Course Descriptions

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GEOL-101

Physical Geology

Credit(s): 4

This course is the study of the origin and development of the earth. It includes the detailed study of the development of the Earth's crust, its minerals, rocks, volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, and continents. This course provides an understanding of the natural and physical processes of the planet Earth and an appreciation for the impact geology has on everyday life. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Corequisites: GEOL-101L

GEOL-102

Historical Geology

Credit(s): 4

This course is an introduction to the principles and interpretation of geologic history. It emphasizes the evolution of the earth's lithosphere (crust), atmosphere, and biosphere through geologic time. This course includes consideration of the historical aspects of plate tectonics, the geologic development of North America, and important events in biological evolution and the resulting assembly of fossils. GEOL-102 provides an appreciation for the vast extent of geologic time, the natural processes affecting change on the earth, and the identification of common fossil types. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Corequisites: GEOL-102L

GEOL-123

Geology of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest

Credit(s): 4

This course is the study of the geologic history of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. It provides a comprehensive overview of the major geologic provinces of the region and their genesis through geologic time. Lithologic and structural controls on topographic features are emphasized, as are current scientific and social issues directly related to the geology of various localities. Field trips to extraordinary locales illustrate landscape development in response to geologic change. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Corequisites: GEOL-123L

GEOL-255

Systematic Mineralogy

Credit(s): 4

This is a study of the classification and determination of minerals by physical, chemical, and crystallographic and optical properties. It emphasizes occurrences, identification, and uses of the silicate minerals and the non-silicate ore and rock-forming minerals. The weekly three-hour laboratory includes hands-on testing and identification of mineral samples including utilizing their optical properties in oil mounts and thin section, and field trips to significant mineral locations. Students learn to recognize and identify important ore and industrial minerals, while gaining an appreciation for the application of mineral resources to everyday life. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Prerequisites: Complete GEOL-101 and GEOL-101L with a minimum grade of C-.
Corequisites: GEOL-255L

GEOL-270

Geology of National Parks

Credit(s): 3

This course is designed to enhance student understanding of key geological concepts by examining features from selected national parks. Landscape genesis and evolution is studied in relation to the wider scope of regional geologic history. One 3-day field trip is required. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Prerequisites: Complete GEOL-101, GEOL-102, GEOL-123 or GEOG-100 with a minimum grade of C-.