Earth Science Program – A Rock Solid Education

MISSION STATEMENT

The Earth Science program provides a liberal arts core education in geoscience with an emphasis on the scientific method, problem solving, and interdisciplinary science education. A key objective of the program is to prepare undergraduates for careers as professional geoscientists and educators. The program also promotes the development of an informed citizenry for wise decision-making on issues related to natural resources, environmental quality, and sustainability in Oregon and beyond.

 

earthscienceLEARNING OUTCOMES

 

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in the Earth system.

2. Apply technology-based methods to solve geologic problems and communicate results.

3. Conduct scientific investigations in laboratory and field settings.

Completion of the Earth Science degree qualifies graduates to begin the process of professional licensure as registered geologists in the state of Oregon.

 

 

Within the major, students explore the following focus areas:

 

  • Earth System Science
  • Environmental Geology and Surface Processes
  • Geospatial Technology
  • Sedimentology and Paleobiology
  • Tectonics, Volcanology and Petrology
  • Earth Science Major
  • Earth Science Major: Pre-Graduate Studies Option

BS/BA Earth Science REQUIREMENTS

Assistant Professor Melinda Shimizu

Professors – Jeffrey Myers, Stephen Taylor, Jeffrey Templeton

Earth Science Major……………………………………………………………………….. 65-70

Foundation Courses     12 credits

ES 201, 202, 203 Principles of Geology

Choose two courses from the following      8-10 credits

BI 101, 102, 103 General Biology

BI 211, 212, 213 Principles of Biology

PH 201, 202, 203 General Physics

PH 211, 212, 213 General Physics with Calculus

Core Curriculum     29 credits

ES 301   Petrographic Microscopy (2)

ES 302   Quantitative Methods (2)

ES 321   Structural Geology (4)

ES 322   Geomorphology and Aerial Photo Interpretation (4)

ES 407   Senior Seminar (1)

ES 450   Introduction to Petrology (4)

ES 453  Geology of the Pacific Northwest (4)

ES 473  Environmental Geology (4)

ES 493  Sedimentary Geology (4)

Choose one course in the area of Earth System Science    3 credits

ES 331   Introduction to Oceanography

ES 390   Basic Meteorology

GS 351   Elements of Astronomy

Choose one course in the area of Sedimentology/Paleobiology   3-4 credits

ES 304   Survey of the Fossil Record

ES 431   Paleobiology

ES 491   Stratigraphy and Depositional Systems

Choose one course in the area of Tectonics/Volcanology/Petrology  3-4 credits

ES 354   Geology of Earthquakes

ES 454   Volcanology

ES 460   Energy and Mineral Resources

Choose one course in the area of Environmental Geology/Surface Processes  3-4 credits

ES 458   River Environments of Oregon

ES 476   Hydrology

ES 486   Petroleum Geology

Choose one course in the area of Geospatial Technology  4 credits

ES 341   Geographic Information Systems I

ES 342   Geographic Information Systems II

ES 444   Remote Sensing

ES 492   Advanced GIS Applications in Earth Science

At least two chemistry courses at the 200-level are to be completed as part of the LACC laboratory science requirement.  To fulfill the mathematics and computer science general education requirement, the B.S. requires MTH 112, MTH 243, and one computer science course.  The B.A. requires MTH 112, one computer science course, and completion of the second language requirement.  MTH 251 or MTH 252 may be used to fulfill the MTH 112 requirement for both the B.S. and B.A. degrees.  Completion of the Earth Science Major qualifies graduates to begin the process of professional licensure as registered geologists in the state of Oregon.  Students should confer with their advisor for specific coursework that best fits their career objectives.

BS/BA Earth Science REQUIREMENTS

Assistant Professor Melinda Shimizu

Professors – Jeffrey Myers, Stephen Taylor, Jeffrey Templeton.

Earth Science Major: Pre-Graduate Studies Option………………………………… 74

Foundation Courses     37 credits

ES 201, 202, 203 Principles of Geology

CH 221, 222, 223 General Chemistry

MTH 251, 252  Calculus I & II

Core Curriculum     29 credits

ES 301   Petrographic Microscopy (2)

ES 302   Quantitative Methods (2)

ES 321   Structural Geology (4)

ES 322   Geomorphology and Aerial Photo Interpretation (4)

ES 341   Geographic Information Systems I (4)

ES 407   Senior Seminar (1)

ES 450   Introduction to Petrology (4)

ES 473   Environmental Geology (4)

ES 491   Stratigraphy and Depositional Systems (4)

ES 492   Advanced GIS Applications in Earth Science (4)

ES 493  Sedimentary Geology (4)

To fulfill the LACC laboratory science requirement for this option, students must complete one of the physics 200-level sequences.  The B.S. requires MTH 112, MTH 243, and one computer science course.  The B.A. requires MTH 112, one computer science course, and completion of the second language requirement.  For this option, 4 hours of Writing Intensive course work should come from WR 322 (Technical Writing).  To pursue graduate studies in geoscience, students will need to complete a 4- to 6-week summer field geology course.

Earth Science Student Handbook  –  Earth_Science_Advising_Guide_July_2015

 

Earth Science Courses

ES 104,105,106 Earth System Science (5)

This three-term sequence of courses integrates the critical concepts of chemistry, physics, and geology in the context of the Earth as a system. ES 104: Focus on the Solar System, the processes driven by the interior of Earth, including plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanism, and introduction to study of Earth materials. ES 105: Focus on physical and chemical processes occurring at the surface of Earth with an emphasis on energy in the Earth system. ES 106: Focus on human impacts to the Earth system, including chemical and physical aspects of water pollution, oceanography, air pollution, meteorology, and global climate change. Not open to students who have taken more advanced course in the corresponding subject matter. All three courses require three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.

ES 201,202,203 Principles of Geology  (4)

Introductory geology sequence that focuses on physical and historical geology. ES 201 emphasizes Earth’s internal processes with topics including plate tectonics, minerals, igneous rocks and processes, volcanism, metamorphism and metamorphic rocks, rock deformation and geologic structures, and earthquakes. ES 202 emphasizes Earth surface processes with topics including sedimentary rocks, sedimentary processes, rock weathering, mass wasting, river systems, groundwater, glaciers, deserts, and coastal processes. ES 203 explores the origin and dynamics of the Earth’s interior, surface, ocean, atmospheric, and biological systems and critically evaluates topics including the age of the earth and the origin of life. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. No prerequisite.

ES 301 GeoTechniques: Quantitative Applications (1)

Class focuses on quantitative techniques in geology, applied mathematics, basic statistics, software applications, and field technology. One three-hour session per week. Additional field trips outside of scheduled class time may be required. PREREQ: Introductory Geology course, or consent of instructor. May be taken concurrently with introductory geology course.

ES 302 GeoTechniques: Geology in the Field(1)

Introduction to the methods and techniques of geological observation and interpretation, with an emphasis on understanding earth processes in the field and reconstructing the physical history of
the earth; the stratigraphic, petrologic, and structural relations of rocks; geological illustration and report writing. One three-hour lab; required weekend field trips. PREREQ: ES 203 (may be taken concurrently) or consent of instructor.

ES 303 GeoTechniques: Petrographic Microscopy (1)

This class introduces the basic techniques for using a petrographic microscope to describe, identify, and interpret Earth materials in thin section. Course integrates field observations, microscopic investigations of rocks and minerals, and digital image analysis to solve geologic problems. One three-hour lab per week. Additional field trips outside of scheduled class time may be required. PREREQ: ES 201, or consent of instructor.

ES 304 Survey of the Fossil Record (3)

Explores the 4 billion year fossil record of life on earth. Begins with a survey of the diversity of fossil forms and the criteria used to distinguish fossils on the basis of hard part morphology. Then examines the evolution of increasingly complex forms of life from the pre-Phanerozoic through the recent, from simple prokaryotic cells to complex metazoans. The final week examines the use of fossils as proxies for the measurement of paleotemperature, precipitation, and other climatic variables. The course emphasizes concise and precise writing and critical thinking skills. Two hours of lecture and two hours of lab weekly.

ES 321 Structural Geology (4)

Introduction to mapping, analysis, and interpretation of folds, faults, lineations, foliations, and other structures exhibited by rocks. Emphasis is on the basic techniques of analyzing geologic structures associated in space and time and interpreting the structural history of the lithosphere. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week; required field trip. PREREQ: ES 201, or
consent of instructor.

ES 322 Geomorphology and Aerial Photo Interpretation (4)

A study of the physical and chemical processes operating at the earth’s surface and their resulting landforms. Topics include weathering processes, soils, mass wasting, river systems, glacial phenomena, tectonic landscapes, volcanic areas, and coastal regions. Analytical techniques include interpretation of aerial photographs, map analysis, and quantitative approaches to geologic problem solving. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Supplemental field trips are incorporated as needed. PREREQ: ES 201, ES 202, or consent of instructor.

ES 331 Introduction to Oceanography (3)

An introduction to physical oceanography with topics including seafloor tectonics, ocean basin physiography, sediment production and transport, physical properties of sea water, chemistry of sea water, air-sea interaction, ocean circulation, tides, waves, and coastal processes. Concepts of physics, chemistry, geology, and mathematics (through algebra) are incorporated to supplement topical discussions of ocean processes. Three hours of lecture and active learning per week.

ES 340 Principles of Cartography (4):

Introduction to cartography and the principles of map design. Topics include geodesy, scaling, projections, coordinate systems, data collection, computer cartography, map design, color models, symbolization, and map production. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Prerequisite: MTH 111 or higher, or consent of instructor.

ES 341 Geographic Information Systems I (4):

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems using the ArcGIS software platform. Topics include cartographic principles, coordinate systems, map projections, vector/raster data models, geodatabases, attribute data management, data exploration/queries, data display, map production, geoprocessing, attribute/feature editing, and metadata. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Prerequisite: ES 340, or consent of instructor.

ES 342 Geographic Information Systems II (4):

Continuation of Geographic Information Systems I, using ArcGIS software platform. Topics include advanced editing, spatial analysis, vector data analysis, raster data analysis, terrain mapping, watershed analysis, spatial interpolation, geocoding, network analysis, GIS modeling, Python scripting. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Prerequisites: ES 341, or consent of instructor.

ES 351 Geology for Educators (3)

Lab intensive course emphasizing fundamental principles of geology, including topics in rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, constructive and destructive earth surface processes, geological hazards, and hydrology, which form the Oregon Science Benchmark Standards in Earth Science. Two hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week. Cannot be used as an upperdivision
elective for students majoring in Earth Science.

ES 354 Volcanoes and Earthquakes (4)

Introduction to earthquake phenomena with an emphasis on the impact to people, infrastructure, and natural resources in Oregon and the western United States. Course will focus on using seismology to interpret interior of Earth, mechanisms that cause earthquakes, relation to plate tectronics, and associated hazards.  four hour of lecture and active learning per week; supplemental field trips will be incorporated as needed.  Pre-req: Intro geology course, or consent of instructor.

ES 390 Basic Meteorology (3)

An introductory study of atmospheric processes and meteorologic phenomena. Topics include structure of the atmosphere, heat transfer, air pressure, precipitation, circulation, data collection, and weather forecasting. Three hours of lecture and active learning per week.

ES 392 Sedimentary Geology (4)

Description and interpretation of sedimentary lithology, textures, and structures, primarily at the hand sample and outcrop scale. The principles of transport/depositional processes, sedimentary environments, use of facies models. Four hours of lecture and active learning. One required weekend field trip. PREREQ: ES 203 and ES 302 or consent of instructor.

ES 401 Research (1-15)

Terms and hours to be arranged.

ES 406 Special Individual Studies (1-15)

Terms and hours to be arranged.

ES 407 Senior Seminar (1)

Students conduct in-depth study and research on a broad-ranging topic in the Earth Sciences. Assessment is based primarily on a formal presentation, which each student gives on their topic, and on student participation in weekly meetings in which the class discusses the Earth Science topic. Two hours per week. PREREQ: Senior standing in Earth Science.

ES 408/508 Workshop (1-15)

Terms and hours to be arranged.

ES 431/531 Paleobiology (4)

The evolution of terrestrial and marine ecosystems interpreted from the fossil record; the application of paleontological data to resolving problems in earth history. Offered alternate years. Four hours of lecture and active learning. PREREQ: a beginning biology course or consent of instructor. RECOMMENDED: ES 203.

ES 444/544 Remote Sensing (4):

Introduction to Remote Sensing and the acquisition of images at the Earth’s surface. Topics include introduction to photogrammetric principles, electromagnetic radiation, spectral properties of Earth materials, cameras and sensors, aerial photography, satellite imagery, data processing, image classification, image interpretation, and scientific applications. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Prerequisite: ES 342, or consent of instructor.

ES 450/550 Introduction to Petrology (4)

Focus on the textures, compositions, and genetic associations of diverse suites of rock types. Study of the structure, chemistry, physical properties, and occurrences of rock-forming minerals augments the rock study. Emphasis is on the integration of hand sample study, petrographic microscopy, and digital image analysis to solve geologic problems. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. PREREQ: ES 201 and ES 303, or consent of instructor.

ES 453/553 Geology of the Pacific Northwest (4)

An introduction to the geology, geological history, tectonic evolution, geological resources, and landscape development of Western North America, with an emphasis on the geology of Oregon. Four hours of lecture and active learning. PREREQ: A general geology course or consent of instructor.

ES 454/554 Volcanology (3)

Study of the processes and products of volcanism. Focus is on rock types, structures, field relations, tectonic settings, conditions of origin, and geologic history of volcanism with specific emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. Three hours of lecture and active learning per week; supplemental field trips will be incorporated as needed. Offered in alternating years. PREREQ:Introductory geology course, or consent of instructor.

ES 458/558 Field Studies in Geology (1-9)

Field excursions to study geology at classic localities in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Terms and hours to be arranged.

ES 460/560 Energy and Mineral Resources (3)

Focus on the geology of energy and mineral resources in terms of their description, occurrence, origin, and distribution. Also consider extraction, treatment, uses, and reserves of mineral and energy resources; the historical, economic, and social issues involved with certain resources; and the environmental implications of the use and exploitation of resources. Three hours of lecture and active learning per week. Offered in alternating years. PREREQ: Introductory geology course, or consent of instructor.

ES 473 Environmental Geology (4)

The study of contemporary environmental issues as related to geologic systems. Topics include geologic hazards, land use, groundwater-surface water-soil contamination, remediation technologies, environmental planning, habitat restoration, applied analytical techniques, and consulting practice. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Supplemental field trips will be incorporated as needed. PREREQ: ES 201, ES 202, or consent of instructor.

ES 476 Hydrology

Investigation of near-surface hydrologic systems of the Earth. Topics include the hydrologic cycle, water budgets, introductory fluid dynamics, groundwater systems, watershed analysis, water quality and water resource evaluation. Three hours of lecture and active learning per week. Supplemental field trips will be incorporated as needed. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: ES 201, ES 202, or consent of instructor.

ES 491 Stratigraphy and Despositional Systems (4)

This course is designed for both Earth Science majors and general interest audiences. The course offers an overview of clastic depositional environments and sequences, including continental, marine marginal, and deep marine settings. Concepts and applications of facies and stratigraphic modeling will be explored, with an emphasis on natural resource exploration and recovery. Examination of tectonic controls on the nature and distribution of facies and paleoenvironments of sedimentary basins in tectonically active settings. Offered in alternating years. Three hours of lecture and active learning. PREREQ: a general geology course or consent of instructor; RECOMMENDED: ES 392.

ES 492/592 Advanced GIS Applications in Earth Science (4):

Focus on the application of geographic information systems to real-world problems in the Earth sciences. Emphasis is placed on the use of computer technology in analyzing spatial and temporal relationships of geologic systems. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. Prerequisite: ES 342, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Contact Us:

Department of Earth and Physical Science

Department Chair: Jeff Templeton  

503-838-8858   l    email: templej@wou.edu l   Location: Natural Science Building  NS 211