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Course Catalog

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Earth Science

ES 104, 105, 106 Earth System Science (5 each)
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, 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 each)
Introductory geology sequence 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, 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 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 (three-hour lab for ES 203).

 

ES 301 GeoTechniques: Quantitative Applications (1)
Focus 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. Prerequisite: 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. Prerequisite: ES 203 (may be taken concurrently) or consent of instructor

 

ES 303 GeoTechniques: Petrographic Microscopy (1)
Introduction to 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. Prerequisite: ES 201, or consent of instructor

 

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. Prerequisite: ES 201 or consent of instructor

 

ES 322 Geomorphology and Aerial Photo Interpretation (4)
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. Prerequisites: ES 201, ES 202 or consent of instructor

 

ES 331 Introduction to Oceanography (3)
Introduction to physical oceanography with topics including sea floor 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 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 upper-division elective for students majoring in Earth Science.

 

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; and use of facies models. Four hours of lecture and active learning per week. One required weekend field trip. Prerequisites: ES 203, 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 will conduct in-depth study and research on a broad-ranging topic in the Earth Sciences. Assessment will be based primarily on a formal presentation, which each student will give on their sub-topic, and on student participation in weekly meetings in which the class will discuss the Earth Science topic/issue. Two hours of lecture. Prerequisite: senior standing in Earth Sciences

 

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. Four hours of lecture and active learning. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: A beginning biology course or consent of instructor; recommended: ES 203

 

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 augment 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. Prerequisites: ES 201, ES 303, or consent of instructor

 

ES 453/553 Geology of the Pacific Northwest (4)
An introduction to 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 per week. Prerequisite: A general geology course or consent of instructor

 

ES 454/554 Volcanology (3)
Study of the processes and products of volcanism. Focus will be 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 alternate years. Prerequisite: 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 considers 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 alternate years. Prerequisite: introductory geology course or consent of instructor

 

ES 473/573 Environmental Geology (4)
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. Prerequisites: ES 201, ES 202, or consent of instructor

 

ES 476/576 Hydrology (3)
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 491/591 Stratigraphy and Depositional Systems (3)
Course designed for both Earth Science majors and general interest audiences. 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 alternate years. Three hours of lecture and active learning. Prerequisite: a general geology course or consent of instructor; recommended ES 392

 

ES 492/592 GIS Applications in Earth Science (3)
Focus on the application of Geographic Information Systems to relevant problems in the Earth Sciences. Emphasis is placed on the use of computer technology in analyzing spatial and temporal relationships of geologic systems. Students will learn techniques in digital map compilation, digital image processing and analysis of complex data sets. Three hours of lecture and active learning per week. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: ES 201 or ES 202 and CS 160, or consent of instructor

 

ES 601 Research (1-15)
Terms and hours to be arranged.

 

ES 603 Thesis or Field Study (1-15)
Terms and hours to be arranged.

 

ES 606 Special Individual Studies (1-15 hours)
Terms and hours to be arranged.

 

ES 655 Glacial Geology (3)
A study of glacial processes and products including those associated with alpine, continental and periglacial settings. Work with topographic maps, aerial photographs and examples of glaciation in the Pacific Northwest. Appropriate term paper or project required.

 

ES 656 Geology of North America (3)
Study of the geologic structure, evolution and geomorphology of the North American continent. Two lectures and one two-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: consent of instructor – offered summers only

 

 

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