Welcome to Geology 103H! You have enrolled in a general education course designed to acquaint you with the fascinating features of the nearly 71% of our home planet covered by water. These are broad themes that reflect the spirit and value of the general education curriculum that is a part of your UMass experience. As citizens of our small world, we would argue that everyone should  take a course like this! With jet service to almost anywhere in the world, financial markets electronically and politically linked for “real time” transactions 24-7, and global populations striving to live as well as we do here in the U.S., it's important for all of us to gain a holistic view of our integrated geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere. At the same time, we want to explore the notion of scientific thinking and analysis. We will discuss how researchers collect data, form ideas, and then test those ideas. We want you to understand the scientific theories that help us understand Earth processes and history. For example, it is clear that the core of the Earth is solid. Why?  No one has ever been there. Hurricane frequency and/or intensity are likely to change in coming years, say climatologists. Why? The Labrador Current moving south along the New England coast is warmer now than it’s been in 70 years. Why? Will this impact the price of fish in the grocery store?  We are rapidly depleting our natural hydrocarbon reservoirs. Can the ocean provide alternate sources of energy? Scientific research can help evaluate the impact of human activity on our home planet and it can have a direct effect on public policy. The latter is also governed in large measure by how global change begins to affect our everyday lives.

 

Basic principles governing the erosion, transport, and deposition of sediments, with applications for understanding both modern sedimentary environments and preserved sedimentary deposits. Prerequisite: one year of geology; introductory calculus course recommended.
In this course, students take advantage of the breadth of their shared experiences in the Geosciences Department from human dimensions to physical sciences, drawing from geography, earth systems science and geology. The platform of the course uses real-world Geoscience problems facing societies and cultures, incorporating the themes of Water, Air, Energy, Climate and Sustainability. Using readings, print and on-line media, students are encouraged to work through the ways in which integration of their diverse educational experiences leads to new levels of understanding. The semester culminates in team-based projects in which students investigate connections between current Geosciences issues, their education in their major and their experience as UMass undergraduates, with structured opportunities for reflection on both their discipline and themselves as life-long scholars. This course satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BS-Earth, BA-Geog, BS-Geog, BA-Geol, and BS-Geol majors, as well as a subset of BS-EnvSci majors. For Seniors and Juniors only.
Systematics in mineralogy, includ-ing crystallography, the physics and chemistry of minerals, the genesis of minerals, and determinative methods in mineralogy. Prerequisite: CHEM 111 (or concurrent enrollment) .
The earth is a dynamic planet, constantly creating oceans and mountain ranges, accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This course explores the ideas that led to the scientific revolution of plate tectonics; how plate tectonics provides a comprehensive theory explaining how and why volcanoes and earthquakes occur; and the hazards that they produce and their impact on humans. Emphasis is placed on current earthquake and volcanic events, as well as on momentous events from the past, such as the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the 79 A.D. eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, and the more recent eruptions of Mount St. Helens (Washington), Pinitubo (Philippines) and Kilauea (Hawaii). (Gen.Ed. PS)
The natural processes of the ocean, including earthquakes and volcanoes, the hydrologic cycle and weather, ocean circulation and the global energy balance, the carbon cycle and productivity, biodi-versity and marine food webs, coastal dynamics. Also, global warming, sea-level rise, environmental degradation and the ocean system response to human activity and global change. Interactive class sessions, with considerable participation by students in problem solving, discussions, and demonstrations. Exams and grades based on teamwork as well as on individual performance. Students needing or wanting a laboratory component may register for GEO-SCI 131. (Gen.Ed. PS)
With lab. Description and analysis of deformation and deformation processes at scales ranging from minerals to mountain belts. Topics include: faults, folds, construction of cross-sections, interpretation of structural fabrics, stress, strain, plate tectonics, New England geology, and the geologic history of North America. Emphasis on three-dimensional visualization of geologic features and practical solutions to structural problems relevant to industry and research. Several short field trips (during lab) and one weekend field trip. Prerequisites: GEO-SCI 201 and 311.