Indiana University Bloomington

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Undergraduate Programs in Geological Sciences with information on majors, minors.

Prospective Student information

Undergraduate Introductory Course Descriptions

All of these are N&M courses with the exception of G125 and G190. CASE qualified courses are noted.

CASE course

G103 Earth Science: Materials and Processes (3 cr.) NMNS Introduction to origin and classification of minerals and rocks. Relationships between rock types, rock structures, surficial geological processes of running water, subsurface water, glaciation, wind, tides, and landform evolution. Geologic time. Two lectures and one demonstration/ laboratory each week. Credit given for only one of the following: G103, G111. II Sem.

G104 Evolution of the Earth (3 cr.) NMNS Earth’s history interpreted through five billion years. Deductive approach to understanding the significance of rocks and fossils and reconstructing the plate-tectonic origin of mountains, continents, and ocean basins. A survey of events in Earth’s evolution relevant to contemporary environmental concerns. Two lectures and one laboratory each week. Credit given for only one of the following: G104, G112.

G105 Earth: Our Habitable Planet (3 cr.) NMNS Introduction to planet Earth as a dynamic and complex global system. Course materials will demonstrate physical and chemical linkages between biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere that directly impact lifestyles of human populations at time scales of years to centuries. Two lectures and one laboratory each week.

G111 Physical Geology (3 cr.) NMNS P: One high school or college course in chemistry. Basic concepts of geology. Formation of rocks, erosion and landscape evolution, plate tectonics, interpretation of earth processes from geological data. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. One required field trip. Restricted to prospective geology and other science majors. Credit given for only one of the following: G103, G111. I Sem.

COLL-C 105 Earth Processes and Planets (3 cr.) Processes that operate and have operated on, in and around the Earth, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars contributing to their evolution through approximately 4.56 billion years; evaluate the evidence using principles of geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, biology, geography and mathematics. Critical approach course for non-science majors. Class fulfills the College (CASE) Critical Approaches requirement IUB GenEd N&M credit – Natural Science COLL (CASE) N&M Breadth of Inquiry credit. Website

COLL-C 105 Records of Global Climate Change (3 cr.) This course explores interactions of astronomic, physical, chemical, and biological processes that control global climate. We examine modern and ancient records of global temperatures and atmospheric compositions, and patterns of ice and vegetation. We evaluate media coverage of climatic issues and international efforts to mitigate the impacts of human activities. Class fulfills the College (CASE) Critical Approaches requirement, IUB GenEd N&M credit - Natural Science COLL (CASE) N&M Breadth of Inquiry credit.

G112 Historical Geology (3 cr.) NMNS Principles of interpreting earth history from geological data and the rock record. Geologic time; evolution of the Earth System interaction between inorganic and organic processes; plate tectonics; the biosphere and ancient environments. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. One required field trip. NO written final examination. Credit given for only one of the following: G104, G112. II Sem.

CASE course

G114 Dinosaurs and Their Relatives (3 cr.) NMNS The origin and evolution of life over the past three billion years. The paleoecological and evolutionary development of plants and animals. Two lectures and one demonstration each week. II Sem. Course website

G116 Our Planet and Its Future (3 cr.) NMNS The interaction between geologic and environmental processes in the earth. Special emphasis on how these processes affect public policies and laws. Multimedia exercises and videotape presentations (made specifically for this course) are included. Two lectures and one discussion section/laboratory per week.

G121 Meteorites and Geological Processes in Planets (3 cr.) NMNS Geological processes operative on earth-like planetary bodies and asteroids; evidence from current meteorite, lunar, Martian, and space research; quantitative and deductive exercises; including demonstration/laboratory. For non–science majors. Credit given for only one of G121 and S121. More here.

NOTE: All tests are open book, open notes. Laptops, iPads and equivalent devices are allowed for taking notes, quizzes and examinations but not for communication during class hours.

G122 Introduction to the Atmosphere, Weather and Climate CASE N&M Specialized and general students are introduced to atmosphere science through climate-change science, atmospheric physics, atmosphere–ocean interactions, forecasting, and severe weather. Tools and techniques for analyzing atmospheric environments and assessing human impact are covered. Students will gain understanding of basic atmospheric properties and processes through rigorous critical thinking and problem solving. Credit given for only one of G122 or GEOG–G 109.

G129 Introductory Geology in the Rocky Mountains (3 cr.) Course taught at the Indiana University Geologic Field Station, Cardwell, Montana. Students must apply online at the course website.

CASE course

G131 Oceans and Our Global Environment (3 cr.) NMNS An introduction to oceanography integrating exploration of ocean basins and plate tectonics, seawater and seafloor sediments, ocean-atmospheric interactions and global climate, and coastal/marine ecology to build understanding of oceanographic processes complemented by on-line assignments that explore and interpret web-based data sets emphasizing ocean dynamics and the climatic and environmental importance of Earth’s oceans. Two lectures per week

G138 Geology of State and National Parks Revealed (3 cr.) Description: This course introduces principles of physical, chemical, and biological processes that together influence the geologic evolution of the Earth’s landscapes and composition as told through National and State parklands. Geologic concepts of study will include the composition and structure of the Earth, volcanism and magmatism, weathering and erosion, creation of mountainous landscapes and deep ocean basins, and the origin of natural resources. Additionally, emphasis is placed on the protection and degradation of these natural environments and resources within the parks. Three lectures each week and a required field trip.

CASE course

G141 Earthquakes and Volcanoes (3 cr.) NMNS Examination of the causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanic activity. Impacts of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, including secondary effects such as landslides, mudflows, and tsunamis; climatic effects; energy/mineral resources; and social disruption. Mitigation of effects of natural disasters. Two lectures and one laboratory per week.

G144 Extreme weather and Its Impacts (3 cr.) Students who participate in the course fully will be able to explain the behavior of a variety of extreme weather phenomena to their family and friends, imparting an appreciation for nature’s extremes and their impacts on our lives.

G171 Environmental Geology (3 cr.) NMNS Examination of natural and man-induced geologic hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and land subsidence; environmental issues, disposal and management of solid, chemical, and radioactive waste, acid mine drainage as well as the environmental impact of mineral extraction and water resource utilization. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. I Sem.

CASE course

G188 Volcanoes of the Sierra Nevada This is a 2–week field course in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California followed by a 2–week independent study research period. See website: http://www.indiana.edu/~sierra.

G221 Introduction to Mineralogy (3 cr.) NMNS P or C: college–level course in chemistry. The importance of minerals, the basic building blocks of rocks and the Earth. Atomic bonding, structures, and symmetry. Mineral chemistry and crystal structures (how their atoms are arranged), and how the minerals respond to changes in temperature, pressure, and environment. Hand–specimen identification of minerals using their physical properties. Three lectures, one 2–hour lab, one 3–day field trip. I Sem. Credit given for only one of GEOL G221 or G225.

G222 Introduction to Petrology (3 cr.) NMNS P: G221. Study of the principal representatives of the major chemical groups of minerals. Emphasis on rock–forming and useful minerals, their crystal structure, chemistry, physical properties, association, and occurrence. Study of major rock types. Two lectures and one 3–hour laboratory per week. II Sem.

G225 Earth Materials (4 cr.) NMNS P: one course in chemistry. This course sequentially considers minerals, rocks, sediments, and soils; the materials that comprise the solid earth. The distribution and environmental significance of these materials are studied, as are their chemical and physical interactions with groundwater and plants. Three 50–minute lectures and one 2–hour laboratory per week. Laboratory attendance is required. Credit given for only one of GEOL G225 or G221. I Sem. Website

HON-H 241 (3 cr) N&M Historical Geology (3 cr.) NMNS Principles of interpreting earth history from geological data and the rock record. Geologic time; evolution of the Earth System; interaction between inorganic and organic processes; plate tectonics; the biosphere and ancient environments. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. One required field trip. NO written final examination. Credit given for only one of the following: G104, G112. II Sem.

G271 Introduction to Environmental Field Methods (3 cr.) P: 100–level course in environmental science from geology, biology, or SPEA. R: GEOL–G 171. Application of knowledge gained in introductory courses to the evaluation and remediation of environmental contaminants. Explanation and practice of sampling methods to prepare for further environmental coursework. Two 50–minute lectures and one 3–hour lab per week.