The following is the planned schedule of course offerings for the Department of Earth Sciences. Please note that some courses are offered in both the Fall and Spring, some courses are offered in the Fall or Spring only, and some are offered in alternating years. Special Topic (ESCI 4/ 5/ 60095 ST:) course descriptions are available at the bottom of the page.

Geology Field CampPlease contact the department office, undergraduate advisors, graduate coordinator, or the course instructor for additional information regarding offered courses. This plan may change during the course of a semester. Check back here for changes.

Earth Sciences Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Earth Sciences Graduate Course Descriptions

2022-2023 Catalog Information

Check the Registrar's Schedule of Classes for current course schedules.

Basic Science Core Courses Offered Each Semester

  • ESCI 11040 (3) How the Earth Works 100% web sections available
  • ESCI 11041 (1) How the Earth Works Lab (pre or co-requisite: How the Earth Works) 
  • ESCI 11042 (3) Earth and Life through Time (optional field trip) 100% web sections available
  • ESCI 11043 (1) Earth and Life through Time Lab (pre or co-requisite: Earth and Life through Time) (optional field trip) 100% web sections available
  • ESCI 21080 (3) All About the Oceans 100% web sections available
  • ESCI 21062 (3) Environmental Earth Science 100% web sections available

Courses Offered Primarily for the Earth Sciences Major

  • ESCI 23063 (4) Earth Materials I (Fall at Kent Campus, Spring at Stark Campus)
  • ESCI 31080 (4) Structural Geology (Fall) (required field trip)
  • ESCI 34061 (4) Principles of Paleontology (Fall at Kent Campus, Spring at Stark Campus) 
  • ESCI 31070 (4) Earth Materials II (Spring at Kent Campus, Fall at Stark Campus) (required field trip)
  • ESCI 32066 (4) Geomorphology (next offered Spring 2024)
  • ESCI 44070 (4) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (Spring) (required field trip)
  • ESCI 41092 (6) Summer Field Camp (Summer I)
  • ESCI 42030 (3) Remote Sensing (cross-listed with Geography)

Earth Sciences Upper Division and Graduate Course Offerings Plan

FALL 2023 

  • ESCI 4/50095 (3) Earth Observing (Ortiz)
  • ESCI 4/50095 (3) Environmental Soil Science (Gallagher)
  • ESCI 4/5/72030 (3) Remote Sensing (cross-listed with Geography)
  • ESCI 4/52068 (3) Contaminant Hydrology and Hydrogeology (Singh)
  • ESCI 4/54072 (3) Marine Processes (Tessin)
  • ESCI 60091 (1) Colloquium Seminar (repeatable)
  • ESCI 60084 (1) Earth Science Graduate Student Orientation (Gallagher)
  • ESCI 60095 (1) Data Analysis and Presentation (Tessin)
  • ESCI 60095 (1) Geocheminar (Singer, repeatable)

Spring 2024

  • ESCI 4/50095 (3) Earth System Science (Tessin)
  • ESCI 4/50095 (3) Geosystems modeling (Singh)
  • ESCI 4/52035 (3) Data Analysis in Earth Sciences (Wells)
  • ESCI 4/53042 (3) Environmental Geochemistry (Singer)
  • ESCI 60091 (1) Colloquium Seminar (repeatable)
  • ESCI 60091 (1) Writing in the Earth Sciences (not repeatable)
  • ESCI 60091 (1) Field Work and Competencies in the Environmental Sciences (not repeatable)
  • ESCI 4/5/72030 (3) Remote Sensing (cross-listed with Geography)

Special Topic and Seminar Course Descriptions

Seminar: Advances in Water Resources
Advances in Water Resources Seminar provides an avenue for discussion and presentation of fundamental scientific advances in the understanding of physical processes relevant to our Water Resources. Its scope includes readings from a combination of book excerpts and research papers to advance fundamental understanding of flow and transport processes in porous media. A specific emphasis will be laid on how geologic sediments interacts with the fluid dynamics inside pores and upscaling of related hydraulic and dispersive phenomenon. Aspects of geologic heterogeneity from pore-scale to field scale will be considered. How natural and anthropogenic forcing can be implemented as boundary conditions of geosystem models will be discussed. Students will have an ability to develop and hone their research skills while adding diversity to their research experiences. Instructor: K. Singh

ST: Computational Modeling in Geosystems 
Computational modeling offers a great advantage to study past to future evolution of various processes in earth's water systems, and test and predict 'what if' scenarios related to changing environmental conditions. Students will learn about how various geophysical phenomenon can be represented and studied using computational models, and thus, allow them to use computational methods in their research studies or preparation for graduate school. Course will cover principles and hands-on computational modeling exercises of physical, chemical and mechanical processes in surface and groundwater systems. Computational packages, e.g., Matlab and Comsol Multiphysics will be used to simulate multiscale processes which occur in various earth's environments. Instructor: K. Singh.

ST: Advanced Topics in Hydrology
This course is designed to give students flexibility to select hydrology topics relevant to them from a list of specialized online hydrology course modules. Modules are offered by leading faculty in these specialized research areas from across the country.  Students are expected to enroll in the Urban Hydrology module taught by Dr. Jefferson and then select two other modules from a choice of seven topics. Each module, which is equivalent to one-third of a semester course, is designed to facilitate interaction among the instructor and students and contain some evaluation elements (problem sets, projects, presentations, exams etc.). Students should have completed at least one hydrology or hydrogeology course and should discuss the availability and scheduling of modules with Dr. Jefferson before enrolling.

ST: Volcanology
Volcanic eruptions are one of the principal forces that affect and modify the Earth’s surface. This course provides an introduction to the dynamics that govern the generation of magmas, their transport through the crust, emplacement and evolution in shallow reservoirs, and ultimately their eruption to the surface. Study of the physical and chemical properties of magmas, eruptive mechanisms, volcanic products, and the relationship between volcanism and tectonism will be emphasized. Case studies of individual volcanic events illustrate principles of volcanology and show the diversity in character of volcanism and its deposits we see today and within the geologic record. Finally, volcanic processes on Earth are applied to extraterrestrial volcanism, resources, and society. Probable fieldtrip. Prereqs: Earth Materials II/Petrology. Instructor: D. Hacker

ST: Techniques and Instrumentation in Geology
This course is an “active learning” course where students will be exposed to statistics, analytical techniques, and instrumentation in the fields of Earth and Environmental sciences. In this class students will gain the necessary skillsets in interpreting geological specimens through experimental design using mass spectroscopy, statistics, and laboratory work. Instructor: A. Tessin

ST: Tectonics and Sedimentation
The course will review how geological thinking developed concerning orogenesis and large tectonostratigraphic sequences leading up to modern plate tectonic theory (i.e., "geosynclinal theory"). It will then cover examples of major tectonostratigraphic sequences and facies patterns that are characteristic of typical tectonic settings, and some other aspects of basin analysis. It will include some student presentations. Instructor: N. Wells

ST: Environmental Soil Science
Soil is a critical natural resource that sustains human life. In this course, students will explore the geochemical composition of soils and the physical, biological, and chemical processes involved in rock weathering, soil formation, and the environmental transport of nutrients and toxic elements. 

ST: Advanced Sedimentology
Fluid dynamics, grain transport, sedimentary structures, granulometry, bedform and facies sequences, and facies architecture. Interpretation of continental and marine classic depositional environments and processes. Prereqs: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy or Special Approval. Instructor: N. Wells.

ST: Geology and Human Health
Why is the presence of lead in drinking water a concern? What is so dangerous about asbestos? Why are some soils more beneficial than others? These and other questions are the focus of the course “Geology and Human Health”. Students will investigate and discuss the influence of natural earth materials and natural geologic processes on human health, highlighting both negative and positive influences. They will achieve this by researching the chemical or toxic nature of selected earth materials as well as studying the adverse health condition of naturally hazardous events. As not all earth materials cause harm, students will also study the beneficial impact of earth materials or processes and the role of mitigation and law to ensure safe conditions in the natural environment. Instructor: E. Taylor