Geological Sciences

Department of Geology

College of Arts and Sciences
876 Natural Sciences Complex
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-3050

Phone: 716.645.6800, ext. 6100
Fax: 716.645.3999
Email: geology@buffalo.edu
Web: www.geology.buffalo.edu

Charles E. Mitchell
Chair

Matthew W. Becker
Director of Undergraduate Studies

About the Program

Geology is the science of earth. It is primarily based on the study of material exposed at earth�s surface and is therefore an outdoor science in the sense that most of its fundamental data must be gathered in the open and most of the information acquired in the laboratory must ultimately be evaluated in the field. The term �geology� applies to numerous scientific subdisciplines (for example, environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, mineralogy, paleontology, planetary geology, stratigraphy, structural geology, volcanology) that interact with each other and collectively focus on increasing our knowledge of earth, the processes that shape it, and our physical and evolutionary relations to earth and to its other inhabitants.

Geologists apply their knowledge in a variety of ways. Some problems geologists work on are strictly practical: we use geophysics, geochemistry, and stratigraphic mapping skills in exploration for mineral, water, and energy resources. We gauge the extent of ground water or soil pollution and devise strategies for remediation using sophisticated hydrologic, geochemical, or geophysical computer models. We use knowledge of volcanic eruptions and slope stability to reconstruct past natural disasters and, based on this, predict and protect against future threats. Geologists may also apply their knowledge toward problems in basic science: We analyze the magmatic activity at mid-ocean ridges that forms the ocean floor, develop hypotheses about the formation of surface features on Mars, and use computer models based on satellite images to predict large-scale Earth processes. We strive to understand the interaction of Earth systems and their linkage to the history of life through the processes of evolution to provide key insights into our own history. All of the data in both practical and theoretical aspects of geology aid us in providing information about living consciously and using our resources wisely so that governments and societies can make informed decisions about our stewardship of earth.

Degree Options

The Department of Geology offers both a BA and BS degrees, and maintains a strong undergraduate research program. The curriculum for both degrees includes courses of instruction in the major areas of modern geology, with emphasis on field and laboratory studies and their quantitative interpretation. The department also conducts a comprehensive month-long summer geological mapping course - with field sites located in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming - to integrate all that students have learned.

Our BS program is designed for students who enter directly into geology-related employment upon graduation (e.g., energy resources, environmental consulting, state or national geological surveys), as well as for those who continue on to graduate school. The B.A. program offers more flexibility in coursework and is designed for students interested in careers outside of geology that require a strong geological background, such as environmental law, high school earth-science teaching, government policy, and nature writing.

The geology department also offers a combined BA/MA program designed to be completed in five years, compared to the six years needed for completion of a conventional BA followed by an MA. This program is designed for students interested in careers outside of geology but requiring graduate-level schooling. Any geology major who meets the requirements (see the combined BA/MA program chart) may apply to the combined program during the second semester of their junior year in the BA program.

Advisement

Students interested in the geology program should consult with an advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisement and Services Center. For additional advice, students should consult with the department�s director of undergraduate studies. Upon acceptance into the Department of Geology, all students are assigned a faculty advisor within the department. Geology majors are expected to review their planned registration with their faculty advisor and/or the director of undergraduate studies.

Transfer Policy

The Department of Geology has articulation agreements with several colleges in the region. Students should consult with the advisement office at their present college for more details. The College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisement and Services Office at UB also may be consulted. To request a transfer of credit for a geology course not listed at either advisement office, submit a request to the director of undergraduate studies along with a course description from the college catalog and a course syllabus.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships

In addition to the usual academic honors offered to students upon graduation by the university (e.g., baccalaureate degree with distinction, high distinction, highest distinction), the department has an honors program in geology. Candidates accepted into the honors program must have junior status and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in geology courses. Additional information regarding application to the honors program is available from the director of undergraduate studies.

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

There are numerous opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in the exciting research activities within the Department of Geology. Undergraduates have been involved in research topics as diverse as watershed hydrology and planetary geology, and have worked in Alaska, South America, and here in New York State. Many of these opportunities come with partial funding. In addition, the Buffalo Geosciences Program provides funding support for underrepresented minorities who wish to become involved in research projects (see www.bgp.buffalo.edu). Students generally register for independent study with a faculty advisor, so they earn credits while learning about how research is conducted and building their resume.

Geological Sciences - B.S.

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 in the prerequisite courses.

Advising Note

To graduate, minimum GPA of 2.3 in geology courses, and minimum grade of C- in each required course outside geology.

Prerequisite Courses

GLY 101 Global Environmental Science or GLY 103 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System

Required Courses

CHE 101 General Chemistry
CHE 102 General Chemistry
GLY 102 Global Environmental Science or GLY 104 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System
GLY 106 Geological Mapping Techniques
GLY 215 Soft Rock I: Sedimentology
GLY 216 Soft Rock II: Paleontology and Stratigraphy
GLY 305 Mineralogy
GLY 306 Petrology
GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I
GLY 313 Surface Processes and Hydrology II
GLY 325 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics I
GLY 326 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics II
GLY 407 Geological Field Training (minimum GPA of 2.0 in geology courses required to attend this required summer field camp)
MTH 141 College Calculus I
MTH 142 College Calculus II
PHY 107 General Physics I
PHY 108 General Physics II
PHY 158 General Physics II Lab
Two 400-level GLY courses

Summary
Total required credit hours for the major: 80

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Recommended Sequence of Program Requirements

FIRST YEAR
Fall�CHE 101; GLY 101 or GLY 103; MTH 141
Spring�CHE 102; GLY 102 or GLY 104; MTH 142

SECOND YEAR
Fall�GLY 215, PHY 107
Spring�GLY 106, GLY 216, PHY 108, PHY 158

THIRD YEAR
Fall�GLY 305, GLY 325
Spring�GLY 306, GLY 326
Summer�GLY 407 (minimum GPA of 2.0 in geology courses required to attend this required summer field camp)

FOURTH YEAR
Fall�GLY 312, one 400-level GLY course
Spring�GLY 313, one 400-level GLY course

Geological Sciences - B.A.

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 in the prerequisite courses.

Advising Note

To graduate, minimum GPA of 2.3 in geology courses, and minimum grade of C- in each required course outside geology.

Prerequisite Courses

GLY 101 Global Environmental Science or GLY 103 Evolution of the Earth and the Solar System

Required Courses

GLY 106 Geological Mapping Techniques
GLY 161 Introduction to Environmental Geochemistry
MTH 121 Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I (or a higher level MTH course)
PHY 100 Introduction to Physics (or a higher level PHY course)
Two GLY courses from Group A
Six GLY courses from Group B

Summary
Total required credit hours for the major: 42

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Recommended Sequence of Program Requirements

FIRST YEAR
Fall�MTH 121, PHY 100, one GLY course from Group A
Spring�One GLY course from Group A

SECOND YEAR
Fall�GLY 161, one GLY course from Group B
Spring�GLY 106, one GLY course from Group B

THIRD YEAR
Fall�Two GLY courses from Group B
Spring�Two GLY courses from Group B
Summer�GLY 407 (recommended; minimum GPA of 2.0 in geology courses required to attend this summer field camp)

FOURTH YEAR
Fall and Spring�Any GLY courses (optional)

Electives and Course Groupings

Group A: Introductory Sequences
One of the following two-semester sequences:
GLY 101 and GLY 102 Global Environmental Science
GLY 103 and GLY 104 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System

Group B: Semester Sequences
Three of the following two-semester sequences:
GLY 215 Soft Rock I: Sedimentology and GLY 216 Soft Rock II: Paleontology and Stratigraphy
GLY 305 Mineralogy and GLY 306 Petrology
GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I and GLY 313 Surface Processes and Hydrology II
GLY 325 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics I and GLY 326 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics II

Geological Sciences - B.A./M.A.

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses required for the major.
Completion of the prerequisite courses.
Two letters of recommendation from faculty members.

Prerequisite Courses

Any two of the following: GLY 215, GLY 305, GLY 312, GLY 325.

Required Courses

GLY 106 Geological Mapping Techniques
GLY 161 Introduction to Environmental Geochemistry
MTH 121 Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I (or a higher level MTH course)
PHY 100 Introduction to Physics (or a higher level PHY course)
Two GLY courses from Group A
Six GLY courses from Group B

Summary
Total required credit hours for the undergraduate portion: 48
Total required credit hours for the BA/MA: 78

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Recommended Sequence of Program Requirements

FIRST YEAR
Fall�MTH 121, PHY 100, one GLY course from Group A
Spring�one GLY course from Group A

SECOND YEAR
Fall�GLY 161, one GLY course from Group B
Spring- GLY 106, one GLY course from Group B

THIRD YEAR
Fall�Two GLY courses from Group B
Spring�Two GLY courses from Group B
Summer�GLY 407 (minimum GPA of 2.0 in geology courses required to attend this summer field camp)

FOURTH YEAR
Fall and Spring�Graduate course work approved by the graduate committee

FIFTH YEAR
Fall and Spring�Graduate course work approved by the graduate committee, successful completion of a project

Electives and Course Groupings

Group A: Introductory Sequences
One of the following two-semester sequences:
GLY 101 and GLY 102 Global Environmental Science
GLY 103 and GLY 104 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System

Group B: Semester Sequences
Three of the following two-semester sequences:
GLY 215 Soft Rock I: Sedimentology and GLY 216 Soft Rock II: Paleontology and Stratigraphy
GLY 305 Mineralogy and GLY 306 Petrology
GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I and GLY 313 Surface Processes and Hydrology II
GLY 325 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics I and GLY 326 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics II

Geological Sciences - Minor

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 2.0 in GLY 101 or GLY 103.

Required Courses

GLY 101 Global Environmental Science or GLY 103 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System
GLY 102 Global Environmental Science or GLY 104 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System
GLY 106 Geological Mapping Techniques
GLY 215 Soft Rock I: Sedimentology
GLY 216 Soft Rock II: Paleontology and Stratigraphy
GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I or GLY 325 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics I
GLY 313 Surface Processes and Hydrology II or GLY 326 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics II
GLY 407 Geological Field Training (recommended)

Summary
Total required credit hours for the minor: 26

Course Descriptions

GLY 101 Global Environmental Science

Credits:  3.5
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Introduces important geological processes that have environmental impacts, ranging from earthquakes and volcanic hazards to landslides and flooding. The framework for learning these processes includes the water and rock cycle. Covers discussions of environmental philosophy and the significance for society of the environmental findings of science. The laboratory involves field measurements of streams, map analysis, an examination of fossils as they relate to the environment, meteorite impacts, and common rock-forming minerals. The GLY 101/GLY 102 sequence fulfills the university's general education natural science requirement.

GLY 102 Global Environmental Science

Credits:  3.5
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 101
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Offers an interdisciplinary discussion of both natural and human-induced global environmental change at various scales (space and time). Provides a comprehensive description of how advances in the physical, biological, and geological sciences are being integrated to understand the interplay between the Earth's components (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere). Topics include the Earth's building blocks, the Earth through time, natural hazards, natural resources, and Earth system cycles (such as weather, climate change, and atmospheric pollution). The GLY 101/GLY 102 sequence fulfills the university's general education natural science requirement.

GLY 103 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System

Credits:  3.5
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Overview of Earth�s major physical phenomena, including mountain-building, volcanoes, plate tectonics and hydrologic processes. Emphasizes the interaction of Earth's processes and features as a global system and how these compare to those on other planets in the Solar System. Requires one field trip. Lab emphasizes major geologic processes, such as river development, impact cratering, and rock formation. The GLY 103/GLY 104 sequence fulfills the university's general education natural science requirement.

GLY 104 Evolution of the Earth and Solar System

Credits:  3.5
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 103
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Examines the history of geology, the character of organic evolution, and the interaction of geological and biological processes that produce the history of the Earth. Emphasizes the geologic and biologic events that created and shaped Western New York. Lab focuses on the development of geologic regions in Western New York, the Moon and Mars. The GLY 103/GLY 104 sequence fulfills the university's general education natural science requirement.

GLY 106 Geological Mapping Techniques

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 101 or GLY 103
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Introduces geological maps, cross sections and stratigraphic columns, the primary tools for conveying information in the earth sciences. Covers basic map-reading skills, mapmaking and cross-section construction, and interpretation. Introduces stereoscopic aerial photography and satellite imagery.

GLY 108 Geology of the National Parks

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Explores the beauty of some of our nation�s most spectacular national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Acadia. Examines the fundamental geologic principles that allow understanding of how these unique landscapes were formed and how they change through time. Also examines how people affect the parks and how science enters into national policy decisions about their future.

GLY 137 The Dinosaurs

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Explores dinosaurs as a biological group: their origin, anatomy, life habits, evolution, and extinction. Evaluates revolutionary new ideas on their physiology, behavior, and significance in the history of life. Uses dinosaurs to exemplify important evolutionary phenomena. There may be visits to the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.

GLY 161 Introduction to Environmental Geochemistry

Credits:  3 - 4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LAB/REC

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Introduces the basic chemical principles relating to current environmental geology and science problems, such as global warming, the carbon cycle, and groundwater and surface water pollution. The course does not require any university chemistry as prerequisite and is not appropriate for students that have completed chemistry courses above the introductory (100) level. A one credit hour recitation is offered but not required

GLY 215 Soft Rock I: Sedimentology

Credits:  4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 101-GLY 102 or GLY 103-GLY 104
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Conveys introductory material concerning the origin of sedimentary rocks, including analysis of sediments and transport mechanisms, depositional environments, and recognition of common sedimentary rock types. Requires labs and field trip.

GLY 216 Soft Rock II: Paleontology and Stratigraphy

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 215
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Examines the character of the fossil record, its role in illuminating the nature of the evolutionary process, life�s history, and use in interpretation of the age and environment of deposition of sedimentary rocks. Requires labs and field trip.

GLY 305 Mineralogy

Credits:  4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  pre- or corequisite GLY 161
Corequisites:  pre- or corequisite GLY 161
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Presents the fundamental principles of mineralogy, including mineral chemistry, mineral identification, phase diagrams, mineral structures, and elementary crystallography. Emphasizes environmentally important minerals. Requires lab.

GLY 306 Petrology

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 305
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Presents the fundamental principles of petrology, including origin, occurrence, and evolution of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Integrates geochemical principles based on phase equilibria with interpretation of mineral assemblages present in common rocks. Plate tectonics and regional distribution of rock types form the broad framework for the course materials. Requires a field trip.

GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I

Credits:  4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 101-GLY 102 or GLY 103,-GLY 104; GLY 106; MTH 121 or higher; and PHY 100 or higher
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Acquaints students with near-surface geomorphic and hydrologic processes, their interpretation, and their role in shaping landforms. Studies the occurrence and movement of water on and within the earth including basic hydrostatics, hydrology, hydrogeology and open-channel flow hydraulics. Introduces quantitative and computer-based methods of analysis in geomorphology, hydrology and environmental geology. Requires labs and field trips.

GLY 313 Surface Processes and Hydrology II

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 312
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Second semester of two-semester sequence. See GLY 312 for course description. Requires labs and field trip.

GLY 325 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics I

Credits:  4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  MTH 121 or higher; PHY 100 or higher
Corequisites:  GLY 106
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Introduces the fundamental concepts required to understand the scientific basis for plate tectonics, including deep Earth structure and theories of mantle convection. Describes major whole-Earth geophysical techniques (active-source seismology, earthquake seismology, gravity, magnetics, and heat flow). Uses general examples as well as specific case studies to support current tectonic theories. Practical application and hands-on use of seismic, gravity, and magnetic instrumentation take place in labs. Requires labs and one weekend field trip.

GLY 326 Structure-Geophysics-Tectonics II

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 325
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Introduces students to the description, classification and interpretation of geological structures, including faults, folds and joints. Describes these structures in terms of their tectonic setting (extensional, strike-slip, contractional). In labs, introduces practical techniques for structural analysis.

GLY 400 Comparative Paleobiology

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  knowledge of basic univariate statistics
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Presents major tools and concepts employed in the collection and analysis of morphological data (via geometric morphometrics and cladistics) in studies of the systematics, taxonomy, and evolutionary history of organisms, principally animals. Emphasizes practice rather than theory. Requires substantial written work.

GLY 407 Geological Field Training

Credits:  3 - 6
Semester: Su
Prerequisites:  GLY 326 and permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Applied field methods in geology. Geologic field trips and mapping from a mobile base in the western United States. Mapping projects include surficial deposits in Colorado and areas of increasingly complex sedimentary structure in Utah and Wyoming.

GLY 414 Hydrogeology

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  CIE 354 or GLY 313, or permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Examines the occurrence and movement of water in the shallow subsurface, and its importance to water resource development and environmental pollution. Uses basic quantitative techniques for the prediction of water flow through porous and fractured geologic media. Laboratory includes hands-on experience with aquifer testing methods using wells located on campus. Primarily for students interested in the fields of hydrogeology, hydrology, environmental geology, and environmental and geotechnical engineering.

GLY 415 Clay Mineralogy

Credits:  4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 305
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Clay minerals are the most abundant minerals at the surface of the earth. As such, they are of extreme importance in understanding environmental problems. In addition, clay minerals have interesting and useful properties that give them important technological value. This course examines the structure and chemistry of clay minerals and attempts to relate these to their properties, both geological and technological. Clay minerals are difficult to study because they typically occur as fine-grained materials and exhibit a wide range of defects.

GLY 419 Environmental Geophysics

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 325 or permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Introduces the theoretical background and methods of application for several noninvasive near-surface geophysical imaging techniques, including seismic reflection/refraction, microgravity, magnetics, electromagnetics, resistivity, and ground-penetrating radar.

GLY 420 Environmental Geophysics Lab

Credits:  1
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LAB

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Provides hands-on experience with several environmental geophysics techniques; includes discussions of experiment design, acquisition, processing and interpretation.

GLY 423 The Hidden Planet: Volcanic Plumbing

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 306 or GLY 431
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Examines the generation, rise, storage, and eventual eruption of magma on Earth and other solid bodies in the solar system. Presents different magmatic compositions and their behaviors, as well as effects of environmental conditions on magma dynamics.

GLY 424 Extraterrestrial Volcanism

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 326, GLY 431 or permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Examines volcanic deposits on solid bodies throughout the solar system, including the Moon, Mars, Venus, Io and Europa. Emphasizes understanding how different environments affect the mechanics and subsequent deposits of volcanic eruptions.

GLY 427 Modeling of Geologic Data

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 429
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Computer modeling of complex processes is becoming more important in a number of geological areas, such as risk assessment, movement of toxic contaminants in an aquifer, crystallization of magmas, and impact cratering. Students develop knowledge of the processes whereby a geological problem is reduced to a mathematical model, the model is translated into a computer program, and the program is utilized to produce numerical and graphical results. The course assumes that students have a good familiarity with digital computers. Any mathematical complexities are explained as the course progresses.

GLY 428 Geological Disaster Prevention

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 101-GLY 102 or GLY 103-GLY 104
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Discusses disasters that may include those related to volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, windstorms, tsunamis, river floods, and hazardous waste storage. Topics include models of geological phenomena, consequences of hazards, and risk assessment. Case studies analyzed for each phenomenon. A simulated crisis or debate on a controversial topic takes place during the last week of the course.

GLY 429 Analysis of Geologic Data

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Problems encountered in working with large data sets, formulating statistical hypotheses, and interpreting the analysis in terms of the geologic problem. Includes data from petrology, sedimentation, mineralogy, geophysics, and paleontology.

GLY 431 Volcanology

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 305 and GLY 306
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Examines the distribution, tectonic setting, and morphology of volcanoes. Includes investigations into effusive and explosive eruptions, emplacement of eruptive products, and eruption mechanisms.

GLY 432 Colonial Paleobiology

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Examines the empirical phenomena (their morphology, morphogenesis and adaptations, their evolutionary role and history) associated with coloniality in graptolites, pterobrachs, ectoprocts, enidarians and others. Discusses the numerous theoretical issues that have been raised in the study of these groups.

GLY 433 Pyroclastic Rocks

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 431
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Selected topics related to the genesis, field description, eruption mechanism, and emplacement process of pyroclastic materials. Theoretical and practical applications including quantitative analysis of data.

GLY 440 Vertebrate Paleontology and Osteology

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Surveys the fossil record of vertebrate animals in order to understand their evolutionary history and the evidences used to reconstruct that history. Expects prior experience in basic paleontology or evolutionary biology.

GLY 441 Geophysics

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 101-GLY 102 or GLY 103-GLY 104; GLY 325
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Examines principles of gravity, magnetism, seismology, and terrestrial heat flow. Also involves interpretation of the Earth�s interior structure, sea floor spreading, and the evolution of the Earth. Requires labs.

GLY 443 Marine Geology

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 215, GLY 326
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Explores igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic geology and geophysics of ocean basins in light of modern plate tectonic theories. Uses real data to allow understanding of the assumptions and the �knowns� in marine geology.

GLY 444 Surfaces of Geomaterials

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 305 or equivalent
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Describes the theory of surface and interfacial thermodynamic properties, how these properties are experimentally determined, the basis for computations of surface and interfacial free energies, and how the surface properties of minerals can be related to their chemical composition and crystal structures. Gives particular emphasis to those minerals that naturally occur in a colloidal form (the clay minerals), as well as to other geological materials, such as volcanic ash, that can occur in colloidal sizes.

GLY 445 Glacial Geology

Credits:  4
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 313
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Explores the spectacular landscapes created by glaciers and ice sheets. The course provides students with knowledge to understand present and past glacier and ice sheet processes, based on the most up-to-date findings and state-of-the-art techniques. Students get hands-on experience by studying the rich ice sheet history of the Buffalo area. This lecture and lab combination provides students with a comprehensive knowledge base with which they can interpret glacier processes and history from a variety of landform assemblages and surficial sediments found across the northern United States. The laboratory consists of map and aerial photograph, computer, and field exercises.

GLY 453 Quaternary Dating and Paleoclimate

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 312, GLY 313
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Explores the Earth's large swings in climate over the past 2 million years, how they are documented, the various dating techniques used to place them into a chronological framework, and the implications for how the Earth's climate system operates. Focuses on marine sediment, ice core, and terrestrial archives of glacial and interglacial cycles, abrupt climate change, past warm periods analogous to our future world, and techniques used to date these records.

GLY 454 Planetary Geology

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 313 or GLY 326
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Students learn about the processes involved in the formation of the Solar System, and the generation and evolution of planetary surfaces. Primary data, collected by past and present spacecraft and landers is used to demonstrate how geologic processes are both similar and distinct throughout the Solar System.

GLY 458 Macroevolution

Credits:  2
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Acquaints advanced undergraduate students with the principal issues of macroevolutionary theory (i.e., issues at the species level and above, which are manifest on the scale of geological time) and hones analytical skills as preparation for undertaking graduate research. Evolutionary theory is an interdisciplinary topic that draws on information from ecology, population biology, systematics, anthropology, and paleobiology.

GLY 462 Advanced Geochemistry

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  CHE 102 or equivalent
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Presents the chemical principles governing natural water chemistry and the behavior of anthropogenic pollutants. Emphasizes topics such as the evolution of groundwater chemistry, thermodynamics of water-rock interactions at low temperatures, and prediction of pollutant fate in aquatic systems.

GLY 463 Advanced Environmental Hydrogeology I

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Addresses the movement and behavior of contaminants in ground water. Emphasizes the underlying physics of water, solute, and particle transport in lecture, hands-on numerical simulation or field experiments. Prior completion of an introductory hydrogeology course is highly recommended.

GLY 464 Advanced Environmental Hydrogeology II

Credits:  3 \ 0
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Studies multi-phase flow in contaminant hydrogeology. Topics include physics and chemistry of multiple phases, modeling of multi-phase flow and transport, and remediation on nonaqueous phase liquids. LEC/LAB

GLY 465 Environmental amd Geological Remote Sensing

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  PHY 101, MTH 121
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Covers the fundamentals of remote sensing, extraction of geological, biophysical, or land use/land cover information from remote sensing data, and provides guidance as to how remote sensing data can be used to solve real world environmental and geological problems. Throughout the course the participants will be engaged in rigorous hands-on exercises that will introduce them to digital image processing techniques as well. The participants will learn how to extract and integrate lithologic and environmental information from a wide range of archival remote sensing data, real time remote sensing data, digital elevation models, and maps.

GLY 470 Advanced Structural Geology and Geomechanics

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 325; MTH 121 or higher; PHY 100 or higher
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LAB/TUT

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Bridges the gap between more traditional descriptive techniques introduced in introductory structural geology and more advanced quantitative methods used in modern day geomechanical research. Primarily, the course introduces the students to quantitative tools and techniques for the analysis of geologic structures and processes.

GLY 477 Environmental Fluid Transport

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  MTH 121 or higher; PHY 100 or higher
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Calculus-based course that provides students with the capability to analyze natural fluid dynamical processes. Topics include rheology of surficial materials, hydrostatics and aerostatics, equations of motion for fluid dynamics including Navier-Stokes equation, open-channel flow, kinematic waves, hydraulic jumps, advection-diffusion, dynamical and geometric similarity. Extensive use of computational tools to analyze flows and to organize fluid dynamical data.

GLY 478 Advanced Field Methods

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Teaches students to map, analyze, evaluate and interpret field data related to complex geological stratigraphy and structures, natural hazards, and Quaternary deposits. Students study the relationship of their geological work to cultural activities, particularly the exploitation of solid-earth resources and risk assessment. The course consists of in-depth mapping exercises in the field coupled with lectures.

GLY 480 Geological Evolution of North America: Appalachian Tectonics

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  GLY 161, GLY 215, GLY 306, GLY 326
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC/LAB

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Provides students with a familiarity of the elements that support the concepts inherent in plate tectonics. Demonstrates the application of tectonics to the geological history of eastern North America, primarily the Appalachians. Illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of geological synthesis through in-depth studies of classic areas in the Appalachians. Involves an optional spring field trip to the central and southern Appalachians.

GLY 481 Geological Evolution of North America: Western Cordillera

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  GLY 216, GLY 306, GLY 326
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Provides students with a basic familiarity of geology of the western cordillera of North America. Illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of geologic syntheses through in-depth studies of this complex mountain range that extends from Mexico to Alaska. Emphasizes the genesis and emplacement of igneous rocks, major deformational episodes, the cause of earthquakes, mechanism of faults, origin of volcanoes, source of mineral deposits, and major sedimentation stages.

GLY 493 Pegrum Colloquium

Credits:  1
Semester: F Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Familiarizes senior geology students with a broad range of topics that are of current interest to professional geologists. The course also acquaints students with professional presentations. The course consists of a weekly colloquium presented by a researcher active in a field of present import. Preceding the colloquium, readings from scientific journals introduce students to the topic to be discussed.

GLY 497 Departmental Honors Senior Thesis

Credits:  3
Semester: F Sp
Prerequisites:  MTH 141 and MTH 142, PHY 107 and PHY 108, CHE 101 and CHE 102, 3 geology courses
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Accepted seniors pursue a specialized, independent study leading to an Honors Thesis. The Department of Geology requires maintenance of a 3.25 or higher GPA, completion of a senior thesis and two additional 400 level Geology courses as well as the usual departmental degree requirements.

GLY 498 Undergraduate Research

Credits:  1 - 3
Semester: F Sp
Prerequisites:  Permission of Instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Students collaborate with faculty research mentors on an ongoing project in a faculty member's laboratory or conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. This experience provides students with an inquiry based learning opportunity and engages them as active learners in a research setting.

GLY 499 Independent Study

Credits:  1 - 3
Semester: F Sp
Prerequisites:  permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Selection and study of topics not offered as regular courses.

 

Updated: Jul 31, 2006 11:59:51 AM