Geological Sciences : Courses

GLY 101 Global Environmental Science

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall
Co-requisite: Students must enroll in LAB and LEC in the same term.
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: 0.5
Semester(s): Spring
Pre-requisites: GLY 101LEC and GLY 101LAB
Co-requisite: Students must enroll in both LEC and LAB simultaneously.
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: 0.5
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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
Semester(s): Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 103
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 215 Soft Rock I: Sedimentology

Credits: 4
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Introduction to 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(s): Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 215
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: 1
Semester(s): Fall
Co-requisite: Students must enroll in LAB and LEC in the same term.
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 305
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 309 Ecology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Course uses field exercises to illustrate major concepts of modern ecology, and the techniques and procedures used in ecological research.

GLY 310 Ecological Methods

Credits: 2
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Field exercises to illustrate major concepts of modern ecology, and the techniques and procedures used in ecological research.

GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I

Credits: 4
Semester(s): (No information on typically offered semesters)
Pre-requisite: GLY 102 Or GLY 104 Or GLY 106
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 312
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Second semester of two-semester sequence. See GLY 312 for course description. Requires labs and field trip.

GLY 325 Geophysics

Credits: 4
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 Structural Geology/ Global Tectonics

Credits: 4
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: 4
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 405 Economic Geology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 305
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
This course will describe the nature and origin of the raw materials that sustain modern life styles and developed societies. Lectures will emphasize the formation of economic deposits of metallic and non-metallic minerals, methods of mineral exploration and exploitation, and the environmental consequences of utilizing mineral resources. The laboratory will focus on identification of ore and associated gangue minerals using microscopic and macroscopic methods.

GLY 407 Geological Field Training

Credits: 3 - 6
Semester(s): Summer
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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. This course is conducted outdoors and requires walking over difficult terrain and some exposure to the elements.

GLY 409 Advanced Ecology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall, Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 309 or BIO 309
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Advanced course in the foundations of ecology emphasizing population and community ecology. Supplements lectures on basic ecological principles and models with discussions of both current and historically important issues.

GLY 411 Marine Ecology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): (No information on typically offered semesters)
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Surveys tropical marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on coral reef communities. Examines processes controlling abundance and distribution of marine taxa using primary literature. LEC

GLY 412 Field Course in Tropical Marine Ecology

Credits: 2
Semester(s): Fall
Co-requisite: Students must be enrolled in LAB and LEC in the same term.
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
An intensive two week field course in the Bahamas focusing on coral reef communities. Combining lectures, fieldwork, and laboratory analyses, students conduct in depth studies of Caribbean marine habitats.

GLY 414 Hydrogeology

Credits: 2
Semester(s): Fall
Pre-requisite: GLY 313 or CIE 354 (if not taken during the same semester), or permission of instructor.
Co-requisites: Students must enroll in LAB and LEC in the same term.
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 417 Stable Isotopes and the Environment

Credits: 3
Semester(s): (No information on typically offered semesters)
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Small differences in atomic mass among stable (non-radioactive) isotopes of the same element can give rise to differences in partitioning within the environment. This course explores how isotopes fractionate and how this behavior can be used to understand and decipher complex natural processes. The hydrologic cycle will be used as a staring point to illustrate and develop the framework for applying stable isotopes to examine the broader environment. This will provide a comprehensive knowledge base to apply the interpretation of stable isotope data to research questions in geologic, biologic, and environmental sciences in the second part of the course.

GLY 419 Environmental Geophysics

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Pre-requisite: GLY 325
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 Hazards and Risk

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 detailed case study focusing on expert elicitation is discussed.

GLY 429 Analysis of Geologic Data

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall
Pre-requisite: GLY 306
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
Examines the morphology, ecology and evolutionary history of colonial invertebrates (hemichordates (including graptolites), bryozoans, cnidarians).

GLY 433 Volcanic Rocks

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 434 Methods in Volcanology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): (No information on typically offered semesters)
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
This course will introduce the methods most commonly used by volcanologists in monitoring and studying active volcanoes (including geophysical methods: field observations of eruptions; remote sensing and geological mapping). Through a series of case studies, it will illustrate how such data are used to build a picture of how volcanoes work. (LEC, 3)

GLY 440 Vertebrate Paleontology and Osteology

Credits: 4
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 443 Marine Geology

Credits: 1
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Spring
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 Lab

Credits: 1
Semester(s): (No information on typically offered semesters)
Type: LAB
Grading: Graded (A-F)

GLY 453 Quaternary Dating and Paleoclimate

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 Topics: Planetary Geology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.
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: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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, and the course presumes prior study of evolutionary aspects of at least one of these areas as preparation.

GLY 462 Aqueous Geochemistry

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Fall
Pre-requisite: CHE 102
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LLB
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 and Geological Remote Sensing

Credits: 2
Semester(s): Fall
Co-requisite: Students must enroll in LAB and LEC in the same term.
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 remote sensing data, digital elevation models, and maps.

GLY 470 Advanced Structural Geology and Geomechanics

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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 Advanced Physical Volcanology

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: 1 - 3
Semester(s): (No information on typically offered semesters)
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: Tectonics and Appalachians

Credits: 3
Semester(s): Spring
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall
Type: LEC
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall, Spring
Type: SEM
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall, Spring
Type: TUT
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall, Spring
Type: TUT
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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(s): Fall, Spring
Type: TUT
Grading: Graded (A-F)
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: 13 Nov 2012 06:01:16 EST