Undergraduate Course Catalog

Geological Sciences

R. Fluegeman, Chairperson

Geoscientists study the earth with primary attention to its history, materials, and structure, and to the active processes that continue to change the landscape. Geologists investigate environmental problems such as geologic hazards involving flooding, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, evaluate groundwater resources, discover new mineral and petroleum deposits, study geochemical cycles associated with climate, and study the moon and planets.

The department offers three majors: 1) major in geology, 2) major in earth science, and 3) major in earth/space science education. The major in earth/space science education prepares students for teaching at the middle and high school levels. The major in geology provides students with classic geologic training and involves a strong background in math and science and the applications of these fields to geology. The major in earth science provides students with a comprehensive overview of interacting earth systems including lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere, as well as understanding the evolution of earth’s physical and biological systems through time. Both of these majors prepare students for geological careers in industry, environmental consulting and government agencies, and for graduate study that leads to research, teaching, management, and many other positions in industry, government, and education.


MAJOR IN EARTH SCIENCE (BA/BS), 60 hours

Students are expected to have completed GEOL 101 or a high school or college earth science course with an approved geology lab and mathematics through MATH 112 or their high school equivalent as approved by the primary departmental advisor.

PREFIX

NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

CHEM
GEOG
GEOL
 
 
 

 





NREM

111
230
201
207
220
240
290
308
310
315
360
383
420
221

General Chemistry 1
Elementary Meteorology 
Earth, Life, and Time 
Environ Geology Geochem Cycles 
Earth Materials 
Geomorpholgy 
Computer Applic Geosciences 
Sedimentary Geology  
Igneous Metamorphic Petrology 
Structural Geology Tectonics
Hydrogeology  
Field Geology  
Oceanography   
Soil Resources

4
3
3
3
3
3
1
3
3
4
3
6
3
3

9-12 hours from

GEOL







409
411
412
416
425
435
470
471
475

Micropaleontology (3) 
Advanced Ign Met Petrology (3)
Sedimentary Petrology (3) 
Geology Hazards Environment (3)
Geophysics (3)
Sequence Stratigraphy (3)
Groundwater Geochemistry (3)
Volcanology and Volc Hazards (3)
Glacial Geology (3)

 







9-12

3-6 hours from

GEOG


NREM

265
331
342
324

Intro Geographic Info Systems (3)
Global Climatology (3)
Introduction to Remote Sensing (3)
Soil Classification/Interpretation (3)

3-6





60 hrs
Recommended: CS 120 and one year of college chemistry or physics or both. Recommended majors and minors include anthropology, biology, business administration, chemistry, economics, modern languages and classics, geography, mathematics, natural resources, and physics.

MAJOR IN GEOLOGY (BA/BS), 64-66 hours

Students are expected to have completed GEOL 101 or a high school or college earth science course with an approved geology lab and mathematics through MATH 112 or the high school equivalent as approved by the primary departmental advisor.

PREFIX

NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

CHEM

GEOL
  
  
  
 





PHYC

111
112
201
207
220
240
290
308
310
315
360
383
110
112

General Chemistry 1
General Chemistry 2
Earth, Life, and Time 
Environ Geology Geochem Cycles 
Earth Materials 
Geomorpholgy 
Computer Applic Geosciences 
Sedimentary Geology  
Igneous Metamorphic Petrology 
Structural Geology Tectonics
Hydrogeology  
Field Geology  
General Physics 1
General Physics 2

4
4
3
3
3
3
1
3
3
4
3
6
4
4

12 hours from

GEOL








409
411
412
416
420
425
435
470
471
475

Micropaleontology (3) 
Advanced Ign Met Petrology (3)
Sedimentary Petrology (3) 
Geology Hazards Environment (3)
Oceanography (3)
Geophysics (3)
Sequence Stratigraphy (3)
Groundwater Geochemistry (3)
Volcanology and Volc Hazards (3)
Glacial Geology (3)

  
  
  
  
 
  
  


12

4-6 hours from

MATH


165
or
161
and

Calculus 1 (4)

Applied Calculus 1 (3)



 
3 hours from

MATH

162
181

Applied Calculus 2 (3)
Elementary Probability Stats (3)

4-6





64-66 hrs
Skills in a modern foreign language are encouraged. Recommended minors include biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, economics, geography, mathematics, and natural resources.

MINOR IN ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, 21 hours

PREFIX

NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

GEOL 

GEOG
GEOL
 

101
or
101
201
206

Planet Earth Geol Environment (3)  

Earth Sea Sky: Geographic View (3)  
Earth, Life, and Time    
Oceans and Nations 

3
3
3

9 hours from     

GEOL




207
240
350
360
420
470

Environ Geology Geochem Cycles (3) 
Geomorpholgy (3)
Physical Hydrology (3)
Hydrogeology (3) 
Oceanography (3)
Groundwater Geochemistry (3)

9

3 hours from

EMHS
GEOG


NREM

350
265
331
342
221

Haz Mat Health and Safety (3)
Intro Geographic Info Systems (3)
Global Climatology (3) 
Introduction to Remote Sensing (3)
Soil Resources (3)

3





21 hrs

MINOR IN GEOLOGY, 18 hours

PREFIX

NO 

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

GEOL

101
201

Planet Earth Geol Environment  
Earth, Life, and Time

3
3

12 hours from elective sequence approved by a geology faculty advisor (GEOL 206 not included)

12





18 hrs
Specific elective sequences are recommended for particular majors such as various business, environmental planning, and science disciplines.

TEACHER EDUCATION

SCIENCE TEACHING MAJORS

(See Science, College of Sciences and Humanities, for the Teaching Major in Earth/Space Science.)

GEOLOGY (GEOL)

101 Planet Earth's Geological Environment (3)
Introductory study of the materials, structure, and surface features of the earth; the processes responsible for their development; geologic hazards; and the application of geologic knowledge to mankind's environmental and resource problems. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1730).

105 Laboratory in Physical Geology (1)
Practical study of minerals, rock, planemetric and topographic maps, fold and fault structures, geological maps, climate change, earthquakes, flooding, sustainability; local field trip. An introductory high school or college earth science course. 
    Prerequisite: an introductory high school or college earth science course; permission of the department chairperson. 
    Not open to students who have credit in GEOL 101. 
    Open only to geology and earth science students that had an introductory earth science course without a lab similar to GEOL 101. 

110 Age of the Dinosaurs (3)
Discussion of the dinosaurs, their classification, their relationship to the environment, their geographic distribution, and their geologic record. Special emphasis on new theories about dinosaur ecology, behavior, and extinction. 

201 Earth, Life, and Time (3)
Introduction to the geologic history of the Earth’s dynamic systems in relation to the development of the modern environment. Regularly scheduled laboratory. 
    Prerequisite: any UCC-21 Tier 1 course in the Natural Sciences Domain or permission of the department chairperson. 

206 Oceans and Nations (3)
Worldwide human interactions with the oceans and international conflicts of interest related to the marine environment. Introduction to oceanography, marine law, resource conflicts, pollution, cooperation for research and hazard response, and other topics. Credit does not count toward the geology minor. 

207 Environmental Geology—Geological/Geochemical Cycles (3)
Explores the geochemical cycling in the interior of the Earth and its effects on surface processes, the cycling of components crucial for humans and life in general such as water, carbon, and nitrogen, and the geologic cycling of hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals. Regularly scheduled laboratory. 
    Prerequisite: CHEM 111; GEOL 101; or high school equivalents, or permission of the department chairperson. 

220 Earth Materials (3)
Principles of crystallography and mineralogy and the relationships of minerals to the composition and types of rocks of the earth's crust. Laboratory work concerned with crystallographic operations and the identification of minerals by physical and chemical properties. Regularly scheduled laboratory. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 101; or permission of the department chairperson. 
    Prerequisite or parallel: CHEM 111 or permission of the department chairperson. 
    Not open to students who have credit in GEOL 435. 

240 Geomorphology (3)
Study of landforms and the earth surface processes that shape them. Effects of geology and climate on landscapes sculpted by weathering, mass movements, rivers, groundwater, volcanism, tectonics, wind, and waves throughout the world. Regularly scheduled laboratory; overnight field trip. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 101 or high school equivalent or permission of the department chairperson.

290 Computer Applications in the Geosciences (1)
Survey of the various computer applications in the geosciences. Designed to supplement existing geoscience and computer science courses by providing opportunity to gain experience in working with software programs in various geoscience data-collecting, calculation, and graphic display applications. 
    A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 1 in any one semester or term. 

299X Experimental/Developmental Topics (1-6)
Immersion or experiential topics relevant to the discipline. Section titles will be announced before each semester.
    A total of 9 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 6 in any one semester or term.

302 Global Positioning System Techniques (1)
Global Positioning System (GPS) surveying and mapping techniques. Overview of satellite and system technology, examination of various GPS units available for applications, techniques using units individually or in combination for mapping and navigation, differential GPS methods, use in computer-generated maps. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson. 
    A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 1 in any one semester or term. 

308 Sedimentary Geology (3)
An introduction to the study of sedimentary rocks and processes. Sedimentary rock description, depositional environments, and the application of stratigraphic methods. Regularly scheduled laboratory and a field trip. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 201 or permission of the department chairperson. 

310 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (3)
Origin and description of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Incorporates information on recent advances in our understanding of these rocks. Provides an overview of the field of petrology and a solid foundation for more advanced studies. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 220 or permission of the department chairperson. 

315 Structural Geology, Tectonics and Basic Field Methods (4)
Designed to give middle- and upper-level students an introduction to rock-deformation theory, structural geology, and tectonics. Looks at microscopic to macroscopic deformation of rock in the Earth’s lithosphere and basic field mapping techniques. Associated field trips. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 201, 220; MATH 112 or equivalent, or permission of the department chairperson.

330 Geological Field Tour (1-6)
Rocks, structure, fossils, landforms, environmental geology, economic resources, and geologic history of a specific region, investigated mainly in the field. Individual course offerings specify geographic region of focus, any on-campus class meeting component in addition to the extended field trip, and student assignments/evaluation.
    A total of 12 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 6 in any one semester or term.

350 (450) Physical Hydrology (3)
Fundamental physical and chemical principles governing the occurrence and circulation of water at and near the Earth's surface. A quantitative approach is taken to mathematically describe hydrological phenomena, such as open channel flow and surface water hydraulics.
    Prerequisite: GEOL 240.

360 Hydrogeology (3)
An intensive survey of the physical properties of groundwater flow and the classic literature of aquifer studies.
    Prerequisite: GEOL 350, and MATH 161 or 165, and PHYC 110, or permission of the department chairperson.
    Not open to students who have credit in GEOL 560.

369 Professional Experience (1-4)
Paid professional work and learning experience arranged during one or more semesters or summers. Eligible students will be placed in an approved agency or private business. Assignments, including activity log, self-analysis, and summary report, are supervised by the department. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson and the coordinator of internships.
    A total of 4 hours of credit may be earned. 

383 Field Geology (6)
A capstone experience applying field techniques to the resolution of geologic problems. Group and individual projects include accumulation and interpretation of field observations and preparation of geologic maps, cross sections, and stratigraphic sections to answer geologic questions. Five-week summer field course in the Rocky Mountains. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 201, 220, 240, 290, 308; or permission of the department chairperson.  

409 Micropaleontology (3)
Morphology, classification, preparation techniques, and evolution of paleontologically significant microfossil groups and their biostratigraphic and paleoecologic significance. Emphasizes foraminifera, conodonts, and ostracodes. Regularly scheduled laboratory. Includes an immersion experience. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 308 or permission of the department chairperson.  

411 Advanced Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (3)
Processes responsible for, and the rocks and minerals associated with, the formation of both igneous and metamorphic rocks. Microscopic to macroscopic features associated with these processes. Regularly scheduled laboratory. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 220, 310 or permission of the department chairperson. 

412 Sedimentary Petrology (3)
A petrographic approach to the classification and genetic interpretation of sedimentary rocks. Terrigenous sandstones and carbonate rocks will be emphasized with lesser stress on mud rocks and non-carbonate chemical rocks. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 201, 220, 310 or permission of the department chairperson. 

413 Experimental Petrology (3)
Students are introduced with several experimental apparatuses that are designed to simulate the behavior of Earth's materials at different P-T conditions. Student will learn various heterogeneous phase equilibria that are of interest to geologists. Students are expected to learn how to construct various phase diagrams and to apply appropriate melting systems to model the formation of solid Earth and the other terrestrial bodies.
    Prerequisite: GEOL 310.

416 Geology of Hazards and the Environment (3)
Applied geology for hazard and environmental problems. Properties and mechanics of rocks and soil; geologic materials in construction; erosion, mass wasting, subsidence; flooding, shoreline, seismic, volcanic, and other natural hazards. Dams, tunnels, mines, shoreline structures, and other special construction problems; groundwater engineering problems. 
    Prerequisite: an introductory course such as GEOL 101, 207, 240; NREM 211 or EMHS 352; MATH 108 or high school equivalent, or permission of the department chairperson.  

420 Oceanography (3)
Description of geological and physical characteristics of the oceans, marine processes, and related topics. 
    Prerequisite: CHEM 111; GEOL 201, 207; or permission of the department chairperson. 

425 Geophysics (3)
An intensive survey of the study of properties of earth materials. The focus is on the first principles that govern geophysical properties, and the techniques used to measure those properties.
    Prerequisite: MATH 161 or 165, and PHYC 110, or permission of the department chairperson.

434 Applied Biostratigraphy (3)
Advanced undergraduate course designed to provide practical experience in geologic problem solving in energy and oceanographic fields. Intended as an advanced elective which will provide an immersion opportunity for geology and earth science majors. Focused on the use of microfossils to solve correlation and paleoecological problems, primarily in the subsurface. Run as a semester length course (usually during the fall semester) and involves work in the Ball State University Biostratigraphy Laboratory.                 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 409 or permission of the instructor.

435 Sequence Stratigraphy (3)
Principles and practices of sequence stratigraphy. Use of surface and subsurface stratigraphic data in the reconstruction of depositional sequences and records of sea-level change. Includes an immersion experience. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 308 or permission of the department chairperson.  

440 Karst Environments and Carbonate Geology (3)
A study of a portion of the global carbon cycle that includes an intensive survey of karst aquifers and landscapes as well as the geology of the carbonate rocks in which the karst forms. Planned topics will include carbonate depositional environments, carbonate petrology and diagenesis, speleogenetic theories, karst hydrology and geochemistry, karst geomorphology, and environmental/engineering challenges in karst.         
    Prerequisite: GEOL 207, 240.                
    Not open to students who have credit in GEOL 540.

462 Environmental Geology in the Field and Laboratory (3)
Provides development of research projects and instruction in field and laboratory techniques used in the collection and analysis of field samples. The techniques are applied to the study of local environment research projects and may include instruction on well probes and standard "wet" chemical techniques. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 207, 360 or 560. 

470 Groundwater Geochemistry (3)
Introduces the processes controlling the composition of natural waters; streams, lakes, oceans, and near-surface groundwaters. Focuses on the effects of human activities, biological systems, and inorganic geochemistry processes on water chemistry. 
    Prerequisite: CHEM 111, 112; GEOL 101; or permission of the department chairperson. 

471 Volcanology and Volcanic Hazards (3)
Designed to give middle- and upper-level students a working knowledge of the causes and effects of the various types of volcanism ranging from quiescent Hawaiian-style volcanoes to the explosive SW Pacific volcanoes. In addition, looks at volcanic prediction, monitoring, and hazard response programs. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 201 or permission of the department chairperson. 

475 Glacial Geology (3)
In-depth study of the physical nature of glaciers, their deposits, and the erosional and depositional landforms they create. Introduction to glacial history of the north-central United States. Term paper required. 
    Prerequisite: GEOL 240; PHYC 110 or 120; or permission of the instructor. 

480 Special Studies and Field Problems (1-3)
Selected detailed geologic problems under the guidance of a qualified instructor. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson. 
    A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term.

485 Group Field Research Experience (3-6) 
Mentored, intensive, independent and/or collaborative research experience in a group setting, at an off-campus location.
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.
    A total of 12 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 6 in any one semester or term.
    Not open to students who have credit in GEOL 585 same topic. 

499X Experimental Elective Course (1-6) 
Experimental new specialty course in the geological sciences. Topic and mode of instruction vary by semester of offering.
    A total of 9 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 6 in any one semester or term.
    Not open to students who have credit in GEOL 599X same topic.
    Open only to students with at least junior status.