Course Catalog and Descriptions

FS = offered fall semester, SS = offered spring semester, US = offered summer semester, Occ = occasionally offered

UG cr. = undergraduate credit, G cr. = graduate credit

1000 Level Courses

GEOL 1001C. Freshmen Seminar I: Geology and Paleontology. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Carl Brett.  This course, the first of a two-part sequence of freshmen seminars, is designed to give introductory students a broad understanding of basic geological principles and to introduce processes in Earth and life history that occur on the scale of millions of years. In particular, it emphasizes the geologic history -- a mixture of geological and biological concepts -- of eastern North America, a world-famous area for Paleozoic rocks and fossils. This seminar provides an overview of the tools by which Earth scientists interpret physical and life history, the depth of geologic time, and the forces that shape our planet's surface. This course incorporates a mixture of class and lab experiences designed to introduce students to the broad concepts of geology largely through field observations and laboratory exploration of data and specimens. Students do not need special background for these classes, but should have a natural curiosity, an eagerness to learn, and a willingness to work in outdoor field situations on day-long trips. Students completing this course will be well prepared to pursue further studies in geology, paleontology, or other natural sciences.

GEOL 1002C. Freshman Seminar II: Earth Surface Processes and Environmental Issues. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Lewis Owen.  The Earth's surface is continuously changing as tectonic, climatic, geomorphic, hydrologic and biological processes constantly operate. These changes affect the way we utilize and survive on our planet. This course will examine the nature of these processes from a geologic perspective to show how an understanding of their dynamics is relevant to the well being of humankind. Specifically, we will examine: 1) the management of geological resources such as fossil fuels, minerals, water and land space; 2) the effects of natural hazards on humans and how we can mitigate the hazards; 3) how geology can be used to help in the effective design and implementation of engineering projects; and 4) waste disposal and minimizing effects of pollution.

GEOL 1003. Physical Geology. 3 UG cr. FS, SS.  Dr. Attila Kilinc.  An introductory physical geology course that includes a comprehensive study of the earth's physical processes and properties, with an emphasis on understanding the scientific theories behind the geological principles. Topics are explored within the general context of plate tectonic theory and include: minerals and rocks, weathering and erosion, geological time, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, oceans, landforms, and natural resources.

GEOL 1003L. Physical Geology Laboratory. 3 UG cr. FS.  Various instructors.  STUDENTS MUST BE ENROLLED IN GEOL1003, PHYSICAL GEOLOGY, TO REGISTER FOR GEOL1003L, PHYSICAL GEOLOGY LABORATORY.  In this laboratory course students will utilize the basic materials and tools of physical geology to identify common rocks and minerals. Students will also analyze and interpret geologic and topographic maps as well as aerial photographs. Specific topic areas to be studied include faults and folds, mass wasting, stream, eolian, glacial, coastal and slope processes, earthquake hazards and plate tectonics. Emphasis is placed on interactions between plate tectonics and the rock cycle, and how these interactions drive igneous rock formation, metamorphic rock formation, and the formation of sedimentary basins and landforms. There will be three field trips.

GEOL 1004. Historical Geology. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Warren Huff.  An introductory historical geology course designed to provide the student with the necessary tools to interpret and understand the processes leading to the complex history of the Earth and its contained biota. An additional goal is to provide an overview of the major events in Earth's history that have had a profound effect on Earth's physical, chemical, and biologic environment. The course encompasses the causes and effects of mass extinction on the history of life, and the role of plate tectonics on the geologic and biologic evolution of the Earth.

GEOL 1004L. Historical Geology Laboratory. 3 UG cr. SS.  Various instructors.  In this laboratory course students will gain practical experience in studying sedimentary rocks in order to interpret depositional processes and environments. Students will further learn to identify invertebrate fossils and to combine that knowledge with sedimentary analysis to make age determinations for rock formations and interpret their regional correlation. There will be six field trips. In addition, students will complete and present an in-class research project.

GEOL 1005. Environmental Geology. 3 UG cr.  TBD.  An introductory physical geology course that includes in-depth study of selected topics related to physical processes at the earth's surface, with an emphasis on understanding the scientific theories behind the geological principles. Topics are explored within the general context of human impacts on the environment and human responses to environmental hazards. For each topic, the political and legal ramifications of responses to hazards are considered in addition to better understanding the underlying scientific concepts. Included are surface water, flooding and flood insurance; groundwater depletion, movement and contamination; major storms and beach erosion; volcano hazards from mudflows; and global climate change.

GEOL 1008. Age of Dinosaurs. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Josh Miller.  This course provides an introduction to one of the most unique and fascinating groups of animals ever to inhabit the Earth, the dinosaurs. Anyone with some background in geology or biology will benefit from the class. Topics covered include: placement of dinosaurs in the framework of geologic time; evolutionary origin of dinosaurs and their relationship to other vertebrate animals; major groups of dinosaurs, their characteristics, classification, life habits and geologic time range; life history of dinosaurs; paleogeography and paleoenvironments in which dinosaurs lived; physiology of dinosaurs (cold- or warm-blooded); how dinosaur fossils were preserved (taphonomy); dinosaur tracks and their implications about dinosaur life; life in the sea and air during the Age of Dinosaurs; hypotheses about dinosaur extinction; the evolutionary relationship of dinosaurs and birds; history of discovery and study of dinosaurs.

GEOL 1009. Natural Hazards. 3 UG cr.  SS, US.  Dr. Lewis Owen, Krista Smilek.  This class will provide an introduction to geologic hazards and natural disasters, their effects on society, and the attempts at preparation and mitigation for these events. Hazards to be covered include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides, hurricanes, tsunamis, and others. Central to the course is the understanding of the technical cooperation required for hazard and vulnerability assessments, including the use of geographic information systems for mapping and analysis and urban watershed planning for hazard and resource management.

GEOL 1010C. Evolution of Earth Systems. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Tom Algeo.  This course will familiarize students with the history of the Earth. The first section of the course will cover the development and structure of the geologic time scale, which represents the scaffolding for understanding events in Earth's history. The second part of the course will examine the origin of the solar system and its planetary bodies, including the Earth. The third part of the course will examine the development of Earth's chemical and physical systems from their primordial condition to their present state, including the evolution of continents, the atmosphere, and oceans through time. The fourth part of the course will examine the history of life on Earth, including prebiotic features that may have predisposed the Earth to the appearance of life, the record of pre-metazoan life in ancient rocks, and a detailed characterization of the evolutionary processes and pathways that have led to the diversity of life seen in the modern world.

GEOL 1011C. Environmental Volcanology. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Attila Kilinc.  The course focuses on principles of volcanology and volcano-environment interaction. After a brief introduction to what a volcano is and where volcanoes are located, we begin to discuss types of volcanic hazards, and what can be done to minimize them. Next, we discuss broader aspects of volcanology such as impact of volcanoes on weather and climate, biological activity around submarine volcanoes and origin of life, relationship between mass extinctions and volcanic activity, volcanic risks and rewards. Finally, we explore the close relationship between volcanoes around the world and cultures of people living in volcanic terrains.

GEOL 1013. Earthquakes and Society. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Attila Kilinc.  This course will cover where, how and why earthquakes occur in the world and their impact on society. Topics will include: what is an earthquake, how an earthquake is detected and its strength measured, what are the psychological, societal and financial consequences of earthquakes and how to educate people on what to do before, during and after a hypothetical earthquake in Cincinnati area.

GEOL 1014. Geology Through Film. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Aaron Diefendorf.  In this course, geological topics and concepts are introduced by watching popular earth science-based films. Students are required to watch assigned films and to answer questions or write synopses based on the scientific topics presented in the films. Lectures will be presented on the scientific topics addressed. Topics will include: the Earth's structure, tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, meteor impacts, marine science, climate change, and weather. This course provides students with a unique method of learning about earth sciences and distinguishing scientific fact from fiction in film.

GEOL 1015. Ice Age Mammals. 3 UG cr. Even SS.  Dr. Brooke Crowley.  Have you always wanted to know more about the megabeasts that once lived here in Cincinnati and other parts of the USA?  This course introduces the ecology and evolution of extinct and still-living mammals on our continent since the age of the dinosaurs.  Topics include, biodiversity, climate change, ecological adaptations, mass extinctions, and the potential for rewilding.

GEOL 1016. Astrobiology: Life in the Universe. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Andy Czaja.  Astrobiology seeks to answer the questions 'Where did we come from?' and 'Are we alone?'. These are fundamental questions of life that have been asked for millennia and are still unanswered. Because these are such broad scientific questions, astrobiology is necessarily an interdisciplinary field that encompasses many fields of science, including geology, biology, chemistry, planetary science, and astronomy. This course will introduce students to astrobiology and all of the subfields within, but will emphasize the geological and chemical properties of planetary bodies that make them habitable, and the properties of life that make it able to flourish in a wide variety of environments. We will also discuss current and past astrobiology missions undertaken by NASA and other space agencies that seek to answer the fundamental questions.

GEOL 1018C. Field Geology of Cincinnati. 3 UG cr. US.  Dr. Craig Dietsch, Paula Figueiredo. Cincinnati has an interesting geological history that extends back half a billion years.  Its landscape is built on limestone that contains an abundance of fossils (remnants of an ancient sea),  and records the much more recent advance and retreat of massive continental ice sheets.  Cincinnati's geologic history is reflected in where our city was founded, where we live, and where our highways, factories, and stadiums are.  Knowledge of our geologic history has practical applications too, related to the natural hazards that affect our city, including flooding and unstable hillslopes -- Hamilton County has one of the highest per capita expenditures on landslide prevention and remediation in the nation.  Cincinnati is called the city of seven hills, but is in fact a city of valleys:  the Little Miami, Great Miami, and Ohio Rivers once flowed in very different channels than we see today, and created our current terrain with its steep hillsides.  The goal of Field Geology of Cincinnati is for students to develop an understanding of the geological materials, processes, and history of our tri-state area through hands-on, experiential fieldwork.

GEOL 1019. Tropical Islands: Endangered Paradises. 3 UG cr. SS. Dr. Yurena Yanes.  Because of their relative isolation from one another and from large continental regions, islands can be viewed as "worlds unto themselves", offering opportunities to explore ecological models and theories in simplified contexts. Island biotas are susceptible to human impact and global change because they occupy limited environments and areas with finite resources, and tropical islands are especially vulnerable because they often harbor large numbers of unique species.

This course introduces basic concepts of island geology, biology, paleontology and archeology, with a particular emphasis on tropical islands. Topics include a broad overview of geological processes, biodiversity, extinction and evolutionary processes, fossil records, prehistoric and historic human impacts, climate change, and conservation and sustainability. No previous courses or experience are required. This course is designed to expose students to various disciplines in the sciences that will help them to identify and pursue a more specific scientific field in the future. Overall, students will learn foundational concepts and processes related to the natural and earth sciences.

GEOL 1020. Earth, Sea, and Sky. 3 UG cr.
  Dr. Dylan Ward.  This course serves as an introduction to how the Earth works as a set of interconnected systems. Through this lens, the course focuses on the interactions between the solid Earth (plate tectonics, topography, and minerals and resources), hydrosphere (the water cycle, glaciers, and oceans), and atmosphere (weather, climate, and global change). Weekly in-class exercises will provide hands-on experience with scientific interpretation using Google Earth, digital topography, and interactive simulations of the basic physics that combine to make the Earth a dynamic and exciting place to live.

GEOL 1024. Geology of the National Parks. 3 UG cr. SS. Dr. Dylan Ward, Dr. Brooke Crowley.  America’s National Parks owe their spectacular scenery and rich cultural history to the geologic forces that have shaped their landscapes. This course introduces the processes of tectonics, volcanism, erosion, sedimentation, hydrology, and glaciation that have acted over millions of years on the wide variety of rocks found across North America to create exceptional landscapes such as Hawaii Volcanoes, the Grand Canyon, and Mammoth Cave. We will also discuss the history of the National Parks system and the impact of human activities on these unique places that we as a nation have chosen to preserve.    

GEOL 1037. Global Warming - Its Place in Earth History. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Tom Lowell.  Global Warming is an often used term, but what is it?  What causes it, how does it differ from naturally occurring climate events, and what are the ramifications of it? Our discussion of the role of energy and its distribution across the planet and its relationship to temperature and other climate changes will address these questions and lead us to delve into the geological past, where we will study past climate events such as the Ice Age. We will examine how scientists date and document the past climate events, and how they seek to explain the underlying causes. This framework will provide context for considering how human activities and energy use patterns are modifying natural patterns today.

GEOL 1056. Gems and Minerals. 3 UG cr. FS, US.
Dr. Craig Dietsch. Gems have been prized for millennia. World trade in colored gemstones exceeds US$5 billion per year. Worldwide diamond production exceeds 100 million carats equivalent to over US$10 billion. Deposits of gems are rare because the geological processes that form them are unusual. Students in this course will learn about gemstone formation, the physical properties of gemstones, and will learn how to assess the quality of gemstones in the retail market. In the process, students will learn about the mineralogy, chemistry, and geology of gemstones in the context of our dynamic planet Earth. We will focus on those gemstones that are the most significant in terms of the worldwide trade: diamond, emerald, beryl, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, and tsavorite. Some aspects of the politics and economics of the global trade in gemstones will be addressed through selected reading. The course will also include hands-on examination of the raw materials of gemstones and guest presentations from Gemological Institute of America certified gemologists. 

GEOL 1061. Oceanography. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Tom Algeo.  This course will familiarize students with the principles of oceanography, including (1) the physical and chemical properties of water, (2) the structure and circulation of water masses, (3) processes such as waves, tides, and currents, (4) marine life, (5) the origin and development of the oceans through time, and (6) the role of oceans in heat transport and global climate change.

2000 Level Courses                                

GEOL 2004C. Sedimentary Geology and Earth History. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Carl Brett.  This course will review the principles by which Earth and life history are reconstructed. It will cover general concepts of sedimentary geology, geochronology and tectonics as applied in interpreting the dynamic history of the Earth and its life. The class will also provide a broad overview of the interrelated history of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. It will apply general concepts of stratigraphy, sedimentology, geochronology, paleontology, tectonics, and paleogeography in interpreting the dynamic history of the Earth and its life. Labs and field trips will illustrate general concepts with regional examples and also will give an overview of the geology of North America. Classes will provide a review of concepts and principles of sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, geochronology, tectonics, and basin analysis; later classes will give a chronological summary of Earth history. Lab exercises focus on interpretation of suites of rocks and fossils associated with particular depositional and tectonic settings and ages. In addition, we will review geologic maps and charts to illustrate stratigraphic and structural features.

GEOL 2005C. Geomorphology. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Dylan Ward.  In this course, students will learn about the processes shaping Earth's surface by using observations, databases, principles of mechanics and chemistry, and by reading geomorphic literature. Although the primary focus of the course is on extant geomorphic processes and their impact on Earth's surface and humans, the course will begin with an examination of the impact of catastrophic events that have taken place on Earth. Rock weathering, karst processes, and landscapes will be examined with online imagery and topographic data (digital elevation models - DEMs). The concepts of landscape evolution versus landscape equilibrium will be examined in lectures and a laboratory exercise using DEMs. Students will also study the geologic aspects of pedogenesis by conducting laboratory analysis of USDA-SCS soil data. Students will also be taught the value and utility of county soil surveys. Additionally, because of the local impact of mass movement here in Cincinnati, several weeks will be devoted to the study of the mechanics and recognition of landsliding, including Sturzstroms, by performing mechanical stability analyses of hillsides. The course will conclude with a brief examination of glacial, eolian, and littoral processes.

GEOL 2008C. Mineralogy. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Craig Dietsch.  Minerals make up rocks and rocks are one of Earth's primary geologic materials.  Minerals underlie the physical and chemical properties of rocks and exert a primary control on many essential geologic processes, including plate tectonics, melting and crystallization, deformation, the formation of ores, weathering and erosion, fluid-rock interaction, and dissolution and precipitation.  In this combined lecture and laboratory course, the fundamental aspects of the following topics will be discussed in lecture and further explored through lab exercises: atomic bonding, crystallography, crystal chemistry, and structure of important rock-forming minerals; classification of minerals and mineral groups; phase diagrams describing mineral stability in a variety of pressure-temperature-composition environments; and mineral associations/assemblages that occur in a variety of common geological settings.  Throughout the semester, the physical properties of minerals and mineral identification will be determined in the lab.  Students will also develop an understanding of the fundamentals of optical mineralogy and will learn to identify important rock-forming minerals using the petrographic microscope.

GEOL 2012. The Earth System. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Aaron Diefendorf.  This course focuses on developing a strong understanding of each of Earth's spheres (geo-, bio-, hydro-, cryo-, and anthro-) including the chemical, physical, and energetic interactions among these spheres. Integral to this course will be recognizing how Earth surface processes function to regulate climate, the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere, and the biogeochemical cycling of elements. An important component of this course will be assessing how interactions between spheres are responsible for global climate change and appreciating how the geologic past is the key to the present and the future. This course will build on information learned in prior 2000-level courses by analyzing and synthesizing foundational information to develop an integrated understanding of the Earth System.

3000 Level Courses

GEOL3000C. Paleontology and Geobiology. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Carl Brett.  This course will provide a broad overview of the principles of paleontology and its applications in understanding life history, reconstructing paleoenvironments, paleogeography and paleoclimates, and interpreting large-scale evolutionary patterns, including mass extinctions and changes through time in global biodiversity. Students will learn to identify and interpret major fossil and trace fossil groups and to recognize taphonomic (preservational) and morphological features of fossils.  Classes will cover general concepts of systematic paleontology, classification of organisms, evolution, taphonomy, paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and biostratigraphy. This course will also emphasize how these concepts can be applied in interpreting the dynamic history of life on Earth and to present-day problems of societal concern brought about by anthropogenic change.

GEOL3002. Geochemistry. 3 UG cr. FS.  Dr. Andy Czaja. Geochemistry is a fundamental aspect of the geosciences that seeks to understand the distribution and interactions of chemical elements and isotopes in the Earth system through the study of chemical reactions and geochemical cycles. Knowledge of the modern Earth system is applied to explain signals of geochemical evolution in the rock record and to predict future change. This course will build upon previous knowledge of introductory chemistry and will emphasize fundamental geochemical concepts including oxidation-reduction reactions, thermodynamics, elemental cycling, acid-base reactions, mineral saturation, and isotopic systems. These concepts are fundamental to the geosciences because they facilitate understanding of ancient and modern interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and the solid earth. This course will provide a foundation for subsequent courses on aqueous geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, geochronology, organic geochemistry, and high temperature geochemistry. Students will learn the principles of common analytical equipment used in the field of Geochemistry through lecture and hands-on experiments.

GEOL3003C. Petrology. 3 UG cr. SS. Dr. Craig Dietsch.  Rocks are one of Earth's primary geologic materials. Rocks record the Earth's physical and chemical processes, including mountain building, melting and crystallization, deformation, the formation of ores, weathering and erosion, fluid-rock interaction, and metamorphism. In this combined lecture and laboratory course, the composition, mineralogy, and processes of formation of common rocks of the upper mantle, oceanic crust, and continental crust will be will be discussed in lecture and further explored through lab exercises. Throughout the semester, the common rocks will be identified in hand sample and in thin section. Understanding and formation of rocks in the context of plate tectonics will be a major focus of the course. Major rock-forming processes at divergent and convergent plate boundaries will be emphasized.

GEOL3004C. Structural Geology. 3 UG cr. SS.  Dr. Daniel Sturmer.  This course introduces to students the fields of structural geology and tectonics through a combination of lectures and labs. Fundamental tools used to recognize and measure geological structures, present them in map view, cross sections, and stereographic projection, and quantify them, are taught through exercises in the lab. The lectures of this class cover the basic models of plate tectonics and rock deformation. Using case studies, the main deformation patterns occurring at divergent, convergent, and transform plate boundaries are discussed, ranging from continental scale to microscopic scale observations. 

GEOL3005C. Foundations of Groundwater. 3 UG cr. FS. Dr. Reza Soltanian. This course covers fundamentals of groundwater flow and transport, emphasizing the role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle, the management of contaminated groundwater, and the relation of groundwater flow to geologic structure. The important topics covered in the course are: Darcy’s law, groundwater flow, mass conservation, the aquifer flow equation, heterogeneity and anisotropy, storage properties, unsaturated flow, recharge, river-groundwater interactions, aquifer tests, groundwater quality, contaminant transport processes such as advection, dispersion, and sorption. The course contains interactive computer-based programs for solving basic groundwater flow processes.

GEOL3006C. Climate Through Time. 3 UG cr. SS. Dr. Tom Lowell. The course will introduce students to the climate system and how it interacts with other systems on the earth’s surface. It will examine the difference between weather and climate and convey the components of the climate system. These components are tied together via energy fluxes which define the present climate state. These linkages and feedbacks among these processes vary over time, thus participants in the course will consider and relate the present climate state to past times when climate conditions or state were different. Since these exact relationships are not fully established, especially with regard to past abrupt climate change, the past record and how it is determined, will allow for synthesis and evaluation of future climate change. The impacts of climate variations on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and cryosphere provide a framework to debate predicted changes of the present ice age world.

GEOL3074. Geology for Engineers, Architects, and Planners. 3 UG cr. FS, SS.  Dr. Thomas Algeo.  This course is for Engineering majors.  This is course is an introduction to physical geology focusing on those aspects of particular interest and concern to engineers, planners, and architects who must understand the nature of geologic materials, geologic hazards, and geologic processes for planning and designing projects that work within the geologic framework rather than just on it. The course uses an analytical and quantitative approach and employs numerous geologic case studies demonstrating the impact of geology on structures and construction projects.

GEOL 3080. Landscape Evolution and Environmental Change on the Edge of the Caribbean, Trinidad. 3 UC cr. Occ.  Dr. Lewis Owen. Trinidad is situated at an extremely interesting geographic position within the Caribbean, sandwiched between the South American mainland and Amazonia, and the Windward Islands. Geologically, anthropologically, and culturally, Trinidad is fascinating and provides a superb natural laboratory to examine the interaction between natural equatorial systems and humans. This honors course will examine how the landscapes in Trinidad have developed from its geologic origins to its occupation by humans some 7,000 years ago, to post-Columbian settlement and into the present day. Aspects of how humans have influenced Trinidad's landscapes and how they will continue to do so in the coming years will be considered from geologic and anthropologic perspectives. In addition, the course will examine how natural processes such as earthquakes, landslides, floods and extreme weather threaten the inhabitants of Trinidad. A key component of this course will be to develop scientific hypotheses to test during a 10 day field trip to Trinidad to help faculty and future students develop a long-term commitment to examining environmental change and landscape evolution in Trinidad and adjacent regions.

4000/6000 Level Courses

GEOL4001C/6001C. Paleontology I (Invertebrate). 4 UG/G cr. Occ SS. Various professors.  Even spring. Introduction to the study of ancient life as recorded by fossils. Lectures emphasize principles of paleontology including nature and quality of the fossil record, sources of variation among fossils, factors influencing morphology, classification and systematics, species and speciation, as well as a survey of macroinvertebrate phyla in the fossil record, including body plans, functional morphology, evolutionary relationships, and geological significance. Laboratories emphasize recognition of fossil groups, their morphology, paleobiologic interpretation, and stratigraphic range. At least two weekend field trips are required.

GEOL4002C/6002C. Vertebrate Paleontology. 3 UG/G cr. Occ SS. Dr. Carl Brett, Dr. Brooke Crowley, Dr. Josh Miller. In this course, we explore vertebrate evolution with an emphasis on key ecological and evolutionary challenges and innovations. The course provides an overview of the morphology, classification, ecology, and evolutionary histories of vertebrate animals from their origins to the proliferation of major groups including jawless and jawed fishes, amphibians, turtles, lizards and snakes, crocodilians, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals (including humans). 

GEOL4003/6003. Sedimentology. 3 UG/G cr. SS.  Dr. Tom Algeo. This course is an introduction to sediments & sedimentary facies, the processes that control sediment production, transport, and deposition, and the stratigraphic patterns that result from sediment deposition. The course will examine sediment deposition in marine, lacustrine, and continental systems, examining such characteristics as mineralogic composition, grain size, organic content, and other quantitative parameters.

GEOL4004/6004. Glacial Geology. 3 UG/G cr. Odd SS.  Dr. Tom Lowell. This course introduces students to the physical controls on the spatial/temporal distribution of glaciers and to the dynamics of glacial movement and the resulting erosion, transport and deposition of materials. The nature of the glacial geological record will be interpreted via sediments and landforms and climate change. Records of past glacial events will constitute a framework for realizing the role of glaciation and the Ice Age in shaping our present Earth surface. Field observational and reporting skills are required and will be improved.

GEOL4007/6007. Marine Paleoenvironments and Paleoecology. 3 UG/G cr. Odd SS.  Dr. Carl Brett. The primary theme of this course is characterization of the processes and parameters of modern and ancient marine environments, including physical (circulation, climate, waves, tides, currents, depth, and temperature), chemical (salinity, oxygen, pH, trace elements,and nutrients) and biological (e.g., organism interactions, alteration of substrates by bioturbation and skeletal accumulation) factors and their interpretation from the geological record. In addition, the class will explore interactions among Earth systems and the long-term changes in marine environments that result from cyclic and secular variations in climates and biosphere evolution. Field-based studies will examine aspects of one or more ancient marine environments.

GEOL4008C/6008C. Clay Mineralogy. 3 UG/G cr. FS.  Dr. Warren Huff. This course provides an introduction to clay mineralogy. We will examine clay minerals from crystallographic, chemical, and physical points of view in order to learn about the structural mineralogy, X-ray identification, and geologic characteristics of the major groups of clay minerals. We will learn how to identify and classify clay minerals, and how to measure clay mineral properties using laboratory procedures.

GEOL4010C/6010C. Igneous Processes and Petrogenesis. 4 UG/G cr. Occ. Dr. Attila Kilinc. This course covers the mineralogical, petrological and chemical character of the source regions of magmas, processes controlling partial melting of source rocks and differentiation and crystallization of magmas.

GEOL4011C/6011C. Quaternary Geology. 4 UG/G cr. Even SS.  Dr. Lewis Owen. This course will examine the geologic evidence for the nature of Quaternary (the last 2.5 million years of Earth's history) environmental change. Attention is paid to the various forms of evidence, including sedimentologic, geomorphic, geochemical and paleontological, that can be used to establish the history and scale of environmental changes. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the possible forcing mechanisms that have driven environmental change through the Quaternary, and defining and quantifying the rates and magnitudes of these changes using geologic tools. Students will be trained in laboratory and field methods and will explore the links between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere and biosphere on Quaternary timescales. Attention will also be given to how this geologic knowledge may be applied to help predict future environmental change.

GEOL4012C/6012C. Modeling Landscapes. 3 UG/G cr. SS.  Dr. Dylan Ward. This course will empower students to use computational tools in their own research endeavors and to better understand numerical models as described in the literature. Through weekly hands-on programming exercises in Matlab/FreeMat/Octave, students will develop their own numerical models to explore the mechanics relevant to the study of Earth surface processes, including glacier and stream flow, thermal conduction, cinder cone construction, sediment transport, coral reef growth, and more. Exercises begin simply, introducing the students to writing code, then become progressively more complex. While the course will draw its examples from surface processes, the core skillset learned is quantitative analysis of a scientific problem and expression as computer code. These skills translate to many disciplines within Earth Sciences and other science fields.

Prior programming experience is not required. Familiarity with geomorphology and the basic concepts of calculus will be a benefit, but there is no formal prerequisite.

GEOL4013/6013. Organic Geochemistry. 3 UG/G cr. Odd SS.  Dr. Aaron Diefendorf. This course will provide an introduction to organic geochemistry by studying the origins and fates of organic compounds in the geosphere. We will study the production, preservation, degradation, and long-term fate of organic matter in the geosphere. An important component of this course will be the use of biomarkers and stable isotopes to understand ancient climates and life, but also to understand modern systems including anthropogenic effects. We will discuss some of the common and recent advances in analytical techniques used in organic geochemistry (e.g., gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry, and lipid separation techniques).

GEOL4017/6017. Clay Mineralogy Seminar. 3 UG/G cr. SS.  Dr. Warren Huff. This course is a project-oriented seminar in clay mineralogy. The prerequisites are Geology 6008 or equivalent. We will study a series of clay-rich materials representing some geological or engineering problem of general interest. We will learn a variety of laboratory procedures, some of which are not normally taught in the preceding clay mineralogy course, and each participant will be asked to focus on one or more methods in particular. The goal of the course will be to prepare and submit an abstract for a poster display at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. No exams are involved.

GEOL4018C/6018C. Stratigraphy and Facies Models. 3 UG/G cr. Occ. Dr. Carl Brett. This course will provide a summary of the principles, concepts, and applications of sedimentary facies and stratigraphy, the central discipline of Earth history and petroleum geology. Classes will emphasize facies models and environmental interpretation, methods of correlation in surface and subsurface, (bio-, litho-, chemo-, magneto-, cyclo-, event, seismic and sequence stratigraphy) and interpretation of regional patterns of stratigraphy. It will also illustrate general concepts with regional examples. There will be several major field trips to examine regional patterns of stratigraphy and interactions of sedimentary environments with sea level, climate and tectonic change.

GEOL4019/6019. Quaternary Seminar. 3 UG/G cr. FS.  Dr. Tom Lowell. This course will examine the Quaternary time from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. The seminar format will provide the opportunity to read and critique literature from disciplines both within and outside of the students primary field of study. We will examine factors common to all fields, such as climate change, to investigate how possible interconnections are developed and expressed.

GEOL4020C/6020C. Volcanology Seminar. 4 UG/G cr. Occ.  Dr. Attila Kilinc
In this seminar geological, geochemical and geophysical characteristics of volcanoes at different tectonic settings will be discussed and pertinent papers will be read by the entire class. There will be class discussion of these papers and when necessary students will test the conclusions reached by the authors by using appropriate computer codes. Students will watch videos of active volcanoes and will discuss what they learn from them.

GEOL4021C/6021C. Himalayan Field Trip. 3 UG/G cr. Occ.  Dr. Lewis Owen and Dr. Craig Dietsch. This course examines the geology of an active continental-continental collision zone by undertaking a field trip to the Himalaya of Northern India. The trip begins at Delhi in the Himalayan foreland and continues by traveling across the foothills of the Lesser Himalaya into the Greater Himalaya, ending on the edge of Tibet. All aspects of the collision zone are examined including the geomorphology, structural geology, petrology, paleontology and geochemisty. Training is provided in field mapping, construction of geologic maps and sections, and the identification and analysis of landforms and sediments within the Himalaya. Comparisons are made between this active mountain belt and more ancient mountain belts to provide an understanding of the tectonic and geomorphic evolution of mountains.

GEOL4022C/6022C. High Latitudes Field Trip. 3 UG/G cr. Even US.  Dr. Tom Lowell. This extended field trip will visit high latitude landscapes (Alaska or Iceland) with the objective of directly observing the geological processes acting at high latitudes. Mini-projects at key field locations will afford the student the chance to improve observational skills, interpret relationships between processes and product, and synthesize key geological relationships. Field work is strenuous but will provide students with direct observation of high latitude environments.

GEOL4023/6023. Ocean Margins Field Trip. 3 UG/G cr. Odd US.  Krista Smilek. This is a two-week, field-based course intended to expose students to modern and ancient temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical marine environments and associated organisms. Emphasis is placed on the study of modern marine environments that serve as analogs to the geologic record. Students will be expected to complete necessary coursework before departing for the trip and to keep a detailed field journal and actively participate in discussions while in the field.

GEOL4024/6024. Geohydrology and Introduction to Ground-Water Modeling. 3 UG/G cr. The course is intended to familiarize students with drainage-basin-level circulation of water, with particular emphasis on the movement of water into, through, and out of aquifers. Equations for steady-state and transient ground-water flow in isotropic/anisotropic and homogeneous/heterogeneous aquifers are derived and thoroughly examined. Simple ground-water flow models are built 'from the ground up'. Students learn about the utility and shortcomings of ground-water models. By the end of the course, students have sufficient knowledge to calculate a water budget and to construct moderately complex models of ground-water systems.

GEOL4025C/6025C. Thermodynamics. 4 UG/G cr. Occ.  Dr. Attila Kilinc. In this course on the thermodynamics of geological processes, basic laws of thermodynamics are presented and their application to the solution of geological problems is discussed. Students will use SUPCRT and MELTS computer codes to solve low and high temperature geochemical problems. This course covers application of thermodynamics to wide range of geological problems, including, but not limited to, low-temperature, low-pressure solution geochemistry, and high-temperature, high-pressure geochemistry problems. Oxidation-reduction in magmas, stability of aqueous species in ore-forming solutions, and environmental problems, such as injection of toxic substances into the ground, are discussed and evaluated by students.

GEOL4028/6028. Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry. 4 UG/G cr. Even FS.  Dr. Aaron Diefendorf. This course will provide a detailed survey of the field of stable isotope biogeochemistry. The course will focus on the fundamental chemical and physical processes affecting stable isotope distributions in the natural world. The first part of the course will focus on stable isotope theory, notation, history of stable isotopes, methodological techniques including compound-specific isotope analyses, and systematic treatment of stable isotopic data. The second part of the course will provide a survey of important applications in traditional (C, H, N, O, S) low-temperature biogeochemistry in the areas of modern and ancient hydrology, climate, ecology, environmental science, and petrology. Other novel applications of stable isotopes will briefly be covered, such as forensics applications. Students will explore a topic of their choice during the course and orally present a summary of this research and provide a research paper that explores this topic in further depth. This course is intended as a graduate and advanced undergraduate level course. A basic understanding of chemistry and math is required and students are encouraged to contact the instructor if they have any questions prior to enrolling.

ANTH/GEOL4029/6029. Stable Isotope Ecology. 3 UG/4 G cr. Even FS.  Dr. Brooke Crowley. This course reviews isotopic patterns in naturally occurring carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, and strontium in biological systems. Students will synthesize weekly readings and lead discussions focused on different systems. Discussions will focus on modern terrestrial plants and vertebrates, but some readings may be geared towards marine or aquatic settings. Discussion leaders are encouraged to modify readings and incorporate material that is of interest to them. Students will also complete authentic small group research projects that utilize the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory. Groups will design projects, collect, process, and analyze samples, interpret the generated data, and present their results to the rest of the class.

GEOL4030/6030. Quaternary Paleoecology. 3 UG/G cr. Occ. Dr. Brooke Crowley. This course reviews techniques and proxies for reconstructing paleoenvironments during the Quaternary, and for inferring the function, stability and long-term vitality of ecosystems. Topics include limnology, palynology, macrobotanics, stable isotope biogeochemistry, sedimentology, composition of fossil assemblages, taphonomy, and conservation paleobiology.

GEOL4031C/6031C. Quaternary Geochronology. 3 UG/G cr. Occ.  Dr. Lewis Owen. Newly developing Quaternary geochronogical techniques are helping to revolutionize our understanding of paleoenvironmental change and landscape evolution by defining the timing of geologic events and quantifying rates of change. This course aims to examine the main principles, techniques and applicability of the sidereal, isotopic, radiogenic, chemical and biological dating methods to provide training for Quaternary geologists, neotectonists, paleosesimologists, biogeographers, pedologists, and archaeologists concerned with defining the timing of events and rates of environmental change. Case studies illuminate the key role of geochronology in Quaternary geology, geomorphology, tectonics and archaeology. A series of assignments are provided to help train students in assessing and evaluating the validity of the different dating methods, and the analysis and presentation of data. Students will also receive field and laboratory instruction in the newly developing techniques of cosmogenic radionuclide surface exposure and luminescence dating.

GEOL4032/6032. Quaternary Limnology. 2 UG/G cr. Occ. Dr. Tom Lowell. This course will consider the geological history recorded in small lake basins. Data acquisition by geophysical techniques will provide a framework for the recovery and interpretation of the sedimentary sequence of a representative lake. This will provide the material to analyze these sediments and reconstruct the evolution of the lake basin and any external driving factors such as climate change.

GEOL4033C/6033C. Earth History Field Trip. 1-3 UG/G cr. Even US.  Dr. Carl Brett. This is a week-long field trip course that will explore the integrated tectonic, sedimentological, and paleoenvironmental/paleoecological history of a particular region. Trip will be preceded by discussions and overview of regional geologic history. Focus will be on the integration of tectonics, climate and sea-level change in interpreting the dynamic history of depositional basins. The field trip will serve as a review and synthesis of principles of sedimentary geology, structure/tectonics, paleontology, and Earth history, as related to a specific example. Trip venues will include the northern (Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania) and southern (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee) Appalachian basin regions and the Cordilleran foreland successions of Colorado and Utah. Field trips will typically take place during summer.

GEOL4036/6036. Holocene Environmental and Cultural History. 3 UG/G cr. Even FS. Dr. Yurena Yanes. The Holocene epoch (spanning the last 11,500 years) has been a critical environmental and cultural period in Earth's history. Civilization and life as we know it came to be during the Holocene. Landscapes have fluctuated significantly through the Holocene because of natural climate change and human activities. Extensive scientific research is elucidating how natural and anthropogenic factors have combined to shape Holocene ecosystems and organisms. We will critically evaluate the interplay between paleoenvironmental transitions and major cultural events throughout the Holocene by discussing a selection of relevant book chapters, and seminal and recent scientific papers. This course is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

GEOL4037/6037. Earth's Early Biosphere: Biological and Geochemical Evolution in the Precambrian. 3 UG/G cr. Odd SS.  Dr. Andy Czaja. The earliest periods of Earth history are shrouded in mystery, especially the biological record during this time. But this was a critical time when microbial life originated and began to flourish, and when the chemical compositions of our atmosphere and ocean were changing dramatically. Because of this incomplete record, the details of how early life and Earth's surface environments evolved are hotly debated. In this course we will explore the known record of life through the Precambrian, with emphasis on the record of life in the Archean Eon, namely fossil microorganisms and stromatolites, as well as isotopic and other geochemical evidence. We will also discuss the geochemical evolution of Earth's surface environment and how it was influenced by both biological and abiological factors, with special focus on major environmental transitions/perturbations such as the Great Oxidation Event and Snowball Earth periods. The course will also cover recent advances in microscopic and analytical geochemical techniques that have provided much of the evidence for the evolution of early life and surface environments, as well as how the early Earth is an analog for potentially habitable planets and moons in our solar system and beyond.

GEOL4038/6038. Analytical Methods and Scripting R.  3 UG/G cr. Odd FS. Dr. Josh Miller. This course will give students the skills to analyze their own research data using the R scripting language. Students will achieve a working knowledge of R syntax (the R language) and an understanding of the best-practices for scripting analyses and communicating that work with others. Students will also gain proficiency in manipulating and analyzing data using graphical and statistical (including multivariate) methods. The course culminates with a final project in which students will produce an original research manuscript (using personal or publically available datasets) with imbedded R-scripts. A working knowledge of basic statistics is recommended.

GEOL4041C/6041C. Changing Landscapes, Dynamic Environments, and Geohazards in the Himalaya. 3 UG/G cr. Occ.  Dr. Lewis Owen. This UCForward course will examine the nature and consequences of environmental change in the western Indian Himalayas. Our goal is to better understand the nature and dynamics of natural processes, past, present and future human impacts, and how one might protect, plan, and design for a sustainable future in the Himalaya. We will consider landscape change (e.g., mountain building, glaciation, erosion), geohazards, ecology, and complex socio-economic and cultural issues, including those surrounding the growing eco-tourism industry. The course is open to all students from any discipline. The course is in two parts: 1) in-class session in spring semester (GEOL6041T) and 2) three-week long field trip in early summer (GEOL6021T).

GEO4044/6044. Basin Dynamics.  3 UG/G cr. Odd FS. Dr. Daniel Sturmer, Dr. Paul Potter. Sediments cover the Earth's surface and are deposited in basins large or small, recent and ancient. In this course the student will gain an understanding of the dynamic processes that lead to basin formation, burial, and deformation. Topics covered will include the study of the Earth's surface and interior from the work of Arthur Holmes to current areas of research, how processes that occur deep within the Earth are linked to major tectonic forces, how sedimentation on the continents changes with the movement of continents, and the classification and characteristics of sandstone, shale, carbonate, and chemical basins deposited from the Precambrian to the Pleistocene. Students will be exposed to geophysical logs, structure and isopach maps, cross sections, eustatic sea level curves, depth subsidence curves, petroleum systems, and sequence stratigraphy. The student will complete a project analyzing at least one type of basin utilizing primary literature sources. This course is applicable to geology students from a variety of disciplines, including paleontology, geochemistry, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and tectonics, and is particularly beneficial to those students interested in petroleum geology.

GEOL4045/6045. Geoscience Workshop.  1-3 UC/G cr. Occ.  Various Professors. This course will provide hands-on training opportunities in an intensive workshop-style format that focuses on cutting-edge topics and tools in the geosciences.  This course will evolve to meet the needs of geology students and will be taught by various faculty.  Topics covered may include analytical training, field work methods, mathematical modeling, data analysis, scientific communication, and professional development.  Workshop format will include formal instruction, group learning, and laboratory and/or field work.

GEOL4046/6046. Museum Curating.  1-3 UG/G cr.  Dr. Brenda Hunda. At the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History students will learn procedures for proper collections, care and the duties of a curator, including organization of a collection, preparation and identification of specimens, and utilizing electronic databases for cataloging.  Permission must be given by Dr. Hunda to participate in this course.

ANTH/GEOL4048C/6048C. Zooarchaeology. 3 UG/4 G cr. Odd FS.  Dr. Brooke Crowley. This course provides an overview of basic mammalian skeletal anatomy, preservation and taphonomic processes, types of human modification, techniques used to determine age, sex, and seasonality, methods for quantifying faunal assemblages, and inferring human behavior and ecological information from animal remains. 

GEOL4049C/6049C. Raman Spectroscopy for the Geosciences. 3 UG/G cr. Even SS. Dr. Andy Czaja. In situ analytical techniques allow us to push the boundaries of knowledge in the geosciences. Microscopy and spectroscopy are two such techniques that have numerous applications to geological and geochemical investigations, including producing 3-D morphological models of microscopic objects, studying thermal alteration of organic matter, identifying minerals, and measuring physical and chemical alteration of minerals. This course will introduce students to optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy and how they apply to the geosciences. The application of these techniques to paleontological samples will be particularly emphasized, but other applications will be covered. The course will include lectures and readings on the various techniques and their theories of operation, but will be strongly based on practical experience with laboratory instruments in the UC Geology PASTBIO (Paleontology and ASTroBIOlogy) lab.

GEOL4050C/6050C. Teaching Geoscience. 3 UG/G cr. FS. Dr. Brooke Crowley and Dr. Chris Atchison. This course is designed to assist students in transforming their understandings of geoscience subject matter and scientific reasoning into challenging, dynamic and inclusive classroom, lab, or field-based experiences. Students who take this course will increase their understanding of educational theory and research as well as pedagogical content knowledge through course discussions and activities. They will expand their repertoire of instructional practices in a variety of areas, including assessment and evaluation, record keeping, and lesson design, and learn to integrate strategies that evaluate skills or knowledge (recall) and the use of that knowledge (application). Students will work in a collaborative community of learning on the design and implementation of activity-based lessons that can be replicated in many instructional settings, including field and laboratory courses, and will also gain practice designing effective exercises, assignments, and assessments that include students of all abilities.

GEOL4052. Geology Colloquium. 1 UG cr. FS, SS. Dr. Dylan Ward. Weekly lecture series featuring local and visiting speakers from academia, government, and industry. Lecture topics will vary from speaker to speaker.

GEOL4055/6055. Careers in the Geosciences. 3 UG/G cr. SS. Dr. Daniel Sturmer.  The goal of this course is to prepare students for successful transition from the university to a career in the geosciences. Students will learn to craft effective and targeted resumes and cover letters, maintain an effective online presence, build a network of alumni and geoscience professionals, and practice interview skills. Participation in the geoscience career days seminar is required and will introduce students to the variety of potential careers in the geosciences. Students will also practice written and verbal communication skills, especially focused on communicating to non-geoscience audiences. 

GEOL/EVST4056C. Ecology and Paleoecology of the Canary Islands. 3UG cr. SS. Dr. Yurena Yanes.  This course is designed to train advanced undergraduate science majors on all aspects of the scientific method, including (1) establishing and articulating a scientifically sound research hypothesis/question, (2) designing and conducting fieldwork, (3) processing samples and collecting data, (4) data interpretation and analysis, and (5) writing up results in the form of an abstract for a scientific conference. To gain these skills students will investigate ecology and paleoecology from the Canary Islands along environmental gradients and through geologic time. The course will include literature review on the Geology, Biology and Environments of the Canary Islands, biotic/abiotic factors impacting organisms’ communities, field sampling strategies, species identification, basic statistical treatments and data interpretation, and scientific writing and oral presentations. The course will include an optional international field trip to the Canary Islands during Spring Break to complete the field component of the research project and learn about Canary Islands culture and nature.

5000 Level Courses

GEOL5001. Individual Work in Geology. 1-15 UG cr.  Various Professors
In this course, the student has the opportunity to conduct a project or research under the supervision of a faculty member. This allows undergraduate students to participate in research as a supplement to their geology coursework. The student will learn field and/or laboratory techniques and may have the opportunity to publish the research or present research results at a regional or national geology meeting. The student may also have the opportunity to aid a faculty member in the classroom and gain teaching experience.

GEOL5002. Directed Undergraduate Research. 1-5 UG cr. Various Professors. In this course, the student has the opportunity to conduct a project or research under the supervision of a faculty member. This allows undergraduate students to participate in research as a supplement to their geology coursework. The student will learn field and/or laboratory techniques and may have the opportunity to publish the research or present research results at a regional or national geology meeting.

GEOL5003. Directed Undergraduate Teaching Experience. 1-5 UG cr. Various Professors. In this individualized experiential course, a student helps assist with teaching an introductory or core geology course. The student will work closely with the course professor in carrying out regular course responsibilities such as managing groups of students, leading discussions, logistics and leading of field trips, creating, preparing and carrying out tutorial exercises, writing and proctoring exams, and providing feedback on assignments.

GEOL5004. Senior Thesis. 1-5 UG cr. Various Professors. This course will provide a student with the opportunity to conduct an independent research project during his/her final year in the program. The student will work one-on-one with a faculty member to develop and carry out a field- or lab-based project. The student will gain experience in all aspects of conducting a research project including applying for internal and external funding, sample collection, analyzing and interpreting data, and writing a formal paper.  The student will present their results at the University of Cincinnati’s undergraduate research conference (URSC + PRaISE Conference) spring term. The student will also be encouraged to present at a regional or national conference.

GEOL5010. Geology Capstone. 3-6 UG cr.  Dr. Carl Brett
The Geology Capstone can be completed in two ways:

A) The primary means of completing the capstone experience will include attending geology field camp offered through other universities, which typically includes 4-6 weeks of mapping in the field.

B) The student may define an individualized capstone program of rigorous study and research. This program must involve a field study component. Students may: a) complete a minor project related to a field experience, b) develop a senior project that includes field work, or c) complete multiple field trip courses, including at least two extended field trips.  Select from GEOL6021C, GEOL6022, GEOL6023, GEOL6033.

In either case, upon completion of the capstone, students will: a) submit a package that includes field maps, cross-sections, and/or other documents produced during the field/research experience, b) produce a notebook that documents aspects of geology, including comments on environmental and economic aspects and/or geologic hazards associated with field sites observed or studied during the field course, c) complete an interview with members of the department, at which students will present a brief summary of their field/research experiences.

7000 Level Courses

GEOL7001C. Geomorphic Processes. 4 G cr.  
In this course, students will learn about the processes shaping Earth's surface by using observations, databases, principles of mechanics and chemistry, and reading geomorphic literature. Although the primary focus of the course is on extant geomorphic processes and their impact on Earth's surface and humans, the course will begin with an examination of the impact of catastrophic events that have taken place on Earth. Rock weathering, karst processes, and landscapes will be examined with online imagery and topographic data (digital elevation models - DEMs). The concepts of landscape evolution versus landscape equilibrium will be examined in lectures and a laboratory exercise using DEMs. Students will also study the geologic aspects of pedogenesis by conducting laboratory analysis of USDA-SCS soil data. Students will also be taught the value and utility of county soil surveys. Additionally, because of the local impact of mass movement in Cincinnati, several weeks will be devoted to the study of the mechanics and recognition of landsliding, including Sturzstroms, by performing mechanical stability analysis of hillsides. The course will conclude with a brief examination of glacial, eolian, and littoral processes.

GEOL7002. Tectonics Seminar. 3 G cr. Occ.  Dr. Craig Dietsch
This is a reading- and discussion-based course centered on one or more topics relevant to tectonics, typically including aspects of the tectonic and thermal evolution of mountain belts, thermochronology, tectonic geomorphology, and various specific topics related to how tectonic processes and surface processes are linked (for example, fluvial incision and its relation to rock uplift, surface uplift, and exhumation). Participants will typically include faculty as well as students, and the topic(s) chosen for will usual reflect the current research of one or more of the participants. Weekly discussions are based on weekly readings with a rotating discussion leader. The course may include the opportunity for students to make and present a poster as part of their participation in the course.

GEOL7003. Biomarkers Seminar. 3 G cr. Occ.  Dr. Aaron Diefendorf
This seminar course will cover fundamentals, analytical approaches, and scientific applications of the use of lipid (molecular) biomarkers to answer biogeochemical questions for both modern and ancient systems. The use of biomarkers-especially coupled with stable isotopes-is a rapidly evolving field with applications in biochemistry, geochemistry, ecosystem studies, climate, hydrology, environmental chemistry, and soil science. We will explore topics and papers that will expose students to both the fundamentals of biomarker systems as well as biogeochemical applications. Topics covered in this course will change each semester and will be in part directed by student interests and by new advances in the scientific community. Students will be expected to participate actively in discussions. A final paper on a student-chosen research area in biomarkers will provide greater detail on a subject area.

GEOL7005. Graduate Research. 1 G cr. FS. Dr. Brooke Crowley. In this course, new graduate students will learn about the department and the University, and will work on establishing their thesis research projects. Weekly meetings will be devoted to topics including how to start a research project, efficient literature searches, building networks, finding funding opportunities, writing proposals, and speaking about one’s research in both scientific and laymen’s terms. Students will be expected to write one funding proposal during the course and will gain practice providing and receiving feedback on their proposal drafts towards the end of the term. Some time will also be devoted to teaching tips, including managing groups of students, leading effective discussions, and grading strategies.

GEOL7006. Paleontology Seminar. 3 G cr. Occ.  
A discussion-oriented course focused on a unique topic and set of readings chosen and assembled for a given semester. Discussion participants generally include several faculty, in addition to student participants. The topic chosen for a given semester may include a current, cutting-edge area of focus in paleontology, or a set of papers tracing the research trajectory or career of a prominent paleontologist. Weekly discussions, each synthesized and led by a student participant, are centered on the readings for that week.

GEOL7008. Glacial Seminar. 3 G cr. Occ.  Dr. Tom Lowell
This seminar will introduce and review the current literature on glacial processes and Quaternary stratigraphy. Students will be expected to become proficient in the ability to review, analyze, and discuss the primary literature on processes and stratigraphy in climate change.

GEOL 7009C. Structural Geology and Tectonics. 3 G cr. Dr. Daniel Sturmer.
This course introduces to students the fields of structural geology and tectonics through a combination of lectures and labs. Fundamental tools used to recognize and measure geological structures, present them in map view, cross sections, and stereographic projection, and quantify them, are taught through exercises in the lab. The lectures of this class cover the basic models of plate tectonics and rock deformation. Using case studies, the main deformation patterns occurring at divergent, convergent, and transform plate boundaries are discussed, ranging from continental scale to microscopic scale observations. The multidisciplinary nature of tectonic studies will be conveyed in this class by looking at various geological and geophysical datasets, which will allow students to apply their knowledge from other courses to understand the tectonic evolution of a specific region.  Graduate students are expected to conduct higher level of lab exercises.

GEOL7012C. Basaltic Volcanism. 4 G cr. Occ.  Dr. Attila Kilinc
The most common geologic process in our universe is basaltic volcanism. Therefore, understanding basaltic volcanism is the key to understanding how planetary bodies in the universe formed and evolved. This course deals with the distribution of basaltic rocks in different tectonic environments, and their mineralogical, textural, and chemical compositions. This course then focuses on specific problems of basaltic volcanism including testing of hypotheses about their origin. A considerable part of the course involves using various computer programs, including the MELTS software package. Students are expected to be familiar with programs such as Excel.

GEOL7025. Geology Colloquium. 1 G cr. FS, SS.  Dr. Dylan Ward. Weekly lecture series featuring local and visiting speakers from academia, government, and industry. Lecture topics will vary from speaker to speaker.

GEOL7030. Autumn Field Trip. 1 G cr. FS  Krista Smilek
All geology graduate students are expected to participate in the annual autumn field trip during each fall semester in residency.  The purpose of this trip is to expose geology graduate students to the geology of Ohio and surrounding regions.  Students may be asked to work individually or in groups to prepare material that will be presented in the field.  A different destination will be chosen each year.  The trip lasts for three or four days and runs over a weekend.

GEOL 7057C. Geology of Scotch. 3 G cr. Occ.
Dr. Lewis Owen
Scotch whiskey, produced in >100 distilleries of Scotland, is exported to over 200 countries and territories throughout the world; the US accounting for >$750 million worth of imports in the $4.3 billion export industry. The industry has undergone a renaissance over the past few decades and sales of scotch has never been greater. The geologic setting and the distilling process accounts for the distinct characteristics and taste of the thousands of different types of scotch. In this course we will examine how scotch has been and is produced in relation to the geology of Scotland. This will be undertaken as a series of lectures followed by a ten-day fieldtrip to Scotland. We will examine the major geologic provinces within the four main Scotch-producing regions. This will include visits to important geologic sites and associated distilleries. The geology around the distilleries will be examined in the field, paying particular attention to the bedrock geology, surficial deposits and water, geologic history. An underlining theme of this course is the importance of Scottish geology to the evolution of modern geologic thought.

8000 Level Courses

GEOL8001. Special Problems in Geology. 1-15 G cr.  Various Professors
This course is intended to allow students to study independently on an approved research topic in geology other than that related to their thesis or dissertation.

GEOL8005. Masters Thesis Research. 1-15 G cr.  Various Professors
This course will allow the student to perform independent research under the supervision of their thesis advisor and thesis advisory committee. The work is in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Masters degree in Geology.

9000 Level Courses

GEOL9001. PhD Dissertation Research. 1-15 G cr.  Various Professors
This course will allow the student to perform independent research under the supervision of their dissertation advisor and thesis advisory committee. The work is in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geology.