Department of Geography & Geology

Chair: Brian Cooper (936) 294-1566    

Website: Department of Geography & Geology

The Department of Geography and Geology is an excellent blend of two disciplines that have a common thread. Both programs are concerned with the physical environment, with resources – including energy resources – and with ways that humans interact with and modify the natural environment. Students may major or minor in either program.

Mission

The primary mission of the Department of Geography and Geology is to provide students of the two complementary programs a comprehensive understanding of the range and depth of these scientific disciplines which encompass, respectively, the human and physical domains of geography, and the physical and historical domains of geology. This understanding is intended to enable our students to achieve their full potential as skilled professionals and well-qualified technical employees in a diverse range of companies and governmental organizations and to become effective teachers and community leaders. Our programs enable students to become informed users of a range of technologies and prudent stewards of our natural resources. This understanding of the world will promote successful careers, active life-long learning, and an ability and desire to contribute positively to society.

Geography Program

Coordinator: John Strait   (936) 294-4077

Website: Department of Geography & Geology

Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that involves the interdisciplinary study of places and the relationships between people and their environment from a spatial perspective. As an academic subject, it includes an understanding of both the physical environment and the cultural world of international affairs, economics, population, religion, language, and other human phenomena. Geographers are not only interested in the locations of these phenomena, but are also interested in understanding the causal factors responsible for their spatial distributions and the larger implications of these spatial arrangements. Geography also entails the use and application of a host of geospatial technologies as a means to study and analyze this subject matter, such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, digital image processing, and global positioning systems. In the age of global markets, global culture, global transportation systems, and global telecommunications, we are increasingly faced with the reality that our welfare is highly interdependent with the rest of the world. A geographic education represents an excellent way to understand how to deal with environmental, social and economic issues associated with this reality. For an individual curious about the world, and his or her place in it, few disciplines satisfy that curiosity as much as geography.

Academic Programs

The Geography program incorporates a three-track curriculum and is designed to fit the particular academic interests of our students and better prepare them for life beyond SHSU, particularly in terms of graduate study or employment opportunities. Student majors can pursue either Bachelors of Arts (BA) or Bachelors of Science (BS) degrees and focus their studies within one of three concentrations, each providing a broad geographical background yet emphasizing different foci. The human geography concentration is designed for students primarily interested in the geographical study of human or cultural phenomena, such as population, race and ethnicity, religion, economics, tourism, and urban geography.  The environmental geography concentration is designed for students interested in studying physical geography, conservation of natural resources, geomorphology, hydrology, environmental sustainability and sustainable development.  The geographic information sciences (GIS) concentration is designed for students more interested in developing skills in the application of a variety of geo-spatial technologies, such as GIS, remote sensing, computer cartography, and digital image processing.   

Highlights

Located on the third floor of the Lee Drain Building, the department maintains both a Geographic Information System (GIS) lab and a combination computer cartography and remote sensing lab. These labs contain state-of-the-art computers, software and scanners. We also have a van for fieldtrips, a coring device capable of taking up to 6m core samples, high-quality GPS receivers, a large-scale flume to demonstrate sedimentation processes, and a Ground Penetrating Radar System. In order to enhance learning, all of our rooms are outfitted with video-projection systems, and our lecture rooms have sound systems and dedicated computers with Internet access that are used by the instructors for teaching purposes. Many of our students obtain internships and work with faculty members on research projects. Beyond traditional in-class courses, the geography program does offer a number of on-line courses. The program also regularly offers a number of field courses that offer students opportunities to directly experience the geographical processes and concepts learned in the classroom.  Some of these field courses involve travel and/or international experiences and have included trips to Thailand, Hawaii, Mississippi Delta, Brazil, Spain, Italy and other locations.

Career Opportunities

Because of the breadth of geography, there are a wide variety of career opportunities for geography graduates. These opportunities include careers in the following:

  • urban and/or regional planning
  • GIS analyst/programmer
  • environmental consulting and management
  • emergency management
  • state transportation departments
  • city, county, state, and federal government
  • education/teaching
  • geoscientist/geo-technician
  • travel writing
  • energy companies
  • tourism
  • military

Geography’s focus on spatial relationships, in conjunction with new advances in technology, have led to the development of a host of geographical tools—principally Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)—that regularly function as core tools used in a wide variety of fields. In fact, geospatial technology now affects almost every aspect of life, from navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood to locating the world’s most wanted terrorists. Because these tools can be applied within virtually any field (government, business, military, etc.) geospatial technology is one of the fastest growing job fields and the demand for people with experience using them exceeds the supply. Aside from offering a major concentration that emphasizes these technologies, we also offer students an Interdisciplinary Minor in Geospatial Science (GSS) that emphasizes GIS, remote sensing and computer cartography. The combination of geography major and a GSS minor is highly marketable. In addition, we also offer a GIS certificate program for students desiring to pursue a limited number of geotechnical courses. With their broad background, geography graduates have an ability to see connections where others do not, and this enables geographers to work in many different fields. Geography literally offers a world of opportunities.

Suggested Minors

  • GSS (Geo-spatial Science)
  • Geology
  • Foreign Language
  • Biology or Environmental Science
  • History
  • International Business
  • Sociology
  • Mass Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Political Science
  • Secondary Education

Program Specific Requirements

Students must meet the academic standards established by the university.

Curriculum

Required Courses for Geography Major

Bachelor of Arts, human geography concentration

Course Requirements
GEOG 1401Weather and Climate4
or GEOG 3301 Environmental Geography
GEOG 3350Cultural Geography3
Select two of the following:6
People, Place and the Envrnmt
World Reg Geo-Eur Asia Aust
Reg Geo-Lat Am Africa So Asia
Select two of the following technique courses:6-8
Geo-Spatial Technology
Intro to Geographic Info Sys
Map Use & Map Interpretation
Computer Cartography
Field Studies
Geographic Information Systems for Public Health
Applied Geographic Info Systms
Remote Sensing
Select three of the following:9
Tourism Geography
Historcl Geog Of United States
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Population Geography
Transportation Geography
Cultural Field Study
Advanced Geography Electives6
Total Hours34-36

Bachelor of Science, human geography concentration

The above requirements, plus additional degree specific requirements (see below)

Bachelor of Arts, environmental geography concentration

Course Requirements
GEOG 1401Weather and Climate4
or GEOG 3301 Environmental Geography
GEOG 3350Cultural Geography3
Select two of the following:6
People, Place and the Envrnmt
World Reg Geo-Eur Asia Aust
Reg Geo-Lat Am Africa So Asia
Select two of the following technique courses:6-8
Geo-Spatial Technology
Intro to Geographic Info Sys
Map Use & Map Interpretation
Computer Cartography
Geographic Information Systems for Public Health
Applied Geographic Info Systms
Remote Sensing
Select two of the following:6-7
Field Studies
Geomorphology
Environmental Geology
Advanced Geography Electives6
Total Hours31-34

Bachelor of Science, environmental geography concentration

The above requirements, plus additional degree specific requirements (see below)

Bachelor of Science, geo-spatial information science concentration

Course Requirements
Select two of the following: 6-7
People, Place and the Envrnmt
Weather and Climate
World Reg Geo-Eur Asia Aust
Reg Geo-Lat Am Africa So Asia
GEOG 2464Intro to Geographic Info Sys4
GEOG 3301Environmental Geography3
or GEOG 3350 Cultural Geography
GEOG 4333Field Studies3
GEOG 4365Applied Geographic Info Systms3
Select one of the following:3
Map Use & Map Interpretation
Computer Cartography
Geographic Information Systems for Public Health
Remote Sensing
Select two of the following:
Tourism Geography
Conservatn Of Naturl Resources
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Population Geography
Transportation Geography
Geomorphology
Advanced Geography Electives6
Total Hours28-29

In addition to these requirements, students must take the degree-specific courses particular to their respective degree (BA or BS).

Geology Program

Coordinator: Brian J. Cooper     (936) 294-1566  

Website: Department of Geography and Geology

Geology is the ultimate integrated science because all of the principles and methods of the other sciences, as well as geologic principles and methods, are applied to an understanding of the Earth. Geologists study rocks, of course, but they study them from the context of providing information that may eventually be used to forecast earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other geologic hazards. The information obtained may also be applied to help geologists locate various natural resources. Therefore, geology serves to enhance human existence by attempting to reduce risk and by providing the materials necessary for the expansion of civilization.

Academic Programs

The Geology Degree is designed for the person seeking a position in industry or planning to attend graduate school. The Geoscience Plan is designed for the person with a general interest in geology. Each plan is designed to provide an education in the fundamentals of geology. The required geology courses will give the student an understanding of the Earth and will provide an opportunity to observe, investigate, analyze, and interpret geological materials, processes, and structures.

Highlights

Located on the third floor of the Lee Drain Building, the department places considerable emphasis on the integration of lab-based analytical science with similarly rigorous analysis conducted by means of field work. In support, the department maintains a range of field and laboratory equipment including a Mackereth coring system, a vibracorer, a research flume, a portable XRF, an X-ray diffractometer, a catholuminescence microscope, plus a variety of GPS and GIS-linked surveying equipment. Many of our students obtain internships and work with faculty members on research projects.

Career Opportunities

Geology majors generally pursue careers in three areas:

  • the environmental industry
  • the petroleum industry
  • teaching

Geology students are provided with the knowledge and skills required to pursue an applied profession, a career in education, and/or continued education at the graduate level.

Suggested Minors

  • Computer Sciences
  • Geography
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Mathematics
  • Other sciences (Biology, Chemistry, or Physic

Program Specific Requirements

Geology program specific requirements include 8 hours in each of CHEM and PHYS; plus 7-8 hours of MATH.

Curriculum

Required Courses for Geology Major

Bachelor of Science, Geology

Required Courses
GEOL 1403Physical Geology4
or GEOL 1405 Geologic Hazards & Resources
GEOL 1404Historical Geology4
GEOL 3301Field Methods3
GEOL 3404Mineralogy4
GEOL 3405Petrology4
GEOL 4304Geochemistry3
GEOL 4400Stratigraphy And Sedimentation4
GEOL 4402Structural Geology4
GEOL 4413Methods In Applied Geophysics4
GEOL 4360Field Geology3
GEOL 4361Field Geology3
Three Advanced GEOL Electives9
Total Hours49

Bachelor of Science, Geoscience

Required Courses
GEOL 1403Physical Geology4
or GEOL 1405 Geologic Hazards & Resources
GEOL 1404Historical Geology4
GEOL 3301Field Methods3
GEOL 3404Mineralogy4
GEOL 3405Petrology4
GEOL 4304Geochemistry3
GEOL 4400Stratigraphy And Sedimentation4
GEOL 4402Structural Geology4
GEOL 4413Methods In Applied Geophysics4
Five Advanced GEOL Electives15
Total Hours49

Geography

Student Organizations

  • Geographers of Sam Houston (GOSH) - GOSH is intended to enhance appreciation for geography through club-sponsored field trips, guest lectures, and other activities, and to promote camaraderie among geography students.
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) - GTU is the National Geography Honor Society and was established to promote geographic awareness and the pursuit of geographic knowledge. To be eligible for membership in this honor society, students must have at least 12 hours of geography coursework, a minimum GPA of 3.25 in their geography coursework, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.

Internships

Educational and research opportunities using GIS are available through a variety of internship opportunities that will increase students’ skills and employment opportunities.

Richardson Endowment Awards

  • C. ALLEN WILLIAMS AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500-$700 one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status.
  • CODY BARRON AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500-$700 one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status.
  • GERALD L. HOLDER AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500 -- $700 one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status, 3.0 GPA Geography overall.
  • JAMES ELLISON KIRKLEY AWARD: Two awards (amounts vary) to majors in history, political science, geography, or sociology.
    Recipients are selected on basis of high academic achievement.
  • JOHN H. BOUNDS AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500-$700 for one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status.
  • THE ELTON M. SCOTT AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500 -- $700 one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status. 3.0 GPA Geography overall.

Request information from:

John Strait
Geography Program Coordinator
(936) 294-4077
Department of Geography and Geology
Box 2148
Huntsville, TX 77341-2148
(936) 294-1233

Geology

Student Organizations

Sam Houston Association of Geology Students (SHAGS) - SHAGS is a very active student organization that sponsors field trips to sites in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Alumni, professors, and other professional geologists are invited to speak at SHAGS meetings. Geology majors benefit greatly from the sense of camaraderie gained during the field trips, meetings, and other activities.

Internships

Educational and research opportunities are available through a variety of internship opportunities in the fields of GIS, hydrocarbons, and environmental geology that will increase students’ skills and employment opportunities.

Awards and Scholarships

  • CANNAN GEOLOGICAL SCHOLARSHIPS: $600 per year, junior or senior status, Geology majors, minimum GPA of 3.2 in Geology and overall 3.0, faculty recommendations required.
  • HOUSTON GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OUTSTANDING SENIOR AWARD: Awards and scholarships funded by the Houston Geological Society given to just seven universities in Texas.
  • HOUSTON GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY SCHOLARSHIP:  Award recipients are determined by a faculty committee during the Spring semester.
  • SHAGS Award: $500 per year, awarded to two students, junior or senior status, Geology majors, minimum GPA of 3.0, faculty recommendations required.

Geography

GEOG 1321. People, Place and the Envrnmt. 3 Hours.

The basic concepts of meteorology and climatology are introduced. Atmospheric temperature, pressure, winds, moisture, and air masses and storms are systematically covered, followed by an overview of the major climates and ecosystems of the earth. Environmental problems related to weather, climate, and ecosystems are considered throughout.

GEOG 1401. Weather and Climate. 4 Hours.

The basic concepts of meteorology and climatology are introduced. Atmospheric temperature, pressure, winds, moisture, and air masses and storms are systematically covered, followed by an overview of the major climates and ecosystems of the earth. Environmental problems related to weather, climate, and ecosystems are considered throughout. The lab portion of weather and climate is an activity-related treatment of the basic components of meteorology and climatology. Specific topics covered are similar to the lecture.

GEOG 2320. Sustainability and Environment. 3 Hours.

In this course, students will investigate and assess the impacts that human activity can have on the environment and will seek to identify innovative, cross-disciplinary solutions to many of the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Given that Sustainability Science involves making decisions and taking actions that are in the interest of protecting the natural world, course topics will include current sustainability issues related to population growth, agriculture, natural resources, energy usage, habitat degradation and ecological economics. This course will typically be offered every other fall semster.
Prerequisite: BIOL 1401.

GEOG 2341. Physical Geography. 3 Hours.

n this course, students examine the basic physical and biological systems of planet Earth, including the atmosphere, oceans, landforms, soils, and ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on understanding the distribution, scale, and dynamic inter-relationships and processes which shape the physical and biological landscape, as well as the ways in which humans alter the environment and are, in turn, affected by the environment.

GEOG 2355. World Reg Geo-Eur Asia Aust. 3 Hours.

An introductory level course giving a general overview of the land and people. Topics discussed will include the physical environment, cultural characteristics and the various ways people live and make their living. Attention will be focused upon the relationships which exist between location, the physical environment and human activity. Examples of countries covered are Russia, Germany, France, China, Japan, and United Kingdom.

GEOG 2356. Reg Geo-Lat Am Africa So Asia. 3 Hours.

An introductory level course giving a general overview of the land and people. Topics discussed will include the physical environment, cultural characteristics and the various ways people live and make their living. Attention will be focused upon the relationships which exist between location, the physical environment and human activity. Examples of countries covered are Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Republic of South Africa, Israel, Iran, and India.

GEOG 2364. Geo-Spatial Technology. 3 Hours.

An introduction to technologies, such as geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS), that are used to map and study the Earth. The emphasis is on the application of these technologies in areas of environmental and natural resources management, business and marketing, and law enforcement and national security.

GEOG 2464. Intro to Geographic Info Sys. 4 Hours.

This course will introduce basics of geographic information systems (GIS) with an emphasis on environmental and resource management applications. Students will design and develop a digital spatial database, perform spatial analyses, create hardcopy maps, and generate reports. Students will be introduced to several GIS software packages. This course does incorporate a laboratory component.

GEOG 3301. Environmental Geography. 3 Hours.

Environmental Geography is a study of the spatial dimensions of the interaction between humans and their physical environment. Key principles of how the earth and the earth's ecosystems work, how they are interconnected, and how humans use and impact these natural resource systems will be introduced.

GEOG 3310. Sustainable Development. 3 Hours.

Sustainable development is both a fundamental concept used to understand the modern world and a tool to address global issues. In this course, students examine this concept using the framework of geography and a global perspective. The course focuses on the intersections of environment and society, including environmental, economic, and social barriers to development, environmental and social impacts of development, and the role of environmental sustainability in achieving global development goals.
Prerequisite: GEOG 1321 or GEOG 2355 or GEOG 2356.

GEOG 3350. Cultural Geography. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the concept of culture from a spatial or geographical perspective, examining culture as it relates to the geographic landscape. Topics include the spatial dynamics of language, religion, race, ethnicity, music, sport, folk and popular cultures, and the built environment. The course also provides an examination of symbolic landscapes, contested spaces, subaltern geographies, representations of place in film and literature, gendered spaces, and place-situated identities.

GEOG 3352. Tourism Geography. 3 Hours.

Provides an introduction to the geography of tourism. Topics include the historical development of travel and tourism, place promotion, location of tourism destinations, geographic resources of tourism, and the physical and social outcomes of tourism.
Prerequisite: GEOG 1321 or GEOG 2355 or GEOG 2356.

GEOG 3358. Historcl Geog Of United States. 3 Hours.

A survey of the changing geography of the United States including initial exploration, European perception of North America, geographical expansion of the United States to the Pacific, and geographical factors underlying the urbanization and industrialization of the nation.

GEOG 3359. Regional Geography:Us & Canada. 3 Hours.

This course provides a general overview of the land and people of the United States and Canada. Topics covered include the physical environment (weather patterns, landforms and water resources), cultural differences, and the various ways people live and make their living. Attention is focused upon the relationships which exist between location, the physical environment and human activity. This course is available on-line and via traditional classroom delivery.

GEOG 3362. Map Use & Map Interpretation. 3 Hours.

This course teaches students how to use and interpret topographic maps and helps them to develop an appreciation of their use as tools by geographers. It familiarizes students with map projections and their limitations, various coordinate systems, map measurements, GPS, and the basics of air photo interpretation.

GEOG 3363. Computer Cartography. 3 Hours.

Fundamentals of thematic mapping, including appropriate usage, projections, base-map compilation, data measurement and analysis, map design and construction, color principles, and other cartographic concepts will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: GEOG 2464.

GEOG 4075. Readings in Geography. 1-3 Hours.

A course designed specifically for advanced students of geography who are capable of independent study. Registration is permitted only upon approval of the program coordinator. This course may be taken for Academic Distinction credit. See Academic Distinction Program in this catalog. Variable Credit (1-3).

GEOG 4331. Conservatn Of Naturl Resources. 3 Hours.

This course stresses the impact of human activities on the natural world, environmental protection, and the wise use of the earth’s resources. Topics include: environmental history, economics, law and ethics, ecology, population issues, agriculture and grazing, soil conservation, forestry, endangered and exotic species, water availability and water pollution, hazardous and solid waste management, air pollution (including global warming), energy resources (fossil, nuclear, and renewable), and the impact of technology on the future health of the planet.

GEOG 4333. Field Studies. 3 Hours.

Use of geospatial technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), laser surveying, digital aerial photography and computerized mapping (GIS) will be stressed. Applications of these technologies will include surveying, water resources, forestry, soil science, wetlands delineation, urban and transportation planning, automobile accident reconstruction and crime scene evidence recovery. Half of the class meetings will take place at a variety of outdoor locations.

GEOG 4351. Economic Geography. 3 Hours.

An examination of the importance of location to human activity. The locational characteristics of primary, secondary, and tertiary economic activities are examined, with an emphasis on land use and urban form, its theory, and descriptive analysis, as well as an explanation of market forces and their consequences. Writing enhanced.

GEOG 4356. Urban Geography. 3 Hours.

This course will introduce the scope and nature of urban areas from a geographical or spatial perspective. The course will focus on the spatial structure of urban areas and will examine the geography of cities using an urban systems approach. Emphasis will be placed on the North American city and its problems: land use, transportation, political fragmentation, physical environment, demographic and social change, economic dynamics, residential patterns, urban culture, poverty, etc. Trends in urbanization in both developed and developing worlds will be discussed. Writing enhanced. Prerequisite: GEOG 1321 or GEOG 2355 or GEOG 2356.

GEOG 4357. Population Geography. 3 Hours.

Population geography examines spatial patterns and processes influencing the distribution, density, composition, and growth in human populations. The course will focus on migration, and to a lesser extent on fertility and mortality together with socio-economic, political, and environmental causes and consequences of population dynamics that vary between regions and over time. Writing enhanced.
Prerequisite: GEOG 1321 or GEOG 2355 or GEOG 2356.

GEOG 4358. Geography Of Texas. 3 Hours.

A survey of the regional geography of Texas. Consideration is given to the significance of primary and secondary activity within the state, urbanization, and potential for development.

GEOG 4359. Transportation Geography. 3 Hours.

This course introduces the concepts, theories, and methods of transportation geography. It covers transportation infrastructure, modes of terminals, transportation economics, urban transportation, logistics, and transportation planning. In addition, this course covers various analytical techniques applied in transportation analysis, such as network analysis, gravity models, location-allocation modeling, and geographic information systems in transportation studies.
Prerequisite: GEOG 1321 or permission of instructor.

GEOG 4360. Cultural Field Study. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on a number of topics and concepts that fall within the sub-discipline of cultural geography. Students engage in place-based learning, with the primary emphasis being a field experience that directly exposes students to processes and concepts introduced and discussed in the classroom. These include migration, urbanization, economic transformations, demographic change, social and technological change, racial segregation, civil rights, heritage tourism and other topics. Writing enhanced.
Prerequisite:6 GEOG advanced hours or permission of Instructor.

GEOG 4361. Geographic Information Systems for Public Health. 3 Hours.

This course covers the theory and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for public health. It includes an overview of the principles of GIS in public health and practical experience in its use. In addition, it covers the application of GIS mapping and analyzing the geographic distribution of populations at risk and health outcomes. The practical component involves the use of desktop GIS software packages.
Prerequisite: GEOG 2464 or HLTH 3350 or HLTH 3360.

GEOG 4365. Applied Geographic Info Systms. 3 Hours.

Applied GIS is designed to meet the needs for a highly applied course with realistic practical training extending the fundamental principles learned in Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 2464). The application of GIS technology to mapping, modeling and management of large data bases will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: GEOG 2464.

GEOG 4432. Geomorphology. 4 Hours.

This course focuses on surficial geological processes and the resulting landforms. Specific topics include landscape processes associated with streams, glaciers, wind, coasts, mass wasting, weathering and soil development, and geologic structure. Labs emphasize landform analysis through interpretation of topographic maps and aerial photos. Two-hour laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303.

GEOG 4468. Remote Sensing. 4 Hours.

This course introduces students to the methods used to analyze and interpret aerial photography and satellite imagery. Emphasis is placed on multispectral satellite imagery, digital image processing, and land use and land cover analysis using remotely sensed imagery. Lab included.

Geology

GEOL 1403. Physical Geology. 4 Hours.

An introduction to the materials, processes, and structure of the earth. Topics include earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, mountain building, weathering and erosion, glaciation, oceans, and mineral resources. The laboratory taken concurrently with the lecture includes experiences that involve the study of rocks, minerals, and map interpretations. Fall, Spring, Summer.

GEOL 1404. Historical Geology. 4 Hours.

An introduction to the history of the earth and its past inhabitants, including a section on the dinosaurs and their extinction. This course gives a broad overview of the tectonic evolution of the planet, indicated by various major mountain-building events; ancient environments and changing sea levels recorded in sedimentary deposits; and the evolution of life represented by the fossil record. The laboratory taken concurrently with the lecture includes the study of common animal and plant fossils and problems which illustrate practical applications of geological principles. Fall, Spring, Summer.

GEOL 1405. Geologic Hazards & Resources. 4 Hours.

AAn introduction to the interrelationship between humans and the geologic environment. This includes the potential hazards posed by geologic processes, and the planning that needs to be done to lessen their impact. Earth materials and their uses by humans are also emphasized. The laboratory taken concurrently with the lecture includes map and air photo interpretation, analysis of remote sensing data, and study of economically important earth materials. Field trips and take-home computer exercises are also required. Fall, Spring, Summer.

GEOL 1436. Foundations Of Science. 4 Hours.

The course focuses on the nature of science as a reliable method of acquiring knowledge about the natural world. Students will learn how to apply key scientific facts, concepts, laws and theories to distinguish science from non-science, bad science, and psedudoscience by analyzing a variety of claims and case studies. By employing an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to science education, this course is designed to increase science literacy and critical thinking skills for introductory-level science students. Students must enroll concurrently in the corresponding lab for this course.

GEOL 3301. Field Methods. 3 Hours.

This course provides experience with common field techniques used in geologic mapping and geologic investigations. It emphasizes techniques and skills used for systematic field observations and data collection for construction of stratigraphic columns, structural cross-sections, and the development of geologic maps. The course has a mandatory two-week field component.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1304/GEOL 1104 or GEOL 1404 and GEOL 1303/GEOL 1103 or GEOL1403 or GEOL 1305/GEOL 1105 or GEOL 1405.

GEOL 3326. Environmental Geology. 3 Hours.

This course offers an introduction to geological processes and materials, and how they affect people and the environment. Specific topics include earthquakes, volcanism, mass wasting, floods, coastal hazards, and climatic change. Optional topics may include such items as energy and water resources, subsidence, and waste disposal. Even year, Fall.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103.

GEOL 3330. Oceanography. 3 Hours.

A survey of the general principles of oceanography is made. The geology of ocean basins, tide-water processes and the chemistry of sea water are studied. Biophysics of the sea and environmental problems are considered. Spring, Summer I.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103.

GEOL 3332. Forensic Geology. 3 Hours.

The course covers many of the basic geological principles and techniques used in solving crime. A significant part of the course will involve case studies as well as hands-on field and laboratory analyses. Even year Fall.
Prerequisite: GEL132/112 or GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103 plus CHEM 1311, CHEM 1111, CHEM 1312, CHEM 1112, and MATH 1316.

GEOL 3404. Mineralogy. 4 Hours.

This course covers crystallography, genesis of minerals, identification and classification of minerals, and optical mineralogy. Includes lab work. Odd year, Fall.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303/GEOL 1103 or GEOL 1403 or GEOL 1305/GEOL1105 or GEOL 1405 and GEOL 1304/GEOL 1104 or GEOL 1404 and CHEM 1311/CHEM 1111 or CHEM 1411 and CHEM 1312/CHEM 1112 or CHEM 1412 and MATH 1316 or MATH 1410.

GEOL 3405. Petrology. 4 Hours.

The classification, origin, occurrence and associations of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Includes optical petrology using thin sections. Spring.
Prerequisite: GEOL 3404.

GEOL 3415. Paleontology of Invertebrates. 4 Hours.

The focus of this course will be the fundamental concepts, principles, and methods involved in deciphering the origin, development, and extinction of past life as revealed through the study of invertebrate fossils.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1404.

GEOL 4095. Special Topics in Geology. 1-3 Hours.

Individual study in special areas of geology. Topic content will usually be selected and agreed upon by the student and a member of the Geology faculty. Sometimes special topics courses will be offered by the Geology faculty. This course may be taken for Academic Distinction credit. See Academic Distinction Program in this catalog. Fall, Spring, Summer. Variable Credit (1-3). May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites and credit will be determined by the faculty member.

GEOL 4304. Geochemistry. 3 Hours.

A general introduction to all types of geochemistry that includes a discussion of the underlying chemical concepts, with an emphasis on the applications to geological environments. The chemical concepts include isotopic chemistry, thermodynamics, crystal chemistry, and aqueous solutions. The geological metasomatism, geothermobarometry, and environmental geochemistry. Even year Fall.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1305, GEOL 1105 or GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103 plus CHEM 1311, CHEM 1111.

GEOL 4312. Economic Geology. 3 Hours.

This course is concerned with the origin and occurrence of economically important minerals. A portion of the course is devoted to petroleum. W Odd year Spring.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1403 or GEOL 1405 plus GEOL 1404.

GEOL 4320. Petroleum Geology. 3 Hours.

This course reviews the origin and development of petroleum and natural gas deposits, and surveys the various tools used to prospect for commercial deposits of oil and natural gas.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1304, GEOL 1104 and GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103 or GEOL 1305, GEOL 1105.

GEOL 4331. Geology Of North America. 3 Hours.

A study of the geologic history of the continent of North America. Topics include paleogeography, major depositional areas and stratigraphic units, and paleotectonics. Even year Spring.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303/GEOL 1103 or GEOL 1403 or GEOL 1305/1105 or GEOL 1405 and GEOL 1304/GEOL 1104 or GEOL 1404.

GEOL 4337. Plate Tectonics. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the movement of lithospheric plates. Topics to be covered include earthquakes, volcanism, seismic tomography, the evolution of continents and ocean basins, and the influence of the earth’s interior on these processes. Lecture only. Odd year Fall.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303/1103 or GEOL 1403 or GEOL 1305/1105 or GEOL 1405 and GEOL 1304/1104 or GEOL 1404.

GEOL 4360. Field Geology. 3 Hours.

These courses will consist of on-site studies in structure, stratigraphy, petrology and paleontology. Field trips will be taken to appropriate areas in Texas and/or surrounding states. Writing enhanced. T
Prerequisite: Senior standing.

GEOL 4361. Field Geology. 3 Hours.

These courses will consist of on-site studies in structure, stratigraphy, petrology and paleontology. Field trips will be taken to appropriate areas in Texas and/or surrounding states. Writing enhanced. T
Prerequisite: Senior standing.

GEOL 4400. Stratigraphy And Sedimentation. 4 Hours.

A study of the principles and methods used in describing, classifying and correlating strata. Includes studies of modern and ancient depositional environments. Lab/field work included. Odd year Spring.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1304/GEOL 1104 or GEOL 1404 and GEOL 1303/GEOL 1103 or GEOL 1403 or GEOL 1305/GEOL 1105 or GEOL 1405.

GEOL 4402. Structural Geology. 4 Hours.

This course covers the principles of deformation of the Earth’s lithosphere, with emphasis on mechanical principles, identification and interpretation of structures from the microscopic scale to the scale of mountain belts. Other topics include regional tectonics and application in petroleum exploration. Lab work will focus on graphical and quantitative techniques of analyzing geologic structures. Odd year Spring.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103, PHYS 1301, PHYS 1102, MATH 1316.

GEOL 4413. Methods In Applied Geophysics. 4 Hours.

Applied Geophysics involves measurements made on the surface of the Earth that are interpreted to yield the distribution of subsurface properties, particularly those having economic and engineering importance. This course provides an introduction to the latest methods used to map the distribution of physical properties beneath the surface of the Earth, and is widely recommended for students who plan to pursue careers that directly or indirectly involve subsurface imaging and analysis. Odd year Fall.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1305, GEOL 1105 or GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103, MATH 1420, PHYS 1301, PHYS 1101, PHYS 1302, PHYS 1102, or by permission of instructor.

GEOL 4414. Sea Level Chng & Geolgl Record. 4 Hours.

This course will examine the various modern causes of relative and absolute sea level change. The course also will involve the analysis of ancient geological sedimentary and stratigraphic records from the perspective of what they reveal about rates and scales of sea level change in the past, as well as implications for the future. Sequence stratigraphic concepts (commonly used in the petroleum industry) will be critically examined via field-based, and paper and core-based studies. Even year Spring.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1305, GEOL 1105 or GEOL 1303, GEOL1103 and GEOL 1304, or permission of instructor.

GEOL 4426. Hydrogeology. 4 Hours.

An introduction to the study of groundwater and its role in the hydrologic cycle. Topics include properties and distribution of water on the surface, in the vadose zone and in aquifers; behavior, modeling, and geology of groundwater aquifers; human use and abuse of water resources, including groundwater contamination and extraction; and water law economics, and aquatic ecology. A lab with field trips will focus on measurement and modeling of groundwater.
Prerequisite: GEOL 1303, GEOL 1103, MATH 1316.

Chair: Brian Jay Cooper

Gary D Acton, PHD, Associate Professor of Geology, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Northwestern University; MS, Univ of Arizona; BS, Indiana University

Samuel Adu-Prah, PHD, Assistant Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Southern Illinois U-Carbondale; MSED, Alcorn State University; MPHIL, University of Cambridge; BA, University of Ghana

Donald P. Albert, PHD, Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Univ of N Carolina-Chapel Hill; MA, Appalachian State University; BS, Salem State College

Brian Jay Cooper, PHD, Associate Professor & Prog Coordinator of Geology & Acting Chair, Dept GEO-GEL, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Virginia PolytechnicState U; MS, Virginia PolytechnicState U; BA, Univ of Calif-Santa Barbara

Ben Marcus Gillespie, PHD, Associate Professor of Geography; Associate Dean, College of Sciences, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Texas AM University; MA, Univ of Wyoming; BS, Sam Houston State University; BS, Sam Houston State University

Gang Gong, PHD, Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Boston University; MA, Boston University; BS, Peking University

Ross Joseph Guida, PHD, Assistant Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Southern Illinois U-Carbondale; MS, Univ of Nevada-Las Vegas; BA, Univ of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

John P Harris, PHD, Assistant Professor of Geology, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Texas AM University; MS, Univ of Arkansas-Fayetteville; BS, Univ of Arkansas-Fayetteville

Joseph C Hill, PHD, Associate Professor of Geology, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Univ of Missouri-Columbia; MS, Univ of Tennessee-Knoxville; BS, Univ of Tennessee-Knoxville

Mark R Leipnik, PHD, Professor of Geography and Geology, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Univ of Calif-Santa Barbara; MBA, Rice University; BA, Univ of Calif-Santa Barbara; BA, Univ of Calif-Santa Barbara

Falguni Shyamal Mukherjee, PHD, Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; MS, Univ of Texas At Dallas; BE, Birla Institute of Tech Sci

Velvet A Nelson, PHD, Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Kent State University; MA, East Carolina Univ; BSBA, West Liberty State College

John B Strait, PHD, Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Univ of Georgia; MA, Georgia State University; BA, Wittenberg University

Jonathan Boyd Sumrall, PHD, Assistant Professor of Geology, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Mississippi State University; MS, Univ of South Florida; BS, Mississippi State University

James W. Tiller, PHD, Professor of Geography, Department of Geography-Geology, PHD, Univ of Oklahoma-Norman; MA, Univ of Oklahoma-Norman; MED, Univ of North Texas; BS, Univ of North Texas

Interim Faculty