Undergraduate Course Directory

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Courses by Subject Area

Click on the links below for a list of courses in that subject area. You may then click “View Classes” to see scheduled classes for individual courses. See the Ratcliffe Hicks Courses page for a list of those courses.

1010. Dinosaurs, Extinctions, and Environmental Catastrophes

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open for credit to students who have passed GSCI 1050, 1051, 1055, or 1070.

Grading Basis: Graded

A reconstruction of the Mesozoic world of the dinosaurs based on paleontological and geological evidence. Past and present environmental catastrophes leading to mass extinctions and changes in biodiversity. Fundamental concepts of geology, stratigraphy, historical geology, and paleoclimatology. CA 3.

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1050. Earth's Dynamic Environment

4.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open for credit to students who have passed GSCI 1010, 1051, 1055, or 1070.

Grading Basis: Graded

Origin and history of planet Earth, emphasizing how rock, air, water, and life interact at different scales to produce the earth's crust, landforms, life systems, natural resources, catastrophes, and climatic regimes. Provides a scientific context for human-induced global change. CA 3-LAB.

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1051. Earth's Dynamic Environment (Lecture)

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open for credit to students who have passed GSCI 1010, 1050, 1055, or 1070.

Grading Basis: Graded

Origin and history of planet Earth, emphasizing how rock, air, water, and life interact at different scales to produce the earth's crust, landforms, life systems, natural resources, catastrophes, and climatic regimes. Provides a scientific context for human-induced global change. CA 3. Students who complete both GSCI 1051 and 1052 may request that GSCI 1051 be converted to a CA 3 Laboratory course.

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1052. Earth's Dynamic Environment (Laboratory)

1.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite or corequisite: GSCI 1010, 1051, 1055, or 1070. Not open to students enrolled in or having passed GSCI 1050.

Grading Basis: Graded

Laboratory complement to GSCI 1010, 1051, 1055, and 1070. Provides an opportunity to work with specimens (minerals, fossils, rocks), terrain images, maps, physical models, and simulation experiments. Includes local field trips. Students who complete both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010, 1051, 1055 or 1070 may request that the prerequisite be converted to a CA 3 Laboratory course.

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1053. Discussion Earth and Life Through Time

1.00 credits | May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or 1051 or 1052 (must be taken concurrently) or instructor consent.

Grading Basis: Graded

Faculty-taught weekly discussions to enhance GSCI 1050 and 1051. Emphasis and approach will vary, but all sections will track the lecture syllabus. May be repeated for credit with instructor consent.

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1054. Field Trips Earth and Life Through Time

1.00 credits | May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or 1051 or 1052 (must be taken concurrently) or instructor consent.

Grading Basis: Graded

Two or more faculty-led weekend field trips to nearby sites of interest, designed to enhance GSCI 1050 and 1051.

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1055. Geoscience and the American Landscape

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open only to Honors students. Not open for credit to students who have passed GSCI 1010, 1050, 1051, 1070.

Grading Basis: Honors Credit

An Honors Core course. Foundation course in geology linked to the American Landscape through readings from American history and literature. CA 3. Students who complete both GSCI 1055 and GSCI 1052 may request that GSCI 1055 be converted to a CA 3 Laboratory course.

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1070. Natural Disasters and Environmental Change

Also offered as: GEOG 1070

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open for credit to students who have passed GSCI 1010, 1050, 1051, 1055.

Grading Basis: Graded

Climate change, global warming, natural hazards, earth surface processes, and the impact these have on human populations now and in the past. CA 3. Students who complete both GSCI 1070 and GSCI 1052 may request that GSCI 1070 be converted to a CA 3 Laboratory course.

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2310. National Parks Unearthed: Geology and Landscapes through Time

Also offered as: GEOG 2310

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Geologic processes that shape the Earth's landscapes and interior through the study of National Parks, Monuments, and Seashores. Plate tectonics, climate and biotic change, natural hazards and resources, and environmental conservation.

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2500. Earth System Science

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or GSCI 1051 or GSCI 1055 or GEOG/GSCI 1070.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to earth system science, geoscience research methods, and professional practice through lab work, field work in UConn Forest, visits to faculty labs, and culminating project.

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3010. Earth History and Global Change

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070

Grading Basis: Graded

Reconstruction of earth history from geological data. Processes and events responsible for the stratigraphic record, and techniques used to decipher it. An integrated survey of earth history. One or more weekend field trips may be required.

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3020. Earth Surface Processes

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070

Grading Basis: Graded

Processes responsible for the formation of the unconsolidated materials, landforms, and soils which constitute the Earth's surface. Introduction to surface-water and groundwater hydrology, geological hazards and the effects of climatic change. One or more weekend field trips may be required.

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3030. Earth Structure

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070

Grading Basis: Graded

Structure and composition of the earth, including a survey of plate tectonics and crustal evolution. Gravitational, thermal and tectonic processes associated with the earth's surface and interior. One or more weekend field trips may be required.

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3040. Earth Materials

4.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070. Recommended preparation: CHEM 1124-1126 or 1127 and 1128. Cannot be taken for credit after passing GSCI 4410 or 4420.

Grading Basis: Graded

Principles of symmetry and crystal chemistry and the identification of minerals by hand sample, petrographic and x-ray methods. Description of the mineralogy and texture of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and the application of contemporary petrogenetic models to the interpretation of the geologic environments they record. One or more weekend field trips may be required.

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3230. Beaches and Coasts

Also offered as: MARN 3230

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: MARN 1002 or MARN 1003 or GSCI 1050 or GSCI 1051, or consent of instructor.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to the processes that form and modify coasts and beaches, including tectonic setting, sediment supply, coastal composition, energy regimes and sea level change; tools and techniques utilized in marine geologic mapping and reconstruction of submerged coastal features; field trips to selected coastal features.

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3710. Engineering and Environmental Geology

Also offered as: CE 3530, ENVE 3530

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: GSCI 1050 or 1051.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application of geological principles to engineering and environmental problems. Topics include site investigation, geologic hazards, slope processes, earthquakes, subsidence, and the engineering properties of geologic materials. Course intended for both geoscience and engineering majors. CLAS-10/14/08; EG-9/26/08

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3990. Spring Field Trip

3.00 credits | May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070

Grading Basis: Graded

A field-based introduction to the integration of geological and biological observations and processes. Field trip during and weekly meetings before and after spring break. May be repeated for credit with change in field venue or permission of the instructor.

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4050W. Geoscience and Society

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050 or 1051; at least two 2000-level or above GSCI courses one of which may be taken concurrently; ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; or instructor consent; open to juniors or higher.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application of fundamental geological principles to issues of concern to society such as global climate change; wildfires; drought and water resources; earthquake, volcano, and tsunami hazards; medical geology; energy resources; sustainability; and coastal processes.

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4110. Sedimentology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070. Recommended preparation: GSCI 3020.

Grading Basis: Graded

Basic principles of sedimentology with an emphasis on the description of sedimentary texture and structure. Physicochemical and biological processes that characterize depositional environments. Diagenesis. Examination of modern systems to interpret ancient sedimentary environments. One or more weekend field trips may be required.

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4120. Paleobiology

Also offered as: EEB 4120

4.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: GSCI 1050; or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070; or BIOL 1108.

Grading Basis: Graded

Ancient life, including the preservation of organisms as fossils, evolution, ecology, geobiology, biostratigraphy, and major events in the history of life. Includes microorganisms, animals, and plants.

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4130. Geomicrobiology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050; or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070; or BIOL 1108; or instructor consent. Recommended preparation: GSCI 3010, MCB 2610.

Grading Basis: Graded

Microbial diversity and biogeochemistry, microbe-mineral interactions, fossil record, atmospheric record, microbialites, and research methodology in geomicrobiology. A weekend field trip may be required.

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4140. Sedimentary Basin Analysis

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1010 and 1052, or GSCI 1070 and 1052, or GSCI 1051 and 1052, or GSCI 1050

Grading Basis: Graded

Tectonic and environmental controls on the development and evolution of sedimentary basins. Emphasis on mechanisms of formation, characteristic depositional patterns, and sediment composition in modern and ancient tectonic settings. Basin analysis methods include sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, provenance and paleocurrent analysis, subsidence modeling, and interpretation of geophysical data.

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4150. Applied Data Analysis in Earth Science

Also offered as: GEOG 4150

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: STAT 1000Q or 1100Q, GEOG 3500Q; open to juniors or higher.

Grading Basis: Graded

Multivariate spatial analysis methods and statistical inference in earth science, emphasizing how to translate conceptual understanding into computer code.

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4210. Glacial Processes and Materials

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: GSCI 3020.

Grading Basis: Graded

The climates and dynamics of glaciers, the geologic processes responsible for the materials and landforms of glaciated regions, and the applications of glacial geology to paleoclimatology, paleoecology, land use history, hydrology, engineering, and natural resources. Includes two weekend days of field trips to be scheduled.

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4230. GIS and Remote Sensing for Geoscience Applications

Also offered as: GEOG 4230

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GEOG 2300; or GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application of Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, and image interpretation to problems in geoscience. Data acquisition, processing and analysis of Digital Elevation Models and satellite imagery. Geologic materials, processes, landforms and landscapes.

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4330. Active Tectonics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050; or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010 or 1051 or 1055 or 1070 or GEOG 1070; or GEOG 2300; or consent of instructor. Recommended preparation: GSCI 3020 and 3030.

Grading Basis: Graded

Tectonic processes that shape the Earth's surface, particularly its landforms. Emphasis on short-term processes that produce disasters and catastrophes and affect human society.

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4390. Field Problems in Earth Structure

2.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 3030, which may be taken concurrently.

Grading Basis: Graded

Mapping techniques and map interpretation using concepts developed in GEOL 3030. Emphasis on mapping moderately deformed rocks in which sedimentary features can be differentiated.

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4430. Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: CHEM 1127Q. Recommended Preparation: MATH 1110Q or 1131Q or 1151Q.

Grading Basis: Graded

Fundamentals of stable isotope biogeochemistry. Origin of elements and stable isotopes; equilibrium and kinetic fractionation; isotope systematics of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur; biogeochemical systems; isotopes as a forensic tracer; and isotopes in paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental research.

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4510. Applied & Environmental Geophysics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1230 or 1402 or 1502 or 1602, which may be taken concurrently; MATH 1122 or 1132 or 1152, which may be taken concurrently.

Grading Basis: Graded

Principles of imaging the Earth's interior using observations of electric, magnetic, and gravity fields, with applications to environmental problems. GEOC

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4520. Exploration Seismology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1230 or 1402 or 1502 or 1602, which may be taken concurrently; MATH 1121 or 1131 or 1151, which may be taken concurrently.

Grading Basis: Graded

Principles of seismic methods for imaging the interior of the earth, with applications to resource exploration and environmental problems.

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4550. Physics of the Earth's Interior

Also offered as: PHYS 4100

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1230 or 1402 or 1502 or 1530 or 1602, which may be taken concurrently; MATH 1121 or 1126 or 1131, which may be taken concurrently. Recommended preparation: MATH 1132.

Grading Basis: Graded

The composition, structure, and dynamics of the Earth's core, mantle, and crust inferred from observations of seismology, geomagnetism, and heat flow.

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4560. Fundamentals of Planetary Science

Also offered as: PHYS 4130

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1230 or 1402 or 1502 or 1530 or 1602, any of which may be taken concurrently; MATH 1122 or 1126 or 1131, any of which may be taken concurrently.

Grading Basis: Graded

Evolution of the solar system, celestial mechanics, tidal friction, internal composition of planets, black-body radiation, planetary atmospheres.

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4710. Environmental Site Assessment

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to hydrogeological environmental site assessments (ESAs), emphasizing southern New England. Identification of areas of concern; determination of sources of groundwater pollution; and characterization of contamination extent, sampling, modeling, and interpretation.

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4720. Environmental Geochemistry

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: CHEM 1127Q. Prerequisite or Corequisite: MATH 1110Q or 1131Q or 1151Q. Recommended Preparation: one semester of BIOL or PHYS.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to geochemistry of terrestrial and aqueous environmental systems. Chemical weathering and water-rock interactions; geochemistry of natural waters; chemical systems of the geosphere, biosphere and atmosphere; and geochemistry and climate.

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4735. Introduction to Ground Water Hydrology

Also offered as: NRE 4135

4.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 1050, or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010, 1051, 1055, or 1070; open to juniors or higher.

Grading Basis: Graded

Basic hydrologic principles with emphasis on ground water flow and quality, geologic relationships, quantitative analysis and field methods. Occasional field trips.

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4810. Modeling the Changing Atmosphere and Ocean

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open to juniors or higher. Recommended preparation: MATH 1060 or MATH 1131, or PHYS 1201 or PHYS 1202.

Grading Basis: Graded

Modeling past and future climate, with an emphasis on conceptual understanding of the earth system and simulation results from climate models of different complexities.

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4850. Paleoclimatology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: GSCI 1050 or both GSCI 1052 and one of GSCI 1010, 1051, 1055, or 1070, open to juniors or higher.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to the geological evidence, research methods, and hypotheses associated with major climatic events in Earth's history through a combination of lectures, paper discussions, and a climate modeling project.

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4989. Undergraduate Research in Geoscience

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open only to juniors or higher.

Grading Basis: Graded

Independent research for the advanced undergraduate student interested in investigating a special problem involving field and/or laboratory observations in geoscience. The student is required to give an oral presentation in a departmental seminar at the end of the semester.

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4990. Internship in Geoscience Field Study

1.00 - 3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 3010 and 3020 and 3030 and 3040, all of which may be taken concurrently. Must be taken concurently with GSCI 4991.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

An internship program under the direction of Geoscience faculty. Students will be placed with government agencies or businesses where academic training will be applied in a program of activities to be planned and agreed upon in advance by the job site supervisor, the faculty coordinator, and the intern. One credit may be earned for each 42 hours of pre-approved activities up to a maximum of three credits. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory.) May not be repeated.

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4991. Internship in Geoscience Research Paper

1.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 3010 and 3020 and 3030 and 3040, all of which may be taken concurrently. GSCI 4990 must be taken concurrently.

Grading Basis: Graded

Preparation of written report and oral presentation to Department summarizing internship experience and evaluating the applicability of academic experience to job situations and the impact of the internship experience on academic and career plans. May not be repeated.

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4995. Special Topics

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Investigation of special topics related to, but not ordinarily covered in the undergraduate offerings; emphasis on laboratory projects. May be repeated for credit.

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4996W. Undergraduate Research Thesis in Geoscience

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: GSCI 4989; ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

Grading Basis: Graded

Writing of a formal thesis based on independent research conducted by the student.

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4998. Variable Topics

3.00 credits | May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary.

Grading Basis: Graded

With a change of topic, may be repeated for credit.

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4999. Independent Study

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

May be repeated for credit.

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