Courses for majors and minors

Geology courses required for all Geology majors

All geology majors take the following core courses within the department:

  • one course in Introductory Geology (GLY 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, or 1105)  - GLY 1101 or GLY 1102 are preferred
  • Evolution of the Earth (GLY 2250)
  • Preparation of Geologic Reports (GLY 2745)
  • Principles of Structural Geology and Tectonics (GLY 3150) (except Geoscience Education track)
  • Introduction to Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (GLY 3800) (except Geoscience Education track)
  • Senior Seminar (GLY 4210) (except Geoscience Education track)

Geology and Environmental Science courses required for all Environmental Science majors

All environmental science majors take the following core courses within the department:

  • one course in Introductory Geology (GLY 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, or 1105) - GLY 1101 is preferred (checksheets currently say GLY 1104, but 1101 can be substituted)
  • Intro to Environmental Science & Engineering (ENV 1010)
  • Evolution of the Earth (GLY 2250)
  • Issues in Environmental Science (ENV 3100)
  • Hydrogeology (ENV 4630)

Geology courses for concentrations or electives

The following advanced geology courses are required for individual concentrations, or may be taken as electives:

  • Introduction to Geophysics (GLY/PHY 3160)
  • Quantitative Data Analysis for Earth and Environmental Scientists (GLY/ENV 3455)
  • Geomorphology (GLY 3333)
  • Geochemistry (GLY 3131)
  • Geoarchaeology (GLY 3680)
  • Issues in Environmental Geology (GLY 3703)
  • Principles of Paleontology (GLY 3025)
  • Environmental Management and Impact Analysis (GLY/ENV 4110) 
  • Environmental Regulation and Enforcement (GLY/ENV 3110)
  • Hydrogeology (GLY 4630)
  • Engineering Geology (GLY 4705)
  • Fundamentals of Mineralogy (GLY 3220)
  • Petrology and Petrography (GLY 3715)
  • Summer Field Geology (aka "Field Camp") (GLY 4835 or taken off campus)

Courses for minors

Geology minors typically take the following courses:

  • one course in Introductory Geology (GLY 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, or 1105)
  • Evolution of the Earth (GLY 2250)

with 6 semester hours at or above the 2000 level (excluding GLY 3520), and 3 semester hours at any level.  A minimum of 9 hours must be ‘in residence,” i.e. courses taken through ASU (can include study abroad, ASU online courses, etc.). Courses typically open to minors include:

  • Dinosaurs then and now (GLY 1842)
  • The History of Coal from the Pennsylvanian to the Present (GLY 2301)
  • Geomorphology (GLY 3333)
  • Geoarchaeology (GLY 3680)
  • Issues in Environmental Geology (GLY 3703)
  • Introduction to Geophysics (GLY/PHY 3160)
  • Principles of Paleontology (GLY 3025)
  • Environmental Management and Impact Analysis (GLY/ENV 4110) 
  • Environmental Regulation and Enforcement (GLY/ENV 3110)
  • Hydrogeology (GLY 4630)
  • Engineering Geology (GLY 4705)

We do not have a minor in Environmental Sciences at this time.

Prerequisites

Prerequisite chart for all courses in the GES Department; text information is provided in the Course Descriptions, below

Prerequisite chart for all courses in the GES Department; text information is provided in the Course Descriptions, below.

Course Descriptions 

Course descriptions for 1000 & 2000 level courses that are part of the General Education program (GLY 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, 1105, 1842, and 2301) can be found here.

ENV 1010. Introduction to Environmental Science and Engineering (3)

An introduction to the interdisciplinary fields of environmental science and engineering through case studies that emphasize the application of the scientific method toward understanding human and natural systems, analyzing the human-nature interface, and developing sustainable solutions. Topics include information literacy; environmental economics, policy, and planning; ecology and complex systems; natural resources management; energy; and sustainability. Prerequisite: Passing the math placement test or successful completion of MAT 0010.

GLY 2250. Evolution of the Earth (4)

This course consists of the integrated study of the physicochemical and biological systems of the earth and their evolution over time, including investigation of the persistent linkage of geologic and biologic systems over earth's history. This course provides a basis for understanding the stratigraphic, geochemical, geophysical, and paleontological data utilized to reconstruct earth history, including a survey of the 4.5 billion years of earth system history, with special emphasis on the tectonic history of North America as observed in the Appalachian Mountains. The course also provides a survey of the evolution of life over earth history and an introduction to the paleontological principles utilized in understanding the fossil record of evolution. Introduction to advanced methods of rock and mineral identification and classification. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours. Prerequisite: 4 hours introductory geology (choose one of GLY 1101/1102/1103/1104/1105).

GLY 2500. Independent Study (1-4)

GLY 2745. Preparation of Geologic Reports (4) (aka "Prep"GEN ED: Writing in the Discipline for Geology

This course provides instruction in various aspects of data collection, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and the preparation and presentation of written and oral geologic reports to standards of the profession. Topics include: survey of geologic literature and digital information retrieval services, research design, data management, ethics and safety. Data collection and mapping in the field is a major component of the course and vigorous hiking is required. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.  Prerequisites: GLY 2250 and RC 2001 or its equivalent (RC 2001 can be taken as a corequisite). Open only to Geology majors and minors, see Lauri Miller to register after meeting with your GLY department advisor.

GLY 2857. Paleontology Field and Museum Methods (1-3) (aka "Triassic Trip")

Course combines paleontological field and museum work to investigate topics related to evolution of life through time.  The course typically requires multiple nights in the field collecting geological and paleontological data followed by time at a natural history museum preparing fossils and archiving data.  Specific techniques covered may include field orientation using GPS and map data, rock identification, stratigraphic description and mapping, paleontological reconnaissance and fossil collection.  Physically demanding with exposure to extreme weather events possible. Prerequisites: GLY 2250 and permission of instructor.

ENV 3010. Dynamics of Complex Systems (3)

This course is an introduction to the quantitative analysis of multi-variate complex systems relevant to the environmental sciences. Topics include stability theory; local and global attractors; the nature and role of feedback; system asymmetry, heterogeneity, and diversity; stability resilience, bifurcations, and critical transitions; chaotic attractors; pattern emergence and self-organized criticality. Lecture three hours.
Prerequisites: BIO 1802, CHE 2101 or CHE 2201, GLY 2250, and PHY 1151. Open only to Environmental Science majors

GLY 3025. Principles of Paleontology (3)

Morphology, phylogeny, temporal distribution, and paleoecology of fossils, with emphasis on applying invertebrates to the recognition of ancient environments and environmental change through geologic time. Biological evolution is studied in the scope of the history of the earth. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours.  PrerequisitesGLY 2250 OR 6 hours at the 2000-level or above in either BIO or ANT. 

ENV 3100 - Issues in Environmental Science (1) - GEN ED: Writing in the Discipline for Environmental Science

This course is open to third year Environmental Science (ENV) majors who have successfully completed R C 2001, the second year writing course. ENV 3100 fulfills the third year writing in the discipline requirement for ENV majors and must be completed prior to taking ENV 4100, the capstone course. The content will emphasize readings and discussions of important contemporary themes in the biological, chemical, and geophysical areas of environmental science, with an emphasis on developing and honing various types of scientific writing skills for different audiences. Prerequisite: R C 2001 or its equivalent. Required readings and related discussions will include scientific journal articles, synthesis papers on environmental topics, opinion papers, and technology transfer articles.  Open only to Environmental Science majors

GLY/ENV 3110. Environmental Regulation and Enforcement (3)cross listed with ENV 3110

The purpose of this course is to equip students with an understanding of environmental regulation in the U.S., from its origin as environmental policy to its application and enforcement. This course will provide students with an overview of 1) the role and responsibilities of regulators, 2) the various aspects of industry regulation (with special emphasis on the surface mining industry), and 3) aspects of environmental and safety regulation applicable to industry consultants. The course will conclude a survey of the different mechanisms of regulatory enforcement. Throughout the course, students will be asked to consider and evaluate the varying and often competing interests of industry, regulatory agencies, and private citizens who are impacted by environmental regulation (or the lack of it). This course will benefit any student who intends to work in environmental consulting, industry, government, or environmental advocacy. 

GLY 3131. Geochemistry (3)

Geochemistry examines the occurrence and movement of elements through global earth systems, including natural and human modified environments. This course will introduce and investigate processes and factors controlling the geochemical cycles of elements within and between the hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Students will apply principles learned in lecture to real-world environmental problems. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours.
Prerequisites: GLY 2250, CHE 1101, CHE 1110 and MAT 1110, or permission of the instructor.

GLY 3150. Principles of Structural Geology and Tectonics (3)

The nature, classification, genesis, and quantification of microscopic and mesoscopic geologic structures, plus the history and fundamentals of tectonic theory, are the subjects of this course. Prerequisites: GLY 2250 and GLY 2745. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. 

GLY/PHY 3160. Introduction to Geophysics (3) - cross listed with PHY 3160

An introductory survey of whole earth geophysics through theory and practice. The theory portion of the course covers seismology (techniques in reflection and refraction seismology), geothermics, radioactive dating, surface processes, tectonics, orogenics, gravity and gravimetric techniques, electrical and magnetic surveys, and borehole logging. The practical component of the course includes the utilization of several of these methods to study subsurface environments. Lecture two hours, laboratory two hours.  Prerequisites OR corequisites: 4 hours introductory geology (choose one of GLY 1101/1102/1103/1104/1105) plus PHY 1103 (or PHY 1150), and MAT 1110, or permission of the instructor

GLY 3220. Fundamentals of Mineralogy (3)

The course focuses on (1) mineral identification and classification, (2) crystal chemistry, (3) X-ray diffraction, (4) analytical electron microscopy (SEM-EDS), and (5) the petrographic microscope. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours.
Prerequisite: GLY 2250, GLY 2745, and CHE 1101/1110 (GLY 2745 and CHE 1101/1110 can be taken concurrently)

GLY 3264. Paleontological Laboratory Techniques and Analytical Methods (1-3)

Lab- or seminar-style course focused on teaching techniques for fossil preparation, replication, imaging, and/or analysis. Topics will vary but may include fossil preparation, specimen imaging, and quantitative analysis of paleontological data. Preparation includes extraction of fossils from rock as well as molding, casting, scanning, and other techniques of fossil replication. Imaging of fossils may include photography and microscopic (optical and scanning) techniques. Analysis includes using mathematical techniques and software used to test paleobiological hypotheses.
Prerequisites: GLY 2857 or GLY 3025 or permission of instructor.

GLY 3333. Geomorphology (3)

This course includes a study of the nature of landforms. Qualitative and quantitative aspects of landform analysis in the field and laboratory using maps and aerial photographs are introduced. Prerequisites: at least six hours of geology courses or consent of the instructor. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. 

GLY/ENV 3455. Quantitative Data Analysis for Earth and Environmental Scientists (3) - cross listed with ENV 3455

This course provides an introduction to processing, visualizing, and interpreting Earth and environmental science data using scientific  computing techniques widely used in the related fields. Biweekly lectures introduce the relevant quantitative methods within the context of Earth and environmental science applications. Weekly laboratories emphasize the application of quantitative tools toward analysis of data in support of various modes of dissemination. Earth science applications include but are not limited to scripting and generating reproducible plots for reports, creating longitudinal stream profiles, temporal, spatial, and magnitude filtering of NEIC earthquake data, and contouring a local water table. Prerequisites: GLY 2250, MAT 1110, and PHY 1150, or permission of the instructor. 

GLY 3500. Independent Study in Geology (1-4)

GLY 3520. Instructional Assistance (1)
A supervised experience in the instructional process on the University level through direct participation in a classroom situation. Graded on an S/U basis. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. May be repeated for a total credit of three semester hours. 

GLY 3521. Secondary Science Field Experience (1)

A supervised experience in the instructional process at the secondary school level through direct participation in a classroom situation. Graded on an S/U basis. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. May be repeated for a total credit of three semester hours. Required of all teacher-licensure candidates in geology.

ENV 3530-3549 - Selected Topics (1-4)

On Demand.

GLY 3530-3549. Selected Topics (1-4)

On Demand.

ENV 3560 - Undergraduate Research in Environmental Science (1-3)

The student will participate in on-going faculty-directed research. This will include involvement in the solution of a theoretical problem or the involvement in experimental work or field work which may include the design of an experiment or experimental apparatus, acquisition of data, and/or data reduction and analysis. This course is required for students planning to graduate with honors in environmental science. For honors credit, the work must also include the presentation of the results in a scholarly publication or at a scholarly meeting.  ENV 3560 may be repeated for a total credit of four semester hours. Graded on an S/U basis.

GLY 3680. Geoarchaeology (3)

The course focuses on fundamental concepts in geoarchaeology and covers the application of earth science concepts, techniques and knowledge to the study of artifacts and the processes involved in the formation of the archaeological record. Preservation of paleoclimate signals in the geological record is considered. Case studies will consider specific North American and global examples.
Prerequisite: GLY 2250 or permission of the instructor.

GLY 3703. Issues in Environmental Geology (3)

An in-depth study of critical issues in environmental geology on a regional and global scale. Topics to be covered include: natural hazards, water, mineral and energy resources, and related waste disposal problems under pressures of increasing human population and changing climate. This course will make use of case studies to illustrate specific examples. Lecture three hours. Prerequisite: Six credit hours of Geology courses or permission of instructor.

GLY 3715. Petrology and Petrography (3)

This course includes a study of the microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic features; the mineralogy, and the chemistry of rocks; and the study of petrogenetic theory. Prerequisites: CHE 1101 and CHE 1110, GLY 2745, and GLY 3220. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. 

GLY 3800. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (3)

Properties, classification, and depositional models of sedimentary rocks. Principles of collection and interpretation of stratigraphic data; emphasis on field relationships. Prerequisites: GLY 2250 and GLY 2745. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours.

ENV 4100 - Environmental Science Seminar (3)  - GEN ED:  Capstone Experience for  Environmental Science

This capstone course emphasizes the critical need for a multi-disciplinary and cooperative approach to solving challenging environmental issues on local and global scales. The course is project-driven and employs literature and case study research, data gathering, and active group problem-solving to address issues such as scientific and engineering solutions, environmental and economic impacts, regulatory compliance, and public policy. Students are required to disseminate project results via written reports, oral presentations, and/or poster sessions. This course serves as the senior capstone course for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. Prerequisites: ENV 3100, ENV majors only, and senior standing or permission of the instructor.

GLY/ENV 4110. Environmental Management and Impact Analysis (3) cross listed with ENV 4110

An applied course that introduces students to implementing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations and guidelines. Prerequisites: ENV 3100 or GLY 3703, and GHY 3812.

GLY 4210. Geology Seminar (1) - GEN ED: Capstone Experience for Geology

Presentation and discussion of current topics, with emphasis on student projects, petrology, and surficial processes. Prerequisite: senior standing geology major.

GLY 4501. Senior Research in Geology (1)

Initiation of a laboratory or field research project under supervision of a geology faculty member. At least one semester prior to the start of the research project, the student must formally confer with a thesis advisor, submit and have approved a formal research proposal. Prerequisite: open only to senior geology majors with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in geology courses.

ENV 4510. Senior Honors Research and Thesis (1-3) - GEN ED:  Alternate Capstone Experience for  Environmental Science

Independent in-depth research and preparation of a thesis on a significant topic in environmental science, directed by a thesis faculty advisor in the environmental science program or in another science/math department within the College of Arts and Sciences. A thesis is presented in writing to the environmental science program honors coordinator along with an oral presentation to faculty. The thesis is to be examined (defended) and approved by both the thesis faculty advisor and by a second reader from a different department. The course grade is determined by the thesis faculty advisor and by the environmental science program honors coordinator.
ENV 4510 may be repeated for a total credit of three semester hours. Prerequisites: ENV 3560, a GPA of at least 3.45 overall and in environmental science courses, the approval of the proposed research topic and methods by the environmental science program honors coordinator, and the assignment of a research thesis advisor during the semester prior to enrollment in this course. This course is required for graduation with honors in environmental science.

GLY 4510. Senior Honors Thesis in Geology (3)

Work, under the supervision of a geology faculty member, on the project begun in GLY 4501 (Senior Research). An oral report on the project is required and will be presented in a fall or spring geology seminar. This course also requires a minimum of five hours laboratory or field work per week. A written thesis will be presented to the department. A student who completes the thesis with a grade of “B” or higher and who graduates with a GPA of 3.5 in geology courses will be eligible to graduate with “honors” in geology. A student who completes the thesis with a grade of “A” and who graduates with a GPA of at least 3.7 in geology courses will be eligible to graduate with “highest honors” in geology. Prerequisite: GLY 4501; senior geology majors with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in geology courses.

GLY 4630. Hydrogeology (3) - Dual-listed with GLY 5630

The occurrence of groundwater resources, factors governing groundwater movement through aquifers, and an analysis of techniques for measuring a water resource are the focus of this course. Groundwater contamination and remediation methods will be introduced. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. Prerequisites: at least junior standing and a minimum of six semester hours of geology courses above the 1000 level, or permission of the instructor. 

GLY 4705. Engineering Geology (3)

Field and laboratory analysis of problems arising from interactions between humans and Earth and application of geologic knowledge to the mitigation of these problems. Lecture two hours, laboratory three hours. Prerequisites: at least junior standing and a minimum of six semester hours of geology courses above the 1000 level, or permission of the instructor. Dual-listed with GLY 5705.

GLY 4835. Summer Field Geology (6)

An intensive five to six week practicum in making geologic maps, measuring sections, and using other field techniques.
Prerequisites: GLY 3150, GLY 3715, and GLY 3800.