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Geology course catalog


KELSEY M. ARKLE,  Assistant Professor,
B.A., Cornell College; M.S., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

JEANETTE C. ARKLE, Professional Faculty
B.A., B.S., M.S., California State University, Fullerton

S. TOD KULL, Part-time Instructor
GG, Gemological Institute of America

JEFFREY C. STRASSER, Professor, Chair
B.A., Carleton; M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh

MICHAEL B. WOLF, Professor, Fritiof M. Fryxell Chair in Geology
A.B., Hamilton; M.S., Ph.D., Caltech

MAJOR IN GEOLOGY. 44 credits: One gateway GEOL course (GEOL-101, GEOL-105, GEOL-112, or GEOL-123); five core courses (GEOL-201, GEOL-205, GEOL-240, GEOL-450, and GEOL-451); two courses from GEOL-309, GEOL-350, and GEOL-360; two additional elective GEOL courses (including GEOG-306 or ENVR-300); and one required supporting science course (CHEM-131 or CHEM-235).

Upper-level geoscience courses assume math skills equivalent to those mastered in a high school or college pre-calculus course. Students planning to pursue graduate studies or careers in the geosciences are strongly recommended to take MATH-160 (Calculus) as well as additional courses in physics, mathematics, chemistry, geography, environmental studies, and biology. Students should consult the Geology Department advising documents for more information on the major and the transition to semesters.

MINOR IN GEOLOGY. 17 credits (4 courses + 1 credit): One gateway GEOL course (GEOL-101, GEOL-105, GEOL-112, or GEOL-123), GEOL-399 (1-credit), and 12 additional credits (or 3 courses) from GEOL courses at or above the 200-level. GEOG-306 and ENVR-300 may be substituted for GEOL courses. GEOL-399, coordinated with a faculty member, requires completion of a research paper that addresses some aspect of geology and relates it to the student’s primary major, and it must incorporate an additional reflective component demonstrating an understanding of the connectivity between subject areas. This paper could conceivably be an extension of the Senior Inquiry effort within the student’s primary major.

GEOLOGY MAJOR WITH DISTINCTION. Students can earn a departmental distinction upon successful completion of a superior senior research thesis, GEOL-451, and the geology degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.50 for all geology courses and the supporting courses that are required for the major, and demonstrated leadership and service roles within the department.

GEOLOGY MAJOR WITH MERIT. Students can earn this departmental honor upon successful completion of either a superior senior research thesis, GEOL-451, or the geology degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.50 for all geology and supporting courses that are required for the major.

The subject of geology addresses both the materials that form the Earth and the processes of Earth formation and evolution. Sub-disciplines include but are not limited to: study of life and evolution as preserved in the rock record; study of resources upon which our industrial society is based; study of environmental problems and remediation solutions; study of geologic hazards and hazard mitigation. The interdisciplinary study of geology relies upon mastery of geological principles and oral and written communication skills as well as the application of fundamental principles of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics to complex Earth systems.

Grade Point Average Notation: All courses listed in the catalog as required courses for any major and/or minor, including those courses outside of the department or with a different subject coding, are considered part of the major and will count in the grade point average. Some departments may have additional grade requirements for the courses offered within their department. Recommended supporting courses that are optional and not required may also count in the major depending on the program. For more information see your department chair or the degree requirements for Bachelor of Arts and information on Majors/Minors.

Courses (GEOL)

Josh Pearson and Matt Harrington

Winning research from two geology seniors

Matt Harrington ’19 and Josh Pearson ’19 took home research awards from this spring’s joint Geological Society of America meeting

Jenny Arkle

Remote learning

To research mountain formation, Jenny Arkle travels to remote places. Her students can use the thermochronology lab on campus and also travel off campus—way off campus. 

Leech book explores 'city that ate itself'

Augustana's Dr. Brian Leech writes about how Butte, Mont., went from a booming mining economy to a shrinking town infamous for a toxic pit.    

Climate action meeting

Students, faculty and staff are invited to a climate action meeting. There will be updates on the green fund and plans for the first official meeting of the environmental action task force.