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Environmental Earth Resources

Courses of Instruction

(ENER)

Administered by the Department of Geology and available as a major on the B.S. degree. Intended for students seeking a degree that combines environmental geology, computers, and satellite imagery for mapping earth resources.

Requirements for a B.S. degree with a major in Environmental Earth Resources: 34 hours in Geology and 17 hours from related science/math departments.

A. Required Geology courses-20 hours

GEOL 10113 Understanding the Earth
GEOL 10143 Earth Resources & the Environment
GEOL 30213 Mineralogy
GEOL 30393 Environmental Earth Resources
GEOL 30423 Structural Geology
GEOL 50712 Environmental Geology
GEOL 50721 Geographic Information Systems
GEOL 50731 Remote Sensing Technology
GEOL 50901 Computer Applications in Geology

B. 14 more required hours from the following options:

GEOL 30113 Weather and Climate
GEOL 30123 Beaches, Coasts and Oceans
GEOL 30133 Earth History I
GEOL 30143 Earth History II
GEOL 30203 Catastrophes, Controversies, Genesis and Geology
GEOL 30223 Petrology
GEOL 30233 The Rock Cycle
GEOL 30243 Sedimentology
GEOL 30323 Introduction to Marine Science
GEOL 40413 Map Interpretation
GEOL 40493 Geomorphology
GEOL 40893 Senior Thesis
GEOL 40970 Special Problems in Geology
GEOL 50113 Soils
GEOL 50361 Basic Well Log Interpretation
GEOL 50423 Petroleum Geology
GEOL 50493 Physical Hydrology
GEOL 50602 Preparation of Environmental Impact Statements
GEOL 50741 Image Processing
GEOL 50751 Image Interpretation
GEOL 50762 Advanced GIS
GEOL 50783 Environmental Chemistry
GEOL 50883 Introduction to Environmental Engineering Technology
GEOL 50912 Statistical Applications for Microcomputers
GEOL 50922 Mapping Applications for Microcomputers

C. Additional associated requirements -17 hours:

BIOL 10003 Contemporary Issues in Biology
CHEM 10113 General Chemistry
COSC 10403 Introduction to Programming
MATH 10524 Calculus I
PHYS 10153 Physics I
PHYS 10151 Physics I Lab

D. Pass/No Credit Option: Courses in the major (or minor) must be taken for letter grade.

E. Approved electives: In science, math or computer science as approved by the advisor.

The total hours required for the B.S. degree with a major in Environmental Earth Resources is 132 semester hours.

The following is a complete list of courses offered by this department. Go to Class Search on Registrar's Page to see which courses are being taught this semester..


Courses of Instruction


Grades of C or better in GEOL 30213 (Mineralogy), GEOL 30223 (Petrology) and 30423 (Structural Geology) are a prerequisite for admission to courses at the 40000 level or above.

10113 UNDERSTANDING THE EARTH. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. A study of the physical environment of the planet Earth, its makeup, the processes that mould its surface features and an introduction to the resources that it provides.

10123 EARTH HISTORY. Prerequisite GEOL 10113. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. The earth's evolution, covering both its history of shifting continents and spreading oceans and the origin and evolution of life. Field Trip required.

10143 EARTH RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Two hours lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. The earth provides an objective treatment of the state of our environment. Specifically the course seeks to develop a fundamental scientific knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles that underlie current environmental problems, and to engage in critical and reflective thinking about our resources, the environment and our place within it. Field Trip required.

20213 OUR GEOLOGICAL LEGACY. Prerequisite: GEOL 10113. Three hours of lecture per week. For the non-science major. Places society's relationship to geological phenomena within a scientific framework. Evaluates the apparent immutability of the earth. Field Trip required.

30003 HONORS SEMINAR. Reading assignments and discussions on topics of great importance in geology.

30103 SCIENCE, SCIENTISTS AND SOCIETY. Three hours of lecture per week. A cross-disciplinary course in the natural sciences. The workings of science and scientists studied by examining recurring themes and selected episodes in the history of science. The scientific enterprise considered within the changing intellectual, cultural and social milieu in which it was practiced from Epicurus and Aristotle through Einstein and Heisenberg.

30113 WEATHER AND CLIMATE. Three hours of lecture per week. Introduction to the basic concepts and principles of atmospheric science in a descriptive format; emphasizes the physics responsible for changes in weather and climate complemented with popular treatment.

30123 BEACHES, COASTS AND OCEANS. Three hours of lecture per week. Fundamental principles that govern the evolution and nature of coastal environments. Examines the impact of natural oceanographic processes and the role of humans on the coastal environment. Survey of U.S. and world's beaches.

30133 HISTORICAL GEOLOGY I. Prerequisite GEOL 10113 or equivalent. This first semester of a two semester lab/lecture introduces students to the general principles of earth history. Lab exercises and field trips introduce students to the practical aspects of earth history. Microsope work and field trips are mandatory.

30143 HISTORICAL GEOLOGY II. Prerequisite GEOL 30133 or equivalent. This second semester of a two semester lab/lecture course continues with an in depth look at the details of the geological history of North America and the history of life on earth. Lectures focus on historical detail, while lab exercises and field trips focus on major groups of fossils in the lab and field. Microsope work and field trips are mandatory.

30203 CATASTROPHES, CONTROVERSIES, GENESIS & GEOLOGY. Three hours of lecture per week. The workings of science and scientists considered by examining the emergence of geology as a science in the late 18th and early l9th centuries and its development through the Victorian Age, including the rise and demise of scriptural geology and the impact of geologic thought on social mores and religious beliefs.

30213 MINERALOGY. Prerequisite GEOL 10113 or permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. A composite course consisting of an introduction to crystallography and a study of the common minerals.

30223 PETROLOGY. Prerequisite: GEOL 30213. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. A basic course in the origin and identification of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Field trip required.

30233 THE ROCK CYCLE. Prerequisite GEOL 10113 or permission of the instructor. Field seminar on the megascopic aspects of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Description and interpretation of features seen at scales between that of the individual outcrop and that of an entire basin.

30243 SEDIMENTOLOGY. Prerequisite GEOL 30223 or permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. Principles and techniques of facies analysis, including the description and origin of sedimentary textures and sedimentary structures, and the collection and analysis of paleocurrent data. Field trips required

30323 INTRODUCTION TO MARINE SCIENCE. (BIOL 30323) Prerequisite GEOL 10113, or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. A study of the oceans including physiography, chemical, physical, biological, and geological processes and related products.

30393 ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH RESOURCES. Prerequisite: one year of chemistry, GEOL 10143 or permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. Chemical weathering, chemical and physical properties of soils, clay mineralogy, sedimentary rocks, ion exchange phenomena.

30423 STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. An introductory study of the deformation of the Earth's crust. Field trips required.

30573 STRATIGRAPHY. Prerequisite Geol 10123 and/or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture. An introduction to the practical and theoretical aspects of stratigraphy and depositional systems. This course uses practical examples and field- and literature-based projects to familiarize students with the basic theoretical stratigraphic framework in which geology exists. An off-road field trip will be required.

40013 HONORS RESEARCH. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. The student is required to do independent research on a geologic problem, submit a paper and give an oral presentation of the findings. A faculty supervisor will be appointed for each research problem.

40313 INVERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. Major groups of invertebrate fossils, their morphology, classification, paleoecology, geologic distribution and phylogeny. Field trips required.

40413 MAP INTERPRETATION. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. The construction and interpretation of geological maps

40493 GEOMORPHOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one two hour laboratory per week. Endogenic and exogenic processes and land forms; geologic control; short-term, long term and human-imposed landscape development; morphometric analysis and study of recent movements; environmental geomorphology.

40516 SUMMER FIELD COURSE IN GEOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Field investigations and mapping. Those planning to enroll should contact the Department of Geology by March 1 of the year in which enrollment is contemplated. Field work in rough and robust terrain required; a high degree of physical fitness recommended.

40893 SENIOR THESIS. Prerequisites: junior or senior status, a grade point of at least 3.00, and/or permission of instructor. Three hours of independent study with a focus on original research. The student is required to produce a bound thesis in a form suitable for publication in a scientific journal. Students are strongly recommended to enroll for this course in the penultimate semester of their degree plan with the expectation that the work may take more than a semester to complete.

40970 SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN GEOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Field and laboratory problems for advanced undergraduate students. Fifty clock hours of laboratory and field work for each semester credit (1-6 semester hours.)

50113 SOILS. Two hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. This course covers the formation, distribution, and classification of soils: major soil properties; field evaluation of soils; the use of soil survey information; and soil hydrology. The emphasis is on the study of soils as products of biophysical processes, and on soil properties of interest to geoscientists and natural resource managers.

50233 OPTICAL MINERALOGY AND PETROGRAPHY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. Analysis of the behavior of light in crystalline substances, complete treatment of crystal optics and the identification of nonopaque, rock-forming minerals using immersion media and thin section techniques. Intensive use of the microscope required.

50251 SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Use of the S.E.M. in geological applications.

50331 BASIC SEISMICS. Prerequisites: GEOL 40223. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. An introduction to techniques of gathering, processing and interpreting seismic data.

50341 INTERPRETING SEISMIC DATA. Prerequisites: GEOL 50331 or equivalent. Three hours of laboratory per week for five weeks. A practicum in interpreting seismic data.

50351 SEISMIC STRATIGRAPHY. Prerequisites: GEOL 50331 or equivalent. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. An introduction to the principles of seismic stratigraphy and their application in oil and gas exploration.

50361 BASIC WELL LOG INTERPRETATION. Prerequisite: GEOL 40223. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. An introduction to the use of borehole geophysical logs in formation evaluation, correlation and subsurface facies analysis.

50413 GLOBAL TECTONICS AND BASIN ANALYSIS. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. Explores the relationship between plate motion and the evolution of sedimentary basins.

50423 PETROLEUM GEOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Origin, migration and entrapment of hydrocarbons, exploration and production techniques used in the petroleum industry.

50433 COASTAL PROCESSES. Two hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. Advanced study of waves, winds, water levels, tides and currents and their interaction with shores, beaches, inlets, inner continental shelves and coastal structures. Other topics include tectonic, physical, climatic controls on coastline development, storms, and sediment transport in the coastal zone. Involves computer modeling. Required field trip to the Texas barrier islands.

50493 PHYSICAL HYDROLOGY. Prerequisite Math 10524 or permission of instructor. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. A study of the occurrence, movement, and exploitation of water in the hydrologic cycle including surface-atmosphere, groundwater, and surface water processes.

50543 SEDIMENTARY ENVIRONMENT AND FACIES. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. Facies analysis and facies models applied to the problem of interpreting stratigraphic sequences and reconstructing paleogeography.

50602 PREPARATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Two laboratory periods per week. The methodology of environmental impact statement preparation from initial collection of data to final report drafting is covered. The course offers problem oriented exercises where students are trained to take the initiative in EIS preparation. (Also offered as BIOL 50602).

50603 INTRODUCTION TO GEOCHEMISTRY. Prerequisite: CHEM 10114-10124 or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. Application of basic chemical principles to understanding the origin, distribution and migration of chemical elements in the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.

50613 IGNEOUS AND METAMORPHIC PETROLOGY. Prerequisite: GEOL 50233 or permission of the instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. Petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks based on field, petrographic, chemical and isotopic data. Conferences on the evolution and dynamics of the crust and mantle. Involves use of microscope.

50623 VOLCANOLOGY. Prerequisite: GEOL 50233 or permission of instructor. Two hours of lecture and one three hour laboratory period per week. Types and processes of volcanic eruptions; characteristics of modern volcanic products; recognition and significance of ancient volcanic deposits in the stratigraphic record. Involves use of microscope. Field trip required.

50712 ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week for ten weeks. Geologic processes, earth resources and engineering properties of crystal materials in the activities of society.

50721 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. An introduction to computer systems for creating and managing large data bases and to techniques for displaying and interpreting layered environmental geologic data.

50731 REMOTE SENSING TECHNOLOGY. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. An introduction to the technology used in remote sensing, including MSS, TM and SPOT, thermal scanners and radar imaging.

50741 IMAGE PROCESSING. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. An introduction to processing techniques used to enhance the display of remote sensing images with emphasis on those techniques useful in resource mapping.

50751 IMAGE INTERPRETATION. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. Geologic and resource mapping and environmental monitoring using satellite images

50762 ADVANCED GIS. Prerequisite: GEOL 50721. Hands-on computer use to demonstrate advanced computer techniques for mapping. Introduction to Mapfactory, ERDAS and ArcView software programs to conduct raster and vector database layering projects for geological and environmental map production.

50773 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW. Prerequisite: Enrollment in Environmental Sciences, Master of Science Program, or senior standing with appropriate major (biology, geology, chemistry or other science; engineering; pre-law; business management.) Three hours lecture per week. Introduction to and analysis of selected federal statures regulating environmental degradation and environmental clean-up, including the National Environmental Policy Act and regulation of air quality, water quality, wastes, hazardous and toxic substances and enforcement.

50783 ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY. Prerequisites: CHEM 10113-10123 and CHEM 10122, or CHEM 10114-10124 or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week. Chemistry of water, soil, energy, and air as related to environmental problems. Subjects include: nutrients and eutrophication, fluorocarbons, sulfur and nitrogen oxides, Eh-pH relationship, natural carbonate reactions, and cation exchange phenomena. Cross listed with CHEM 50783.

50883 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Introduction to fundamentals of pollution control technology; impact of federal and state legislation on the construction, modification and control of industrial plants. Other topics include hazardous pollutants, modification to ambient quality, and basic pollution modeling. (Also cited as BIOL 50883.)

50901 COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN GEOLOGY. Prerequisites: COSC 10403 or equivalent and permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. The use of microcomputers in Geology.

50912 STATISTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS. Prerequisite: GEOL 50901. Three hours of lecture per week for ten weeks. Statistical treatment of directional data and the use of multivariate and special regression techniques analysis of variance, discriminate function analysis and factor analysis in solving geologic problems.

50922 MAPPING APPLICATIONS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS. Prerequisite: GEOL 50901. Three hours of lecture per week for ten weeks. Selecting and using mapping and drafting software.