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Course Descriptions

 

GEL 1010 – Physical Geology

Credits: 4

Description: This course introduces the basic theories, concepts, and assumptions used in geology, utilizing both lecture and laboratory components. It includes earth’s internal systems from core to crust, as well as the dynamics of the lithosphere with its processes, products, and effects on the environment. Students will learn to identify common rocks and minerals.

Field Trips: A field trip is required.

General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences

GEL 1020 – Geology of Colorado

Credits: 3

Description: This science course focuses on the State of Colorado to introduce basic concepts, principles, theories, and assumptions in geology. The course covers Colorado’s major geological provinces and landforms; common minerals, rocks, and fossils; geologic processes; geologic resources and hazards; and important events in Colorado’s geologic history.

Field Trips: One field trip is required.

General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences

GEL 1030 – Historical Geology

Credits: 4

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010 or Permission of the Instructor

Description:
This course presents the origin and history of the Earth as well as the evolution of its life, based on the rock and fossil record. The course also reviews the changing geography of the Earth through geologic time, emphasizing the theory of plate tectonics. A field trip is required.

Field Trips: A field trip is required.

GEL 1510 – Geology of Red Rocks Park and Vicinity

Credits: 1

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010 recommended

Description: This course examines the geology of Red Rocks Park and vicinity, including rocks formed over a period of approximately 1.7 billion years. Along with basic concepts of geology, the formations exposed along the Front Range, including their ages, rock types, origins, and economic products, are examined within a concept of geologic history. The geologic history includes Colorado’s famous “disappearing” mountain range (the Ancestral Rocky Mountains), evidence of ancient oceans and deserts, dinosaur bones and tracks and the uplift of the modern-day Rocky Mountains.

Note: Students may not receive credit for both GEL 1510 and GEL 1520. Students cannot enroll in both GEL 1510 and GEL 3510 for credit at the same time.

General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences

GEL 1520 – Garden of the Gods-Front Range Geology

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010 recommended

Description: This course examines the geology along the Front Range from Boulder to Colorado Springs through rock exposures covering a span of approximately 1.7 billion years. Basic concepts of geology are applied to the formations exposed along the Front Range. These formations are examined with respect to age, rock type, origin, and economic products. The geologic history includes Colorado’s famous “disappearing” mountain range (the Ancestral Rocky Mountains), evidence of ancient oceans and deserts, dinosaur bones and tracks, and the uplift of the modern-day Rocky Mountains.

Note: Students may not receive credit for both GEL 1510 and GEL 1520. Students cannot enroll in both GEL 1520 and GEL 3520 for credit at the same time.

General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences

GEL 1530 – Geology of the Colorado Plateau

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): None; GEL 1010, GEL 1510, GEL 1520 and/or GEL 1560 are recommended

Description: This course examines the geology of the eastern Colorado Plateau, including the geology of the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, and Southern Canyon lands National Parks. Along with basic concepts of geology, the formations exposed in the eastern Colorado Plateau, including their ages, rock types and origins, are examined. Historical geology and geomorphology come to life in this beautiful, desolate, arid country. Students must be in good physical condition because strenuous hiking is involved, and students must have prior camping experience.

Note: Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1530 and GEL 3530 for credit.

GEL 1550 – Geology of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010 recommended

Description: This course emphasizes the processes and landforms associated with the eolian (wind) and desert environments at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, located in the San Luis Valley between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Investigations of the dune fields allow students to identify various types of dunes, as well as damage related to desertification. The relationships of sand source areas, cross-bedding, and transport directions are investigated.

Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1550 and GEL 3550 for credit.

GEL 3420 – Soil Resources

Credits: 4

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 and completion of General Studies

Description: This course analyzes the materials and processes that combine to produce various soil types. Soil types are examined in relationship to climate, landforms, vegetation, and geology, as well as in relation to land-use patterns.

Field Trips: Required field trips investigate soil-mapping techniques

GEL 3510 – Advanced Geology of Red Rocks Park and Vicinity

Credits: 1

Prerequisite(s): Nine hours of geography or geology or permission of instructor

Description: This course requires an analytical approach to the geology of Red Rocks Park and vicinity, including rocks formed over a period of approximately two billion years. The geologic history includes Colorado’s famous “disappearing” mountain range (the Ancestral Rocky Mountains), evidence of ancient oceans and deserts, dinosaur bones and tracks, and the uplift of the modern-day Rocky Mountains.

Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1510 and GEL 3510 for credit.

GEL 3520 – Advanced Garden of the Gods-Front Range Geology

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): Nine hours of geography or geology or permission of instructor

Description: This course requires an analytical approach to the geology along the Front Range from Boulder to Colorado Springs through rock exposures covering a span of approximately two billion years. Along with basic concepts of geology, the formations exposed along the Front Range, including their age, rock types, origins and economic products, are analyzed within a context of geologic history.

Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1520 and GEL 3520 for credit.

GEL 3530 – Advanced Geology of the Colorado Plateau Field Course: Variable Topics

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010, at least one prior lower-division field course (e.g., GEL 1510, GEL 1520, GEL 1530, GEL 2530) or permission of instructor

Description: This advanced field course requires an analytical approach to the geology of the Colorado Plateau and surrounding areas. Variable topics include a variety of geological destinations, such as, but not limited to, the Colorado National Monument, Dead Horse Point State Park, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park and Utah’s Basin and Range province, Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Along with basic concepts of geology, the formations exposed in the Colorado Plateau, including their ages, rock types, and origins are analyzed. Historical geology, geomorphology, stratigraphy, geological structures and field geology come to life in this beautiful, desolate, arid country. Students must be in good physical condition because strenuous hiking is involved. Prior field and camping experience is also recommended.

Note: Students cannot enroll concurrently in GEL 3530 and GEL 1530 during the same semester.

Field Trips: Additional field trip fees for transportation, food, lodging, etc. are required.

GEL 3550 – Advanced Geology of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): Nine hours of geography or geology or Permission of instructor

Description: This course analyzes the processes and landforms associated with the eolian (wind) and desert environments at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, located in the San Luis Valley between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Analysis of the dune fields allows students to identify various type of dunes, as well as damage related to desertification. The relationships of sand source areas, cross-bedding and transport directions are analyzed.

Note: Students cannot take both GEL 1550 and GEL 3550 for credit.

GEL 3920 – Directed Study in Geology

Credits: 2-6

Prerequisite(s): Fifteen hours in geology; Permission of instructor and department chair

Description: This course provides an opportunity for upper-division students with a strong background in geology to pursue study in a specific topic of interest and value. The course requires permission of the instructor and chair of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department and frequent meetings between student and instructor.

GEL 4250 – Hydrogeology (Groundwater)

Credits: 4

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010, CHE 1800, MTH 1110

Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEL 3420

Description: This course is a practical approach to the study of groundwater with emphasis on water quality, underground flow, pumping, and infiltration/recharge principles in relationship to the geologic environment. The course includes practical methods of laboratory water quality testing, groundwater flow analysis and experimentation, as well as septic system design and evaluation. Since mathematical models are involved, familiarity with graphing and algebraic operations is of essence. A foundational knowledge in geology is prerequisite.

Field Trips: Self-guided group fieldtrips are required for this course.

GEL 4400 – Applied Field Volcanology

Credits: 5

Prerequisite(s): GEL 3050

Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEL 4050

Description: This hybrid field and lecture course explores volcanic activity both past and present. Eruptive mechanisms, lithology, geomorphology, environmental and economic impacts as well as geologic hazards are discussed. Hands-on field work applying theoretical knowledge to the active study of volcanic geology, associated petrology, and eruptive geohazard assessment by visiting several active volcanoes is an integral part of the course. Additional trip fees apply.

GEL 4450 – Sedimentary Geology and Stratigraphy

Credits: 4

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1030, GEL 3050, and MTH 1120 or MTH 1400

Description: This course focuses on geologic concepts, principles, theories, and techniques for investigating how sedimentary rocks and strata develop and change through space and time. Within this framework, the course covers the origin and transport of sediment; physical properties and classification of sedimentary rocks; sedimentary diagenesis; depositional environments; depositional basins; stratigraphic classification systems; and field techniques for sedimentary geology and stratigraphy. Field trips are required.

GEL 4460 – Structural Geology and Mapping

Credits: 4

Prerequisite(s): GEL 4450

Description: This course focuses on concepts, principles, theories, and techniques to investigate the development and spatial orientation of geologic structures such as folds and faults, as well as the mapping of geologic structures. Field trips are required.

GEL 4950 – Internship in Geology

Credits: 2-15

Prerequisite(s): Land Use major with upper division standing plus 12 upper division hours of earth science courses and Permission of the chair of the earth and atmospheric sciences department

Description: This course provides an on-the-job internship experience with a land-use-related company or agency. The experience must be done under qualified supervision and under the direction of an Earth and Atmospheric Sciences faculty member.

GEL 4970 – Undergraduate Research in Geology

Credits: 4

Prerequisite(s): MTH 1210, GEL 3050, senior standing

Description: This course is a senior-level capstone course for geoscience majors that focuses on independent research to investigate a selected geological problem involving field and/or laboratory observations. Preparation of a paper or poster suitable for professional presentation is required.

University Requirement(s): Senior Experience

 

Updated 9/17/17.  For the most recent course descriptions and offerings, please search the undergraduate catalog for GEL.


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