DEPARTMENT of

CHEMISTRY | GEOSCIENCE | PHYSICS

Geoscience Courses


ALL ABOUT WATER GEOS 101 1EV GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: This course is for first semester freshmen or freshmen transfer students.
CLIMATE AND CLIMATE CHANGE GEOS 121 1V GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F Prerequisite: First semester freshman or freshman transfer students.
ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY GEOS 206 EV GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: None.
GEOSCIENCE EXCURSIONS GEOS 292 GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.
GEOSCIENCE SEMINAR GEOS 480 K GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: None.
HISTORICAL GEOLOGY GEOS 203 S GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: GEOS 102.
INDEPENDENT STUDY - GEOSCIENCE GEOS 479 GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
INDEPENDENT STUDY - GEOSCIENCE GEOS 379 GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
NATIONAL PARKS GEO AND PRESERVATION GEOS 210 E GEOS (3.00 credits)
The National Park Service and the parks it administers are a uniquely American idea.  We will examine the National Parks role in preserving some of our country's most unique geological, ecological and cultural features.  An examination of the development of the National Park and National Park Service idea will be followed by in depth case studies centered around specific parks.  These case studies will use the natural sciences to describe the unique features of these parks and the environmental issues that are facing them today.
NATURAL HAZARDS; HUMAN DISASTERS GEOS 105 1V GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: This course is for first semester freshmen or freshmen transfer students.
OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERE GEOS 103 S GEOS (4.00 credits)
The oceans and atmosphere are deeply connected to one another and have a major impact on our way of life. In this course, we will study the physical materials, processes, and features of both, while acknowledging that climate change may be altering their effects on society. Students will consider the nature of change in Earth systems and how humanity is becoming a significant agent of such change. This course makes use of case studies, focusing on real world problems related to climate change, to explore the private and public questions you may face as a private citizen in the future concerning our planet's oceans and atmosphere. Prerequisites: Math placement level 2 or completion of M-tag Corequisites:
PHYSICAL GEOLOGY GEOS 102 S GEOS (4.00 credits)
Physical geology is the study of the major physical materials, processes, and features of the Earth. This includes rocks, minerals, water, volcanoes, groundwater, soils, and so much more. By studying these topics, students will come to appreciate geologic features of their surroundings and how maintaining our standard of living depends on the Earth and its resources. This course makes frequent use of case studies, focusing on real world problems, to cover topics such as: the nature of science, history of the planet, and natural resource exploration. The topics raised in this course will prompt students to consider what types of questions they might need to ask when matters of private or public policy contain an important geologic component. Prerequisites: Math placement level 2 or completion of the M-tag Corequisites:
SPECIAL TOPICS IN GEOSCIENCE GEOS 469 GEOS (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
Advanced study of topics of special current interest in geoscience and related fields. Seminar/discussion format. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: None.
SURVEY OF ASTRONOMY GEOS 150 S GEOS (4.00 credits)
Modern exploration of the physical universe. Topics include the sky and celestial motions, our solar system, nebulae, galaxies, and cosmology with emphasis on origin and evolution. Cross-listed: PHYS 150  Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: Math placement level 3, or placement into MATH 114A, or placement into MATH 114B 
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH GEOS 489 GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE GEOS 301 S GEOS (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. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: completion of M requirement, GEOS 102 or consent of instructor.