Catalog Year

2020-2021

Degree

Bachelor of Science

Credits

120

Locations

Mankato

Geology (BS)

Program Requirements

Major Common Core

Physical geology is the study of how the earth works. From mountain building to soil erosion, this course provides an introduction to all the main areas of geologic study. Lecture discussions and laboratory exercises are designed for students seeking a major or minor in one of the natural sciences.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03, GE-10

An examination of the development and evolution of life on earth. In addition to reviewing the range of life forms and global climates existing on earth during various times in its geologic past, we will also look at how global industrialization could lead to the earth's next period of mass extinction. Weekly laboratory assignments help illustrate principles discussed in lectures.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Examination of the elemental composition and crystal structure of various common minerals. Laboratory time is spent practicing techniques of identifying crystals and minerals. The importance and occurrence of many economic minerals is also covered thoroughly in this course.

Prerequisites: GEOL 100 or GEOL 121 

Study of the compositions and origins of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in a plate tectonic context. Topics include mineral optics and geochemistry. Lab portion of course emphasizes identification and study of rocks.

Prerequisites: GEOL 201

Focused studies of the origins and processes of transportation, deposition, burial, and diagenesis of sedimentary materials. Lab assignments focus on sedimentary material identification and analysis. Field trips required.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121

Study of the processes and results of rock deformation at scales ranging from microscopic to plate tectonic, and at conditions ranging from the Earth's surface to the deep interior.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121 

Required General Education - Choose 13 Credit(s).

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and states of matter. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts. Prereq: C or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or C or higher in CHEM 104

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 104.

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Limits, continuity, the derivative and applications, transcendental functions, L'Hopital's Rule, and development of the Riemann integral.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, MATH 115 or both MATH 112 and MATH 113 with “C” (2.0) or better.

Goal Areas: GE-04

General background in physical concepts for those who do not plan advanced study in physics or engineering. Topics include mechanics, fluids, heat and thermodynamics. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: Either MATH 112 and MATH 113, or MATH 115

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

Major Restricted Electives

Geology Electives - Choose 6 - 8 Credit(s).

This course is devoted to the study and practice of geological field investigations. Students will first learn basic field investigative methods. Students will then be appropriately versed in the geological history and importance of a region selected for in-depth study. Finally, students will participate in a field trip to a regional site of geologic importance over an extended weekend (4-6 days). Potential study sites may include Minnesota's North Shore and Iron Range, the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, the Ozarks, or the Rocky Mountains.

Prerequisites: GEOL 100 or GEOL 121 and GEOL 122 

Study of the origin, composition, texture, morphology, and stratigraphy of glacial deposits. Topics include the geologic record of glaciation, techniques used to reconstruct histories of glaciation, glacial depositional systems, provenance of glacial sediments, influence of glaciation on soil texture, and interpretation of glacial geologic maps. Emphasis will be placed on description and interpretation of glacial features in southern Minnesota. Field trips required.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121 

Comprehensive survey of ore deposit and petroleum geology, including exploration and production technologies. Course emphasizes projects using industry data.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121, GEOL 201, GEOL 122

The application of geologic data and principles to problems created by human occupancy and use of the physical environment. Lecture and laboratory topics include soil classification and conservation, hazardous waste site evaluation and remediation, and living with geologic hazards.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121 

This course introduces physical and chemical studies of hydrogeology. The main areas of discussion will include the physical and chemical attributes of aquifers, movement of ground-water and solute through soils and rocks, and reactions between earth materials and pollutants in ground-water systems. The class includes extensive use of MODFLOW and MT3D, the two most commonly usedgroundwater modeling programs currently available.

Prerequisites: CHEM 201, GEOL 121 

Geomorphology Elective - Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s).

This course will cover elements of the structure of the earth and the variety of landforms found on the earth's surface, with emphasis upon the processes, both past and present, that act upon the surface to create the landforms now visible. Local field trips.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the dynamic nature of soils including the processes that control formation and degradation, anthropogenic impacts, spatial distribution across landscapes, and links among soils and other components of the earth system. A combination of lectures and hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings are utilized to explore the complex interactions between soils and landscapes.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the natural processes that operate on our planet and shape the landscape presently. This will be done through a focus on applied exercises, measurements and direct/indirect observations. Through applied projects students will have an understanding of how these processes interact within a variety of Earth Systems.

Prerequisites: none

Geography Elective - Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s).

The course will be an introduction to the analysis of spatial data using the concept of a geographic information system (GIS). Content of the course will be, to a great extent, based on the NCGIA core curriculum with assignments tailored to the data and software available within the department such as ArcGIS.

Prerequisites: none

An in-depth investigation into fluvial systems including sediment transport, sediment budget analysis, channel geometry/morphology, drainage basin analysis, geomorphic evolution of fluvial landscapes, hydrology (i.e., runoff generation and channel formation, storm hydrograph and flood analysis, discharge measurements) of fluvial systems, and effects of anthropogenic modification and use of fluvial systems. Registration with completed prereqs or instructor consent.

Prerequisites: Either Geog 101 or Geol 121 and Geog 315 or 415 are recommended. Or instructor consent.

This course covers the basic strategies for field mapping using data acquired from global positioning systems (GPS).

Prerequisites: GEOG 373 or equivalent 

This is an introductory course on theories and techniques of remote sensing. Focus will be placed on providing students with a general overview of the application of remote sensing to practical problems, and hands-on experience for image processing and analysis.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Experience - Choose 4 - 10 Credit(s).

Geologic field mapping and interpretation in diverse settings. Course is offered by universities throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121, GEOL 122, GEOL 201, GEOL 320W, GEOL 330

Internships allow students to apply knowledge and skills learned through undergraduate geoscience classes to real-world problems. Students will work with faculty to secure suitable employment and when finished, students will develop a written report of professional practicum that explores the relationships that exist among collegiate lessons and workplace tasks. Evaluation will be based on the content and presentation of the report as well as consultations with the internship supervisor.

Prerequisites: none

Other Graduation Requirements

4-Year Plan

The 4-Year Plan is a model for completing your degree in a timely manner. Your individual 4-Year plan may change based on a number of variables including transfer courses and the semester/year you start your major. Carefully work with your academic advisors to devise your own unique plan.
* Please meet with your advisor on appropriate course selection to meet your educational and degree goals.

First Year

Fall - 16 Credits

Physical geology is the study of how the earth works. From mountain building to soil erosion, this course provides an introduction to all the main areas of geologic study. Lecture discussions and laboratory exercises are designed for students seeking a major or minor in one of the natural sciences.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03, GE-10

Limits, continuity, the derivative and applications, transcendental functions, L'Hopital's Rule, and development of the Riemann integral.

Prerequisites: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, MATH 115 or both MATH 112 and MATH 113 with “C” (2.0) or better.

Goal Areas: GE-04

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and states of matter. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts. Prereq: C or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or C or higher in CHEM 104

Prerequisites: “C” (2.0) or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 104.

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

General Education Course * 3 credits

Spring - 15 Credits

This course helps students develop a flexible writing process, practice rhetorical awareness, read critically to support their writing, research effectively, represent others ideas in multiple ways, reflect on their writing practices, and polish their work.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-1A

An examination of the development and evolution of life on earth. In addition to reviewing the range of life forms and global climates existing on earth during various times in its geologic past, we will also look at how global industrialization could lead to the earth's next period of mass extinction. Weekly laboratory assignments help illustrate principles discussed in lectures.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

General background in physical concepts for those who do not plan advanced study in physics or engineering. Topics include mechanics, fluids, heat and thermodynamics. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: Either MATH 112 and MATH 113, or MATH 115

Goal Areas: GE-02, GE-03

General Education Course * 3 credits

Second Year

Fall - 15 Credits

Examination of the elemental composition and crystal structure of various common minerals. Laboratory time is spent practicing techniques of identifying crystals and minerals. The importance and occurrence of many economic minerals is also covered thoroughly in this course.

Prerequisites: GEOL 100 or GEOL 121 

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

General Education Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 4 credits

Spring - 15 Credits

Study of the compositions and origins of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in a plate tectonic context. Topics include mineral optics and geochemistry. Lab portion of course emphasizes identification and study of rocks.

Prerequisites: GEOL 201

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

General Education Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

Third Year

Fall - 15 Credits

Focused studies of the origins and processes of transportation, deposition, burial, and diagenesis of sedimentary materials. Lab assignments focus on sedimentary material identification and analysis. Field trips required.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121

General Elective Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

Spring - 15 Credits

Study of the processes and results of rock deformation at scales ranging from microscopic to plate tectonic, and at conditions ranging from the Earth's surface to the deep interior.

Prerequisites: GEOL 121 

Elective Course in Major * 4 credits

General Elective Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

Fourth Year

Fall - 14 Credits

Geologic field mapping and interpretation in diverse settings. Course is offered by universities throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.

Prerequisites: none

General Elective Course * 3 credits

General Elective Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

Spring - 13 Credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

General Elective Course * 4 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits

General Education Course * 3 credits