Contact Us
Department of Geology
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: (610) 526-7392
Fax: (610) 526-5086

Geology Courses
and the Geology Major

Read the Geology Major/Minor Requirements online, or download a printable .pdf file of Geology info from the 2009-10 College catalog, including information on the Geoarchaeology and Geochemistry concentrations in Geology.

For information on the Environmental Studies curriculum c onnect to Environmental Studies @ Bryn Mawr online, or download a printable .pdf copy of the ES concentration guidelines.

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's master calendar.

Fall 2014

COURSE TITLE SCHEDULE/
UNITS
MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS LOCATION INSTRUCTOR(S)
GEOL B101-001 How the Earth Works Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Thomas Hall 110 Elkins,L., Weil,A.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM T Park 100
GEOL B101-002 How the Earth Works Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Thomas Hall 110 Elkins,L., Weil,A.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Park 100
GEOL B101-003 How the Earth Works Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Thomas Hall 110 Elkins,L., Weil,A.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TH Park 100
GEOL B125-001 Focus: Geology in Film First Half / 0.5 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 25 Marenco,P.
GEOL B202-001 Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 200 Elkins,L.
Laboratory: 1:20 PM- 4:00 PM M Park 200
GEOL B203-001 Invertebrate Paleobiology Semester / 1 Lab/Lec: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TTH Park 259 Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TTH Park 300
GEOL B299-001 Geology Field Short Course Semester / 0.5
GEOL B314-001 Marine Geology Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW Park 259 Barber,D.
GEOL B350-001 Advanced Topics in Geology: Geology of the Appalachia Semester / 1 LEC: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 259 Weil,A.
GEOL B399-001 Senior Capstone Seminar Semester / 0.5 Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM F Park 259 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5 Dept. staff, TBA

Spring 2015

COURSE TITLE SCHEDULE/
UNITS
MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS LOCATION INSTRUCTOR(S)
GEOL B102-001 Earth: Life of a Planet Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 25 Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TH Park 100
GEOL B102-002 Earth: Life of a Planet Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 25 Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM F Park 100
GEOL B103-001 Earth Systems and the Environment Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 25 Barber,D., Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM M Park 100
GEOL B103-002 Earth Systems and the Environment Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 25 Barber,D., Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM T Park 100
GEOL B103-003 Earth Systems and the Environment Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 25 Barber,D., Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Park 100
GEOL B205-001 Sedimentary Materials and Environments Semester / 1 Lab/Lec: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 259 Barber,D.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Park 259
GEOL B236-001 Evolution Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 243 Marenco,P.
GEOL B250-001 Computational Methods in the Sciences Semester / 1 Lab/Lec: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TTH Park 10 Record,S.
GEOL B302-001 Low-Temperature Geochemistry Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM- 2:15 PM TTH Park 259 Marenco,P.
GEOL B399-001 Senior Capstone Seminar Semester / 0.5 Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Park 200 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5 Dept. staff, TBA

Fall 2015

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2014-15 Catalog Data

GEOL B101 How the Earth Works Fall 2014 An introduction to the study of planet Earth--the materials of which it is made, the forces that shape its surface and interior, the relationship of geological processes to people, and the application of geological knowledge to the search for useful materials. Laboratory and fieldwork focus on learning the tools for geological investigations and applying them to the local area and selected areas around the world. Three lectures and one afternoon of laboratory or fieldwork a week. One required one-day field trip on a weekend. Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B102 Earth: Life of a Planet Spring 2015 The history of the Earth from its beginning and the evolution of the living forms that have populated it. Three lectures, one afternoon of laboratory a week. A required two-day (Sat-Sun) field trip is taken in April. Scientific Investigation (SI)

Back to top

GEOL B103 Earth Systems and the Environment Spring 2015 This integrated approach to studying the Earth focuses on interactions among geology, oceanography, and biology. Also discussed are the consequences of population growth, industrial development, and human land use. Two lectures and one afternoon of laboratory or fieldwork per week. A required two-day (Fri.-Sat.) field trip is taken in April. Scientific Investigation (SI) Cross-listed as CITY B103 Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B110 Focus: Exploring Topics in the Earth Sciences
Section 001 (Spring 2014): Exploring Mars
Section 002 (Spring 2014): Molten Rock: The Evolution of Plant Earth Not offered 2014-15 This half-credit Focus course explores engaging topics in the Earth Sciences at a level appropriate for students with no prior coursework in geology. Course content varies. Recent topics include Living with Volcanoes, Origin of Life, Geology in Film, and Earth's Future Climate. Scientific Investigation (SI)

Back to top

GEOL B125 Focus: Geology in Film Fall 2014 This is a half semester Focus course. Geologic processes make for great film storylines, but filmmakers take great liberty with how they depict scientific "facts" and scientists. We will explore how and why filmmakers choose to deviate from science reality. We will study and view one film per week and discuss its issues from a geologist's perspective. Course does not meet an Approach

Back to top

GEOL B202 Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry Fall 2014 The crystal chemistry of representative minerals as well as the relationship between the physical properties of minerals and their structures and chemical compositions. Emphasis is placed on mineral identification and interpretation. The occurrence and petrography of typical mineral associations and rocks is also covered. Lecture three hours, laboratory at least three hours a week. One required field trip on a weekend. Prerequisite: introductory course in geology or chemistry (both recommended). Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI)

Back to top

GEOL B203 Invertebrate Paleobiology Fall 2014 Biology, evolution, ecology, and morphology of the major marine invertebrate fossil groups. Lecture three hours and laboratory three hours a week. A semester-long research project culminating in a scientific manuscript will be based on material collected on a two-day trip to the Tertiary deposits of the Chesapeake Bay. Writing Intensive Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B204 Structural Geology Not offered 2014-15 An introduction to the study of rock deformation in the Earth's lithosphere viewed from all scales - from the mi¬croscopic (atomic scale) to the macroscopic (continental scale). This class focuses on building a foundation of knowledge and understanding that will allow students to broaden their appreciation and understanding of the complexity of the Earth system and the links between geologic structures at all scales and plate tectonics. Three lectures and three hours of laboratory a week, plus weekend field trips. Prerequisites: GEOL 101 and MATH 101. Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)

Back to top

GEOL B205 Sedimentary Materials and Environments Spring 2015 An introduction to sediment transport, depositional processes, and stratigraphic analysis, with emphasis on interpretation of sedimentary sequences and the reconstruction of past environments. Three lectures and one lab a week, plus a weekend field trip. Prerequisite: GEOL 101, 102, 103 or instructor permission. Recommended: GEOL 202 and 203. Course does not meet an Approach

Back to top

GEOL B206 Energy Resources and Sustainability Not offered 2014-15 An examination of issues concerning the supply of energy and raw materials required by humanity. This includes an investigation of the geological framework that determines resource availability, and of the social, economic, and political considerations related to energy production and resource development. Two 90-minute lectures a week. Prerequisite: one year of college science. Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B209 Natural Hazards Not offered 2014-15 A quantitative approach to understanding the earth processes that impact human societies. We consider the past, current, and future hazards presented by geologic processes, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, and hurricanes. The course includes discussion of the social, economic, and policy contexts within which natural geologic processes become hazards. Case studies are drawn from contemporary and ancient societies. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: one semester of college science or permission of instructor. Quantitative Methods (QM) Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Cross-listed as CITY B210 Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B236 Evolution Spring 2015 A lecture/discussion course on the development of evolutionary biology. This course will cover the history of evolutionary theory, population genetics, molecular and developmental evolution, paleontology, and phylogenetic analysis. Lecture three hours a week. Scientific Investigation (SI) Cross-listed as BIOL B236 Cross-listed as ANTH B236 Counts toward Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Back to top

GEOL B250 Computational Methods in the Sciences Spring 2015 A study of how and why modern computation methods are used in scientific inquiry. Students will learn basic principles of simulation-based programming through hands-on exercises. Content will focus on the development of population models, beginning with simple exponential growth and ending with spatially-explicit individual-based simulations. Students will design and implement a final project from their own disciplines. Six hours of combined lecture/lab per week. Writing Attentive Quantitative Methods (QM) Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI) Cross-listed as BIOL B250 Cross-listed as CMSC B250 Counts toward Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Counts toward Environmental Studies Counts toward Neuroscience

Back to top

GEOL B270 Geoarchaeology Not offered 2014-15 Societies in the past depended on our human ancestors' ability to interact with their environment. Geoarchaeology analyzes these interactions by combining archaeological and geological techniques to document human behavior while also reconstructing the past environment. Course meets twice weekly for lecture, discussion of readings and hands on exercises. Prerequisite: one course in anthropology, archaeology or geology. Inquiry into the Past (IP) Scientific Investigation (SI) Cross-listed as ARCH B270 Cross-listed as ANTH B270

Back to top

GEOL B298 Applied Environmental Science Seminar Not offered 2014-15 This project-oriented seminar aims to foster student skills in research, analysis and synthesis of information in the interdisciplinary field of applied environmental science, with a specific focus on renewable energy. Students will conduct research on alternative energy options that could potentially be implemented at Bryn Mawr. Prerequisite: Advanced standing (Junior/Seniors) and co-enrollment in CHEM B206. Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)

Back to top

GEOL B299 Geology Field Short Course Fall 2014 Geology majors choosing to participate in the annual Fall- or Spring-Break Geology Department Field Trip must enroll in GEOL B299. Enrollment in this class does not guarantee a spot on the field trip. Several pre-trip class meetings help maximize student engagement on the trip by providing a forum for discussing the assigned readings. During the week-long field trip, students are exposed to geologic field methods while visiting sites that exemplify different geology from that at sites near campus. Geologic methods introduced include proper field note-taking, mapping and measuring geologic structures, and interpreting geologic history. Culminating work introduces students to geologic illustration and report writing. A passing grade requires full participation and engagement by the student before, during and after the field trip. At least one post-trip meeting is held on campus to synthesize the material covered, and to go over students' final reports. Prerequisites: GEOL B101, B102 or B103; and GEOL B202, B203, B204 or B205. (0.5 units). Scientific Investigation (SI)

Back to top

GEOL B301 High-Temperature Geochemistry Not offered 2014-15 Principles and theory of various aspects of geochemistry in rock systems, focusing on applications of chemistry to the study of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: GEOL B202, CHEM B103 and B104 or consent of the instructor.

Back to top

GEOL B302 Low-Temperature Geochemistry Spring 2015 Stable isotope geochemistry is one of the most important subfields of the Earth sciences for understanding environmental and climatic change. In this course, we will explore stable isotopic fundamentals and applications including a number of important case studies from the recent and deep time dealing with important biotic events in the fossil record and major climate changes. Prerequisites: GEOL 101 or GEOL 102, and at least one semester of chemistry or physics, or professor approval. Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B304 Tectonics Not offered 2014-15 Plate tectonics and continental orogeny are reviewed in light of the geologic record in selected mountain ranges and certain geophysical data. Three hours of lecture and a problem session a week. Prerequisite: GEOL 204 or permission of instructor.

Back to top

GEOL B305 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology Not offered 2014-15 The origin, mode of occurrence, and distribution of igneous and metamorphic rocks. The focus is on the experimental and field evidence for interpreting rock associations and the interplay between igneous and metamorphic rock genesis and tectonics. Three lecture hours weekly. Occasional weekend field trips. Prerequisites: GEOL 202.

Back to top

GEOL B310 Introduction to Geophysics Not offered 2014-15 An overview covering how geophysical observations of the Earth's magnetic field, gravity field, heat flow, radioactivity, and seismic waves provide a means to study plate tectonics. Also covered are the geophysical techniques used in mineral and energy resources exploration, and in the monitoring of groundwater, earthquakes and volcanoes. Three class hours a week.

Back to top

GEOL B314 Marine Geology Fall 2014 An introduction to oceanography, coastal processes, and the geomorphology of temperate and tropical shorelines. Includes an overview of the many parameters, including sea level change, that shape coastal environments. Meets twice weekly for a combination of lecture, discussion and hands-on exercises, including a mandatory multi-day field trip to investigate developed and pristine sections of the Mid-Atlantic US coast. Prerequisite: One 200-level GEOL course OR one GEOL course AND one BIOL course (any level), OR advanced BIOL major standing (junior or senior). Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B328 Analysis of Geospatial Data Using GIS Not offered 2014-15 Analysis of geospatial data, theory, and the practice of geospatial reasoning. Cross-listed as CITY B328 Cross-listed as BIOL B328 Counts toward Environmental Studies

Back to top

GEOL B350 Advanced Topics in Geology
Section 001 (Fall 2013): Carbonate Petrology
Section 001 (Fall 2014): Geology of the Appalachia
Section 001 (Spring 2014): Reefs through Time
Section 002 (Spring 2014): Petrotectonics
Section 002 (Fall 2013): Sea Level Change Fall 2014 This is a topics course. Course content varies. Recent topics include Carbonate Petrology, Appalachian Geology, Advanced Evolution, The Snowball Controversy, and Climate Change.
Current topic description: This seminar style course explores the geologic record of the Appalachian Orogen-from development of the eastern Laurentia Precambrian margin to opening of the Atlantic Ocean and development of the modern physiography. Students delve into the evidence for the opening and closing of several major oceans, and the implications of major tectonic events on the Earth surface system. Readings are from primary literature with student discussion leaders responsible for assigned text.

Back to top

GEOL B399 Senior Capstone Seminar A capstone seminar course required for all Geology majors. All Geology seniors will be required to participate in this two-semester seminar that meets weekly for 1.5 hours for a total of 1.0 credit (0.5 credits per semester). Enrollment required in two half-credit courses, one in the fall and one in the spring semester of the senior year. The focus of the seminar will be to integrate the student's major curriculum into open peer-led discussions on cutting edge research in the many diverse fields of Geology, to discuss the impact and relevance of Geology to modern society, and to work on oral and written communication skills.

Back to top

GEOL B403 Supervised Research At the discretion of the department faculty, rising seniors may undertake an independent thesis project in addition to mandatory full participation in the senior capstone seminar. This student thesis is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor(s). The undertaking of a thesis is modeled after a Master's thesis project, which is scaled down for the different time frame (one year versus two years) and educational level of a senior undergraduate student. The thesis project plan is initially developed, and agreed upon by conference between the supervising faculty member(s) and the student. Most of the research is conducted independently by the student. The advisor serves as a source of ideas concerning scientific literature, methodologies, and financial support. The advisor may visit and inspect the research sites, laboratory or model, and offer advice on how the research should be conducted or modified.

Back to top

GEOL B403 Supervised Research At the discretion of the department faculty, rising seniors may undertake an independent thesis project in addition to mandatory full participation in the senior capstone seminar. This student thesis is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor(s). The undertaking of a thesis is modeled after a Master's thesis project, which is scaled down for the different time frame (one year versus two years) and educational level of a senior undergraduate student. The thesis project plan is initially developed, and agreed upon by conference between the supervising faculty member(s) and the student. Most of the research is conducted independently by the student. The advisor serves as a source of ideas concerning scientific literature, methodologies, and financial support. The advisor may visit and inspect the research sites, laboratory or model, and offer advice on how the research should be conducted or modified.

Back to top

Geology help pages - includes help on library research, writing scientific papers, quantitative problem solving, and computer help
Stay informed - Join the geology and enviro-news e-mail listservers to receive important announcements about your major, notification of up-coming events, and information about summer internships and jobs.
Guidelines for seniors
Top ten reasons to major in geology at Bryn Mawr