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CHEMISTRY | GEOSCIENCE | PHYSICS

 

Geoscience Courses



GEOS 101 1EV ALL ABOUT WATER (3.00 credits)
This course explores water. Water is everywhere: in our bodies, our food, our atmosphere and underfoot. We can't live without it! And because we can't live without it, we fight about it, we write legislation regarding it, we try to steal it from each other, and we have turned it into big business--selling it in small and large plastic bottles. Unfortunately, we have also polluted it and wasted it with little regard to its value to us as individuals and the biosphere as a whole. Prerequisites: This course is for first semester freshmen or freshmen transfer students.
GEOS 102 S INTRO TO EARTH SCIENCE (4.00 credits)
This course is a study of the major physical materials, processes and features of the earth, and how they are investigated. Such a study will provide students with a better understanding of how a growing human populations is increasingly affected by natural phenomena that are hazardous or influence economic development. Students will understand the nature of geologic change on the Earth, and how humanity is becoming a significant agent of such change. Students will come to appreciate how our understanding of the solid Earth has helped raise our standard of living by helping us locate the fuel and ores on which our modern society rests. It will also provide a background for appreciating geologic features of their surroundings. And finally it will suggest what types of questions to ask when matters of private concern or public policy, such as groundwater pollution or earthquake hazard mitigation, contain an important geologic component. The theory of plate tectonics, the current unifying theory of the geosciences, will be used as an illustration of how scientific hypothesis are constructed and tested using many lines of evidence. Prerequisites: Placement into ENG 110 and college level mathematics.
GEOS 103 S OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERE (4.00 credits)
This course is a study of the major systems of the earth's oceans and atmosphere, dealing with their physical materials, processes and features, and how these are investigated. Students will understand the nature of change in Earth systems and how humanity is becoming a significant agent of such change. It will also suggest what types of questions to ask when matters of private concern or public policy, such as coastline modification, disaster preparedness, or global climate change. Prerequisites: Placement into ENG 110 and completion of M requirement.
GEOS 105 1V NATURAL HAZARDS; HUMAN DISASTERS (3.00 credits)
This course introduces students to the scientific study of the causes of natural hazards, and an interdisciplinary approach to how individuals and the public respond to natural disasters caused by those hazards. Students will discuss issues related to floods, hurricanes, other severe weather, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. While grappling with real-world concerns, this course enables students to discover connections between natural hazards with what they are learning about the needs of the world, in their liberal arts and sciences education, from culture and the news and through their own collaborative efforts towards making the world a better place. Prerequisites: This course is for first semester freshmen or freshmen transfer students.
GEOS 121 1V CLIMATE AND CLIMATE CHANGE (3.00 credits)
This course explores the science of climatology and climate change. Students will learn about earth systems and how they interact to produce climate. Course topics include earth's energy budget, the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle, El Nino, ocean circulation, the science and politics of global warming and climate change impacts on North America. Students will study what causes climate to change across different time scales and how those factors interact; how climate has changed in the past; how scientists use models, observations and theory to make predictions about future climate; and the possible consequences of climate change for our planet. The course explores evidence for changes in ocean temperature, sea level, the reduction of glaciers, sea ice coverage, and acidity due to global warming. Students will learn how climate change today is different from past climate cycles and how climate change can be documented through satellites and other technologies. Finally, the course looks at the connection between human activity and the current warming trend and considers some of the potential social, economic and environmental consequences of climate change. (F)
GEOS 203 S HISTORICAL GEOLOGY (4.00 credits)
GEOS 203 S covers the broad topics of the physical evolution of the earth and its relationship to the development of life through geologic time. Topics include geologic time; origin of life; paleobiology, evolution and classification of fossil plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates; plate tectonics; and geologic history of the Upper Midwest. The laboratory experiences are intended to train students to solve problems, apply principles, distinguish between fact and assumption, use models, and to acquaint students with some of the important techniques for geologic investigations. Prerequisites: GEOS 102.
GEOS 206 EV ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY (3.00 credits)
Environmental geology focuses on the interaction between humans and geological processes that shape Earth's environment. An emphasis is placed upon both how integral earth processes are to human survival and the fact that humans are an integral part of a complex and interactive system called the Earth System. The study of Environmental Geology brings important knowledge and information to the search for solutions to many of the problems facing humanity today. Challenges such as expanding populations, resource distribution and use, energy and water availability and earth processes (especially flooding, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, etc.) that pose serious risks to life and property are addressed. Possible solutions are explored that work within ecological realities and prioritize the ability to meet the needs of the current population without reducing the options available to future generations. Prerequisites: None.
GEOS 210 E NATIONAL PARKS GEO AND PRESERVATION (3.00 credits)
The course uses National Parks to learn about geological features and the processes that form them, as well as society’s need to preserve such features and make them accessible to the public. A site is established as a national park, monument, seashore, or other element of the National Park Service because it displays a special aspect of the cultural or national history of the United States. The mission of the National Park Service is to protect such features and make them accessible to the public. Geological features are an important part of this heritage, not only because they help us understand Earth’s history, but also because they are landscapes upon which our country’s cultural and natural history take place. The course includes required travel over the Fall Break period.
GEOS 292 GEOSCIENCE EXCURSIONS (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
In these field experiences, students will discover and investigate facts, concepts, and laws of science for themselves, much as scientists do in their professional lives. Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor.
GEOS 301 S WEATHER AND CLIMATE (4.00 credits)
This course is an introduction to the study of weather and climate. Topics for this course include: the nature and variability of wind, temperatures, clouds & precipitation, storm systems, fronts, thunderstorms, tornadoes and their prediction, air composition and pollution, global winds, seasonal changes, climate and climate change. Laboratory experiences are intended to train students to solve problems, apply principles, distinguish between fact and assumption, use models, and to acquaint students with some of the important techniques for investigations in meteorology and climatology. Prerequisites: completion of M requirement, GEOS 102 or consent of instructor.
GEOS 379 INDEPENDENT STUDY - GEOSCIENCE (1.00 - 4.00 credits)
Independent study of selected topics in the earth sciences developed by the student with the approval and direction of the instructor. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
GEOS 469 SPECIAL TOPICS IN GEOSCIENCE (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
Advanced study of topics of special current interest in geoscience and related fields. Seminar/discussion format.
GEOS 479 INDEPENDENT STUDY - GEOSCIENCE (1.00 - 4.00 credits)
Independent study of selected topics in the earth sciences developed by the student with the approval and direction of the instructor. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
GEOS 480 K GEOSCIENCE SEMINAR (1.00 credits)
A seminar for upper-level geoscience-related majors to practice scientific communication skills and participate in discussion of topics in current research with fellow students and faculty. Students present a topic from the primary geoscience literature. One seminar-format meeting per week.
GEOS 489 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
Opportunities are available for students to engage in geological research, in conjunction with collaborative student-faculty research projects or with projects done with researchers from various governmental agencies. This course may be repeated. Prerequisites: consent of the instructor.