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Introductory Courses

GEOL 1010: How the Earth Works

Survey of Earth structure and Earth materials, geologic resources, fossils and geologic time, plate tectonics, earthquakes, mountain building, natural disasters, and the development of landscapes. Lecture and laboratory.

GEOL 1400: Dinosaurs and the Mesozoic World

An introduction to the systematics, anatomy, physiology, ecology, evolution, and extinction of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic life, as well as a review of the science of paleontology and basic Earth history during the Mesozoic including climate, geography, tectonics, mass extinctions, and other major geologic events. Lecture.

GEOL 2550: Historical Geology

A detailed study of the geologic history of the Earth and the evolution of life. Examples emphasize the tectonic, stratigraphic, and climatic record of North America. Lecture and laboratory.

Advanced Courses

GEOL 3500: Stratigraphy and Sedimentology

An introduction to principles of stratigraphy and sedimentation. Topics include sedimentary processes, sedimentary rocks and structures, different stratigraphic methods, and the interpretation of depositional environments.

GEOL 4440/5440: Ichnology

The study of trace fossils, including tracks, trails, burrows, borings, and nests, in marine and continental environments throughout geologic time.  Topics include ichnologic principles, ichnotaxonomy, applications to paleoecologic and taphonomic problems, application to sedimentologic and stratigraphic problems, and application to oil and natural gas exploration. Lecture and laboratory.

GEOL 4560/5560: Paleopedology

The study of paleosols (fossil soils) throughout geologic time. Topics include an overview of soil formation and major soil processes, field and laboratory techniques in paleopedology, the use of paleosols as paleoenvironmental indicators and stratigraphic markers, as well their application in paleogeographic, paleoecologic, and paleoclimatic reconstructions. Lecture, laboratory, and field trips.

GEOL 5520: Sedimentary Systems and Processes

Advanced analysis of sedimentary processes and major sedimentary environments in the recent and through geologic time. Topics include the techniques of interpreting sedimentary successions using facies and facies models, analysis of different continental and marine sedimentary environments and their fundamental processes, and applications to energy, environmental, and mineral industries.