George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

Search the 1997-1998 Catalog:


Geology Courses (GEOL)



Geography and Earth Systems Science

101 Introductory Geology I (4:3:3). The earth, processes that operate within the earth and on its surface, and human interaction with the earth. Topics include minerals, earthquakes and seismology, isostasy, igneous processes and rocks, paleomagnetism and plate tectonics, weathering, mass movements, rivers and streams, groundwater, glaciers, marine processes. May include field trips. (Course recommended as partial fulfillment of the general studies lab science requirement.)

102 Introductory Geology II (4:3:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 101. Earth processes in a historical context. Topics include sedimentary rocks and principles, deformation and metamorphism, mountain building and plate tectonics, geologic time, fossils, historical development of continents. May include field trips. (Course recommended as partial fulfillment of the general studies lab science requirement.)

105 Geology of Virginia (2:2:0). Geology, geomorphology, physiography, geological history, and natural resources of Virginia. May include field trips.

202 Invertebrate Paleontology (3:2:3). Classification, evolutionary trends, and distribution of the common invertebrate fossils. May include field trips.

205 Environmental Geology (3:3:0). Investigation of geological principles directly related to environmental problems, geological causes and effects of natural disasters, geology of natural resources, geology of land-use planning, and geology as related to health problems. May include field trips.

206 Topics in Geology I (1-3:1-3:0). Discussion of a particular topic in geology. May include field trips.

301 Structural Geology (4:3:3). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, 102, and MATH 105 or equivalent. Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in folded, faulted, and metamorphosed terrains. May include field trips.

302 Mineralogy (4:3:3). Prerequisites: GEOL 101 and basic knowledge of chemistry, or permission of instructor. Crystallographic, optical, chemical, and physical properties of minerals. May include field trips.

303 Geological Field Techniques (3:0:6). Prerequisites: GEOG 203, GEOL 101, 102, 301, 302, 304, and 308. Mapping techniques involved in the collection of geological field data. Includes fieldwork.

304 Sedimentary Geology (4:3:3). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, 102, and a grade of C or better in GEOL 302. Introduction to sedimentation, sedimentary petrology, facies analysis, and stratigraphy. May include field trips.

306 Soil Science (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, and knowledge of chemisty, or permission of instructor. Composition, classification, physical properties, and origin of soils. May include field trips.

308 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (4:3:3). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, 102, a grade of C or better in GEOL 302, and MATH 105 or equivalent. The genesis, classification, and recognition of igneous and metamorphic rocks. May include field trips.

309/BIOL 309 Introduction to Oceanography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOL 101, BIOL 103 or 213, or permission of instructor. Introduction to physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the oceanic environment. May include field trip.

310 Geological Field Studies (2:0:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, 102, and 302. One or more field trips to an area to be specified in the class schedule. Students must pay costs, including transportation fee.

313 Hydrogeology (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101 or GEOG 102, MATH 113, and CHEM 211. Geological and hydrologic factors controlling the occurrence, distribution, movement, quality, and development of groundwater.

315 Topics in Geology II (1-3:1-3:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101 and 102. Discussions of a particular topic in geology. May include field trips.

316 Computers in Geology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOL 101, 102, 302, one semester of mathematics, or permission of instructor. Uses of mainframe and microcomputers, with emphasis on geologic applications.

317 Geomorphology (3:2:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or GEOG 102, or permission of instructor. Analysis of processes that occur at the earth's surface and the resulting landforms. Labs stress the recognition and evaluation of landforms using maps and aerial photographs and the methods of data collection used in the study of surficial geology. May include field trips.

402 Geological Development of North America (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, 102, 301, 302, 304, and 308. Geological history of North America in terms of plate tectonics. Geological development and history of North America's major regions. May include field trips.

403 Geochemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, CHEM 211, and 212. Stable isotope geochemistry, crystal geochemistry, geochronology, water geochemistry, organic geochemistry, and the geochemistry of rocks.

405 Geology of Mineral and Energy Resources (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOL 101, 102, 301, 302, 304, and 308. Topics include metallic and nonmetallic ore deposits, fossil fuels, alternate energy resources, and methods by which each is used. May include field trips.

406 Topics in Geology III (1-3:1-3:0). Prerequisites: Geology major with 80 credit hours and permission of chair. Discussions of a particular topic in geology. May include field trips.

408, 409 Practicum for Geology Laboratories (1:1:3), (1:1:3). Prerequisites: Geology major with 80 credit hours and permission of chair. Study of the techniques used to make the geology lab an effective component in geological education. Discussions of the development of testing materials, supplemented by experience in the operation of a lab section of a geology course.

410 Research Proposal Preparation (1:1:0). Prerequisites: Geology or earth systems science major with 80 credit hours and permission of chair. Preparation for research in GEOL 411, to include literature research, initial data collection, and the preparation of a research proposal.

411 Geological Research (3:0:3). Prerequisite: GEOL 410. Geological research including data collection and reduction, interpretation, preparation of a written report, and oral presentation of results.

417 Geophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOL 101, MATH 113, one year of physics, or permission of instructor. Basic principles of geophysics including gravity, magnetism, and seismic reflection/refraction.

500, 501 Selected Topics in Modern Geology (1-3:1-3:0), (1-3:1-3:0). Prerequisite: Baccalaureate degree in geology or permission of instructor. Lecture/lab/field trip. Topic designated in the class schedule.

503 Special Topics in Earth Science (1-6:1-6:0). Prerequisite: Employment or anticipation of employment as an earth science teacher. An inservice course designed to strengthen and update a teacher's knowledge of earth science. May include field trips.

800 Studies for the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (variable credit). Prerequisite: Admission to the Ph.D. in Education program to study geology. Program of studies designed by student's discipline director and approved by student's doctoral committee that allows the student to participate in the current research of the discipline director and results in a paper reporting the original contributions of the students. Enrollment may be repeated.


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