Geology

Charles A. Dana Professor Richard K. Dunn (Chair); Associate Professor G. Christopher Koteas; Assistant Professor Laurie D. Grigg; Lecturer, Benjamin DeJong; Research Associate George E. Springston

The Geology major provides a broad background in the physical sciences, with a strong focus on geology and its pivotal role in understanding our environment. Our graduates enter graduate school for continuing education, or move into the workforce prepared to contribute as leaders addressing the many local and global issues facing society.

The major emphasizes experiential learning through field studies and outdoor education. Courses include real projects and original research participation. The program is enriched through department field trips across New England, eastern Canada, and the western United States. All Geology majors take a pair of capstone courses involving an original research project and a seminar designed to synthesize their education and tie scientific thought to issues in society.

Students majoring in Geology have access to equipment for analyses of ground and surface water, soil, sediment, and rock. This equipment enables terrestrial and lake coring, collection of hydro-geochemical data, determination of sediment characteristics, subsurface studies, geological mapping, and more. Specific analytical tools include X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope, and inductively coupled plasma spectrophotometer. The program also has a range of geophysical exploration equipment, including a gravity meter, seismographs, electromagnetometers, a magnetometer, and ground penetrating radar instruments.

Goals:
  • To provide a Liberal Arts degree program in Geology having a broad background in the physical sciences with a focus on geology and its pivotal role in understanding our environment.
  • To provide instruction and experiences with emphasis on field studies, solution of active problems, and communication in a professional format.
     
Outcomes:
  • Know the procedures for identification of rocks, minerals and fossils
  • Understand the stresses produced in a dynamic Earth and their resulting products, and know the fundamentals of plate tectonic theory
  • Understand the materials and processes involved in the constitution and transformation of the Earth, both on the surface and within
  • Know how to define a problem, design a study to acquire data, critically analyze and interpret data, and discuss the implications of results
  • Be able to think critically about published professional work, synthesize the content of such work, and present findings at a professional level both in writing and orally
  • Meet the University’s General Education Goals
     
Careers for this Major:
  • Graduate school
  • State and federal surveys
  • Military
  • Teaching
  • Industry and consulting

B.S. in Geology – Curriculum Map 2018-2019 Catalog

Print PDF Curriculum Map

New PlanGrids
Freshman
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
CH 103 General Chemistry I4CH 104 General Chemistry II4
GL 110 Introduction to Geology (General Education Lab Science)4EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3GL 156 Introduction to Earth Evolution (General Education Lab Science)4
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics (General Education Math)4MA 108 Applied Calculus (General Education Math)4
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 15Spring Semester Total Cr.: 15
Sophomore
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
EN 201 World Literature I (General Education Literature)3EN 202 World Literature II3
General Education Social Science3 General Education Arts & Humanities3 
GL 200 level Elective 14 GL 200 level Elective 14 
GL 251 Sophomore Seminar in Geology1PS 202 General Physics II4
PS 201 General Physics I4Free Elective3-4 
Free Elective3-4    
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 18-19Spring Semester Total Cr.: 17-18
Junior
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
General Education History3 General Education Ethics 33 
GL 200 level Elective 14 GL 200 level Elective 14 
MA 232 Elementary Statistics3GL 340 Project Development in Geology1
Tech Elective 23-4 Tech Elective 23-4 
Free Elective3-4 Free Elective3-4 
   Free Elective3-4 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 16-18Spring Semester Total Cr.: 17-20
Senior
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
General Education Leadership1-3 GL 200 level Elective 14 
GL 200 level Elective 14 GL 451 Geology Seminar ((General Education Capstone))3
GL 440 Research Project in Geology (General Education Capstone)3GL 460 Project Completion in Geology1
Tech Elective 23-4 Tech Elective 23-4 
Free Elective3-4 Free Elective3-4 
Free Elective3-4 Free Elective3-4 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 17-22Spring Semester Total Cr.: 17-20
TOTAL CREDITS FOR THIS MAJOR: 132-147

 Geology Minor Curriculum Map 2018-2019 Catalog

GL Elective3-4
GL Elective3-4
GL Elective (200 level or higher)3-4
GL Elective (200 level or higher)3-4
GL Elective (200 level or higher)3-4
GL Elective (200 level or higher)3-4
Total Cr.18-24

Courses

GL 110 Introduction to Geology 4 Cr.

An introduction to Earth's internal and external physical processes, its materials and landforms, and the connection between natural phenomena and humans. The lab includes field investigation, rock and mineral identification, and geologic data gathering and analysis. 3 lecture hours, 2 labratory hours. Offered Fall and Spring.

GL 111 Oceanography 4 Cr.

A basic survey of the physical, chemical, and geologic character of the world's oceans. Topics include patterns of energy exchange, chemical cycles, geological environments within the sea, and evolution of ocean basins and marine enviromental issues. 3 lecture hours, 2 labratory hours. Offered Spring.

GL 156 Introduction to Earth Evolution 4 Cr.

The course introduces the 4600-million-year history of the evolution of Earth and life. Data and scientific theories for Earth history are presented for major Earth events. The lab focuses on fossil and rock identification, interpretation of ancient enviroments, and use of the rock record to reconstruct Earth's evolution. 3 lecture hours, 2 labratory hours. Offered Spring.

GL 1XL Geology Lab Transfer Elective 4 Cr.

This course is used for transfer when no equivalent Norwich course exists.

GL 1XX Geology Transfer Elective 4 Cr.

This course is used for transfer when no equivalent Norwich course exists.

GL 251 Sophomore Seminar in Geology 1 Cr.

Introduces the fundamentals of scientific investigation and communication. A research project introduces the Scientific Method, while reading and comprehension of scientific literature is coupled with instruction in and application of techincal and scientific writing. Students learn appropriate techniques for communicating scientific information, including poster and oral presentations. 1 lecture hour. May not earn credit for both ES 251 and GL 251. Offered Fall.

GL 253 Geomorphology 4 Cr.

Examines the origin and evolution of Earth’s surface features by geological processes acting upon various Earth materials and geological structures. 2 lecture hours, 4 laboratory and/or field hours. Prereqs: GL 110. Offered Spring even years.

GL 255 Hydrogeology 3 Cr.

Provides examination of the basic principles of groundwater, including its occurrence, flow and development, the assessment and remediation of groundwater contamination, and the protection of groundwater as a natural resource. 3 lecture hours. Prereqs: MA 107, and EG 109 or GL 110 or GL 156. Offered Spring.

GL 257 Sedimentology 4 Cr.

A course that provides the analysis and interpretation of sedimentary rocks, sedimentary processes and environments of deposition. 3 lecture hours, 4 laboratory and/or field hours. Prereqs: GL 110, GL 111 or GL 156. Offered Fall even years.

GL 258 Stratigraphy and Tectonics 4 Cr.

Introduces the fundamentals of stratigraphy and the sedimentary record of regional geological evolution. Principle topics include: region correlation, hydrocarbon exploration geology, and the sedimentary record of oogenesis. The stratigraphy of Vermont and elsewhere is used, in light of tectonics, to reconstruct continent and basin evolution. 3 lecture hours, 3 labratory hours. Prereqs: GL 110. Offered Spring odd years.

GL 260 Projects in Geology 1-4 Cr.

Students conduct an independent study on a geological field or labratory project. Topic chosen by mutual consent of the student and the instructor. A written report is required. May be repeated one time for credit. Prereqs: GL 110 or GL 111 or GL 156, and Department Chair permission. Offered Occ.

GL 261 Field Geology 4 Cr.

A study of the techniques used in the measurement of large and small scale geologic structures. Emphasis is placed on field recognition of features such as bedding, cleavage, folds, faults and their use in geologic mapping. 3 lecture hours, 4 laboratory hours. Prerequisite: GL 110 or GL 156 or permission of the instructor. Offered Fall even years.

GL 262 Structural Geology 4 Cr.

Students study the analysis and interpretation of patterns in the structural features of the Earth's crust. Topics include the genesis of tectonic features, analysis of strain in rocks, the interpretation of multiply-deformed rocks, and modeling of faults and fractures. 3 lecture hours, 3 labratory hours. Prereqs: GL 261 or instructor permission. Offered Spring odd years.

GL 263 Mineralogy 4 Cr.

Introductory crystallography and crystal chemistry are used to explain the properties of minerals. The major mineral groups are studied with a focus on developing competency in the identification of the ore minerals and the rock-forming minerals. Development of an understanding of mineral associations is emphasized in labratory excercises and field trips. 3 lecture hours, 4 laboratory hours. Prereqs: GL 110 or GL 156 or permission of the instructor. Offered Fall odd years.

GL 264 Petrology 4 Cr.

Following an introduction to optical identification of the rock-forming minerals using the polarizing microscope, the mineralogy and textures of common rocks are studied by means of thin sections. The genesis of these rocks is explained through a study of the physical and chemical systems they represent. 2 lecture hours, 4 laboratory hours. Prerequisite: GL 263. Offered Spring even years.

GL 265 Glacial Geology and Paleoclimate 4 Cr.

This course covers glaciology and glacial deposits and landforms, with a strong focus on field investigation, as well as presenting the data and hypotheses on Quaternary climate change, including traditional glacial chronology and marine and ice core data and resultant chronology. Global climate change, both past and present, is a central theme of the course. 3 lecture hours, 4 laboratory hours. Prereqs: GL 110. Offered Fall odd years.

GL 290 Internship in Geology 1-4 Cr.

A course for geology internships on a topic chosen by mutual consent of the student and the instructor. A written report is required. May be repeated one time for credit. Prereqs: GL 110, or GL 111, or GL 156, 2.0 cum. GPA and instructor or Department Chair permission. Offered as necessary.

GL 340 Project Development in Geology 1 Cr.

Develops the skills for designing and executing an original scientific research project. Topics include research plan development, literature research to inform methodology, generation of site maps and protocols for collecting field and laboratory data, and generation of a properly formatted research proposal. 1 lecture hour. Prereqs: J1 Geology major and permission of instructor. Offered Spring.

GL 440 Research Project in Geology 3 Cr.

A capstone original research project under the direction of a faculty member in coordination with others taking this course. Field and laboratory work will generate new data on an expanding base; after analysis and interpretation, data will be presented in a technical format. All aspects of the project will be interpreted in the context of the literature. Prereqs: GL 340. May not receive credit for both ES 440 and GL 440. Offered Fall.

GL 451 Geology Seminar 3 Cr.

A capstone seminar experience integrating reading, writing, and group participation focused on Earth and enviromental issues. Discussions explore links between society and global systems. 3 lecture hous. Prereqs: S1. Credit cannot be received for this course and ES 451. Offered Spring.

GL 460 Project Completion in Geology 1 Cr.

Follows work in GL 440. Students integrate the body of scientific knowledge into a professional and technical report. Students work collaboratively with their research advisor. 1 lecture hour. Prereq: GL 440. Offered Spring.