Baylor University
Department of Geology
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Department of Geology > Academics > Undergraduate Program > Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses



The number of lecture and laboratory hours per week is indicated by numbers in parentheses following course descriptions. Laboratory hours in the upper-level courses are usually assigned after registration and are adjusted to the student's schedule. Prerequisite to all geology courses above the 1000 level is consent of the department. Most 3000 and 4000 level courses will require field trips.

Geology Courses (GEO)

1401 Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters

Survey of the natural disasters afflicting mankind. The course examines the causes and impact upon society of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, subsidence, and floods. One Saturday field trip required. (3-2)

1402 World Oceans

Introduction to oceanography emphasizing human interaction with the oceans: ocean resources, global environmental ethics, and conflicts resulting from ocean exploitation. One Saturday field trip required. (3-2)

1403 Environmental Geology

A study of the interation between people and the geologic environment. Emphasis will be places on catastrophic geologic processes, earth resources, pollution, and regional planning. One Saturday field trip required. (3-2)

1405 Physical Geology

Survey of processes that have shaped the earth, including mountain building, volcanism, deposition of sediments, and landscape development. Plate tectonics integrated all the above into a dynamic theory of the deformation of the earth. One Saturday field trip required. (3-2)

1406 Historical Geology

The history of the earth and its inhabitants with emphasis on the processes and principles by which this history is determined. Field trips, including one Saturday, required. (3-2)

1408 Earth Science

A descriptive survey of the earth sciences, including astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography. One Saturday field trip required. (3-2)

3319 Geophysics

Prerequisites: GEO 1401, 1402, 1403, 1405, or 1408; 1406.

Introduction to the study of the earth by quantitative physical methods, especially by seismic reflection and refraction, gravity, magnetic, electrical, and radiation methods.

3325 Earth Materials

A study of mineral and rock groups, their composition, properties, occurrence, and identification. Field trips and laboratory exercises included. Rock, mineral, and fossil collections are required.

3341 Marine Field Studies

Prerequisites: Four semester hours of geology or biology, and consent of instructor.

Field examination of modern marine environments, including coral reefs, lagoons, deltas, and beaches. Individual research projects emphasize geology or biology of coral reefs. Offered during summer session.

3342 Field Stratigraphy-Sedimentology

Prerequisites: GEO 3327, 3435, or consent of instructor.

Study of sediments and sedimentary rocks in the field. The interpretation of geologic history, based on outcrop investigation. Includes numerous written and oral reports, weekly field trips, and occasional weekend field trips. Recommended for junior year.

3344 Sedimentary Field Studies

Prerequisites: GEO 1401, 1402, 1403, 1405, or 1408; 1406.

Field study of modern sediments and ancient sedimentary rocks. Physical and biological features of modern sedimentary environments are examined to provide the basis for interpreting ancient environments in the rock record. Offered during summer session.

3427 Rocks and Rock-Forming Minerals

Prerequisites: GEO 1405 (or equivalent) and CHE 1302 (or concurrent enrollment).

Mineralogy, chemistry, origin and occurence of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and their constituent minerals. Includes hand specimen and microscopic identification and textural analysis.

3435 Invertebrate Paleontology

Prerequisites: GEO 1406, four semester hours of biology, or consent of instructor.

Introduction to taxonomy, morphology, evolution, paleoecology and stratigraphic aspects of invertebrate fossils. Emphasis on biostratigraphic and trim-stratigraphic concepts, evolutionary trends, speciation, biometrics, facies, faunas, zonation, and correlation. Independent field and lab problems. (3-3)

3445 Structural Geology

Prerequisites: GEO 1401, 1402, 1403, 1405, or 1408; 1406, or consent of instructor.

The structures of the earth's crust; their classification, origin and economic aspects; methods of discovery of structures; solution of structural problems; elementary field methods. Two field trips required. (3-3)

3643 Field Geology

Prerequisites: GEO 3445, 3327, 3342, & consent of instructor.

Field experience in the American West. Includes extended field trip, oral and written reports, rock and mineral identification and interpretation, preparation of sample and slide collections, and design of field problems. Offered in the field in the summer session.

4255 Advanced Seismic Interpretation

Prerequisites: GEO 4458 or consent of instructor.

Modern techniques used to extract geologic information from seismic reflection data. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of real data sets and the construction of subsurface maps and sections.

43C0 Senior Thesis

Prerequisite: Consent of faculty.

Independent research of a problem approved by the staff. Results will be submitted in proper thesis form.

4312 Oceanography

Physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the oceans with special emphasis on the direct and indirect relationships of humans to the oceans. Such topics as mining the sea and its floor, farming the seas, and influence of the oceans on weather are included. Field trips and laboratory exercises. May not be taken for credit if GEO 1402 has been taken.

4313 Astronomy

A brief history of astronomical developments followed by a survey of the dimensions, motions, and interrelationships of bodies in our solar system. Additional emphasis is given to galaxies, stellar evolution, and cosmology. (2-1)

4314 Meteorology

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Composition of the atmosphere, atmospheric processes, weather disturbances, and climate elements and controls. Emphasis is placed on climate classification and measurements of human inputs into the atmosphere.

4325 Economic Mineral Deposits

Prerequisites: GEO 3327 and 3445.

Non-hydrocarbon economic mineral deposits. Origin and migration of ore-bearing fluids; mineralogy and geometry of ore bodies; relations of ore deposits to magmatism and tectonics. Field trip to Central Texas mining district.

4328 Sedimentary Petrology

Prerequisites: GEO 3327 and 3435, or consent of instructor.

Microscopic and field characteristics of sedimentary rocks. Emphasis on interpretation of depositional and diagenetic environments and relationships between geometry of rock bodies and sedimentary processes.

4335 Volcanology

Prerequisite: GEO 3327.

Analysis of volcanic ejecta. Mechanisms of lava and pyroclastic eruptions. Geomorphological analysis of volcanic land forms. History of volcanological studies and case studies of well-known volcanoes. Field trips.

4336 Analytical Techniques in Geochemistry

Prerequisite: GEO 3327.

Principles and practice of X-ray fluorescence and electron probe analysis of geologic materials. Includes extensive laboratory work. (2-2)

4337 Paleoecology

Prerequisites: GEO 3435 or consent of instructor.

Relationship of fossil plants and animals to their physical and biological environment. Examination of principles of paleosynecology and paleoautecology; data gathering, analysis, and techniques of interpretation. (2-2)

4339 Advanced Marine Field Studies

Prerequisite: GEO 3341 or 5333.

Continuation of GEO 3341/5333. Field examination of marine environments. Individual research projects emphasize biology and geology of carbonate depositional regimes.

4340 Geomorphology

Development and modification of land-surface form by atmospheric, fluvial, glacial, mass-wasting, volcanic, and tectonics agents. Emphasis is placed on the spatial aspects of landscape evolution.

4341 Introduction to Hydrology

Prerequisite: GEO 3445 and consent of instructor.

Basic applied techniques in surface and ground water hydrology. Surface water hydrology will incorporate analysis of precipitation records, runoff processes, and calculation of flood hazard. Ground water hydrology will emphasize hydrogeology techniques, including simple models of ground water movement.

4345 Water Management

Interdisciplinary field of water management. Scientific, technical, institutional, economic, legal, and political aspects of water management.

4346 Hydrogeology

Prerequisites: GEO 3342 and 3445.

Hydrogeology (ground water hydrology) for geologists and engineers. Topics to be covered include evaporation and precipitation, soil moisture, principles of ground water flow, regional ground water flow, geology of ground water occurrence, flow to wells, ground water chemistry, and ground water development and management. (2-1)

4348 Geoarchaeology

Concepts and methods of the geosciences applied to solving archaeological problems. Exphasis on stratigraphy, soils, climate, dating techniques, site formation, and site preservation related to both new world and old world archaeology.

4371 Wetlands

Theory and application of the wetland concepts: classification, hydrology, biochemistry, soils, vegetation, construction, regulation, and delineation. Field lab.

4373 Global Soil Systems

Fundamentals of soil genesis, classification, geomorphology, ecosystems, and environmental interpretation. Includes the role of soil biogeochemical cycles in past, current, and future global change issues. Field lab.

4375 Natural Landscape Evaluation and Planning

Recognition of natural features that affect human uses. Evaluation of natural landscapes on a scale from complete preservation to full development. Experience in urban landscapes. Includes one or more Saturday field trips.

4385 Environmental Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems

Prerequisites: GEO 1401, 1402, 1403, 1405, or 1408, and either an introductory physics course or consent of instructor.

Use of remote sensing and geographic information systems techniques in studies of land use, vegetation, water resources, environmental problems, regional geology, and mineral resources. Interpretation of remotely sensed imagery and geocoded data. Use of microcomputers in digital image processing and GIS analysis.

4386 Geologic Remote Sensing

Prerequisite: GEO 4385 or consent of instructor.

Application of remote sensing to a variety of geologic problems with emphasis on geologic interpretation of multiple image data sets.

4387 Applied Geographic Information Systems

Principles and techniques of spatial data collection, handling, analysis, and visualization. Application of geographic information systems technology in land use, ecology, resource management, environmental site evaluation, demographics and marketing, and map-making. Hands-on experience with workstation and microcomputer-based GIS software.

4430 Vertebrate Paleontology

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Evolutionary history and biogeography of vertebrate animals, based primarily on fossil evidence. Laboratory activities include study of fossil material, field excavations, and visits to museums. (3-3)

4457 Geophysical Exploration I

Prerequisites: GEO 3342 and 3445 and consent of instructor.

Exploration geophysics, using gravity, magnetics, heat flow, telluric currents, resistivity, and other methods of remote sensing of hidden geological phenomena exclusive of seismic exploration. Laboratory work will emphasize geological interpretation of geophysical data.

4458 Geophysical Exploration II

Prerequisites: GEO 3342 and 3445 and consent of instructor.

Exploration geophysics, using latest seismic techniques and well-log analyses, with emphasis on petroleum exploration.

4459 Engineering Geology

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Soil and rock mechanics. Analysis of geotechnical problems in the field and lab, report preparation, and computer evaluation of geotechnical problems. (3-4)

4465 Petroleum Geology

Prerequisites: GEO 3342 and 3445.

Origin, migration, and accumulation of petroleum. Exploration methods for hydrocarbons. Survey of worldwide petroleum basins. (2-6)

4656 Geophysical Field Training

Prerequisites: GEO 4457 or 4458 or consent of instructor.

Practice in the efficient, accurate, and cost-effective acquisition of geophysical data in the field. The course will involve field practice with gravimeters, magnetometers, borehole drilling and logging devices, exploration seismic gear, surface electrical prospecting equipment, physical laboratory models, and digital data processing equipment as specific equipment is available from summer to summer. Field work will be conducted on a weekly schedule of at least five half days, with data reduction taking up the remaining time.

4V90 Special Problems in Geology

Individual course in which students solve a geological problem and submit a written report. Staff approval required.


Geography Courses (GEOG)

1300 World Geography

A description survey of the world's major geographic provinces emphasizing the influence of environment and natural resources on human activity.

1310 Cultural Geography

An introductory course in human or cultural geography. Topics inlcude geographical concepts and factors; systematic and regional approaches; geographic tools and techniques, stressing spatial interactions; reciprocal relations between peoples and geographical environments; geographical graphics; major earth regions and their interrelations.

1404 Physical Geography

Geographic and functional relationships within the physical environment: Earth-Sun relationships, weather, climate, soils, vegetation, and landforms. Weekly laboratory included.

2301 Introduction to the Middle East

A regional geographic introduction to the Middle East region. An overview of the physical, cultural, and ethnographic, economic and geopolitical components of the region followed by a more in-depth description of selected political states.

3312 Geography of North America

Regional analysis of physical economic and cultural phenomena in the United States and Canada, with emphasis on Texas.

3330 Economic Geography

A study of the effects on geography and resource availability on the pattern of world land use, population growth and migration, technological change, transportation system development, output growth, capital flows, and tariff policy. Not open to economics majors.

3331 Business Geographics

Application of Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis to solving business problems. Topics covered include software applications, methods, data issues, and problem analysis.

3365 Population Geography

Population patterns, emphasizing fertility, mortality, and migrations in various regions.

3395 Internship in Geography

Prerequisite: Consent of faculty.

Departmental approval and supervised work experience in a geography-related position.

4314 Meteorology

Prerequisite: Upper-level standing or consent of instructor.

Composition of the atmosphere, atmospheric processes, weather disturbances, and climate elements and controls. Emphasis is placed on climate classification and measurements of human inputs into the atmosphere.

4315 Political Geography

Concepts and principles of political geography. Analysis of dynamics of spatial relations and interactions of states. Comparison of main approaches, including geo-politics. Study of state elements, especially territorial integrity and frontiers. Survey and analysis of world political patterns.

4316 Geography for Educators

Prerequisites: Upper-level standing and for School of Education majors only.

Orientation to geography as a scholarly discipline, with emphasis on the National Geography Standards, and the five themes of geography. Course explores instructional methods and materials for teaching geography.

4333 Coastal Zone Management

Strategies for managing flood and storm risk, pollution mitigation, recreational development and fisheries exploitation.

4340 Geomorphology

Development and modification of land-surface form by atmospheric, fluvial, glacial, mass-wasting, volcanic, and tectonics agents. Emphasis is placed on the spatial aspects of landscape evolution.

4350 Field Geography

Prerequisite: Departmental approval.

The field experience of an overseas or domestic geographic problem using accepted geographic research techniques and resulting in an illustrated written report.

4385 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and upper-level standing.

Map properties, map design, remote sensing, GPS, and the growth and development of geographic information. Students will use computers and other tools related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

4386 Remote Sensing

Prerequisite: GEOG 4385 or consent of instructor.

Application of remote sensing to a variety of geologic problems with emphasis on geologic interpretation of multiple image data sets.

4387 Applied Geographic Information Systems

Prerequisite: GEOG 4385 or consent of instructor.

Principles and techniques of spatial date collecion, handling, analysis, and visualization. Application of geographic information systems technology in land use, ecology, resource management, environmental site evaluation, demographics and marketing, and map-making. Hands-on experienc with workstation and ware.

4V90 Special Problems

Prerequisite: Consent of department chair.

For undergraduates who wish to study stpecial topics not available in formal courses within the major. Course may be repearted with a change in content or topic not to exceed six semester hours.