2019-2020 Catalog

GEO 390 Special Topics in Geology

Two- or four-credit advanced courses on specialized topics in Geology. May be taken more than once with department approval as topics vary. 

Volcanology: Volcanic eruptions are the result of the transfer of mass and volatiles from the interior of the planet to its surface. These eruptions are capable of rapidly transforming the landscape, impacting the atmosphere, and creating a multitude of hazards.  This course will provide an opportunity to analyze, interpret, and understand the complexity of volcanic systems. Lectures and assignments will evaluate the principal types of volcanoes, their physical and chemical behavior, and the processes involved in magma generation, rise, eruption, and dispersal. 

Laboratory work will focus on volcanic eruption modeling, assessing and interpreting volcanic deposits and related geothermal systems, the environmental impacts related to volcanic eruptions/deposits, and how to monitor active volcanic systems.  A field trip may be required.

Paleontology: The Record of Life, Landscapes, and Changing Climate

This course will use the fossil record as a tool to explore the geologic controls on the evolution and extinction of life on earth. From Snowball Earth to the Great American Biotic Interchange, plate tectonics and climate change drive the distribution of life through time. We will examine paleontological and modern ecosystems through classes, labs, and field trips.  Students should have completed GEO105 and at least one 200-level course in biology or geology.


4 units


Geo 225 and GEO 305


GEO 390L