growth, structure and properties of sea ice, geophysics of sea ice, air-ice-ocean interaction and polar marine biology.

GEO 6183  Basin Analysis and Sedimentary Geology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An interdisciplinary integration of geodynamics, mathematical and physical modeling, and sedimentary geology. Emphasizes basin formation, nature and maturation of the basin fill, and timing of events. Case histories of various basins illustrate approaches. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 6183. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6183 and GEO 6183.)

GEO 6203  Aqueous Geochemistry
(2-3) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: CHE 2603 or equivalent, and ES 3053 or ES 4003, or consent of instructor.
An in-depth study of geochemical principles and practices focusing primarily on the aquatic environment. Designed to familiarize advanced students of Geochemistry, Environmental Science, and Environmental Engineering with those aspects of applied chemistry that have relevance in the care of environmental research and practice. (Formerly EES 6203. Same as ES 6203. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: EES 6203, ES 6203, or GEO 6203.)

GEO 6243  Paleoecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3063 or GEO 3063, or consent of instructor.
Study of fossil organisms in relation to their past environments, and their interactions in extinct ecological communities. Use of fossils to interpret past environmental conditions, and the temporal contribution fossil communities provide to research of environmental change.
Topic 1: Methods of Paleoecology. Survey of paleoecological theory and methods.
Topic 2: Paleoclimatology. Review of the modern climate system and proxies for understanding major climate changes through geologic time.
May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 6243. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6243 and GEO 6243.)

GEO 6304  Isotope Geology
(3-2) 4 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 3374.
The course will cover a brief review of theories of nuclear structure, stability of nucleus, nucleosynthesis and the origin of elements that gives an insight into the processes that lead to the abundance of chemical elements; geochronology using radioactive decay schemes; use of both radiogenic and stable isotopes in petrology, theory of stable isotopic fractionation and other pertinent areas. Laboratory methods for stable isotope sample preparation and hands-on experience with isotope ratio-mass spectrometry (IRMS). (Formerly EES 6304. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6304 and GEO 6304.)

GEO 6344  Micropaleontology
(3-3) 4 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3063 or GEO 3063, or consent of instructor.
A study of microscopic fossil organisms that commonly produced a fossil record. Emphasis on taxonomy, evolution, and processing methods for biostratigraphically and paleoecologically important groups. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 6344. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6344 and GEO 6344.)

GEO 6403  Advanced Geophysics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 3383 or consent of instructor.
Seismological and other geophysical methods and data for studying the physical and mechanical properties of the earth’s crust, mantle, and core. (Formerly EES 6403. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6403 and GEO 6403.)

GEO 6503  GPS Mapping
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: CE 5293 or GEO 5033, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
Methods for using the Global Positioning System to create natural resource inventory maps. Course will cover such topics as differential correction of data, coordinate systems, phase processing, base station and rover operation and mission planning. (Formerly EES 6503. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6503 and GEO 6503.)

GEO 6513  Advanced GIS
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: CE 5293 or GEO 5033, or consent of instructor.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an excellent tool for modeling, analyzing, and managing environmental systems. This course teaches advanced concepts and applications of industry standard GIS software, including spatial analysis, spatial statistics, geostatistical analysis, 3-D analysis, and geoprocessing. The emphasis of this course is on understanding the underlying principles of those tools and on how to apply them to solve real-world problems. (Formerly EES 6513. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6513 and GEO 6513.)

GEO 6523  GIS for Water Resources
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 4623 and GEO 6513, or consent of instructor.
Current approaches for using GIS to analyze and process spatial data for surface water and groundwater systems. Evaluate spatial and temporal responses of hydrologic systems to natural and man-made stresses. (Formerly EES 6523. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6523 and GEO 6523.)

GEO 6543  Internet Served GIS
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: CE 5293 or GEO 5033, or consent of instructor.
Distributed Geographic Information (DGI) using a Geographic Information System (GIS). This course will focus upon developing GIS applications to be served out via the Internet or a Local Area Network (LAN). Additional topics include the use of Web authoring software. (Formerly EES 6543. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6543 and GEO 6543.)

GEO 6613  Subsurface Remediation
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GEO 4623 and GEO 5483, or consent of instructor.
A study of the removal and treatment of contaminants from soil and groundwater systems. Includes discussion of physical, chemical, and biological treatments of subsurface contamination. (Formerly EES 6613. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6613 and GEO 6613.)

GEO 6803  Analytical Methods
(1-4) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geology, or consent of instructor.
Geological and geochemical applications of laboratory-based analytical techniques; these may include X-ray diffraction, secondary and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis, thermal ionization and plasma mass spectrometry, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, and image analysis. The theory and development of electron, X-ray and plasma-based methods as well as case studies. The laboratory focuses on sample preparation, imaging, and elemental analysis. (Formerly EES 6803. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6803 and GEO 6803.) (Formerly titled “Electron Microscopy and Microbeam Analysis.”)

GEO 6813  Water Resources
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Application of management principles to the efficient use of water resources by people and their public and private institutions. Water is examined in terms of its value, use, and changing role in the context of economics, history, politics, and technology. (Formerly EES 6813. Same as ES 6813. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: EES 6813, ES 6813, or GEO 6813.)

GEO 6951-3  Independent Study
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the student’s Graduate Advisor of Record.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree. (Formerly EES 6951-3.)

GEO 6961  Comprehensive Examination
1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee to take the Comprehensive Examination.
Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Graduate Program Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the Comprehensive Examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination). (Formerly EES 6961.)

GEO 6973  Special Problems
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Problems courses may be repeated for credit when the topics vary, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a Master’s degree. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 6973.)

GEO 6983  Master’s Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor of Record and thesis director.
Thesis research preparation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master’s degree. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress. (Formerly EES 6983.)

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