Geological Science Department Courses Offerings

GSCI 112 : Geological Science II
An introduction to the origin and evolution of the Earth and all of its divisions--atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and the divisions of the solid earth. Attention is given to the many approaches used to determine the history of the Earth through study of its materials, surface features, and structures as well as through modern studies that utilize geochemistry, geophysics, and planetary astronomy. (Field trips are sometimes conducted outside class hours.) Prerequisites: GSCI 111. Offered every spring   Credits: 0-4

GSCI 120 : Our Geological Environment
This course is intended for non-science majors who have an interest in their physical environment. The course is designed to develop an understanding of the interaction of Earth processes, the environment, and the human population. Topics include Earth materials, natural resources, geologic hazards, environmental change, and global environmental issues. Corequisite: GSCI 121.   Credits: 3

GSCI 121 : N/Our Geological EnvironmntLab
An introduction to description and interpretation of rocks, geologic, and topographic maps. Students will learn identification techniques, data collection, and systematic analysis of data sets to better understand earth processes. Corequisite: GSCI 120.   Credits: 1

GSCI 130 : Geological History of Life
An introduction to the development and history of life on Earth. Stress will be placed on understanding the environments of the changing earth, evolutionary processes, the fossil record, and procedures used in scientific analysis. Corequiste: GSCI 131. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

GSCI 131 : N/Geological Hist of Life Lab
An introduction to the preservation, description, and interpretation of rocks and fossils. Students will learn descriptive techniques, data collection, and systematic analysis of data sets in order to better understand the history of life on earth. Corequiste: GSCI 130. Offered every spring   Credits: 1

GSCI 140 : Environmental Science
An introduction to the interaction of humans and the natual world, with focus on global environments, resources, population dynamics, energy, geology, and human impacts. Corequisite: GSCI 141. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

GSCI 141 : N/Environmental Science Lab
An introduction to laboratory principles and techniques in the environmental sciences for the critical analysis of scientific methods through data collection, data analysis, and interpretation. Corequisite: GSCI 140. Offered every fall   Credits: 1

GSCI 150 : Geol of Climate Change &Energy
This course is intended for non-science majors who have an interest in understanding the relationship between energy usage in the industrial era and climate change. Understanding and adapting to global-scale climate change is one of the most important issues facing scientists and world leaders in the 21st century. The interrelationship of past climate changes and energy consumption from fossil fuels is clear, and understanding the response of the Earth system to rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere is of critical interest as the human population approaches maximum sustainable levels. This course explores the fundamental geologic records of global climate change, Earth-system processes in the context of climate change and the global carbon cycle, critical improvements to the scientific understanding of natural verses human-induced climate change, and the recent and future impact of global-scale energy use on the Earth system. Corequisite: GSCI 151. Not offered on a regular basis   Credits: 3

GSCI 151 : N/Geol-ClimateChange&EnergyLab
This laboratory course is designed for non-science majors. Weekly exercises explore the global carbon cycle, Earth-system processes, geologic records of climate change, national and global-scale consumption of hydrocarbon fuels, and the potential for renewable energy resources in western New York. Corequisite: GSCI 151. Not offered on a regular basis   Credits: 1

GSCI 160 : Physical Geology
An introduction to the study of the Earth. Emphasis is placed on examination of the materials, surface features, structures and internal characteristics of the Earth, and on the geological processes that caused them. Corequisites: GSCI 161. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

GSCI 161 : N/Physical Geology Laboratory
An introduction to the study of the Earth. Interpretation of topographic maps, and specimens is stressed in the laboratory. Corequisite: GSCI 160.   Credits: 1

GSCI 170 : Historical Geology
An introduction to the origin and evolution of the Earth and all of its divisions--atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and the divisions of the solid earth. Attention is given to the many approaches used to determine the history of the Earth through study of its materials, surface features, and structures as well as through modern studies that utilize geochemistry, geophysics, and planetary astronomy. (Field trips are sometimes conducted outside class hours.) Prerequisites: GSCI 111 or GSCI 160 and GSCI 161. Offered every spring   Credits: 0-4

GSCI 188 : Experimental:
  Credits: 0-6

GSCI 191 : Intro to Geology at Geneseo
An introductory course for first year students who are considering a career in the Geological Sciences. Weekly meetings will focus on career opportunities, pertinent academic information, campus and department resources, and study skills and time utilization. This course also intends to promote a close working relationship between students and faculty. Cannot be counted toward the Geological Sciences major. Graded on an S/U basis.   Credits: 1

GSCI 199 : Directed Study
  Credits: 1-6

GSCI 200 : Environmental Geology
A survey of important geologic concepts relevant to current environmental issues. Emphasis is placed on geologic principles underlying problems related to water resources, pollution, natural hazards, waste disposal, energy and mineral resources, and on the scientific bases for current strategies proposed to limit adverse consequences of our impact on environmental systems. The geologic information bases available from governmental agencies are used to characterize and demonstrate practical problems for classroom exercises. Although not required, a general survey course in geology, physical geography, or high school earth science would provide an appropriate background. Restrictions: Not to be taken as a normal elective for the Geological Sciences major except by special permission. Offered at least once yearly   Credits: 3

GSCI 201 : Geology of Alien Worlds
Comparative geology of the terrestrial planets and major moons as currently revealed and documented by recent and ongoing NASA missions. Comparison of planetary objects less evolved than the Earth provides the means to understand the evolution of the Earth from a lifeless, cratered object to its present dynamic state. Studies of other solar system bodies with different evolutionary histories emphasize the unique position of Earth in our solar system. Coverage will include data from the Apollo missions to the present with an emphasis on solid planetary bodies. Prerequisites: 100-level lab science or earth science.   Credits: 3

GSCI 205 : Oceanography
  Credits: 3

GSCI 210 : Mineralogy
A systematic study of the important minerals with emphasis on their crystallography, descriptive mineralogy, crystal chemistry, phase relationships and associations. Lectures emphasize theoretical aspects of mineral studies, while the laboratory portion is devoted to the descriptive and practical. Prerequisites: GSCI 111 or permission of instructor. Offered every fall   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 220 : Petrology
The study of the natural history of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, including their mineralogy, fabric, alteration and origin. Lectures emphasize theoretical aspects such as processes that affect the development of rocks and theories as to their origin. Laboratories emphasize the classification and identification of rocks in both hand sample and thin section. Prerequisites: GSCI 210. Offered every spring   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 288 : Experimental:
  Credits: 0-6

GSCI 299 : Directed Study:
  Credits: 1-9

GSCI 310 : Sci & Tech Writing-Geosciences
An overview of current conventions and practices used in scientific and technical writing in the geosciences. The focus of the course will be on reading, writing, and critiquing various forms of scientific and technical writing for the purpose of assisting students in preparation for professional papers. In addition to appropriate aspects of language use and style, principles of preparing figures and tables will be discussed. The course is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to: 1)write in an accurate, precise, clear, concise, and effective style appropriate for their intended audience; and 2)recognize and rectify writing problems in their own work and in that of others. Prerequisites: GSCI 220.   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 315 : Principles of Geochemistry
The application of the basic principles of chemistry to the study of geologic processes. Topics include the origin and distribution of the chemical elements, the fundamentals of crystal chemistry, the important chemical reactions occurring in low-temperature aqueous solutions, and the construction and interpretation of mineral-stability diagrams. Prerequisites: GSCI 220 and CHEM 118 or CHEM 204 or permission of instructor. Offered when demand is sufficient   Credits: 3

GSCI 320 : Isotope Geology
The study of the variations in the abundances of naturally occurring isotopes and their applications to problems in the geological sciences. Both stable and unstable isotopes are considered. Prerequisites: GSCI 220 and CHEM 118 or CHEM 204 or permission of instructor. Offered when demand is sufficient   Credits: 3

GSCI 331 : Geomorphology
The description and interpretation of land forms. Consideration is given to the effects of rock structure, natural processes, and temporal changes in the evolution of the surface features of the Earth. (Field trips are sometimes conducted outside class hours.) Prerequisites: GSCI 112. Corequisite: GSCI 220. Offered every fall   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 332 : Glacial Geology
The origin, characteristics, processes and geologic effects of glaciers are considered. Worldwide evidence for glaciation from the geology of the continents and the ocean basins is examined with emphasis on the Pleistocene Epoch of North America. Aerial photographs, topographic maps, geologic maps and GIS software are used extensively in laboratory exercises. Field trips to glacial terrains in western New York are sometimes conducted during and outside of class hours. Prerequisites: GSCI 112. Offered spring, even years   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 333 : Geol Appl-Remote Sensing Imgry
Photogrammetric and digital analysis of aerial and satellite imagery as applied to the solution of geologic problems. Emphasis is on interpretation of the geomorphology and geologic structure of the Earth's surface from film and digital images incorporating GIS (geographic information system) software such as ArcView 8 and GPS (geographic positioning system) instrumentation. The creation of GIS-based geologic maps by combining field data and georegistered imagery on standard base maps is included. Prerequisites: GSCI 331 or permission of instructor.   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 335 : Paleoclimatology
The study of fundamental concepts of global-scale environmental and climatic changes in the context of Earth-surface processes and Earth history. The course focuses on physical, chemical and biological signatures of past environments preserved in the geologic record; causes and effects of major climate-changes over various timescales in Earth history; and geologic responses to Pleistocene, Holocene and historical climate change. Laboratory exercises involve charaterizing surface processes, data-rich studies of climate-change records and discussions of climate science literature. Prerequisites: GSCi 170. Offered spring, odd years   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 341 : Principles of Structural Geol
The study of rock deformations, including the description, classification, and origin of structures such as folds, faults, joints, and cleavage. Attention is given to the influence of rock structures on economic problems and on geomorphic features. Aspects of geotectonics are considered. (Field trips are sometimes conducted outside class hours.) Offered every fall   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 343 : Applied Geophysics
The study of geophysical techniques widely used in the Earth Sciences. Emphasis is placed on analytical methods of interpretation and the theory on which such methods are based. Prerequisites: GSCI 220 and GSCI 341; MATH 222; PHYS 112 /113 or PHYS 123/114. Offered spring, even years   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 345 : Tectonics
The study of the evolution of the crust and upper mantle of the Earth, and the large-scale deformational features and patterns of motion which occur there. The relationships between internal earth processes and energy sources, and the evolution of the crust and upper mantle, are emphasized. Prerequisites: GSCI 220 and GSCI 341. Offered spring, odd years   Credits: 3

GSCI 347 : Groundwater Hydrology
The study of the origin and occurrence of groundwater and of those principles of fluid flow in porous media which govern the flow of groundwater. The hydraulic properties of groundwater systems and water wells, the relationships between groundwater and other geological processes, the development of groundwater resources, water quality, recharge of groundwater, and solute transport are emphasized. Prerequisites: 15 hours of Geological Sciences and MATH 221. Offered every fall   Credits: 2-3

GSCI 351 : Stratigraphy
Description of sedimentary rocks, introduction to stratigraphic concepts, and interpretation of sedimentary facies and sequence relationships. Topics include the use of facies analysis, lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and chronostratigraphy in the interpretation of sedimentary basin history. (Required field trips conducted outside of class hours.) Prerequisites: GSCI 112 or permission of instructor. Offered every spring   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 352 : Sedimentation
The analysis and characterization of clastic sediments with application to the origin, evolution, and properties of sedimentary rocks. Standard analytical techniques will be learned from laboratory experiments. The theory and results relating to the experimental measurements and observations will be outlined and discussed during one-hour weekly meetings. (Some lengthy experiments may require measurements to be recorded at intervals spanning several days.) Prerequisites: GSCI 112 and GSCI 220. Offered not on a regular basis   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 361 : Invertebrate Paleontology
Taxonomy and morphology of major groups of invertebrate fossils. Topics include fossil invertebrate classification, evolution, taphonomy, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and paleobiogeography. (Required field trips conducted outside of class hours.) Prerequisites: GSCI 112 or permission of instructor. Offered every fall   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 370 : Adv Mineralogy & Petrology
The theory and use of the petrographic microscope and analytical data as applied to the study of mineralogy and petrology. The behavior of polarized light through minerals in thin sections is emphasized in order to understand techniques commonly used in geologic research. When integrated together, microscopy and data present a more holistic approach to mineralogical and petrologic studies. Prerequisites: GSCI 220. Offered not on a regular basis   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 380 : Undergraduate Research
Under the supervision of a faculty member in Geological Sciences, students will undertake a research project in some area of Geological Sciences. The topic and methodology will be established by mutual consent of the student and faculty member and presented in a research proposal. Students will meet together with the involved faculty once a week to discuss the background, methods, and results of their projects. Students will be required to complete a formal research paper describing the nature of the project undertaken, problems encountered, methodology employed, and conclusions from the project. May be repeated; a maximum of 3 credit hours may be applied toward the major in Geological Sciences. Prerequisites: GSCI 220 and permission of instructor.   Credits: 0-3

GSCI 388 : Experimental:
  Credits: 0-4

GSCI 391 : Geological Sci Capstone Sem I
A seminar that focuses on selected topics in the Geological Sciences. As part of this course, students will delve into the literature regarding a selected topic and present their findings in a professional talk and as an extended written abstract. Presentations by faculty and invited speakers as well as discussions will also play a part in this seminar. Prerequisite: GSCI 220   Credits: 1

GSCI 392 : Geological Sci Capstone Sem II
This course is a continuation of GSCI 391. In this portion of the capstone seminar, students will pursue research and present their findings as a professional talk to their peers and as a conference poster. This seminar also includes discussions and presentations by faculty and invited speakers. Prerequisites: GSCI 391   Credits: 1

GSCI 393 : Honors Thesis
Individual research under the direction of faculty of the Department of Geological Sciences. Results of this research will culminate in a formal written report and an oral presentation in an appropriate public forum. Requirements for eligibility are: completion of 75 semester hours with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average plus 20 semester hours in Geological Sciences with a minimum 3.3 GPA. Enrollment by invitation of the Department. Note: This course may not be counted as part of the hours required for graduation in Geological Sciences. Offered by individual arrangement   Credits: 3

GSCI 395 : Internship:
  Credits: 1-15

GSCI 399 : Directed Study
Investigation, under faculty supervision, of a problem that leads to a written report. Prerequisites: Permission of Department Chairperson. (1 to 3 semester hours). Offered by individual arrangement   Credits: 1-4

GSCI 499 : Directed Study
  Credits: 1-3

GSCI 599 : Directed Study:
  Credits: 1-6