Geology

Phillips 157
715-836-3732
www.uwec.edu/geology

Honor Societies and Student Organizations

The Geology Department offers one student organization. The Geology Club is open to all majors and minors.  Geology students participate in group activities through the club, organize the annual spring banquet, and participate in service activities. Please visit the department office for more information.

Geology is the study of the earth and earth processes. Geologists work to solve environmental problems and supervise the exploration and development of earth resources. They are employed in the environmental industry, the mining industry, regulatory agencies such as the DNR and EPA, and as educators. Although many professions in geology require graduate school training, a bachelor’s degree in geology allows career options in geology, environmental geology, and other professional fields such as resource law and engineering. The Geology Department provides a rigorous but flexible program, and stresses the importance of a broad science curriculum. A curriculum balancing field and laboratory experience is tailored to meet the needs of each individual. The geology major is flexible enough to allow individual students to customize their program. Examples of customized programs (to be designed working with an adviser) include Marine Geology, Geochemistry, and Geophysics.

Departmental Honors Programs in Geology

Entrance Requirements: Admission is by departmental invitation, usually upon completion of Geology 470. In order to be considered, Geology majors should carry a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Geology courses.

Requirements for Continued Participation: Students should maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Geology courses.

Graduation Requirements:

  1. Satisfactorily complete one substantial faculty–student research collaboration in Geology that results in a presentation at a regional, national, or international professional conference.
  2. Satisfactorily complete GEOL 395, GEOL 399, or GEOL 499, which include an Honors capstone thesis or substantial paper written under the supervision of a Geology faculty member, or publish the collaborative research results in a peer-reviewed journal.
  3. Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Geology courses.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Policy.

No degree credit may be earned under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option in any required courses in a geology major or minor.

Faculty

Kent M. Syverson, Chair

Scott K. Clark
Karen G. Havholm
Robert L. Hooper
Phillip D. Ihinger
Robert W.D. Lodge
J. Brian Mahoney
Lori D. Snyder

Sarah A. Vitale
 

Geology

GEOL 102 Oceanography (3 crs)

Survey of the world oceans with emphasis on geologic processes. Also includes chemical, physical, and biological aspects of the sea. Investigates human interaction with the marine environment.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-I1 Integration, LE-K1 Natural Sciences

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 106 Earth Science (4 crs)

Prerequisite: Credit may be earned in only one of the following: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131.

Introduction to basic earth science concepts. Includes study of earth interior and surface processes, earth materials, earth history, earth resources, atmospheric composition and processes, and aspects of the solar system.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, Lab Science, LE-I1 Integration, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-K1L Natural Sciences with Lab, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 110 Physical Geology (4 crs)

Prerequisite: Credit may be earned in only one of the following: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131.

A study of earth structure, materials, processes, and history; includes discussion of plate tectonics, volcanism, weathering, glaciation, sedimentation, and metamorphism. The course emphasizes the methods of scientific investigation.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, Lab Science, LE-I1 Integration, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-K1L Natural Sciences with Lab, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 115 Environmental Geology (4 crs)

Prerequisite: Credit may be earned in only one of the following: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131. No credit if taken after previous courses GEOL 101 or GEOL 103.

Study of the physical environment. Emphasis on earth processes which affect humans such as rivers, erosion, groundwater, landslides, and earthquakes. Methods are examined for reducing or eliminating the harmful effects of human interaction with the geologic environment.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, Lab Science, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-K1L Natural Sciences with Lab, LE-R3 Civic and Environmental Issues, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 118 Societal Issues in Earth Science (4 crs)

Prerequisite: Credit may be earned in only one of the following: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115 or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131.

Examination of social and economic impact of geologic issues, including instantaneous, catastrophic events such as earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions, and more mundane, inexorable events such as global climatic change and resource depletion.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, Lab Science, LE-I1 Integration, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-K1L Natural Sciences with Lab, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Grading Basis: A-F Grades Only

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 122 The Future of Global Energy (3 crs)

• No credit if taken after IDIS 152 when offered as Global Energy in Spring 2009.

Examination of traditional and alternative energy sources with respect to supply, recovery, distribution, environmental impact and sustainability and the relationship between energy and social, economic and public policy issues and local, regional and global politics.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-I1 Integration, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required Varies by Term/Section

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 4

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 201 Geology of Our National Parks and Monuments (2 crs)

• No credit toward majors or minors.

A survey of geologic processes and phenomena as exemplified by features of our national parks and monuments. Designed to develop greater appreciation and understanding of natural phenomena.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-R3 Civic and Environmental Issues

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 2

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 291 Special Topics (1-3 crs)

Geologic topics of current, special interest; includes field excursions.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

GEOL 301 Earth Resources (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118 or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131; or GEOG 101, or GEOG 104.

Origin, distribution, use, misuse, and conservation of minerals, water, soil, and fuels. Alternative resources and lifestyles for the future are evaluated.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-R3 Civic and Environmental Issues, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 303 Rocky Mountain Field Studies (3 crs)

Prerequisite: Previous course in GEOL.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

Field study of geologic features and processes in the Rocky Mountains. One week lecture and laboratory on UW-Eau Claire campus, 10 days in the field on Rocky Mountains. Camping equipment and extensive field work (hiking) is required.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 1

Lab/Studio Hours: 4

GEOL 304 Global Environmental Change (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118 or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131, or GEOG 101, or GEOG 104.

The composition, structure, and dynamics of the solid earth, oceans, and atmosphere are explored to understand the global geochemical and biochemical cycles that govern the natural response to environmental change on global scales.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-I1 Integration, LE-R3 Civic and Environmental Issues

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 4

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 308 Water Resources (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106 or GEOL 110 or GEOL 115; or GEOG 101 or GEOG 104 or GEOG 178 or GEOG 185.

Origin, nature, distribution, movement, exploitation, and conservation of surface and subsurface waters; problems associated with development of water resources in Wisconsin and the U.S.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, LE-K1 Natural Sciences, LE-R3 Civic and Environmental Issues, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 312 Mineralogy and Petrology I (5 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115 or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131; CHEM 101, or CHEM 103, or CHEM 115 or MSE 221

Study of minerals and rocks with an emphasis on common rocks in field settings, hand sample identification, and description of common rocks and minerals. Origin of rocks and minerals and interpretation of processes is stressed.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 4

GEOL 313 Mineralogy and Petrology II (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312

Study of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and minerals with an emphasis on laboratory and petrographic analysis.

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 2

Lab/Studio Hours: 4

GEOL 315 Hydrogeology I (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131; MATH 112, or MATH 114, or MATH 215.

The hydrologic cycle, runoff and streamflow, saturated groundwater flow, contaminant transport, geology of groundwater occurrence, aquifer characterization, groundwater flow to wells, hydrogeologic field techniques, groundwater flow and contaminant transport computer modeling, groundwater development and management.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering, Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 3

GEOL 320 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312

Origin and evolution of sedimentary rocks, with emphasis on sedimentary processes, stratigraphic principles, and basin evolution.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 330 Structural Geology (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312

The description and classification of geological structures and the theoretical and physical analysis of rock deformation. Field and laboratory techniques emphasize mapping and the tectonic analysis of geological structures.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 336 Introduction to Geochemistry (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312; CHEM 104 or CHEM 115.

Application of chemistry to geologic problems. Principles of isotope geochemistry, thermodynamics, chemistry of natural waters, and computer modeling of geochemical systems.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 337 Analytical Geochemistry Laboratory (1 cr)

Prerequisite: GEOL 336 or concurrent registration.

Theory and application of geochemical instrumentation including x-ray diffraction, x-ray microanalysis, scanning electron microscopy, atomic absorption spectrometry, mass spectrometry, and neutron activation analysis.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 0

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 343 Geological Field Excursion (1-2 crs)

Prerequisite: One GEOL course.

Extended travel to study field geology. Students record notes and data in the field and submit final written and/or oral reports. Special course fee to cover costs. Travel proposal must receive approval of department faculty.

Attributes: GE IID Natural Science-Geology, Special Course Fee Required Varies by Term/Section

Repeat: Course may be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits

Grading Basis: A-F Grades Only

GEOL 345 Geomorphology and Aerial Photography Interpretation (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312 or GEOG 304.

A process-oriented analysis of landforms and applied geomorphology. Interpretation of landforms using topographic maps and aerial photographs will be emphasized. Communicating scientific material to expert audiences also will be stressed.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 2

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 350 Engineering Geology (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, GEOL 110, GEOL 115, or GEOL 118; MATH 114. No credit if taken after GEOL 445/GEOL 645.

Application of geologic principles to civil and environmental engineering, site analysis, and assessment and mitigation of natural hazards.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 2

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 365 Economic Mineral Deposits (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312

Origin, association, and exploitation of metallic and nonmetallic mineral deposits. Study of ore suites from selected mining districts and methods of evaluating ore deposits.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 2

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 390 Geologic Immersion Experience (1-4 crs)

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

Project-based, field intensive geologic immersion experience focusing on the physical, biologic, geomorphic, and tectonic evolution of a geologic province and on societal interaction with the geologic setting.

Attributes: Foreign Culture, GE IID Natural Science-Geology, Lab Science, Service-Learning Optional Half, Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required Varies by Term/Section

Repeat: Course may be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits

Grading Basis: A-F Grades Only

GEOL 395 Directed Studies (1-3 crs)

Consent: Department Consent Required

• Use of this course to fulfill department capstone experience requires department approval. See department office for Capstone Proposal form.

Individual research or study for the advanced geology major who seeks to develop specialized knowledge and skills. Course proposals are student-initiated.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

GEOL 399 Independent Study - Juniors (1-3 crs)

Prerequisite: Minimum junior standing.

Consent: Department Consent Required

Individual research or studies of distinctive nature.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

GEOL 416 Hydrogeology II (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 315

Review of principles of groundwater flow and contaminant transport, reactive groundwater contamination, groundwater remediation, chemical evolution of natural groundwater, flow in the unsaturated zone, advanced groundwater flow and contaminant transport computer modeling, water law.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering, Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 418 Earth History (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312 and GEOL 320.

Origin and evolution of the earth, with emphasis on the physical, biologic, and tectonic history of the planet. Analysis of the concepts of geologic time and biologic evolution. Concentration on geologic field relations and determination of relative geologic history.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required, Special Course Fee Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 420 Glacial Geology (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131; MATH 112, or MATH 114, or MATH 215.

A process-oriented analysis of glacial landforms and sediments. Topographic maps, aerial photographs, and field mapping projects will be used to interpret glacial landforms, sediments, and to solve glacial geologic problems.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 2

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 445 Engineering Geology and Geophysics (5 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312; PHYS 211 or PHYS 231; MATH 114 or consent of instructor.

Application of geological and geophysical principles to solve human problems. Discussion of soil and rock mechanics, slope stability, earthquake analysis and seismic planning, and geophysical techniques including seismic, gravity, magnetic, electrical, and electromagnetic surveying.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering, Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 4

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 461 Applied Geophysics (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, GEOL 110, GEOL 115, or GEOL 118; MATH 114; PHYS 211 or PHYS 231. No credit if taken after GEOL 445/ GEOL 645.

Acquisition, processing, and interpretation of geophysical data including seismic, gravity, magnetic, GPR, resistivity, and electromagnetic methods.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering, Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 468 Computers in Geology (1 cr)

Prerequisite: GEOL 320

Introduction to digital techniques in geological sciences. Emphasis is on computer graphics and application of Geographic Information Systems to analysis and presentation of geologic data.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Grading Basis: A-F Grades Only

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 1

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 470 Field Geology I (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312, GEOL 320, and GEOL 468.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Three week field course in west Texas and New Mexico.

Introduction to geologic mapping techniques, with an emphasis on construction of geologic maps and cross-sections in mildly deformed sedimentary and volcanic rocks.

Attributes: LE-I1 Integration, LE-S3 Creativity, Special Course Fee Required

GEOL 471 Field Geology II (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 330 and GEOL 470.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Use of this course to fulfill department capstone experience requires department approval. See department office for Capstone Proposal form. Three-week field course in southwestern Montana.

Introduction to advanced geologic field techniques, with an emphasis on construction of geologic maps and cross-sections in deformed plutonic, volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Attributes: Special Course Fee Required

GEOL 491 Advanced Special Topics (1-4 crs)

Prerequisite: Limited to geology majors and minors.

Topics of special interest and current relevance to the advanced geology student; includes field excursions. Topics vary.

Attributes: Undergraduate/Graduate Offering

Repeat: Course may be repeated

GEOL 498 Geology Internship (1-6 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312. Minimum grade point average of 2.5. Minimum sophomore standing.

Consent: Department Consent Required

Provides supervised on-the-job experience in a geologically-related area of interest.

Attributes: Internship

Repeat: Course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits

Grading Basis: No Auditors

GEOL 499 Independent Study - Seniors (1-3 crs)

Prerequisite: Minimum senior standing.

Consent: Department Consent Required

Individual project under the direction of a faculty member.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

GEOL 515 Hydrogeology I (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, or GEOL 110, or GEOL 115, or GEOL 118, or GEOL 130 and GEOL 131; MATH 112, or MATH 114, or MATH 215.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Cross-listed with GEOL 315. Credit may not be earned in both courses.

The hydrologic cycle, runoff and streamflow, saturated groundwater flow, contaminant transport, geology of groundwater occurrence, aquifer characterization, groundwater flow to wells, hydrogeologic field techniques, groundwater flow and contaminant transport computer modeling, groundwater development and management.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 3

GEOL 536 Introduction to Geochemistry (3 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312; CHEM 104 or CHEM 115.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Cross-listed with GEOL 336. Credit may not be earned in both courses.

Application of chemistry to geologic problems. Principles of isotope geochemistry, thermodynamics, chemistry of natural waters, and computer modeling of geochemical systems.

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 0

GEOL 537 Analytical Geochemistry Laboratory (1 cr)

Prerequisite: GEOL 336/GEOL 536 or concurrent registration.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Cross-listed with GEOL 337. Credit may not be earned in both courses.

Theory and application of geochemical instrumentation including x-ray diffraction, x-ray microanalysis, scanning electron microscopy, atomic absorption spectrometry, mass spectrometry, and neutron activation analysis.

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 0

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 616 Hydrogeology II (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 315/GEOL 515

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Cross-listed with GEOL 416. Credit may not be earned in both courses.

Review of principles of groundwater flow and contaminant transport, reactive groundwater contamination, groundwater remediation, chemical evolution of natural groundwater, flow in the unsaturated zone, advanced groundwater flow and contaminant transport computer modeling, water law.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 645 Engineering Geology and Geophysics (5 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 312; PHYS 211 or PHYS 231; MATH 114 or consent of instructor.

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Cross-listed with GEOL 445. Credit may not be earned in both courses.

Application of geological and geophysical principles to solve human problems. Discussion of soil and rock mechanics, slope stability, earthquake analysis and seismic planning, and geophysical techniques including seismic, gravity, magnetic, electrical, and electromagnetic surveying.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 4

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 661 Applied Geophysics (4 crs)

Prerequisite: GEOL 106, GEOL 110, GEOL 115, or GEOL 118; MATH 114; PHYS 211 or PHYS 231. No credit if taken after GEOL 445/GEOL 645.

• Cross-listed with GEOL 461. Credit may not be earned in both courses.

Acquisition, processing, and interpretation of geophysical data including seismic, gravity, magnetic, GPR, resistivity, and electromagnetic methods.

Attributes: Field Trip(s) Required

Lecture/Discussion Hours: 3

Lab/Studio Hours: 2

GEOL 691 Advanced Special Topics (1-4 crs)

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

• Cross-listed with GEOL 491.

Topics of special interest and current relevance to the advanced geology student; includes field excursions. Topics vary.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

GEOL 793 Directed Studies (1-4 crs)

Consent: Instructor Consent Required

Permits groups of students to study topical areas in an intensive way under the direction of department faculty members.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

GEOL 797 Independent Study (1-3 crs)

Consent: Department Consent Required

Independent study projects under direction of faculty members.

Repeat: Course may be repeated

Grading Basis: No S/U Grade Option

Courses Offered at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire maintains a formal affiliation arrangement with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Through this arrangement, students may take field courses in marine science at GCRL during the summer. Grades and completed coursework from the GCRL are initially awarded and transcripted by the University of Southern Mississippi, but will be considered resident credit for students pursuing a degree at UW-Eau Claire.

Students may obtain more information about GCRL and admission to the summer program by contacting Dr. David Lonzarich, On-Campus Affiliate Coordinator, UW-Eau Claire Department of Biology or by writing the Office of Student Services, Department of Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS 39564. Phone: (228) 872-4200; or visit the website at www.usm.edu/gcrl.