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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Department of Geology and Geophysics

Paul L. Heller, Department Head
122 Geology Building
Phone: (307) 766-3386, FAX: (307) 766-6679
Website: http://geology.uwyo.edu

Professors

CARRICK M. EGGLESTON, A.B. Dartmouth College 1983; Ph.D. Stanford University 1991; Professor of Geology 2006, 1995.
B. RONALD FROST, B.A. University of Virginia 1969; M.S. University of Washington 1971; Ph.D. 1973; Professor of Geology 1989, 1978.
CAROL D. FROST, A.B. Dartmouth College 1979; Ph.D. Cambridge University 1984; Professor of Geology 1995, 1983.
PAUL L. HELLER, B.S. State University of New York 1974; M.S. Western Washington University 1978; Ph.D. University of Arizona 1983; Professor of Geology 1994, 1983.
W. STEVEN HOLBROOK, B.S. Pennsylvania State University 1982; M.S. Stanford University 1985; Ph.D. 1989; Professor of Geology 2003, 1997.
NEIL F. HUMPHREY, B.S. University of British Columbia 1978; M.S. University of Washington 1983; Ph.D. 1987; Professor of Geology 2002, 1990.
BARBARA E. JOHN, B.A. University of California-Berkeley 1978; Ph.D. University of California-Santa Barbara 1987; Professor of Geology 2002, 1992.
SUBHASHIS MALLICK, B.S. Indian Institute of Technology 1976; M.S. 1978; Ph.D. University of Hawaii 1987; Professor of Geology and Geophysics and the School of Energy Resources 2008.
JAMES D. MYERS, B.S. University of Rhode Island 1973; M.A. The Johns Hopkins University 1977; Ph.D. 1979; Professor of Geology 1993, 1981.
ARTHUR W. SNOKE, A.B. Franklin and Marshall College 1967; Ph.D. Stanford University 1972; Professor of Geology 1984.

Associate Professors

MICHAEL J. CHEADLE, B.A. Oxford University 1981; M.S. Cornell University 1984; Ph.D. Cambridge University 1989; Associate Professor of Geology and Geophysics 2001.
MARK T. CLEMENTZ, B.S. University of Missouri, Columbia 1996; Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz 2002; Associate Professor of Geology 2011, 2005.
KENNETH G. DUEKER, B.A. Whitman College 1984; Ph.D. University of Oregon 1994; Associate Professor of Geology and Geophysics 2006, 2000.
ROBERT R. HOWELL, B.S. University of Michigan 1974; Ph.D. University of Arizona 1980; Associate Professor of Geology and Geophysics 1992, 1986.
JOHN KASZUBA, B.S. Beloit Collge 1982; M.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University 1986; Ph.D. Colorado School of Mines 1997; Associate Professor of Geology and the School of Energy Resources 2012, 2008.
BRYAN N. SHUMAN, B.A. Colorado College 1994; M.S. Brown University 1997; Ph.D. 2001; Assistant Professor of Geology 2007. YE ZHANG, B.S. Nanjing University (PR China) 1998; M.S. University of Minnesota 2004; Ph.D. Indiana University 2005; Associate Professor of Geology 2010, 2007.
KENNETH W. W. SIMS, B.A. Colorado College 1986; M.S. University of New Mexico 1989; Ph.D. University of California - Berkeley 1995; Associate Professor of Geology 2009.

Assistant Professors

PO CHEN, B.S. Beijing University 2000; Ph.D. University of Southern California 2005; Assistant Professor of Geology and Geophysics and the School of Energy Resources 2012, 2008.
BRANDON McELROY, B.S. University of Michigan 2000; M.S. 2003; Ph.D. University of Texas 2009; Assistant Professor of Geology 2011. 
CLIFFORD S. RIEBE, B.S.E. University of Michigan 1992; Ph.D. University of California-Berkeley 2000; Assistant Professor of Geology 2012, 2008.

Lecturers

ERIN CAMPBELL-STONE, B.A. Occidental College 1992; Ph.D. University of Wyoming 1997; Associate Lecturer 2005, 2001.
RANDI S. MARTINSEN, B.S. S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook 1971; M.S. Northern Arizona University 1975; Senior Lecturer 1995. 

Research Scientists

KEVIN R. CHAMBERLAIN, B.A. Colgate University 1979; Ph.D. Washington University 1990; Research Professor 2004, 1990.
JANET C. DEWEY, B.S. Mississippi State University 1990; M.S. Auburn University; Assistant Research Scientist 2011.
SUSAN SWAPP, B.A. Indiana University 1977; M.S. Yale University 1978; Ph.D. 1982; Senior Research Scientist 1994.

Adjunct Professors

Eric Erslev, Warren B. Hamilton, Peter H. Hennings, Ranie Lynds 

Professors Emeriti

Donald W. Boyd, James I. Drever, William E. Frerichs, Robert Houston, Jason A. Lillegraven, Ronald W. Marrs, James E. McClurg, Brainerd Mears, Jr., Peter Shive, Scott B. Smithson, James R. Steidtmann, Ronald C. Surdam

Geology and Geophysics

Geology is the study of the origin, history and structure of the earth. Our undergraduate offerings encompass virtually every aspect of the science, with emphasis on current theory, methods and applications. The philosophy of the department is to provide sound training in both theory and field observation, and to couple this background with a thorough education in modern laboratory, quantitative and field techniques required for an understanding of geologic processes.

The setting of the university in the Rocky Mountains is ideal because some of North America's most outstanding geologic features are within a short drive of campus. The semi-arid climate in Wyoming has resulted in excellent exposures of diverse rock types ranging in age from Precambrian to Recent. Deformation of the rocks in the region has been extensive, affording the student a field laboratory that exhibits a wide diversity of styles of faulting and folding. Mineral deposits, petroleum resources and coal abound in the region.

Undergraduate Majors

The Bachelor of Science in geology is designed for those students who intend to become professional geologists and/or those who plan to attend graduate school in geosciences. The program includes courses normally expected of graduate school applicants, including a summer field camp and courses in related sciences and mathematics. This degree program prepares students for the examination for the professional geologist license.

The Bachelor of Arts in geology and Earth sciences is specifically designed for undergraduates who wish to study Earth sciences as a foundation for careers in a variety of areas, such as environmental law, natural resource business, land use planning, Earth science education, science journalism, and many governmental positions. The B.A. program includes a broad spectrum of courses, and focuses both on information about the Earth and on how society makes decisions that affect the Earth system.

The Bachelor of Science in Geology/Environment and Natural Resources and the Bachelor of Arts in Geology and Earth Sciences/Environment and Natural Resources are designed for students with interests in environmental geology. Students must complete the requirements for the B.S. in Geology or the B.A. in Geology and Earth Sciences plus requirements established by the School of Environment and Natural Resources. The ENR curriculum is designed to complement either geology degree with scientific, socio-political and cultural concerns in environmental problem solving. Students should consult the section on the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The Department of Geology and Geophysics also participates in the Earth System Science interdisciplinary program by offering a concentration in geology for the B.S. degree in ESS. Students interested in this major should consult the section on Earth System Science for a curriculum requirements.

Geology Program Objectives: Bachelor of Science

The primary mission of our B.S. geology program is to provide a quality educational experience that prepares men and women to enter careers in geology and related fields. We expect that our graduates should:

  • Have the basic knowledge and skills demanded for entry-level competence in typical careers in earth science.
  • Be able to apply basic scientific and technical knowledge to specific tasks and problems.
  • Cultivate the specific scientific and technical skills that will allow them effectively to serve their employers and to enhance their own career development.
  • Develop increased capacity in the skills of independent learning, critical thinking, problem definition, and problem solving.
  • Develop enhanced numerical skills and computer literacy as part of an undergraduate program designed to deliver a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally through oral, written, and graphical means and to participate effectively in their workplace and in individual and team-related activities.
  • Have the broad general education needed to appreciate the role of Earth Sciences in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession.

Geology Program Goals: Bachelor of Science

The department of Geology and Geophysics has the following specific goals for its B.S. program:

  • Students in the B.S. program will receive a quality preparatory education in the discipline that is current, relevant, practical, and personal.
  • B.S. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be able to compete successfully for positions at graduate schools nationwide.
  • B.S. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be well prepared for entry-level positions as professionals within their and other related disciplines. 

Geology Program Objectives: Bachelor of Arts

The primary mission of our B.A. geology program is to provide a broad educational experience that prepares men and women for careers in earth science-related fields. We expect that our graduate should:

  • Have the basic knowledge and skills demanded for entry-level competence in typical careers in earth science-related fields.
  • Be able to apply their knowledge to specific situations or problems.
  • Cultivate the skills and ethics that will allow them effectively to serve their employers and to enhance their own career development.
  • Develop increased capacity for independent learning, critical thinking, and problem solving.
  • Develop basic numerical skills and computer literacy as part of an undergraduate program designed to deliver a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally through oral, written, and graphical means and to participate effectively in the work environment, both in individual and team-related activities.
  • Have the broad general education needed to appreciate the role of Earth Sciences in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession. 

Geology Program Goals: Bachelor of Arts

The department of Geology and Geophysics has the following specific goals for its B.A. program:

  • Students in the B.A. program will receive a broad preparatory education in earth science and related fields that is current, relevant, practical, and personal.
  • B.A. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be able to compete successfully for positions at graduate schools nationwide.
  • B.A. students who graduate with appropriate grades will be well prepared for entry-level positions in the geosciences and other related disciplines. 

Required Academic Performance

In order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in geology, the student must earn a letter grade of C (S where appropriate) or better in each course listed herein as part of the required course programs. This grade requirement applies to course work taken outside the department, as well as to transfer courses credited in lieu of resident requirements.

Bachelor of Science Curriculum

Geology Program

I. Required Courses

Hours

One of the following:
GEOL 1005 Earth History or

4

GEOL 1100 Physical Geology or

4

GEOL 1200 Historical Geology

4

GEOL 1500 Water, Dirt, Climate

4

And each of the following
GEOL 2000 Geochemical Cycles and Earth Systems

4

GEOL 2005 Introduction to Geophyics

4

GEOL 2010 Mineralogy

3

GEOL 2020 Petrology

2

GEOL 2100 Stratigraphy and sedimentation

4

GEOL 4610 Structural geology and tectonics

4

GEOL 4717 Field Course in Geology (to be taken in 1 of the last 2 summers on campus)

6

GEOL 4820 Capstone

3

II. Additional 15 credit hours in Geology courses at 2000-level and above
III. Allied Math and Sciences (20 credits)

Hours

CHEM 1020 or 1050 General Chemistry I

4

CHEM 1030 or 1060 General Chemistry II

4

MATH 2200 Calculus I

4

MATH 2205 Calculus II

4

PHYS 1110 or 1210 General or Engineering Physics

4

Note: This program represents a minimum proficiency. Students are strongly advised to elect additional courses in geology.

Bachelor of Science Curriculum Environmental Geology and Geohydrology (EGGH) Program

The Environmental Geology and Geohydrology degree is designed for those students who intend to become professionals in environmental fields such as consulting, site assessment, hazard assessment, and remediation. The degree will prepare students for graduate school in environmental disciplines and for entry-level jobs.

I. Required Courses
One of the following:

Hours

GEOL 1005 Earth History or

4

GEOL 1100 Physical Geology or

4

GEOL 1200 Historical Geology or

4

GEOL 1500 Water, Dirt, Climate

4

GEOL 1600 Global Sustainability

4

And each of the following

Hours

GEOL 2000 Geochemical Cycles, Earth System

4

GEOL 2010 Mineralogy

3

GEOL 2150 Geomorphology

4

GEOL 2080 or 3080 Field Geology

3

GEOL 4444 Geohydrology

4

GEOL 4490 Geochemistry

4

GEOL 4777 Geochem of Natural Waters

3

GEOL 4880 Earth Surface Processes

3

GEOL 4820 Capstone

3

II. Required Allied Math and Science Courses

 

CHEM 1020 General Chem I

4

PHYS 1110 or 1210 Gen or Engr Physics

4

MATH 2200 Calculus I

4

MATH 2205 Calculus II

4

One of the following:

 

CHEM 1030 General Chem II or

4

LIFE 1010 General Biology or

4

STAT 2050 Fund of Statistics or

4

MATH 2210 Calculus III or

4

PHYS 1120 General Physics II or

4

PHYS 1220 Engr Physics II

4

III. Additional 18 credit hours of Electives, in consultation with adviser
GEOL 2005 Intro to Geophysics

4

GEOL 2020 Intro to Petrology

2

GEOL 2070 Intro to Oceanography

4

GEOL 2100 Stratigraphy & Sedimentation

4

GEOL 4610 Structure & Tectonics

4

GEOL 3400 Geologic Hazards

4

GEOL 3500 Global Change

4

GEOL 3600 Earth & Mineral Res

4

GEOL 3650 Energy, Geological Persp

4

GEOL 4001 Modeling in Earth System

4

GEOL 4113 Geological Remote Sensing

4

GEOL 4888 Glaciology

3

NOTE: Students are encouraged, in consultation with their adviser, to design a major that best fits their interests and goals.  With this in mind, there are many courses outside the Department of Geology and Geophysics that may be substituted for courses in the Electives (B) list above provided that such substitutions are made with the consent of an adviser.  A list of such courses may be obtained from the Department.  Students who seek the Geology BS may not also seek EGGH as a double major, and vice versa.

Bachelor of Arts in Geology and Earth Science Curriculum

I. Required Courses
A. Each of the following:

Hours

GEOL 1000-level intro lab course(s)

4-8

GEOL 2000 Geochemical Cycles and Earth System

4

GEOL 2100 Stratig/Sedimentation

4

GEOL 2080 or GEOL 3080 General Field Geology

3

GEOL 4820 Capstone

3

LIFE 1010 General Biology

4

CHEM 1020 General Chemistry I

4

PHYS 1110 General Physics I

4

MATH 1405 or MATH 1450 Trigonometry or Algebra/Trig

3 or 5

B. Six courses from the following

Hours

ATSC 2000 Meteorology or GEOG 3450 Weather and Climate

4 or 3

ECON 2400 Economics of the Environment

3

GEOG 3010 Landforms and Soils

3

GEOL 2005 Intro to Geophysics

4

GEOL 2050 Principles of Paleontology

3

GEOL 2070 Intro to Oceanography

4

GEOL 3600 EArth and Mineral Resources

4

GEOL 3650 Energy: A Geological Perspective

4

GEOL 3400 Geologic Hazards

4

GEOL 3500 Global Change

4

GEOL 4444 Geohydrology

4

GEOL 4490 Geochemistry

3

GEOL 4610 Structural Geology/Tectronics

4

GEOL 4835 Applied/Exploration Geophysics

3

POLS 4051 Environmental Politics and Admin

3

SOIL 4120 Genesis, Morphology, Classification of Soils

4

ECON 4400 Environmental Economics or ECON 4410 Natural Resource Economics

3

C. Additional 12 hours of electives with adviser consultation, at least 6 hours of which must be taken outside of the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

 

This program represents a minimum proficiency. Students are strongly advised to elect additional courses in geology.

Undergraduate Minor

A minor in geology requires 20 hours of coursework in the Department of Geology and Geophysics.  Students are required to take GEOL 1100 or 1200; GEOL 2000; GEOL 3300, 3400,  3500, or 3600; and 8 additional credits in consultation with their adviser.  A grade of C or better is required in each of these courses.

Graduate Study

The department offers instruction and research programs leading to master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in both geology and geophysics and to the master of science in geology/water resources.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

All applicants must complete a departmental application form with statement of intent. Forms are available from the Department of Geology and Geophysics Web site at home.gg.uwyo.edu.

Application deadline is January 15 of each year.

All applicants should have completed undergraduate coursework including mathematics through calculus, one year of chemistry, basic training in geology, and for most areas, one year of calculus-based physics.

Applicants to the geophysics graduate program should have an undergraduate degree in geophysics, geology, mathematics, physics, or engineering.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program, without a M.S. degree, must have attained an exceptional undergraduate record.

Formal approval of application by the departmental admissions committee.

Formal acceptance by an adviser.

Formal notice of admission by the university.

Program Specific Graduate Assistantships

All applicants to the geology and geophysics graduate program are considered for assistantships. Applicants are NOT required to complete the graduate assistant application form.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Geology

Plan A (thesis) (26 hours of coursework and 4 hours of thesis)

Preliminary and initial advising shall take place upon acceptance to the graduate program to identify background deficiencies and develop a list of required deficiency coursework to be taken. Deficiency coursework must be completed with a grade of B or better early in the student's graduate residence.

All candidates for advanced degrees are required to enroll in the Field Course GEOL 4717 or have had equivalent training before undertaking research problems involving field studies.

GEOL 5020 Fundamentals of Research is required of ALL graduate students during the first semester of residence.

All graduate students in geology must complete two semesters of GEOL 5200. Distinguished Lecture Series in the first two semesters of residence plus Rocky Mountain Field Trip.

All M.S. students in the Department of Geology and Geophysics will be required to complete a qualifying exam by the end of the second term in residence. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. Failure of this exam may result in dismissal from the graduate program.

The candidate's committee shall evaluate the thesis and conduct the final examination. The final exam is an oral presentation of the thesis, oral defense of thesis, and oral responses to questions relating to ancillary topics. Failure of this exam can result in dismissal. Retaking of the exam is subject to the discretion of the candidate's graduate committee. Exams will not be scheduled during the summer months.

Master of Science in Geophysics

Plan A (thesis) (26 hours of coursework and 4 hours of thesis)

Preliminary and initial advising shall take place upon acceptance to the graduate program to identify background deficiencies and develop a list of required deficiency coursework to be taken. Deficiency coursework must be completed with a grade of B or better early in the student's graduate residence.

All candidates for advanced degrees are required to enroll in the Field Course GEOL 4717 or have had equivalent training before undertaking research problems involving field studies.

GEOL 5020 Fundamentals of Research is required of ALL graduate students during the first semester of residence.

All graduate students in geophysics must complete two semesters of GEOL 5210. Distinguished Lecture Series in the first two semesters of residence plus Rocky Mountain Field Trip.

All M.S. students in the Department of Geology and Geophysics will be required to complete a qualifying exam by the end of the second term in residence. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. Failure of this exam may result in dismissal from the graduate program.

The candidate's committee shall evaluate the thesis and conduct the final examination. The final exam is an oral presentation of the thesis, oral defense of thesis, and oral responses to questions relating to ancillary topics. Failure of this exam can result in dismissal. Retaking of the exam is subject to the discretion of the candidate's graduate committee. Exams will not be scheduled during the summer months.

M.S. candidates in geophysics must complete 6 hours of mathematics and three hours of physics or engineering courses at the graduate level.

M.S. candidates must take at least 12 hours of 4000- and 5000-level courses in geophysics. Recommended graduate level mathematics courses include differential equations, numerical analysis, and real and complex variables; in physics and engineering they include classical mechanics, continuum mechanics, elasticity, electricity and magnetism. Substitutions for graduate-level geophysics courses may be made with the permission of the candidate's adviser. Remaining graduate-level course requirements may be made up from courses in physics, engineering, mathematics, and geology.

Doctor of Philosophy in Geology (42 hours of coursework and 30 hours of dissertation research)

Preliminary and initial advising will identify background deficiencies and develop a list of required deficiency coursework. Deficiency coursework must be completed with a grade of B or better early in the student's graduate residence.

All candidates for advanced degrees are required to enroll in the Field Course GEOL 4717 or have had equivalent training before undertaking research problems involving field studies. Completion of GEOL 5020 Fundamentals of Research is required during the first semester of residence.

All graduate students in Geology must complete two semesters of GEOL 5200. Distinguished Lecture Series in the first two semesters of residence  plus Rocky Mountain Field Trip.

All Ph.D. students in the Department of Geology and Geophysics will be required to complete a qualifying exam by the end of the second term in residence. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. Failure to complete the exam by the end of the second semester in residence without an approved extension will result in suspension of the student's financial support, irrespective of the source of funding. Ph.D. students who fail the exam will be asked to withdraw from the graduate program or to enroll in the M.S. program.

The preliminary examination is administered following completion of 30 hours of 4000-level or higher coursework, not including independent study or research credits. Failure of this exam may, at the discretion of the thesis committee, lead to a re-examination during the following semester in residence, remedial work, or expulsion from the program.

The Ph.D. dissertation and its defense are described in the regulations section of this Bulletin. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. The candidate's committee is responsible for monitoring progress of the research, refereeing the written work, and administering the final examination.

Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (42 hours of coursework and 30 hours of dissertation research)

Preliminary and initial advising will identify background deficiencies and develop a list of required deficiency coursework. Deficiency coursework must be completed with a grade of B or better early in the student's graduate residence.

All candidates for advanced degrees are required to enroll in the Field Course GEOL 4717 or have had equivalent training before undertaking research problems involving field studies.

All graduate students in geophysics must complete two semesters of GEOL 5210. Distinguished Lecture Series in the first two semesters of residence  plus Rocky Mountain Field Trip.

Completion of GEOL 5020 Fundamentals of Research is required during the first semester of residence.

Ph.D. candidates in geophysics must complete at least 6 additional hours of graduate-level coursework: 3 in mathematics and 3 in physics or engineering. Recommended graduate-level mathematics courses include differential equations, numerical analysis, and real and complex variables; in physics and engineering, they include classical mechanics, continuum mechanics, elasticity, electricity and magnetism. Ph.D. candidates are required to take at least 12 hours of 5000-level geophysics courses exclusive of GEOL 5854. Substitutions for graduate-level geophysics courses may be made with the permission of the candidate's adviser. Remaining graduate-level course requirements may be made up from courses in physics, engineering, mathematics, and geology.

All Ph.D. students in the Department of Geology and Geophysics will be required to complete a qualifying exam by the end of the second term in residence. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. Failure to complete the exam by the end of the second semester in residence without an approved extension will result in suspension of the student's financial support, irrespective of the source of funding. Ph.D. students who fail the exam will be asked to withdraw from the graduate program or to enroll in the M.S. program.

The preliminary examination is administered following completion of 30 hours of 4000-level or higher coursework, not including independent study or research credits. Failure of this exam may, at the discretion of the thesis committee, lead to a re-examination during the following semester in residence, remedial work, or expulsion from the program.

The Ph.D. dissertation and its defense are described in the regulations section of this Bulletin. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. The candidate's committee is responsible for monitoring progress of the research, refereeing the written work, and administering the final examination.

Master of Science in Geology/Water Resources and Master of Science in Geophysics/Water Resources

Please refer to the Water Resources section of the bulletin for degree requirements.

Geology and Geophysics (GEOL) Courses

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