Spring 2017   Fall 2016  

Spring 2017

GEOL 101-01

Dinosaurs

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: OLRI 100
  • Instructor: Kristina Curry Rogers

Notes: *First day attendance required*

Dinosaurs dominated Earth's landscapes for nearly 200 million years, and then they vanished in one of the "big-five" mass extinctions in the history of life. This course explores the evolution of dinosaurs, and examines their biology and behavior. Students are introduced to the various groups of dinosaurs as they study the reasons behind their dramatic diversification and ecological success. Theories that pertain to their abrupt disappearance 65 million years ago are also explored. The class includes a field trip to the dinosaur hall at the Science Museum of Minnesota. (4 credits)

GEOL 102-01

Exploring the Solar System

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Karl Wirth

Notes: Recent planetary missions have provided a wealth of new and exciting information about our solar system and beyond. This course examines the science behind these recent discoveries. Readings and discussions focus on a variety of topics, including: (1) processes of planetary formation, (2) the geology of the Earth, Moon, Sun, and other planets, (3) planetary interiors and atmospheres, (4) asteroids, meteorites, comets, and the newly appreciated role of impacts, (5) the seemingly unique status of the Earth as a habitable planet, and (6) the potential for extraterrestrial life. Course projects make extensive use of internet resources, computer software, satellite imagery, and solar system materials (rocks from the Moon, Mars, and asteroids). (4 credits)

GEOL 120-01

Environmental Geology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Kelly MacGregor

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 120-01 and GEOG 120-01*

The physical environment has begun to show signs of our earth's expanding population and the increasing need for natural resources. Geologic materials such as soil, water, and bedrock, and geologic processes such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, and running water often pose constraints on land use. This course is designed to introduce students to the relationship between humans and their geologic environment: the earth. We will focus on the understanding the processes that shape the surface of the earth, and how these processes affect human activity. We will use current scientific methods to collect and analyze data. Topics include surface-water dynamics and flooding, groundwater and groundwater contamination, pollution and waste management, landslides, volcanic and earthquake hazards, and global climate change. Format: three hour block per week of local field excursions, lectures, and/or laboratory exercises; evaluation will be based on project reports and homework/classroom assignments, and one exam (final). Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 120 and Geography 120. (4 credits)

GEOL 120-L1

Environmental Geology Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Kelly MacGregor

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 120-L1 and GEOG 120-L1*

The physical environment has begun to show signs of our earth's expanding population and the increasing need for natural resources. Geologic materials such as soil, water, and bedrock, and geologic processes such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, and running water often pose constraints on land use. This course is designed to introduce students to the relationship between humans and their geologic environment: the earth. We will focus on the understanding the processes that shape the surface of the earth, and how these processes affect human activity. We will use current scientific methods to collect and analyze data. Topics include surface-water dynamics and flooding, groundwater and groundwater contamination, pollution and waste management, landslides, volcanic and earthquake hazards, and global climate change. Format: three hour block per week of local field excursions, lectures, and/or laboratory exercises; evaluation will be based on project reports and homework/classroom assignments, and one exam (final). Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 120 and Geography 120. (4 credits)

GEOL 165-01

History/Evolution of Earth

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 100
  • Instructor: Raymond Rogers

Notes: This course provides an overview of the Earth for the past 4.6 billion years. Students explore the concept of geologic time as they delve into the vast past of our evolving planet. Major emphasis is placed on tracking the evolution of life, from the simplest single-celled organisms of the ancient Earth to today's diverse floras and faunas. Another major focus is the linkage among abiotic and biotic systems, the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere did not and do not evolve independently. The laboratory component of this course is designed to familiarize students with the rocks and fossils that archive the history of Earth. The class includes a fossil-collecting field trip. Required for geology majors. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. (4 credits)

GEOL 165-L1

History/Evolution of Earth Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Jeffrey Thole

Notes: This course provides an overview of the Earth for the past 4.6 billion years. Students explore the concept of geologic time as they delve into the vast past of our evolving planet. Major emphasis is placed on tracking the evolution of life, from the simplest single-celled organisms of the ancient Earth to today's diverse floras and faunas. Another major focus is the linkage among abiotic and biotic systems, the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere did not and do not evolve independently. The laboratory component of this course is designed to familiarize students with the rocks and fossils that archive the history of Earth. The class includes a fossil-collecting field trip. Required for geology majors. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. (4 credits)

GEOL 165-L2

History/Evolution of Earth Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Jeffrey Thole

Notes: This course provides an overview of the Earth for the past 4.6 billion years. Students explore the concept of geologic time as they delve into the vast past of our evolving planet. Major emphasis is placed on tracking the evolution of life, from the simplest single-celled organisms of the ancient Earth to today's diverse floras and faunas. Another major focus is the linkage among abiotic and biotic systems, the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere did not and do not evolve independently. The laboratory component of this course is designed to familiarize students with the rocks and fossils that archive the history of Earth. The class includes a fossil-collecting field trip. Required for geology majors. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. (4 credits)

GEOL 255-01

Structural Geology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 179
  • Instructor: Alan Chapman

Notes: This course focuses on the primary and secondary structures of rocks, the mechanics of rock deformation, and global tectonics. Discussions focus on the origins and interpretations of major rock features using hand samples and thin sections. Problem sets use graphical techniques to solve structural problems. This course also provides an introduction to map interpretation and mapping techniques. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 255-L1

Structural Geology Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 179
  • Instructor: Alan Chapman

Notes: This course focuses on the primary and secondary structures of rocks, the mechanics of rock deformation, and global tectonics. Discussions focus on the origins and interpretations of major rock features using hand samples and thin sections. Problem sets use graphical techniques to solve structural problems. This course also provides an introduction to map interpretation and mapping techniques. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 265-01

Sedimentology/Stratigraphy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Raymond Rogers

Notes: This course focuses on sedimentary rocks and the stratigraphic record. Topics covered include the origin and classification of sediments and sedimentary rocks (siliciclatic and carbonate), sedimentary structures (physical and biogenic), diagenesis, facies models, and basin analysis. Students are introduced to the principles and practice of stratigraphy. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of ancient sedimentary environments. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 265-L1

Sedimentology/Stratigraphy Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-04:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Raymond Rogers

Notes: This course focuses on sedimentary rocks and the stratigraphic record. Topics covered include the origin and classification of sediments and sedimentary rocks (siliciclatic and carbonate), sedimentary structures (physical and biogenic), diagenesis, facies models, and basin analysis. Students are introduced to the principles and practice of stratigraphy. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of ancient sedimentary environments. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 302-01

Petrology and Geochemistry

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 08:30 am-10:30 am
  • Room: OLRI 179
  • Instructor: Karl Wirth

Notes: This course focuses on the classification, occurrence, and origin of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Emphasis will be placed on the relationships between lithology, geochemistry, and tectonic setting. Laboratory exercises include hand specimen identification, thin-section interpretation, textural analysis, major and trace element modeling, SEM/EDS and XRF analysis. Students participate in a semester-long research project on a local geological feature. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 360-01

Paleoclimate

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Louisa Bradtmiller

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 360-01; first day attendance required; ACTC students may register on the first day of class with permssion of the instructor*

Earth's climate has evolved with the planet itself as changing boundary conditions in the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and lithosphere have caused ice ages, periods of extreme warmth and mass extinctions. Information about these events is contained in the geologic record in the form of fossils and rock sequences, but also in lake and ocean sediments, ice sheets, cave deposits and tree rings. This course will provide an overview of variations in climate throughout Earth history while simultaneously examining the proxies and archives used to reconstruct those changes. We will also construct our own record of paleoclimate using cores from a local lake and a variety of laboratory techniques. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 360. (4 credits)

GEOL 360-L1

Paleoclimate Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Louisa Bradtmiller

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 360-L1; first day attendance required; ACTC students may register on the first day of class with permission of the instructor**

Earth's climate has evolved with the planet itself as changing boundary conditions in the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and lithosphere have caused ice ages, periods of extreme warmth and mass extinctions. Information about these events is contained in the geologic record in the form of fossils and rock sequences, but also in lake and ocean sediments, ice sheets, cave deposits and tree rings. This course will provide an overview of variations in climate throughout Earth history while simultaneously examining the proxies and archives used to reconstruct those changes. We will also construct our own record of paleoclimate using cores from a local lake and a variety of laboratory techniques. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 360. (4 credits)

GEOL 394-01

Geophysics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Alan Chapman

Notes: Geophysicists use a variety of quantitative tools to investigate the physical properties of, and the processes operating within, the earth. These tools allow measurement of heat flow, gravitational fields, magnetic fields, seismic waves, tectonic displacements, and material deformation (i.e., rheology). Geophysical data provides key constraints on problems in plate tectonics, the internal structure of the earth, resource exploration, and natural hazard mitigation. The course will provide a holistic view of "how the earth works" through discussions and applications of the tools available to geophysicists. The course will also focus on the “local” puzzle of the Midcontinent Rift System through discussions of cutting-edge geophysical research produced through the Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment (SPREE). Three hours lecture per week (no lab); field trips.

GEOL 450-01

Senior Seminar

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Raymond Rogers

Notes: *1 credit course*

Senior geology majors will participate with faculty and staff in readings, presentations, and discussions of pertinent geological topics (e.g. plate tectonics, global change, mass extinction). The historical and philosophical roots of geology will be examined. Potential field trips. S/N grading only. (1 credit)

Fall 2016

GEOL 160-01

Dynamic Earth/Global Change

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 100
  • Instructor: Karl Wirth

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 160-01*

This course provides an introduction to the materials and structure of the Earth and to the processes acting on and in the Earth to produce change. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of landforms and the formation of Earth resources. Discussions focus on the important role of geologic processes in the solution of environmental problems. Required for geology majors. Local field trips. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 160. (4 credits)

GEOL 160-02

Dynamic Earth/Global Change

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Alan Chapman

Notes: *First Year Course only; cross-listed with ENVI 160-02* Students are introduced to Earth materials, the processes that have shaped the Earth through geologic time, geological hazards that affect our lives, and our impact on the environment. Surficial geological processes that alter rocks and transform the Earth landscape including weathering and mass wasting, and transformation agents such as water and wind action, and groundwater circulation are discussed. The structure of the earth's interior and internal geologic processes such as volcanism, earthquakes, crustal deformation, and plate tectonics are examined. Required for geology majors. Local field trips. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week.

GEOL 160-L1

Dynamic Earth/Global Chng Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Jeffrey Thole

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 160-L1*

This course provides an introduction to the materials and structure of the Earth and to the processes acting on and in the Earth to produce change. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of landforms and the formation of Earth resources. Discussions focus on the important role of geologic processes in the solution of environmental problems. Required for geology majors. Local field trips. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 160. (4 credits)

GEOL 160-L2

Dynamic Earth/Global Chng Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Jeffrey Thole

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 160-L2*

This course provides an introduction to the materials and structure of the Earth and to the processes acting on and in the Earth to produce change. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of landforms and the formation of Earth resources. Discussions focus on the important role of geologic processes in the solution of environmental problems. Required for geology majors. Local field trips. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 160. (4 credits)

GEOL 160-L3

Dynamic Earth/Global Chng Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Jeffrey Thole

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 160-L3; First Year Lab only*

This course provides an introduction to the materials and structure of the Earth and to the processes acting on and in the Earth to produce change. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of landforms and the formation of Earth resources. Discussions focus on the important role of geologic processes in the solution of environmental problems. Required for geology majors. Local field trips. Three hours lecture and two hours lab per week. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 160. (4 credits)

GEOL 250-01

Mineralogy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 08:30 am-10:30 am
  • Room: OLRI 179
  • Instructor: Karl Wirth

Notes: This course examines the relationships between symmetry, chemistry, physical and optical properties, and occurrence of minerals. General cosmochemistry, geochemistry and crystal growth will also be discussed. Laboratory projects include crystal morphology and symmetry, optical mineralogy, x-ray diffraction, wet chemistry, and the identification of common rock-forming minerals. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 260-01

Geomorphology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Kelly MacGregor

Notes: Geomorphology is the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur on the surface of a planetary body. We will be examining the processes that turn solid rock into transportable material, the transport mechanisms themselves (whether beneath glaciers, down hillslopes, or in rivers), and the patterns of deposition, many of which are unique to the processes that created them. These processes range from the very large (volcanism and mountain-building) to the microscopic (frost cracking of rock, soil creep, and chemical weathering along mineralogic grain boundaries). Some processes occur frequently across geographic boundaries and throughout geologic time (like rainsplash), while others are stochastic in nature and dramatic in their geomorphic signature (like glacial outburst floods). We will focus on the roles of rivers, glaciers, and mass movements in shaping landscapes, but will examine wide-ranging landscapes such as arid environments and coastal regions. The study of current surface processes on the Earth will be examined with an eye toward understanding the evolution of landscapes over geologic timescales. (5 credits)

GEOL 260-L1

Geomorphology Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Kelly MacGregor

Notes: Geomorphology is the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur on the surface of a planetary body. We will be examining the processes that turn solid rock into transportable material, the transport mechanisms themselves (whether beneath glaciers, down hillslopes, or in rivers), and the patterns of deposition, many of which are unique to the processes that created them. These processes range from the very large (volcanism and mountain-building) to the microscopic (frost cracking of rock, soil creep, and chemical weathering along mineralogic grain boundaries). Some processes occur frequently across geographic boundaries and throughout geologic time (like rainsplash), while others are stochastic in nature and dramatic in their geomorphic signature (like glacial outburst floods). We will focus on the roles of rivers, glaciers, and mass movements in shaping landscapes, but will examine wide-ranging landscapes such as arid environments and coastal regions. The study of current surface processes on the Earth will be examined with an eye toward understanding the evolution of landscapes over geologic timescales. (5 credits)

GEOL 300-01

Paleobiology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Raymond Rogers

Notes: This course surveys the long history of life, as recorded by the fossil record. Students are introduced to the morphology and paleoecology of the major fossil groups (invertebrates and vertebrates) through discussions, labs, and readings. Students also learn the methods used to study the paleobiology and evolution of extinct organisms. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Local field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 300-L1

Paleobiology Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-04:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 175
  • Instructor: Raymond Rogers

Notes: This course surveys the long history of life, as recorded by the fossil record. Students are introduced to the morphology and paleoecology of the major fossil groups (invertebrates and vertebrates) through discussions, labs, and readings. Students also learn the methods used to study the paleobiology and evolution of extinct organisms. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Local field trips. (5 credits)

GEOL 304-01

Tectonics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 187
  • Instructor: Alan Chapman

Notes: This course will provide an overview of processes responsible for the formation, deformation, and destruction of Earth's lithosphere. The class will combine perspectives from several geoscientific disciplines to address issues pertinent to plate tectonic processes. The laboratory component of the course will focus on developing good scientific writing and presentation habits. A 3-hour lab accompanies the course. (4 credits)

GEOL 304-L1

Tectonics Lab

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-04:10 pm
  • Room: OLRI 179
  • Instructor: Alan Chapman

Notes: This course will provide an overview of processes responsible for the formation, deformation, and destruction of Earth's lithosphere. The class will combine perspectives from several geoscientific disciplines to address issues pertinent to plate tectonic processes. The laboratory component of the course will focus on developing good scientific writing and presentation habits. A 3-hour lab accompanies the course. (4 credits)