The following is the planned schedule of course offerings for the Department of Geology. 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 (GEOL 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.

Geology Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Geology Graduate Course Descriptions

2019-2020 Catalog Information

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

Geology Field Camp is offered every summer, during Summer Session I.

Basic Science Core Courses Offered Each Semester

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

Courses Offered Primarily for the Geology Major

  • GEOL 23063 (4) Earth Materials I (Fall at Kent Campus, Spring at Stark Campus)
  • GEOL 31080 (4) Structural Geology (Fall) (required field trip)
  • GEOL 34061 (4) Invertebrate Paleontology (Fall at Kent Campus, Spring at Stark Campus) (required field trip)
  • GEOL 31070 (4) Earth Materials II (Spring at Kent Campus, Fall at Stark Campus) (required field trip)
  • GEOL 32066 (4) Geomorphology (Spring)
  • GEOL 44070 (4) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (Spring) (required field trip)
  • GEOL 41092 (6) Summer Field Camp (Summer I)
  • GEOL 42030 (3) Remote Sensing (taught by Geology faculty in Fall; Geography faculty in spring)
  • GEOL 42035 (3) Scientific Methods in Geology (Spring @ Kent, Fall @ Stark)

Geology Upper Division and Graduate Course Offerings Plan

SPRING 2020 

  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Functional Morphology
  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Instrumentation and Methods in Geology
  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Advanced Remote Sensing Techniques
  • GEOL 4/51025 (3) Geophysics
  • GEOL 4/52065 (3) Watershed Hydrology
  • GEOL 4/54070 (4) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 60091 (1) Colloquium Seminar (repeatable)
  • GEOL 60091 (1) Writing in the Earth Sciences (not repeatable)
  • GEOL 60095 (1) Hydrocarbon Basin Analysis (not repeatable) 
  • GEOL 6/70095 (3) Modeling Hydrogeology

FALL 2020 

  • GEOL 4/50095 (2) Tectonics and Sedimentation
  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Petroleum Geology
  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Modern Advances in Paleontology
  • GEOL 4/52030 (3) Remote Sensing (taught by Geology faculty)
  • GEOL 4/52066 (3) Physical Applied Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 4/53041 (3) Environmental Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4/54025 (3) Natural Hazards
  • GEOL 60091 (1) Colloquium Seminar (repeatable)
  • GEOL 60091 (1) Geochemistry Seminar (Singer) repeatable
  • GEOL 60095 (3) Advanced Topics in Hydrology

SPRING 2021 

  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Marine Processes
  • GEOL 4/50095 (3) Functional Morphology
  • GEOL 4/51080 (3) Tectonics and Orogeny
  • GEOL 4/52065 (3) Watershed Hydrology
  • GEOL 4/52068 (3) Contaminant Hydrology and Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 4/53040 (3) Principles of Geochemistry
  • GEOL 4/53043 (3) Environmental Mineralogy
  • GEOL 4/54070 (4) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 60091 (1) Colloquium Seminar (repeatable)
  • GEOL 60091 (1) Writing in the Earth Sciences (not repeatable)
  • GEOL 60095 (1) Hydrocarbon Basin Analysis (not repeatable)

Special Topic and Seminar Course Descriptions

ST: Physical Hydrogeology
Students will learn about the principles of water flow in hydrologic-cycle, soil and aquifer hydraulic properties, theory of groundwater flow, flow around pumping wells, surface water – groundwater interactions, and geochemical evolution of groundwater. Application of principles for evaluation of our water resources; emphasizing utilization, conservation and management of groundwater resources in our ever changing environments. Requires a course in Calculus or special permission of instructor. Note:  Additional 1 credit ‘Applied Hydrogeology lab’ is strongly encouraged and together they offer fundamental training for a professional Hydrogeologist. Instructor: K. Singh.

ST: Applied Hydrogeology Lab
Students will get hands-on experiences on how to solve practical problems in hydrogeology. A series of labs sessions will include laboratory experiments, well-aquifer testing in the field, and computer lab exercises for analysis of aquifer materials and physical – chemical water properties needed for groundwater aquifer characterization. Students will use Microsoft Excel, computational software, and lab-field instruments.  Note: Must be taken together with ‘Physical Hydrogeology’ lecture course. It includes one field trip over a weekend. 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. 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. J. Williams.

ST: Fluvial Processes
Fluvial Processes is an investigation of how water and sediment move in rivers, how they interact to shape form and function of rivers, and how rivers adjust in response to their environmental controls. In this class, students use field techniques and data analysis to describe and quantify fluvial form and process in pursuit of answering original research questions. Students also read and interpret the scientific literature on fluvial geomorphology. Instructor: A. Jefferson

ST: Petroleum Geology
This upper division undergrad/grad level course will cover principles of petroleum geology including a historical overview, and origin, chemistry, migration, trapping, production and exploration of petroleum. Instructor: J. Williams.

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: Economic Geology and Environmental Impacts
This course will introduce students to the geological formation of economically valuable mineral deposits and to the methods of exploration, development, and exploitation of these deposits along with the issues of environmental impacts associated with development and production. Emphasis will be on metallic ores and industrially important materials in igneous, hydrothermal, and sedimentary environments. The course will include readings, discussions, student presentations, examination of samples of ores, and practical exploration problems using geological, geochemical, and geophysical methods. Instructor: D. Palmer

ST: Environmental Mineralogy
This course will explore reactions between minerals and aqueous solutions, including growth and dissolution, surface complexation, and redox reactions. We will focus on the role of these reactions in chemical weathering, contaminant mobility, microbe-mineral interactions, and an understanding of mineral-water interface processes and mechanisms at the molecular level. Common analytical methods used in mineral-water interface studies will be introduced. A series of cases studies will be placed in a historical and geological context with emphasis on the underlying mineralogy and (bio)geochemistry. An emphasis will also be placed on the potential role of remediation and the societal impacts of environmental contaminants. Instructor: D. Singer.

ST: Urban Hydrology
In this course we will investigate the science and management of water in cities and built environments, through case studies and problem-based learning. We will investigate current issues with municipal water supplies, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, green infrastructure, and urban streams. The course will include readings, discussions, data analysis, and one or more field trips. Students from Geology and other departments are welcome to contribute to the interdisciplinary experience. For more information, contact: Dr. Anne Jefferson.

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. Instructor: E. Herndon.

ST: Natural Hazards & Geologic Disasters
The Earth is an active and ever-changing planet, and sometimes these changes can be very sudden: the ground shifts in an earthquake or landslide, magma is released to the surface in a volcanic eruption, or extreme weather leads to heavy rain and flooding. Such events can be dangerous to our lives and property at both the local and global scales, and are often difficult to precisely predict in advance. This course explores the geological processes that drive a broad range of different natural hazards, how we (imperfectly) assess the future risk from such events, and how we can look past the uncertainties and develop communities that are more resilient and better-prepared for future disasters. Instructor: C. Rowan.

ST: Geological Hazards (Stark Campus)
Application of basic principles of geology to understand Earth's naturally occurring hazards, their frequency, magnitude, and potential to change in response to human activity. Case studies and student projects will be utilized during the semester to explore and discuss these hazards. Instructor: Eric Taylor.

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: Marine Processes
The sea is the ultimate repository for material eroded from the continents, plays a critical role in climate change and is integral to the cycling of energy and matter in the Earth System. This special themes course will explore some of the mechanisms (physical, chemical, and biological) thorough, which the ocean operates, and how it influences climate on seasonal, inter-annual, and where applicable, glacial-interglacial times scales. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the relative importance of these processes and how they have varied through time, and the potential outcomes of human induced changes to these processes. Instructor: J. Ortiz.

ST: Paleomagnetism
This course explores how paleomagnetic and rock magnetic techniques can be applied to a range of problems in earth science, including: plate motions and paleogeography; deformational processes; the structure and age of the crust; reconstructing past depositional and environmental conditions; and the behaviour and evolution of the geomagnetic field. Emphasis will be placed on building a real-world understanding of theoretical concepts through data analysis and discussions of the current scientific literature. Instructor: C. Rowan.

ST: Vertebrate Paleontology
An in-depth exploration of the evolution and phylogeny of vertebrates through deep time, including investigations into paleobiology and comparative anatomy. Students will be able to understand the current synopsis of the vertebrate tree of live, including placing the major and minor clades and identifying the morphological synapomorphies of those clades. The course involves critically analyzing readings from the primary literature and practice applying current methods in evolutionary and paleobiological analysis. By the end of the class, students are able to synthesize their understanding of phylogeny and analytical techniques in vertebrate paleontology in a research project. 

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

Seminar: Writing in the Earth Sciences
This 1 credit course will focus on the strategies for achieving regular and productive academic writing and the craft of writing for the scientific literature. The course will require commitment to weekly writing progress and will provide weekly opportunities for peer review and peer support. The course is designed for students who have a major writing project that will take most or all of the semester, such as a dissertation proposal (2nd year PhD students) or a thesis (2nd year MS students, senior Honors undergraduates). Special Approval required. Instructor: A. Jefferson

Seminar: Adv. Hydrogeology Research 
This course will focus on reviews of peer reviewed journal articles followed by discussions, which will cover advanced research topics in hydrogeology including theoretical and experimental methods spanning multiple spatio-temporal scales. Topics can include: analytical and numerical methods for flow and transport equations, hydrodynamics in complex basinal aquifer settings, surface water-vadose zone-groundwater hydrodynamics, dual porosity and multiple permeability aquifer systems, water flux in fracture and faults, application of various geophysical methods (e.g., resistivity, gravity, temperature, GPR) in field scale sensing and monitoring, isotopes and chemical tracers in water resources, and coastal hydrogeology. A final list of topics to be covered during this course will vary depending on student’s research interests. Prereqs: a Introductory Hydrogeology course. Instructor: K. Singh.