Physical Sciences
MSU Collage Image

Geoscience Course Decriptions

GEOS 106. Introduction to Geology. (3-0-3); I, II, III. General introduction to the materials, structures, and physical processes of earth. Emphasis on socio-economic implications of geologic hazards, earth resource management, and waste disposal/treatment. This course satisfies the area studies-natural and mathematical sciences for general education.

GEOS 108. Physical Geology. (3-2-4); I, II. Earth materials, structures, and processes for geology majors and others who wish to take upper division GEOS classes. Lab provides hands-on experience in rock and mineral identification and the use and interpretation of topographic and geologic maps.
This course satisfies area studies-natural and mathematical sciences for general education.

GEOS 199. Selected Topics. (1 to 6 hrs.); on demand.

*GEOS 200. Coal Mining Geology. (3-0-3); I. Prerequisite: GEOS 108. Study of coal and coal-bearing rocks with applications to surface and underground mining.

*GEOS 201. Historical Geology. (2-2-3); II. Prerequisite: GEOS 108. Introduction to the geologic (rock) record of major physical and biological events in Earth's evolution.

GEOS 239. Cooperative Education. (1 to 8 hrs.); I, II, III. Participation in supervised work experience in a professional environment. Department approval is required.

GEOS 240. Oceans. (3-0-3); I. General introduction to marine geology, chemical oceanography, physical oceanography and marine biology.

GEOS 262. Mineralogy.(2-4-4); I in alternate years. Prerequisites: GEOS 108 or CHEM 201 or CHEM 112. Physical and chemical properties of minerals, chemical, optical, and X-ray methods of identification; systematic survey of common mineral groups.

*GEOS 276. Geologic Methods. (2-2-3); I. Prerequisites: GEOS 201 or permission of instructor. Basic field office and laboratory techniques and instruments used in geologic studies.

GEOS 299. Selected Topics. (1 to 6 hrs.); on demand.

GEOS 300. Petrology. (3-2-4); II in alternate years. Prerequisite: GEOS 262 or permission of instructor. Modes of occurrence and origins of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and methods of identifying and classifying rocks.

*GEOS 315. Sedimentation and Stratigraphy. (2-4-4); I in alternate years. Prerequisite: GEOS 201. Origins and characteristics of sediments, sedimentary structures, depositional environments, facies, systems tracts, sequences and sedimentary basins. Lab provides hands-on experience in sediment analysis and techniques used in reconstructing stratal geometries.

*GEOS 325. Structural Geology. (3-2-4); II in alternate years. Prerequisites: GEOS 201 and MATH 141 (or its equivalent). Geologic structures, rock mechanics and geometrical techniques used in descriptive analysis. Emphasis on faults, folds, shear zones, cleavage, foliation and lineation.

GEOS 339. Cooperative Education. (1 to 8 hrs.); I, II, III. Prerequisite: GEOS 239. Participation in supervised work experience in a professional environment. Department approval is required.

*GEOS 350. Geomorphology. (2-2-3); II in alternate years. Prerequisite: GEOS 108. Landforms and geologic processes that shape Earth's surface. Lab emphasizes use of topographic maps, areal photographs and remotely sensed images in landform recognition and interpretation.

*GEOS 376. Environmental Geology. (2-2-3); I, II. Prerequisite: GEOS 108 and MATH 135 or higher. Interaction of humans with surface and near-surface geological environments. Applies geological principles and techniques to problems associated with natural and anthropogenic geologic hazards, disposal/treatment of human and industrial wastes, and earth resource management.

*GEOS 379. Invertebrate Paleontology. (2-4-4); I in alternate years. Prerequisites: GEOS 201, BIOL 210 or GEOS 410. Invertebrate animals, their morphology, classification, paleoecology, phylogeny, and stratigraphic succession; faunal assemblages and research techniques.

GEOS 399. Selected Topics (1 to 6 hrs.); on demand.

*GEOS 410. Geological History of Plants and Animals. (2-2-3); on demand. Prerequisites: BIOL 210 and BIOL 215 or GEOS 201. Evolutionary history of plants and animals throughout geological time.

*GEOS 413. Micropaleontology. (2-2-3); on demand. Prerequisite: GEOS 201. Collection, preparation, microscopic investigation, classification, paleocology, and stratigraphic succession of microfossils.

GEOS 415. History of Geology. (2-0-2); on demand. Development of geological thought; important persons and their contributions to our understanding of Earth.

GEOS 420. Optical Mineralogy. (2-2-3); I in alternate years. Prerequisite: GEOS 262 or permission of instructor. Behavior of light in isotropic and anisotropic minerals; identification of minerals with polarizing microscope.

GEOS 425. Hydrogeology. (2-2-3); II. Prerequisites: GEOS 108; GEOS 200 or higher level GEOS course; MATH 152; Co-requisite: CHEM 112; or permission of the instructor. Algebra-based course in applied ground water concerning the origin and movement of ground water, aquifers, behavior of pumped wells, general water chemistry and water quality, and ground water contamination.

GEOS 430. Low-Temperature Geochemistry. (2-2-3); II in alternate years. Prerequisites: CHEM 112; GEOS 108 and GEOS 300 or permission of instructor. Chemical reactions between natural waters, atmospheric gases and earth materials in surface and near-surface environments.

GEOS 439. Cooperative Education. (1 to 8 hrs.); I, II, III. Prerequisite: GEOS 339. Participation in supervised work experience in a professional environment. Department approval is required.

*GEOS 450. Economic Geology. (3-0-3); on demand. Prerequisites: GEOS 262 or consent of the instructor. Formation and occurrence of major metallic and nonmetallic mineral deposits of the world.

GEOS 476. Special Problems. (1 to 6 hrs.); I, II, III. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Topic to be approved prior to registration.

GEOS 499. Selected Topics (1 to 6 hrs.); on demand.

GEOS 599. Selected Topics (1 to 6 hrs.); on demand.

*Field trip required or recommended.