2013-14 Catalogs

Course Descriptions

GEY 100 Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Moving Plates
An introduction to minerals, rocks, and the processes that have continually shaped the earth over hundreds of millions of years of geologic history. The course also explores how the movements of crustal plates generates earthquakes, volcanoes, continental rifting, sea floor spreading, subduction, and continental-scale mountain ranges. For core science course credit, registration in one of the following: GEY 101 or GEY 106 is required; concurrent registration is recommended. Cr. 3.

GEY 101 Laboratory Experiences in Geology
Weekly lab sessions will focus on the basic skills of mineral identification, rock classification, and interpretation of topographic and geologic maps. Field trips to local geologic sites of interest will help illustrate rock types and geologic processes that shape our world. Traditional map, compass, and modern GPS techniques will be utilized. For core science course credit, registration in one of the following: GEY 100, GEY 103, or GEY 105 is required; concurrent registration is recommended Cr 1.

GEY 103 Floods, Glaciers, and Changing Climate
This course focuses on the external processes that shape earth's surface, including rivers, groundwater, glaciers, oceans, climate, and landslides. The course will also examine issues such as flood control, water resources, and climate change, where these external processes have large impacts on society. For core science course credit, registration in one of the following: GEY 101or GEY 106 is required; concurrent registration is recommended. Cr 3.

GEY 105 Ocean Planet
An interdisciplinary look at the science of the ocean, emphasizing connections between land, sea, and atmosphere. Basic concepts in chemistry, geology, physics, and biology are taught as they apply to marine phenomena such as salinity, ocean floor formation, currents, waves, seafloor sediments and rocks, and marine life. Students must have fulfilled the University's minimum proficiency requirements in mathematics. For core science course credit, registration in one of the following: GEY 101 or GEY 106 is required; concurrent registration is recommended. Cr 3.

GEY 106 Ocean Planet Laboratory
Major concepts from GEY 105K are illustrated using hands-on activities. Students perform a variety of tasks designed to promote understanding of scientific methods and data analysis. Classes held in the lab include a range of chemical, physical, and geological exercises. Field trips may involve observing a variety of coastal phenomena including waves, beach formation, rocky shoreline geology, or intertidal zonation. Students must have fulfilled the University's minimum proficiency requirements in mathematics. For core science course credit, registration in one of the following: GEY 100, GEY 103, or GEY 105 is required; concurrent registration is recommended. Cr 1.

GEY 201 Paleogeography and Global Change
This course examines the diversity of the global rock record to emphasize continental, oceanic, and atmospheric origins and changes. Geochronology, geologic time scale, plate tectonics, and magneto- and bio-stratigraphy will be significant topics. Laboratories will emphasize invertebrate fossil groups from the late Precambrian to the Pleistocene. Three hours lecture, three hours lab. The course may require one three-day field trip. Prerequisite: completion of a 100-level geoscience lecture and lab. Cr 4.5

GEY 202 Landscape Evolution and Analysis
Students will consider landscapes and the processes that are responsible for their formation. Emphasis will be on the constructive processes of mountain-building and volcanism and the erosional processes of rivers, glaciers, the sea, and wind. There will be one or two weekend field trips. Two hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: completion of a 100-level geoscience lecture and lab or permission of instructor. Cr 4.

GEY 203 Mineralogy
The course concentrates on the silicate family of minerals, but also examines non-silicate mineral families. Subject areas covered include crystallography, crystal chemistry, and environments of mineral formation. In one lab each week, students will examine crystals and minerals in hand specimens. In a second lab each week, the rudiments of optical crystallography are introduced and students will examine minerals microscopically. Three hours lecture, two labs each two hours in length. Prerequisite: completion of a 100-level geoscience lecture and lab; CHY 113 and CHY 114 are recommended. Cr 5.

GEY 204 Crustal Deformation
The crustal rocks exposed in coastal Maine are examined. Students learn to recognize, describe, and interpret a wide variety of outcrop-scale structures. In weekly field-based labs, students will use Brunton compasses, manual and digital stereonets, outcrop mapping techniques, GPS and clay deformation devices to analyze the local geologic structure and tectonic history. Three hours lecture and four hours lab. Prerequisite: completion of a 100-level geoscience lecture and lab.  Cr 5.

GEY 205 Water Resources: Science and Issues
An introduction to watershed hydrology, including precipitation, evaporation, transpiration, flow in open channels, floods, and subsurface flow. Readings of current domestic and international case studies involving water resource issues are incorporated where appropriate. Prerequisites: PHY 111 or PHY 121. Cr 3.

GEY 207 Atmosphere: Science, Climate, and Change
Students will be introduced to the physical and chemical processes active in the earth's atmosphere. Specific topics include atmospheric circulation, atmospheric chemistry, climate patterns, storms, natural atmospheric change in recent geologic time, human-induced atmospheric change, and atmospheric pollution. Prerequisite: CHY 113 and CHY 114. Cr 3.

GEY 208 Environmental Geology
Examines the effect of geological processes and products on human civilization. Specific topics will include earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, sinkholes, human impact and erosion at the coastal zone, waste disposal, groundwater use and contamination, climate change, energy resources, and mineral resources. Laboratory experiences complement the lecture and will include several field trips to local sites. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Cr 4.

GEY 240 X-Ray Powder Diffraction Laboratory
This is an applications laboratory designed for junior or senior level majors in geosciences, or any discipline that requires the characterization and identification of crystalline solids. Students will develop a working knowledge of elementary crystallography, sample preparation and identification using x-ray diffraction. Projects will utilize a series of increasingly complex materials and mixtures, culminating with a narrowly defined research project. Prerequisite: GEY 203 or concurrent or CHY 113 and CHY 114 or concurrent, or permission of instructor. Cr 1.

GEY 302 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy
Students focus on the processes that produce sediments and the mechanisms by which they are eroded, transported, and deposited. By carefully examining the motifs, models, and characteristics found in the sediment composition, texture, and features in modern-day sedimentary environments, clues can be found to understanding the historical sedimentary record. Three hours lecture, three hours lab. Prerequisite: GEY 202 or permission of instructor. Cr 4.5.

GEY 303 Igneous and Metamorphic Rock Origins
An introduction to the diversity and global distribution of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Students will examine the physical conditions and environments where igneous and metamorphic rocks form. Such environments include mid-ocean ridges, island arcs, convergent margins, and intraplate settings. Topics include: styles of volcanic eruptions, intrusive igneous rocks, regional metamorphism, and metamorphic belts. Labs will cover rock identification, computer exercises, and petrographic microscopy. Three hours lecture, three hours lab. The lab and lecture will occasionally be combined into half or full day field trips. Additionally, one weekend field trip will be offered. Prerequisite: GEY 203. Cr 4.5.

GEY 310 Glacial and Pleistocene Geology
Glacial processes, deposits, and the stratigraphy of the Pleistocene epoch. Emphasis on the erosional and depositional features of glacial events in Maine. One, possibly two, weekend field trips. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: GEY 202 or permission of instructor.  Cr 4.

GEY 340 / GEO 340 Digital Mapping
Students are exposed to the latest digital survey gear and integrated techniques with applications in geosciences, geography, and environmental science. Instrumentation includes both static and real time kinematic GPS (global positioning system) and autolock servo-driven electronic total station. Detailed precision survey data are combined with geo-referenced maps and imagery in GIS software. Six hours lecture/lab. Prerequisites: introductory course in GEY, GEO, or ESP and additional 200-level course in any of the above areas. Cr 4.5.

GEY 360 Field Mapping in the Island Environment: Data Collection to GIS
The coast of Maine provides a unique laboratory for teaching geologic and environmental mapping, data compilation and data management. In this course students are trained and equipped to use kayaks as the platform from which to conduct survey work for the preparation of small-scale high-resolution analytical maps of natural, historical, and archaeological phenomena. Field techniques used include topographic surveying, global positioning system (GPS) operation, and field mapping of geological and geographical features. Minimum impact methods are used throughout. Laboratory techniques used include air-photo interpretation, traditional cartography and geographic information system (GIS) operation. The course culminates in the completion of a portfolio of maps and a GIS database covering the area surveyed. Offered during Summer Session only. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit. Cr 6.

GEY 400 Cooperative Education in Geosciences
Students have opportunities to relate academic knowledge and practical job experience. Arrangements can be made with various agencies, businesses, and industries to employ qualified students. The student's work should be in a field related to geoscience. Approval is on an individual basis, depending on the nature of the job and specific work assignments. Evaluation is typically done through a written report that summarizes the work experience, with input from the employer and a faculty advisor. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing or permission of instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Cr 1-6.

GEY 410 Introduction to Geophysics
Students investigate the mechanics of earth's structure and dynamics, as well as applications of geophysics to resource exploration and environmental investigation. In the context of both plate tectonics and applied geophysics, specific topics include magnetics, seismology (earthquake seismology, seismic refraction, seismic reflection), gravity, and heat flow. Prerequisites: MAT 152 and PHY 121 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

GEY 411 Environmental Geophysics
Students will become familiar with the most common geophysical field methods used in all phases of environmental investigations, including data collection, data processing, report preparation, and public presentation. Field and lab exercises are incorporated to provide hands-on experience in the methods, and to introduce students to common geophysical instrumentation. Prerequisites: GEY 100 and GEY 410. Cr 4.

GEY 420 Groundwater Flow and Quality
A survey of groundwater processes covering the following topics: water balance, basic fluid mechanics, groundwater flow equations, flow to wells, flow in various geologic environments, groundwater quality, and groundwater contamination. Some case studies will be included.Three hours lecture, two hours lab/recitation. Prerequisite: a 100-level GEY lecture course, CHY 113 (may be taken concurrently), MAT 152, and PHY 111 or PHY 121, or permission of instructor.  Cr 4.

GEY 498 Undergraduate Research in Geology
Students have the opportunity to work independently or as research assistants to Geoscience faculty conducting original geologic research. Research may involve analysis of geologic samples or data, field mapping, or literature review. The topic is chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor in the semester prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Cr 1-3.