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Courses

Our New Curriculum, which goes into effect starting in Fall, 2010, is provided below.

The following section contains course descriptions. A course number indicates - in a general way - the difficulty of the course and the level of the student group for which the course is offered.

  • Courses numbered 100 to 199 are primarily for freshmen; 200 to 299 for sophomores; 300 to 499 for juniors and seniors; 500 to 799 for juniors, seniors and graduate students.
  • Students must attain sophomore standing (26 semester hours) before enrolling in any 300/400 level course. (See exception policy, p. 76 in the 2008-2009 Catalog)
  • The number in parentheses after the course title indicates the credit in semester hours.
  • A hyphen (-) between the numbers of a course indicates no credit will be given until all of the course sequence is successfully completed.
  • A colon (:) between the numbers of the course and semester hours credit indicates credit will be given as each semester of the course is completed, and they must be taken in order.
  • A comma (,) between the numbers of a course and semester hours credit indicates credit will be given as each semester of the course is completed.
  • The line following the course title and credit tells the number of lecture and laboratory hours a week. The third line gives the prerequisite, if any.
  • Following some course descriptions will be listed the semester in which the course is offered (fall, spring). When no semeste (or semesters) is listed at the end of the course description, then in most cases that course is offered each semester during the academic year. However, students must consult with their academic advisers to ensure that a course will be offered the semester they would like to take it.
  • To obtain detailed information regardinga specific course, students may view the complete course syllabus for a specific course by accessing the course through the Radford University computer network.

GEOL 100 - Earth Resources and Natural Hazards (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Examines the effect of geologic processes and hazards on human activities, the appraisal of human impact on the natural physical environment, and the geologic occurrence, availability and use of mineral and energy resources. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Natural Sciences.

GEOL 105 - Exploring Earth (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Develops understanding of physical aspects of the science of geology, including study of the earth's materials, processes and structure. GEOL 105 will satisfy half the general education laboratory science requirement. Students who have earned credit for GEOL 101 may not also earn credit for GEOL 105. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Natural Sciences.

GEOL 106 - The Earth Through Time (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 105
Examines the historical aspects of geology, including the history of the physical events and life during the planet's evolution. GEOL 106 will satisfy half the general education laboratory science requirement. Students who have earned credit for GEOL 102 may not also earn credit for GEOL 106. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Natural Sciences.

GEOL 305 - Professional Skills in the Geosciences (4)

Two hours lecture; four hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: Eight hours of geology and ITEC 100.
Introduces students to the concept of professionalism in the geosciences and develops communication, leadership, organizational and other practical skills essential to the successful professional geoscientist. One or more field trips may be required. Students who have received credit for GEOL 205 cannot also receive credit for GEOL 305.

GEOL 310 - Mineralogy (4)

Two hours lecture; six hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: CHEM 101 and GEOL 105
Introduces students to concepts and techniques involved in the study of minerals, both on a macroscopic and microscopic scale. Study of mineral formation, major mineral groups, their crystallography, compositions, structures, classifications, identification and environmental aspects. Introduction to principles involved in the investigation of optical properties of minerals in thin section under petrographic microscope. Techniques include microphotography and automated, digital image analysis of minerals. Introduction and demonstration of the X-Ray Diffractometer, Scanning Electron Microscope and Electron Microprobe as instruments for mineralogical analysis. Students who have received credit for GEOL 212 cannot also receive credit for GEOL 310.

GEOL 312 - Petrology (5)

Three hours lecture; six hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 310
Introduction to composition, texture, classification, origin, evolution and distribution of the major rock groups based on established field relationships and experimental determinations. Laboratory emphasis on hand samples and thin sections.

GEOL 320 - Sedimentary Petrology and Stratigraphy (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 310
Introduction to origin, composition, texture, classification, transportation, and deposition of sediments and interpretation of sedimentary deposits. Laboratory emphasis on collecting and analyzing sediments and sedimentary rocks, including hand samples and thin-sections.

GEOL 335 - General Paleontology (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 106
Study of fossil plant and animal phyla; emphasis on principles of paleontology as well as the taxonomic classification, principal morphologic characters and general evolutionary development of important fossil groups.

GEOL 360 (GEOG 350) - Geomorphology (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 105
Introduction to surficial processes and landforms. Fluvial, eolian, glacial, karst and coastal zone processes analyzed. Map and air-photo interpretation included.

GEOL 365 - Oceanography (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory
Prerequisite: Eight hours from any of the following natural sciences: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, Physical Science Processes, or Physics.
Introduction to the physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes in the marine environment and their interaction. Includes analysis of topical issues such as global climate and sea level changes, mineral and energy resources from the sea, marine pollution, and law of the sea. Student may not receive credit if previously taken GEOL 361 and GEOL 362.

GEOL 406/PHYS 406 - Geophysics (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: GEOL 105 or ASTR 111; and PHYS 221:222 or PHYS 111:112; and MATH 152; or permission of instructor.
Examination of the basic principles and techniques of modern geophysical methods, and the applications of these methods to site investigations for environmental and engineering geologic projects. Some Saturday labs may be required.

GEOL 408 - Spatial Data Applications in Geology (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: 12 hours of geology and permission of the instructor.
Introduction to the study of the theoretical and practical analysis of spatial data in geology. Included will be map reading, photo interpretation and the use of remote sensing, image processing, and geographic information systems to interpret geologic spatial information for resource exploration and environmental management.

GEOL 440 - Structural Geology (4)

Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 310
Description and field recognition of geological structures of the earth's crust; includes fundamentals of rock mechanics and applications of stress and strain theory to the origin of structures, tectonics of mountainbuilding, and global plate tectonics.

GEOL 441 - Geologic Field Methods (3)

Two hours lecture; four hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 440
Introduction to techniques and basic concepts of geologic field methods.

GEOL 445 - Applied Geology Summer Field School (6)

Approximately two months correspondence and 40 hours of field work and classroom instruction per week.
Prerequisite: GEOL 105 and either GEOL 100 or GEOL 106
Intensive training in geologic field methods with emphasis on mapping, data collection and the geology of Virginia with applications to environmental and engineering concerns and to land use planning. The university campus serves as the base from which field studies are conducted. The course requires overnight excursions permitting the examination of a wide variety of geologic field conditions including field trip stops in all the geologic provinces of Virginia. Course may require transportation, food and camping fees. Course will not substitute for GEOL 441, Geologic Field Methods, for students majoring in geology.

GEOL 451 - Regulatory Issues in Environmental Geology (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisites: GEOL 474 (Hydrogeology) and either senior standing or permission of the instructor.
Investigates the societal and regulatory framework within which much of the professional practice of environmental geology occurs. The relevant current and developing legislation will be addressed, along with the roles of federal, state, and municipal authorities in promulgation of the law. Class discussions and assignments will emphasize the functions of the practicing professional geologist in the various research, regulatory, and consulting roles related to environmental regulation.

GEOL 455 - Principles of Engineering Geology (4)

Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: GEOL 105 and either GEOL 100 or GEOL 106 and mathematics through trigonometry. Minimum of one semester of physics is strongly recommended.
A study of the application of geologic principles and data collection techniques to the evaluation of design and construction problems relating to engineering projects including dams, highways, landfills, tunnels and reservoirs, including an overview of availability and suitability of soil and rock as construction materials.

GEOL 461 - Regional Geology of the United States (4)

Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 320
Regional survey of structural and stratigraphic framework of geologic provinces of United States; emphasis on geologic features and evolution of Appalachian and Western Interior regions.

GEOL 474 - Hydrogeology (4)

Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 105 and either GEOL 100 or GEOL 106; MATH 151; or permission of the instructor. Minimum of one semester of physics is strongly recommended.
A qualitative and quantitative study of groundwater availability and movement, and the development of groundwater as a resource. Included will be pertinent geologic and engineering aspects of groundwater flow and the effect of man on the groundwater regime. Laboratory includes a field investigation.

GEOL 481 - Seminar in Modern Topics in Geology (3)

Three hours lecture.
Prerequisite: GEOL 105 and either GEOL 100 or GEOL 106; and permission of instructor.
Emphasis on geologic literature, classroom presentation and group discussion of current geologic topics. May be taken maximum of three times for no more than nine semester hours of credit. Topic may not be repeated by a student.

GEOL 488 - Final Honors Project (2-3)

Prerequisites: Enrollment in Honors Academy and completion of all other Honors Academy requirements; a minimum 3.5 GPA in all courses and in geology.
To earn a bachelor's degree with honors in geology, a student must conduct research and write a thesis based on the research. In order to receive honors credit, a student must earn a grade of "A" or "B" for the final project. Course may not be repeated.

GEOL 495 - Internship in Geology. (1-6)

Prerequisites: 8 credit hours in Geology or other laboratory science, 2.5 GPA in Geology courses, and permission of the department chair.
Involves the application of skills and concepts learned in the classroom and laboratory in a real world situation through full- or part-time placement in a professional setting with a company or organization doing work in some area of geology. Students will be supervised by both the internship site personnel and by a geology faculty member. This course is offered for pass/fail grade only.

GEOL 498 - Independent Study (1-6)

Prerequisite: Any one of the following: GEOL 105; and either GEOL 100 or GEOL 106 or BIOL 102.
See "Independent Study" on p. 60 of the 2008-2009 Catalog.