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Geology

Information

Information

William N. Mode, Chairperson 

Department Office: Harrington Hall 215
Department Telephone: (920) 424-4460

Code 51 or Geology 

Faculty

Faculty

Deering
Paulsen
Hiatt
Peterson 
Mode
Suszek 
Muldoon
Wenner

Degrees

Degrees

  • Undergraduate: A major in Geology can lead to the degree(s): Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science; A major in Secondary Earth Science Education can lead to the degree: Bachelor of Science in Education.

  • Graduate: None

Summary of Fields of Study

Summary of Fields of Study

  1. Goal(s)

    • See the department for a listing of their goal(s).

  2. The Major(s)

    • The Department offers two majors: 1) Geology, and 2) Secondary Earth Science Education. The Department offers a choice of three emphases within the Geology major: 1) Professional emphasis in Geology, 2) Professional emphasis in Hydrogeology, and 3) Liberal Arts emphasis in Geology.

    • Students pursuing double majors may wish to formulate an individually planned program and should consult with the Department Chairperson.
  3. The Minor(s)

    • The Department offers two minors: 1) Geology, and 2) Secondary Earth Science Education.

Admission/Graduation Requirements

Admission/Graduation Requirements

  • To be eligible for graduation, students must meet all requirements for the degree being sought in addition to earning a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all courses required for the Geology major or minor.
  • Those students seeking Wisconsin teacher certification must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in all courses required for their majors and minors in order to meet requirements of the College of Education and Human Services.

Required Core Courses

Required Core Courses

Geology

  • One of the following three courses:

    • Geology 102 Physical Geology 4 cr.
    • Geology 110 Honors: Geology 5 cr.
    • Geology 150 Environmental Geology 4 cr.
    • (Exception: Secondary Earth Science majors must take Geology 150)
  • Followed by these three courses:

    • Geology 109 Evolution of the Earth 4 cr.
    • Geology 205 Mineralogy 4 cr.
    • Geology 206 Lithology 4 cr.
  • Prerequisites:

    Note that Chemistry 105 must be taken before or concurrently with Mineralogy, Geology 205 and that the Chemistry courses have Math prerequisites.
  • Comment:

    Students who elect either Professional Emphasis are expected to take a substantial number of courses in mathematics and other sciences, as specified above.

The Major(s), with Emphases and/or Options

The Major(s), with Emphases and/or Options

  1. Geology Major

    • Professional Emphasis in Geology

      Recommended for students who plan graduate studies in geology or who will ultimately seek professional employment as a geologist. This emphasis stresses courses traditionally included in an undergraduate major in geology.

      • Required Units (crs.):  40 minimum (Required courses in departments other than Geology are not included in the minimum.)

      • Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:

        • Geology: Geology 309, 314, 326 or 369, 331; and 6 units (crs.) from this list: Geology 308, 311, 320, 322, 326 or 369, 333, 365.

        • Chemistry: Chemistry 105 and 106.

        • Mathematics: Mathematics 171 and 172.

        • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 107 and 108; or Physics/Astronomy 109* and 110*.

        • Computer Skills: Computer Science 142 or 221; or Geography 371, 391 or 471; or Mathematics 201.

        • *Recommended course sequence

      • Other Requirements: Six units (crs.) of field geology taught in a summer field course that has been pre-approved by the Geology Department. Please consult with the Geology Department Chair during the fall term if you are planning to take a field geology course other than Geology 344.

      • Electives: For students who wish to take additional courses beyond the minimum requirement, these studies are recommended:

        • Biology: Biology 105.

        • Chemistry: Chemistry 221.

        • Mathematics: Mathematics 201 or 301.

    • Professional Emphasis in Hydrogeology

      Recommended for students who plan graduate studies in Hydrogeology, Environmental Science, Environmental Geology or Water Resources Management programs. Also suitable for students who will seek immediate employment in one of these fields.

      • Required Units (crs.): 40 minimum (Required courses in departments other than Geology are not included in the minimum.)

      • Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:

        • Geology: Geology 314, 320 or 335, 326 or 369, 331, 365, 366.

        • Chemistry: Chemistry 105 and 106.

        • Mathematics: Mathematics 171 and 172.

        • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 107 and 108; or Physics/Astronomy 109* and 110*.

        • Computer Skills: Computer Science 142 or 221; or Geography 371, 391 or 471; or Mathematics 201.

        • *Recommended course sequence

      • Other Requirements: Six units (crs.) of field geology taught in a summer field course that has been pre-approved by the Geology Department. Please consult with the Geology Department Chair during the fall term if you are planning to take a field geology course other than Geology 344.
      • Electives: For students who wish to expand their background by taking additional courses in related topics offered by another department, these studies are recommended:

        • Economics: Economics 204, 206.

        • Mathematics: Mathematics 201, 273, 371.

        • Biology: Biology 105, 106, 233.

        • Chemistry: Chemistry 221, 235.

    • Liberal Arts Emphasis in Geology

      Recommended for students who want a general, non-professional liberal arts education and are pursuing either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.

      • Required Units (crs.): 34 minimum (Required courses in departments other than Geology are not included in the minimum.)

      • Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:

        • Chemistry/Physics: Two semesters of one or the other.

      • Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings to meet the Minimum Requirement.
  2. Secondary Earth Science Education Major

    Recommended for students who are in Education and wish to teach Earth Science at the junior or senior high school level.

    • Required Units (crs.): 39 minimum (Required courses in departments other than Geology are not included in the minimum except for Astronomy (Physics/Astronomy 103) and Geography.) (Geography 121)

    • Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:

      • Geology: Geology 309, 320 or 335, 328, 344.

      • Astronomy: Physics/Astronomy 103.

      • Geography: Geography 121.

      • Mathematics: Mathematics 108 or 104.

    • Other Requirements: Two semesters of Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

    • Prerequisites: Note that Geology 331 is a prerequisite for Geology 344.

The Minor(s)

The Minor(s)

1. Geology Minor

  • Required Units (crs.): 22 minimum in Geology

  • Required Courses:

    • Geology: Geology 102 or 110 or 150; 109.

  • Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings to meet the Minimum Requirement.

2. Secondary Earth Science Education Minor

  • Required Unit (cr.): 33 minimum

  • Required Courses:

    • Geology: Geology 150, 109, 205, 206, 309, 320 or 335, 328.

    • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 103.

    • Geography: Geography 121.

Course Offering(s)

Course Offering(s)

Geology   102                                           1-4 (crs.)

Physical Geology (NS) (XL)

The nature and origin of rocks and the study of geological processes such as erosion, earthquakes, mountain building and plate tectonics. Laboratories illustrate geological methods of scientific inquiry by studies of minerals, rocks, rock deformation, topographic and geologic maps and by a field trip. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: Geology 102, 110 or 150. (3+2) (Fall-Spring). Special Fees may apply.

 

 

Geology   109                                           4 (crs.)

Evolution of the Earth (NS) (XL)

Evolution of the Earth with emphasis on plate tectonic concepts and the geologic history of North America. History of life as revealed in the geologic record. A field trip to the Devil's Lake area is required. Prerequisite: Geology 102, 110 or 150. (3+2) (Fall-Spring). Special fees may apply.

 

 

Geology   110                                           5 (crs.)

Honors: Geology (NS) (XL)

This course provides the scientific foundation to understand how the earth works and why geologic events occur when and where they do. It is divided into three areas of study. The first considers the materials which make up the earth and the processes that produce them. These materials include the common minerals and rocks of the earth as well as the scarce ones that are so important for our economy. Next, a thorough treatment of internal earth processes provides the foundation for understanding the large-scale motions and upheavals of the earth including continental drift, the formation of mountains, eruption of volcanoes, and the origin of earthquakes. The third part of the course studies the surface processes that wear down the mountains and sculpture our landscape into varied and interesting configurations we see today. The laboratory provides hands-on experience with the three aspects of geology and introduces the student to geological methods of scientific inquiry. A field trip is part of the laboratory. Prerequisite: Enrolled in good standing with the UW Oshkosh Honors program  with prior or concurrent enrollment in HNRS 175. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: Geology 102, 110 or 150. Students cannot earn credit in both an honors course and a non-honors course of the same title. Special fees may apply. (4+2) (Spring)

 

 

Geology   140                                           1 (crs.)

Introduction to Geologic Field Methods

Introduction to principles and techniques for observing, describing and interpreting geological features in the field. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: Geology 102, 110 or 150. Special fees may apply. (Spring-odd years) (0+2)

 

 

Geology   150                                           1-4 (crs.)

Environmental Geology (NS) (XL)

The physical environment and human interaction with it. Emphasis on earth processes which affect humans, such as rivers, erosion, groundwater, landslides and earthquakes. Includes a laboratory with study of rocks and minerals, soils, water quality, maps, hydroprocesses and a local field trip.  Course is recommended for non-majors.  Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: Geology 102, 110 or 150.  (3+2) (Fall-Spring). Special fees may apply.

 

 

Geology   205                                           4 (crs.)

Mineralogy (NS) (XL)

Crystallography and crystal chemistry of the major groups of minerals. Mineral associations, alteration and economic importance. Laboratory work consists of mineral identification using physical and chemical properties and mineral associations. Field trips may be taken to selected areas to illustrate principles taught in the course. Prerequisite: Geology 102, 110 or 150; and Chemistry 105 (may be taken concurrently). Special fees may apply. (3+3) (Fall)

 

 

Geology   206                                           4 (crs.)

Lithology (NS)

Genesis and classification of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; principles of magmatic differentiation and sedimentary and metamorphic facies. Laboratory work with hand specimens of rocks and minerals. Field trips may be taken to selected areas to illustrate principles taught in the course. Prerequisite: Geology 205. Special fees may apply. (3+3) (Spring)

 

 

Geology   306                                           1 (crs.)

X-Ray Mineralogy

Principles of x-ray diffraction and application to mineral studies using powder methods. Prerequisite: Geology 205.  306/506 (0+2)

 

 

Geology   307                                           3 (crs.)

Optical Mineralogy (NS)

Theory and practice of mineral identification using the petrographic microscope. Prerequisite: Geology 206. 307/507 (2+3)

 

 

Geology   308                                           3 (crs.)

Petrology

The character and origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Laboratory examination of thin sections of igneous and metamorophic rocks with a petrographic microscope. Prerequisite: Geology 205. Special fees may apply. 308/508 (2+2) (Spring, odd years)

 

 

Geology   309                                           3 (crs.)

Paleontology (NS)

Morphology, classification, life environment and stratigraphic distribution of invertebrate fossils. Fossil preservation and nature of the fossil record.  Mechanisms of organic evolution and extinction. Application of paleontologic principles to the study of earth history. Prerequisite: Geology 109. Special fees may apply. (2+2) (Fall)

 

 

Geology   311                                           3 (crs.)

Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis

Application of stratigraphic concepts to the study of basin evolution and the genesis and architecture of sedimentary rock successions.  Discussion of the tectonic evolution of basins, principles of stratigraphic correlation, interpretation of terrestrial and marine depositional systems, sequence stratigraphy, event stratigraphy, stratigraphic modeling and hydrocarbon systems. Laboratory experiments with outcrop sample suites, core and subsurface geophysical data sets. Field trips to describe and interpret local sedimentary rock succession. Prerequisite: Geology 206. Special fees may apply. 311/511 (2+2) (Spring-odd years)

 

 

Geology   314                                           3 (crs.)

Sedimentology (NS)

Analysis and interpretation of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Prerequisite: Geology 206. Special fees may apply. 314/514 (2+2) (Fall)

 

 

Geology   315                                           1 (crs.)

Sedimentary Petrology

Description, classification and interpretation of sedimentary rocks in hand specimen and thin section. Prerequisite:  Geology 314. 315/515 (0+3) (Spring-odd years)

 

 

Geology   320                                           3 (crs.)

Geomorphology (NS)

Fundamentals of surficial geology and landscape form and process. Laboratory work includes study of topographic maps, geologic maps and air photos which are representative of major physiographic provinces in the United States. A field trip is required. Prerequisite: Geology 109. Special fees may apply. (2+2) (Fall-even years)

 

 

Geology   322                                           3 (crs.)

Mineral Deposits

Principles that govern the accumulation of the metallic ores. Consideration of the geology and genetic processes associated with a variety of metallic ore deposits. A field trip to one of several mining areas and/or areas currently being explored for mineral deposits in the Lake Superior area is required. Prerequisite: Geology 206. Special fees may apply. (2+2) 322/522 (Fall, odd years)

 

 

Geology   326                                           3 (crs.)

Geophysics & Geotectonics

Application of principles of physics to the study of the earth. Discussion of plate tectonics theory, and nature and distribution of regional scale tectonic features of the earth, such as mountain belts. Laboratory use of certain geophysical instruments, field trips and problems involving reduction and interpretation of geophysical data. Prerequisites: Mathematics 108 or equivalent; Geology 102 or 110 or 150. Strongly recommended: Geology 331. Special fees may apply. 326/526 (2+2) (Spring-even years)

 

 

Geology   328                                           3 (crs.)

Oceanography

Basic phenomena and conditions of the oceans, development of the science of oceanography, structure of the ocean basins, chemistry and physics of sea water, circulation of oceans, life in the sea and the deposits on the floor of the sea. Prerequisite: Eight units (crs.) of lab science. Special fees may apply. (3+0) 328/528 (Spring)

 

 

Geology   331                                           3 (crs.)

Structural Geology and Tectonics

Introduction to principles of rock deformation, description and interpretation of geologic structures and geotectonic processes.  Laboratory exercises using methods for structural analysis. Field trip required. Prerequisites:  Mathematics 106 or 108 or equivalent; Geology 206. Special fees may apply. 331/531 (2+2) (Spring)

 

 

Geology   333                                           3 (crs.)

Advanced Mineralogy

In-depth studies of crystallography and crystal chemistry. Investigates the fundamental chemical principles that dictate the structure and composition of minerals. Introduction to the wide varieties of minerals that occur in the major mineral groups. Geological processes associated with the genesis of individual mineral species. Advanced field and laboratory techniques for identifying minerals. Prerequisites: Chemistry 105 and Geology 205. Special fees may apply. (2+2) (Fall, even years)

 

 

Geology   335                                           3 (crs.)

Glacial Geology

The origin, movement and decay of glaciers; landforms developed by glaciers; the glacial succession and associated environmental changes, and the economic aspects of glaciation. A field trip is required. Prerequisite: Geology 102, 110 or 150. Special fees may apply. 335/535 (2+2) (Fall, odd years)

 

 

Geology   342                                           2 (crs.)

Applied Geologic Field Methods

Principles and techniques of acquiring and interpreting geological and geophysical field data. Includes geologic mapping using base maps, aerial photographs, plane table surveys and pace-and-compass surveys; geophysical surveys with portable instruments. A field trip and a final written report is required. Prerequisite: Geology 206 (concurrent enrollment). Strongly recommended: Geology 140 (concurrent enrollment). Special fees may apply. (1+3) (Spring Interim - odd years)

 

 

Geology   344                                           6 (crs.)

Field Geology

Application of the theories and methods of field geology in the mountains of the western United States. Provides practical experience and instruction in geologic mapping and field analysis of geologic structures and sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock assemblages. Geology 344 meets for six weeks during the summer. Prerequisite: Geology 206, 331 and consent of instructor. Strongly recommended: Geology 309 and 311. Contact instructor for application materials and information regarding special course fees. (Summer)

 

 

Geology   355                                           3 (crs.)

Geology of Wisconsin

The Precambrian, Paleozoic and Pleistocene history of Wisconsin and surrounding area, emphasizing the nature and chronology of geological processes which have formed the rocks. Field trips to selected areas illustrate a variety of geological features. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. 355/555 (As scheduled)

 

 

Geology   360                                           1-3 (crs.)

Field Course in Geology

Formal classroom study of an area of geologic interest followed by field study of the area. Study areas change from year to year, but have included the Florida reef tract, coastal North Carolina, the Catskills, the Grand Canyon, the Guadalupe Mountains, Big Bend National Park, the Gulf Coast, and central Coahuila, Mexico. A final examination follows the trip. May be taken for credit more than once. Special sections may be arranged to accommodate students with differing backgrounds in geology. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Contact instructor for information regarding special course fees. 360/560 (1+2) (Spring)

 

 

Geology   361                                           1 (crs.)

Lake Superior Trip

Field trips to selected areas of the Lake Superior region to examine and study various aspects of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, and structural features that relate to the tectonic history of the region. Glacial features will also be studied. See instructor for special course fees. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. May be taken for credit more than once. (As scheduled)

 

 

Geology   365                                           3 (crs.)

Physical Hydrogeology

This course explores various aspects of the water cycle. Major topics include evaporation, precipitation, surface water hydrology, occurrence of soil moisture and groundwater, properties of aquifers, principles of groundwater flow, groundwater flow to wells and the geologic settings of groundwater supplies.  Laboratory exercises will familiarize students with sources of hydrologic data and with mathematical and graphical methods of analyzing those data to solve applied problems. Prerequisites: Geology 102, 110, or 150; Mathematics 108 or equivalent; or consent of instructor. Special fees may apply. 365/565 (2+2) (Fall, odd years)

 

 

Geology   366                                           3 (crs.)

Chemical Hydrogeology

This course provides the background necessary to address groundwater contamination problems.  Major topics include 1) the chemistry of natural waters and the important reactions affecting groundwater chemistry, 2) an introduction to the physical and chemical processes affecting solute transport, 3) the characteristics of common groundwater contaminants, and 4) methods of site characterization and remediation. Laboratory sessions will be a mix of case studies, demonstrations and exercises that will familiarize students with sources of hydrogeologic and hydrogeochemical data and with mathematical and graphical methods of analyzing those data to solve applied problems. Prerequisite: Geology 365/565 and Chemistry 106. Special fees may apply. 366/566 (2+2) (Spring-even years)

 

 

Geology   369                                           3 (crs.)

Geochemistry

Qualitative and quantitative study of geologically important elements and their distribution in crustal environments. Chemical bonding, solution equilibria, chemical weathering, pH-Eh diagrams and their relevance to base metal deposits and organic geochemistry. Prerequisite: Geology 102, 110 or 150, and Chemistry 106. Special fees may apply. (3+0)  (Fall-even years)

 

 

Geology   370                                           2 (crs.)

Field Methods in Hydrogeology I

This field course is designed to provide students with the range of field skills needed by the practicing hydrogeologist to characterize subsurface geology and aquifer properties. Topics to be covered include drilling methods, geophysical techniques, well installation, determination of groundwater flow direction and aquifer testing. The course includes lecture, lab and field components. For each topic, there will be an introductory lecture followed by a field exercise designed to give students experience with data collection. Lab time will be used for data analysis. Field exercises will make use of the wells located on the UWO campus, however there will also be a day-long field trip to off-campus locations.  Prerequisite: Pre- or Corequisite in Physical Hydrogeology (365/565) or consent of instructor. Special fees may apply. 370/570 (Fall, odd years)

 

 

Geology   371                                           1 (crs.)

Field Methods in Hydrogeology II

This field course is designed to provide students with the range of field skills needed by the practicing hydrogeologist. Topics to be covered include collection of water samples, characterization of natural water quality and methods of characterizing the presence and extent of groundwater contamination. The course includes both a lecture component and an extensive field component. For each topic there will be an introductory lecture followed by a field exercise designed to give students experience with data collection and analysis. Field exercises will make use of the wells located on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus; however, there will also be field trips to off-campus locations some of which may require overnight stays. Prerequisite: Chemical Hydrogeology (Geology 366/566)or consent of instructor. Special fees may apply. 371/571 (Spring Interim, even years)

 

 

Geology   398                                           1-3 (crs.)

Geology Workshop

A workshop on special topics of interest to teachers. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. 398/598 (As scheduled)

 

 

Geology   399                                           3 (crs.)

Geology of Wisconsin - Field Course

A multi-institutional, team-taught field trip throughout Wisconsin. The trip will provide an opportunity to study some of the exposures on which the geological history of Wisconsin has been interpreted. Undergraduates will take three exams; graduates will take the exams and do small mapping projects. Prerequisite: Geology 206 and consent of instructor. See instructor for special course fees. 399/599 (0+6) (As scheduled)

 

 

Geology   444                                           1-3 (crs.)

Research in Geology

A student will work collaboratively with a professor on a research project, which may be field- or laboratory-based or both. This is an opportunity for a student to learn how to initiate, pursue and complete a geologic research study. Geology students are encouraged to take this course because it will prepare them for graduate work or geological employment.  Prerequisite:  Consent of Instructor.

 

 

Geology   445                                           1-3 (crs.)

Geology Internship

Application of geologic training to business/government job environment. Student will be supervised on the job by geotechnical professional. Internships can be arranged any term. The number of units (crs.) to be received and the grading criteria will be agreed upon in advance with the faculty member who is the on-campus supervisor. Course may be repeated for up to a total of three units (crs.). Prerequisite: Geology 206 and consent of department chair.

 

 

Geology   446                                           1-3 (crs.)

Independent Study

See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites and proper contract form requirements.

 

 

Geology   456                                           1-3 (crs.)

Related Readings

See Related Readings under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites and proper contract form requirements.

 

 

Geology   460                                           1-3 (crs.)

Topics in Geology

The study of selected topics in geology. Topics may be of current interest or may expand on material covered in other courses.  The topic will be announced in the timetable when the course is offered. The course may be repeated for credit only if the content is different. Prerequisite: Geology 206, consent of instructor and a GPA in Geology of 3.0 or higher. (1, 2, or 3+0) 460/660

 

 

Geology   474                                           1-6 (crs.)

Honors: Thesis

Honors thesis projects include any advanced independent endeavor in the student's major field of study, e.g., a written thesis, scientific experiment or research project, or creative arts exhibit or production. Proposals (attached to Independent Study Contract) must show clear promise of honors level work and be approved by a faculty sponsor. Course title for transcript will be Honors Thesis. Completed projects will be announced and presented to interested students and faculty.  Prerequisite:  University Honors status and junior

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