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Geosciences Department

James R. Staub, Chair

Human impact on Earth systems and reliance on Earth’s resources will increase as human population and economic production grows. These impacts are creating “global grand challenges”: complex, globally important problems that require an interdisciplinary approach. The most pressing grand challenges over the next decade will be resource scarcity/depletion (especially water and petroleum), adaption to and mitigation of climate change and natural hazards, and environmental stewardship of highly stressed physical and biological Earth systems. As University of Montana Geoscientists, we address these challenges in our research and teaching. We develop the knowledge to find and extract mineral and water resources, solve problems caused by using those resources and develop models of the past, present and future Earth.  Faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students are helping Montana and the World develop a sustainable future.

Our Vision:

We will build and teach a fundamental understanding of Earth processes to benefit humankind and sustain Earth systems.

Our Goals:

1. Conduct geoscience research, including obtaining extramural funding to perform essential and transformative research.

2. Disseminate research findings by publishing in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at national and international scientific conferences.

3. Teach students how to learn from known sources of information and create new knowledge from their own research.

4. Engage all graduate students and selected undergraduates in research and publication.

5. Produce graduates competent in their disciplines who can perform well in field, laboratory and computational settings, and who are prepared to serve as high-quality professionals in geoscience and related fields.

6. Provide opportunities for students to work and learn in other countries through international research and learning opportunities.

7. Educate the general student population about the nature of science and basic scientific principles through the study of Earth and its natural systems.

8.  Engage the public with important geoscience issues through outreach and community education.

UM Geosciences in the National Context

With B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, UM Geosciences is one of 120 Ph.D. granting Geoscience departments in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks the UM Geosciences program with Universities like Florida State, Michigan Tech, University of Georgia, University of Pennsylvania, and University of South Carolina. We are ranked above schools like University of Idaho, University of Missouri, UNLV, and Notre Dame.

Employment

Geoscientists completing our program are employed by private industry, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, environmental consulting firms, non-profit organizations, and by schools needing Earth Science teachers. Jobs in geosciences are available at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. levels.  The M.S. degree is considered the main working professional degree. The Ph.D. degree is required for positions at universities and with organizations specializing in research. However, there are ample opportunities for geoscience employment with the B.S. degree. Our graduates have a wide range of educational and employment opportunities. Over the last decade, 95% of our graduate program alumni are employed in Geosciences: 13% work for government, 23% for industry, 31% for consultancies and 2% for non-governmental organizations, 10% are teaching, and 17% went on for a Ph.D. UM Geosciences graduates have exceptional placement rates.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

We offer three Bachelor of Science degrees: Geosciences B.S., International Field Geosciences Joint B.S. with University of Cork (Ireland), and International Field Geosciences Dual B.S. with Potsdam University (Germany). We also offer an option in Earth Science Education.  

The Upper-division Writing Expectation must be met for all degree options by successfully completing an upper-division writing course from the approved list in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog or by completing GEO 499 (GEOS 499).

Undergraduate Degrees Available

Subject Type Option Track
Geosciences Bachelor of Science
Geosciences Bachelor of Science Earth Science Education
Geosciences Minor
International Field Geos Dual Bachelor of Science
International Field Geos Joint Bachelor of Science

Faculty

Professor

  • Marc S. Hendrix, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1992
  • Nancy W. Hinman, Ph.D., University of California (San Diego), 1987
  • James W. Sears, Ph.D., Queen's University, 1979
  • George Stanley, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1977
  • James R. Staub, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1985 (Dept. Chair)
  • William W. Woessner, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin (Madison), 1978

Associate Professor

  • Julia A. Baldwin, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003
  • Rebecca O. Bendick, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, 2000
  • Joel T. Harper, Ph.D, University of Wyoming, 1997
  • Andrew C. Wilcox, Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2005

Assistant Professor

  • Marco P. Maneta, Ph.D., University of Extremadura (Spain), 2006

Lecturer

  • Kathleen M. Harper, Ph.D., University of Wyoming, 1997

Research Faculty

  • Carrine E. Blank, Research Assistant Professor
  • Michael Hofmann, Ph.D., The University of Montana, 2005

Affiliates

  • Xialoei Fan
  • Robert Lankston
  • Patrick Meere
  • Tetsuji Onou
  • Jill Scott
  • Alisa Wade

Emeritus

  • David Alt, Ph.D., University of Texas, 1961
  • Donald W. Hyndman
  • Ian M. Lange, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1968
  • Johnnie N. Moore, Ph.D., University of California (Los Angeles), 1976
  • Raymond C. Murray, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1955
  • Steven D. Sheriff, University of Wyoming, 1981
  • Graham R. Thompson
  • Donald Winston, Professor Emeritus

Course Descriptions

Geoscience

  • GEO 101N - Intro to Physical Geology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn and spring. General geology including the work of wind, flowing water, glacial ice, gravity, earthquakes, volcanoes and plate tectonics in shaping the earth. 
    Course Attributes:
    • Natural Science Course
  • GEO 102N - Intro to Physical Geology Lab

    Credits: 1. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn and spring. Prereq. or coreq., GEO 101N (preferred) or 105N or 108N. A series of laboratory and field experiences designed around basic geologic processes and materials. Familiarization with common minerals, rocks, land forms, and structures. Intended to provide laboratory experience primarily with GEO 101N, but can be taken with or following any of the other freshman GEO courses listed above.
    Course Attributes:
    • Natural Science Lab Course
    • Natural Science Course
  • GEO 105N - Oceanography

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. The ocean covers 70 % of the globe, and yet vast regions remain unexplored. Interactions between the atmosphere and the sea moderate and control our climate. Nearly 40 % of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. The oceans are geographically, environmentally, culturally, and economically critical to society. This course introduces oceanography, including the origin of water and ocean basins; marine resources; atmospheric circulation; air-sea interaction; ocean-climate feedback; currents, tides, and coastal processes; marine ecology; and use and misuse of the oceans.
    Course Attributes:
    • Natural Science Course
  • GEO 106N - History of Life

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. The evolution of plants, invertebrates and vertebrate animals, highlighting major events in the evolution of life on Earth.  Includes laboratory experience with fossils.
    Course Attributes:
    • Natural Science Lab Course
    • Natural Science Course
  • GEO 107 - Natural Hazards

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. Examination of volcanism, earthquakes, landslides, floods, coastal erosion, hurricanes, and asteroid impacts.  Emphasis on processes, recognition and consequences of catastrophic events, and how to minimize their societal impacts.
  • GEO 108N - Climate Change

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn.  The geoscience perspective on the earth’s climate system.  Climate processes and feedbacks, climate history from early earth to the ice ages, present and future changes due to natural processes and human activities.
    Course Attributes:
    • Natural Science Course
  • GEO 151 - Introduction to Fossil Fuels

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn.  A broad introduction to the basic principles and concepts related to the exploration for, the composition of, and the utilization of fossil fuels (coal, coal bed methane, natural gas, and oil).  Environmental issues related to fossil fuel development and utilization are also addressed.
  • GEO 191 - Special Topics

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate. (R–6) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one–time offerings of current topics.
  • GEO 191N - Special Topics

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate. (R-6) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
    Course Attributes:
    • Natural Science Course
  • GEO 200 - Historical Geology

    Credits: 2. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn. Traces the history of the earth since its inception 4.5 billion years ago. Presents scientific theories for the origin of the earth and the nature of important earth shaping events of the past, including the development of the oceans, atmosphere and climate.
  • GEO 225 - Earth Materials

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. Prereq., any geoscience 100 level lecture course, GEO 102N, CHMY 121N or 141N. Study of minerals and rocks utilizing an Earth Systems approach; mineral identification and paragenesis; survey of the distribution of minerals from the interior to the surfaces of planets and the processes that led to their formation.
  • GEO 228 - Earth Surface Processes

    Credits: 2. Level: Undergraduate. Spring semester. Prereq. GEO 101N-102N, M 121 and 122 or M 151. Introduction to the physical processes that affect the surface of the Earth, including global-scale energy distribution and balance, the hydrologic cycle, climate, weathering, transport mechanisms, and geomorphic processes. 
  • GEO 231 - Geosciences Field Methods

    Credits: 2. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn and spring. Prereq. GEO 101N-102N. This course introduces students to a variety of field methodologies routinely used in the collection, processing, and interpretation of geoscientific field data.
  • GEO 291 - Special Topics

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate. (R–6) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one–time offerings of current topics.
  • GEO 304E - Science and Society

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn.  Role of scientific knowledge in human societies from the pre–Classical to the present.  Discussion of tools for integrating science into ethical, political, and social decisions, including analyses of modern case studies from physical sciences.
    Course Attributes:
    • Ethical & Human Values Course
  • GEO 305 - Igneous & Metamorph Petrology

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. Prereq., GEO 225, CHMY 143N. Igneous rock associations, igneous processes and origins; metamorphic minerals and phase relationships, metamorphic zones, facies, and conditions; metamorphic environments, metallic minerals and mineral deposits.
  • GEO 309 - Sedimentation/Stratigraphy

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring.  Prereq. GEO 101N-102 or 211, 226.  Origins of sediments and sedimentary rocks; climate, weathering, and weathering products; transport, deposition, and depositional environments of sediments; concepts and methods of stratigraphy including correlation of sedimentary rocks and an introduction to basin analysis.  
  • GEO 311 - Paleobiology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn. Prereq. GEO 101N or equiv. level Biology. Survey of the major groups of organisms in the geologic record and hands-on study of fossils; application of geologic and biologic data and principles to solve problems in geoscience and bioscience.
  • GEO 315 - Structural Geology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn. Prereq., GEO 225. Structures of deformed rocks; mechanical principles; graphical interpretation of structural problems, tectonic principles.
  • GEO 317 - Planetary Science

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate. Offered autumn even-numbered years. Prereq., PHSX 205N/206N or PHSX 215N/216N and M 162, 171. Same as ASTR 351. Physical and geological characteristics of planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids with an emphasis on comparative planetology.
  • GEO 320 - Global Water

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. Prereq. one semester of college chemistry, WRIT 101 or equiv., and completion of one writing course. Students are encouraged to take the UDWPA prior to taking this course. Fulfills the Upper Division Writing Requirement. Water is necessary for life. Without it, life as we know it cannot exist. This course discusses the chemistry of water as it moves through the hydrological cycle. We discuss how water chemistry evolves through atmospheric water, rain water, ground water, surface water, and sea water. Students will have an understanding of the chemical attributes of water in major water reservoirs. Class discussions, formal and informal writing assignments, a short laboratory experiment, and a field trip highlight examples of water chemistry. Students will use excel to solve problems and will learn citation conventions relevant for scientific writing.
    Course Attributes:
    • Writing Course-Upper-Division
  • GEO 326 - Sedimentary Geol Field Trip 1

    Credits: 2. Level: Undergraduate. Offered spring. Prereq., GEO 101N. Examination of modern and ancient sedimentary depositional systems in the field through a 9-day spring break field trip. Possible areas of focus include the Permian Reef Complex of West Texas, the California convergent margin, Oregon coastal processes, geology of the Basin and Range, Death Valley Region, Colorado Plateau, and Oklahoma Aulacogen.
  • GEO 327 - Geochemistry

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate. Offered alternate years. Prereq. one year of college chemistry, one semester of calculus, and one semester of physical geology, or consent of instructor. One semester of mineralogy recommended. The chemical properties of elements control their geological distribution and underlie the basic physical properties of rocks. An understanding of geochemistry will help students understand water chemistry, sediment geochemistry, and igneous petrology. The course covers chemical principles applied to geologic materials and processes, including the origin and chemical composition of earth, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. Principles of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry are discussed. Students will use excel to solve problems. Class discussions, problems sets, and exams are used to assess student performance.
  • GEO 391 - Special Topics

    Credits: 1 TO 9. Level: Undergraduate. (R–9) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one–time offerings of current topics.
  • GEO 392 - Independent Study

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate. (R–6) Offered every term. Specific topics of particular interest to individual students.
  • GEO 398 - Internship

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate. Offered every term. Prereq., 12 credits in geosciences. Extended classroom experience which provides practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus. Prior approval must be obtained from the faculty supervisor and the Internship Services office. No more than 3 credits of GEO 398 may be applied to the geosciences minor. A maximum of 6 credits of Internship may count toward graduation.
  • GEO 408 - Global Biogenchem Cycles

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered spring odd numbered years.  Same as NRSM 408. Exploration of how variations in the availability or utilization of critical Earth elements influences the atmosphere, the oceans, and the terrestrial biosphere including the natural and agricultural ecosystems on which we depend.
  • GEO 420 - Hydrogeology

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn. Prereq., GEO 101N-102N; PHSX 205N/206N or PHSX 215N/216N ; M  162 or 171 strongly recommended or consent of instr. Occurrence, movement, quality, and methods of quantification of groundwater. Geological framework and physics of groundwater flow. Supply, contamination, and management problems.
  • GEO 421 - Hydrology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn semester. Prereq. one semester college calculus and physics or consent of instructor. Introduction to the physical mechanisms that drive the water cycle at different scales. The course covers heat, momentum and mass transfer and storage mechanisms in turbulent systems and their role in the global and local climates. At the local scale, the equations that govern surface and subsurface water flows are studied. Along with the overarching goals, students will improve their quantitative skills, will gain experience accessing and reading the professional literature and will improve their capabilities to acquire knowledge independently.
  • GEO 426 - Sedimentary Geol Field Trip 2

    Credits: 2. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Examination of sedimentary depositional systems through a nine–day spring break field trip off campus.
  • GEO 429 - Field Geology

    Credits: 6. Level: Undergraduate. Offered summer. Prereq., GEO 315 and consent of instr. Geologic mapping on aerial photos and topographic base maps. Field interpretation in a variety of rock types and structures. Taught every summer near Dillon, Montana. Extra fees. Pre–registration in early spring.
  • GEO 433 - Global Tectonics

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered spring. Prereq., GEO 315, M 162, and 2.25 or better overall GPA in geosciences courses. Geodynamics and tectonics of the Earth and other planets.  Course material includes methods of observing tectonic processes and tectonic phenomena, both at the surface and in the deep earth, over a wide range of time scales.
  • GEO 435 - Magnetics in Tect, Struc, Expl

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered Spring. Prereq. or coreq., M 172 or M 274, GEOS 330, PHSX 205N/206N. Theory and applications of magnetic exploration and paleomagnetism directed at: plate trajectories, continental deformation, Precambrian Euler poles, and the delineation of buried sources ranging in scale from environmental targets to continental sutures. Includes 2D frequency-domain signal processing of potential fields and the pitfalls of forward and inverse modeling.
  • GEO 436 - Near Surface Geophysics

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered Spring. Prereq., successful completion of UM general education requirements for math and natural science. Applied and theoretical aspects of radar, magnetics, gravity, and electrical methods related to the detection of buried features at the groundwater and archaeological scales. The focus is on the development of experimental design, data acquisition, processing, and interpretation.
  • GEO 442 - Architecture of Sed Deposits

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn alternate years.  Study of the architectural elements and composition of sedimentary deposits in the context of their tectonic environments and their influence on petroleum and hydrogeologic systems.
  • GEO 443 - Prin of Sedimentary Petrology

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn alternate years. Prereq., graduate standing or GEO 442. Field, hand specimen and thin section petrology of siliciclastic and carbonate rocks, emphasis on tectonic and diagenetic interpretation of siliciclastic rock and environments of deposition and diagenesis of carbonate rocks.
  • GEO 451 - Petroleum Geology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered spring.  Prereq. GEO 309, GEO 315 , CHMY 141N, PHSX 205N/206N.  M 162 strongly recommended. Origin, migration, and entrapment of hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins.  Course integrates several areas of geology with geophysics, geochemistry and engineering.
  • GEO 460 - Process Geomorphology

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered spring. Prereq., one semester college calculus and physics. Quantitative examination of landforms, runoff generation, weathering, mechanics of soil erosion by water and wind, mass wasting, glacial and periglacial processes and hillslope evolution.
  • GEO 482 - Global Change

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered Spring. Same as CCS 482. Prereq., upper division/higher standing in Geosciences or consent of instructor. Lectures, readings, discussions and practicum on the complexity of global climate. Emphasizes the physical, geochemical and geologic processes affecting climate change over geologic and recent time scales.
  • GEO 488 - Snow, Ice and Climate

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered spring.  Prereq., M 121.  Study of basic physical processes occurring in snow and ice, and how these processes govern the interaction between frozen water and the climate system.  The first half of the course focuses in snow, with special attention to snow formation in the atmosphere, snow metamorphism, water flow through snow, and basic avalanche mechanics.  The second half of the course focuses on ice and includes glacier and ice sheet flow dynamics, glacier hydrology, and ice age theory.  Graduate students will be required to complete additional problem sets requiring higher level math; perform additional reading assignments; perform at a higher level on assignments and exams where students are asked to outline and describe various physical processes; submit a well researched and reference research proposal that is able to synthesize previous research and provide a sophisticated research plan.
  • GEO 491 - Special Topics

    Credits: 1 TO 8. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R-8) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of  visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses or one-time offerings of current topics.
  • GEO 492 - Independent Study

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R-6) Offered every term. Specific topics of particular interest to individual students.
  • GEO 494 - Senior Geology Seminar

    Credits: 1 TO 10. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–10) Offered intermittently. Prereq., upper–division standing in geosciences or consent of instr. Independent study of various topics under the direction of a faculty member.
  • GEO 498 - Internship

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate. Offered every term. Prereq., 12 credits in geosciences. Extended classroom experience which provides practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus. Prior approval must be obtained from the faculty supervisor and the Internship Services office. No more than 3 credits of GEOS 398 may be applied to the geosciences minor. A maximum of 6 credits of Internship (198, 298, 398, 498) may count toward graduation.
  • GEO 499 - senior thesis / capstone

    Credits: 3 TO 10. Level: Undergraduate. (R–10) Offered every term. Prereq., 18 credits in geosciences. Independent research project in any geosciences topic supervised by faculty member, and leading to completion of baccalaureate degree.
    Course Attributes:
    • Writing Course-Upper-Division
  • GEO 508 - Fundamentals of Acad Research

    Credits: 2. Level: Graduate. Offered autumn. Prereq., graduate standing.  An introduction to research methods and tools in the academic setting intended for first semester graduate students in geosciences.  Topics include proposal writing, presenting research results in oral and written formats, using computer tools for research in the geosciences, and ongoing research of department faculty.
  • GEO 522 - Metamorphic Terrain Analysis

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn. Introduction to techniques used to analyze burial and uplift histories of metamorphic terrains.  Topics include: geochronology, including closure temperature theory and the use of geochronologic systems as thermochronometers; geothermometry and geobarometry; quantitative thermodynamic modeling of P–T paths; heat flow and the thermal structure of orogenic belts.
  • GEO 528 - Sedimentary Basin Analysis

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn. Influence of allocyclic processes (tectonism, climate, eustacy, etc.,) in shaping the evolution of sedimentary basins.  Emphasis on integration and synthesis of tools of sedimentary basins analysis, including the study of depositional systems, provenance, paleocurrents, subsidence, sequence stratigraphy, and well logs.
  • GEO 531 - Envir Geochem Metal Contam

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn. Prereq., GEO 570, 579; CHMY 442; FOR 511 or consent of instr.  Integration of major processes and cycles transporting, fixing, and transforming inorganic contaminants in aquatic systems, soils, sediments and subsurface environments.  Concentration on research to solve complex environmental problems.
  • GEO 548 - Topics in Cryosphere

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6 M.S., R–12 Ph.D.) Offered spring.  Prereq., graduate standing or consent of instructor.  Readings, discussions, lectures, and field experiments on various topics related to snow, ice, and climate processes.  Recent topics: meltwater infiltration in snow, glacier hydrology, climate cycles, ice, and sea level rise.
  • GEO 560 - Fluvial Geomorphology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn.  Prereq., graduate standing or consent of instructor.  Application of fluid mechanics to sediment transport and development of river morphology.  Form and process in river meanders, the pool–riffle sequence, aggradation, grade, and baselevel.
  • GEO 570 - Aqueous Geochemistry

    Credits: 4. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered alternate years. Prereq. one year college chemistry and one year of calculus, or consent of instructor. Water is necessary for life. Water carries nutrients, dissolved minerals, and contaminants through the hydrological cycle and within living systems. This course discusses the chemistry of aqueous systems including aqueous kinetics, aqueous thermodynamics, acid/base chemistry, carbonate systematics, oxidation/reduction reactions, mineral solubility, and complexation. It includes an introduction to the use of geochemical models to model kinetic and thermodynamic systems. Concepts are applied to examples from natural systems that are selected based on the interests of the students in the class. Students are evaluated by problem sets, exams, and a term paper
  • GEO 572 - Adv Hydrogeology

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered spring. Prereq., GEO 420 or consent of instr. Advanced concepts used in groundwater investigations, including flow systems analysis, hydrogeologic monitoring and sampling, resource evaluation, exploration, development and monitoring, and contaminant transport. Special problem areas in groundwater exploration and management.
  • GEO 573 - Appl Grndwater Modeling

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered autumn. Prereq., GEO 420 or consent of instr. Development of numerical modeling techniques, finite difference and finite element modeling of groundwater flow systems. Application of standard 2D and 3D models to field problems.
  • GEO 579 - Chemistry of Hot Springs

    Credits: 3. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered alternate years. Prereq., one year of college of chemistry or consent of instr. Hydrothermal systems support the most ancient microorganisms and may have been the locus for the first appearance of life on Earth. Terrestrial hot springs are the surface expression of deep circulation of fluids that concentrate elements, opening a window into processes leading to ore formation. This course discusses the chemistry and geology of hydrothermal systems including solute/gas geothermometry, acid/base reactions, oxidation/reduction reactions, mineral equilibrium, and microbial ecology as applied to terrestrial and submarine hydrothermal systems. The course includes an introduction to the use of geochemical models and a field trip to a hot spring system. Students are evaluated on class discussions and presentations, problems sets, and a term paper.
  • GEO 580 - Topics Mineral & Petrol

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6 for M.S., R–12 for Ph.D.) Prereq., consent of instr. Offerings on request of graduate students by arrangement with appropriate faculty. Recent topics: tectonics and petrology; alkaline igneous rocks.
  • GEO 582 - Tps Structure & Geophysics

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6 for M.S., R–12 for Ph.D.) Prereq., consent of instr. Offerings on request of graduate students by arrangement with appropriate faculty. Recent topics: structural analysis, Precambrian crustal evolution, field trips on Rocky Mountain structure.
  • GEO 583 - Tps Strat, Sed & Paleo

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6 for M.S., R–12 for Ph.D.) Prereq., consent of instr. Offerings on request of graduate students by arrangement with appropriate faculty. Recent topics: evolution of life; Proterozoic stratigraphy; reefs through time.
  • GEO 585 - Tps Hydro Low-Temp Geochem

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6 for M.S., R–12 for Ph.D.) Prereq., consent of instr. Offerings on request of graduate students by arrangement with appropriate faculty. Recent topics: field methods, well design, contaminant transport, geochemical modeling.
  • GEO 587 - Geomorph Seminar

    Credits: 1 TO 6. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6 for M.S., R–12 for Ph.D.)  Offered alternate years.  Prereq., consent of instr.  Reading and discussion of relevant papers.  Offerings on request of graduate students by arrangement with appropriate faculty.  Recent topics: landscape evolution; weathering processes; tectonic geomorphology. 
  • GEO 590 - Supervised Internship

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. Offered intermittently. Directed individual research and study appropriate to the back ground and objectives of the student.
  • GEO 595 - Special Topics

    Credits: 1 TO 8. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–8) Offered intermittently. Prereq., consent of instr. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one–time offerings of current topics.
  • GEO 597 - Advanced Problems

    Credits: 1 TO 10. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–10) Offered intermittently. Prereq., consent of instr. Investigations of geological problems exclusive of thesis or dissertation research.
  • GEO 599 - Thesis Research

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–6) Offered every term. Prereq., thesis proposal approval. Directed research to serve as thesis for the master degree. Credit assigned upon submittal of final copy of approved and bound thesis.
  • GEO 699 - Dissertation Research

    Credits: 1 TO 12. Level: Undergraduate, Graduate. (R–12) Offered every term. Prereq., dissertation proposal approval. Directed research to serve as dissertation for the Ph.D. degree. Credit assigned upon submittal of final copy of approved and bound dissertation.