Course Offerings

Below is a list of all Geology & Environmental Earth Science Courses offered through our department, along with a description of each course and the pre- and co-requisites for each course (if applicable).

GLG 111 The Dynamic Earth (3) MPF, MPT

Earth as a geophysical-geochemical unit and its internal and external processes.  Formation of minerals and their relationships in rocks.  Earth stresses and rock deformation, mountain building, and earthquakes. Geomorphic (landscape) evolution by mass wasting and wave stream, wind, ground water, glacial and volcanic activity.  IVB, H.  CAS-QL.


GLG 115L Understanding the Earth (1) MPF

Laboratory course exploring Earth from multiple perspectives.  Earth in the solar system; Earth in time; the solid Earth; Earth's surface in flux; Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere.  IVB, LAB.  CAS-D/LAB.  Prerequisite or co-requisite:  Any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course (students enrolled in these courses are not required to take the lab).

GLG 121 Environmental Geology (3) MPF, MPT

A survey of introductory geology with sub theme of human interaction with the geologic environment.  Topics include flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes, water quality and availability, energy, use and abuse of natural resources and land-use planning.  IVB.  CAS-QL

GLG 141 Geology of U.S. National Parks (3) MPF, MPT

A survey of introductory geology with a sub theme of the structure and geologic evolution of North America as exemplified by the geologic features and development of U.S. national parks and other public lands.  IVB.  CAS-QL


GLG 201 Mineralogy (4)

Composition, physical properties, symmetry, crystal structure, and geologic occurrence of rock-forming minerals.  3 Lec. 1 Lab.  Prerequisite:  GLG 111 or 121 or 141 and 115; and co-requisite:  CHM 137 or 141 and 144

GLG 204 Survival on an Evolving Planet (4)

Paleontology is the scientific study of past life, and is therefore an interface between geology and biology.  It includes such topics as the origin of life, mass extinctions, exceptional fossil preservation, and response of past ecosystems to climate change, to name a few.  This course provides an overview of the history of life and an introduction to the primary research areas in paleontology.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level BIO or GLG course

GLG 211 Chemistry of Earth Systems (3)

Material presented serves as the basis for dynamic links with upper-division courses within the department.  The chemical evolution of the Earth is presented spanning all pressure and temperature conditions.  Major geological processes are discussed with respect to the chemical principles controlling the distribution of elements and mass, e.g., crustal genesis, metamorphism, metasomatism, formation of the atmosphere and oceans, diagenesis, hydrothermal processes, and low-temperature chemical weathering.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course

GLG 217 Planetary Geology (3)

Geology of planets and moons in our solar system.  Focuses on the compositions and geologic processes that operate today and/or have operated in the past.  Prerequisite:  any 100- level, 3 credit hour GLG course.

GLG 244 Oceanography (3) MPT

Examination of the major features of the ocean and the processes active there.  Oceanic currents, waves and tides, biologic productivity and zonation, nutrient cycles, chemical parameters, bathymetry, and sediments explored.  Prerequisite:  one natural science course from MPF IVA or B, or CAS-D

GLG 261 Geohazards and the Solid Earth (3) MPT

Examines solid earth physical principles including theory and application.  Applications will focus ont he nature of geologic hazards and the Earth's interior, which will then be related to overriding scientific theories like plate tectonics and the observations they are based on.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level 3 credit hour GLG course, or GEO 121, or PHY 111, or PHY 161, or PHY 191

GLG 301 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4) MPT

Description and evaluation of sedimentary processes, sedimentary environments of deposition and the rocks that form in these environments are integrated with field trips and laboratory analyses of rocks in hand sample and thin section.  Stratigraphic principles, sequence stratigraphy, and basin analysis are linked to global climate change and tectonics throughout geologic time.  Prerequisite or co-requisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course and GLG 115L or permission of instructor.

GLG 307 Water and Society (3) MPT

Examines the nature of water, how it moves throughout the hydrologic cycle, the role it plays in the lives of people throughout the world and people's impact on water resources.  Topics include flooding, human control of water systems, global water scarcity, water's role in the settlement of the western U.S., water and international conflict, water quality and regulation.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course or GEO 121.

GLG 311 Geoenvironmental Field Methods (3)

Develops environmental geoscience field skills useful for fundamental and applied investigations.  Students learn to test field hypotheses and construct professional reports and will develop a portfolio of project work.  Prerequisites: GLG 111 or 121 or 141 and 115L

GLG 322 Structural Geology (4) MPT

Origins and characteristics of primary and secondary structures of Earth's crust.  3 Lec. 1 Lab, CAS-D/LAB.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course; GLG 201 and GLG 301.  Recommended prerequisites:  MTH 151, 153 or 157.

GLG 335 Ice Age Earth (3)

Introduces the study of climate change as recorded in the geologic record.  Discusses natural and anthropogenic causes for climate change.  Prerequisite:  GLG 111, 121, 141 or GEO 121

GLG 354 Geomorphology (4)

Evolution of the landscapes and landforms on Earth and other planets and the processes responsible for their formation.  Analysis of landforms to assess the relative role of climate, tectonics, and humans in their formation.  Prerequisite:  GLG 111, 121 or GEO 121.  Cross-listed with GEO.

GLG 357 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (4)

Theoretical, quantitative, and petrographic investigation of igneous and metamorphic rock, physical and chemical characteristics and formational processes.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course and GLG 201.  GLG 211 is recommended.

GLG 401/501 Global Climate Change (3)

Examines physical factors controlling climate and climate changes throughout geologic time.  Interactions of the oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere on our climate in addition to astronomic controls examined.  Prerequisite:  GLG 244 or permission of instructor

GLG 402/502 Geomicrobiology (3)

Focuses on mutual interactions between microbial and geological processes.  Topics include:  role of microorganisms on mineral weathering rates, microbial mediated ore deposit formation, microbe enhanced oil recovery, life in extreme environments, search for bio-signatures in geological records and meteorites and implications for life on Mars, microbial ecology in ocean floor hydrothermal vents.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit hour GLG course; CHM 141R or 141, 144; or permission of instructor.  Cross-listed with MBI.

GLG 408/508 Introduction to Hydrogeology (4) MPT

Introduction to the physical properties governing groundwater-flow in various geologic media and settings.  Methods are explored for determining groundwater-flow directions and velocities and aquifer characteristics and potential.  Introduction to groundwater-flow modeling and principles of mass transport and groundwater contamination.  3 Lec. 1 Lab.  Prerequisite:  any 100-level, 3 credit ho ur GLG course, or permission of instructor.

GLG 411A/511A Field Geology (6) MPC

Taught annually during June through July at Miami University Geology Field Station, Dubois, Wyoming.  Students identify, classify and interpret geologic features and synthesize and communicate geologic interpretations.  Students work outdoors six to eight hours a day and individually create geologic maps using pace and compass, topographic map base, air photo, and satellite image bases with the assistance of GPS satellite navigation receivers and software.  Geologic mapping and rock interpretation techniques are the subject of evening lectures.  Summer only.  Prerequisite:  GLG 201, 301 322 and 357 or equivalents or permission of instructor.

GLG 412/512 Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica (5)

Introduces students to the structure and function of neotropical ecosystems, as wells to geological, biological, cultural, and economic forces affecting biodiversity in the tropics.  This course is taught on-site in Costa Rica.  There are additional costs beyond tuition.   Cross-listed with GEO/LAS 412/512 and IES 423/523.

GLG 413/513 Tropical Marine Ecology (5) MPT

Investigates aquatic systems (estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, lagoons, beaches, intertidal zones, taxonomy of vertebrates and invertebrates of coral reefs, lagoons and tidal flats) paleobiology and global climate change (paleo-reconstruction of past lagoon environments, fossil coral reefs, and land use).  Student research questions concerning biological and physical analyses of a select marine habitat are required.  The course is taught on-site in the Florida Keys and Bahamas.  There are additional costs beyond tuition.  Cross-listed with GEO/LAS 413/513 and IES 423/523

GLG 415/515 Coral Reef Ecology (5)

Examines the coral reef environment including its biology, geologic setting, chemical and physical characteristics, and its relation to fossil coral reefs and global climate change.  This course is taught on-site in the Bahamas.  Prerequisite:  SCUBA certification required, previous tropical field course experience or permission of the instructor. (415) CAS-D. Cross-listed with IES 415/515 and LAS 417/517.

GLG 417/517 Forensic Isotope Geochemistry (3)

Application of stable and radiogenic isotope systems to contemporary forensic problems including environmental contamination, climate change and wildlife forensics, archaeological forensics, animal migration patterns, soil provenancing, human provenancing, food authenticity and traceability, and criminal investigations including drug use and trafficking, weapons tracing, and counterfeit detection.  Analytical methods, data quality, and isotopic mapping and modeling will be discussed as a basis for quantitative and qualitative forensic diagnostics.  Prerequisites:  GLG 201, GLG 211 or GLG/CHM 275; or permission of instructor.

GLG 427/527 Isotope Geochemistry (3)

Natural variations, measurement techniques and geologic applications of radiogenic and stable isotopes.  Prerequisites:  GLG 211 and GLG 357

GLG 428/528 Groundwater Flow Modeling (4)

Introduces techniques used in constructing and solving mathematical models of groundwater flow.  Emphasis is on solution of groundwater flow problems with the use of digital computers using finite-difference techniques to approximate the groundwater-flow differential governing equations.  Develops a familiarity with and applies widely-used packaged models while learning about grid and boundary design, model parameter value selection, and calibration.  Prerequisite:  GLG 408

GLG 432/532 Powder X-Ray Diffraction and Clay Analysis (3)

This course covers one of the most utilized analytical methods in geology and materials characterization, powder X-ray diffraction.  It is a hands-on active learning course involving theory and application of diffraction to phase identification, structural analysis and quantitative analysis of clays, soils, sediments, etc.  It also covers the mineralogy and crystal chemistry of the clay minerals.  Prerequisite:  GLG 201 and CHM 141 or permission of instructor

GLG 435/535 Soils and Paleosols (3)

Introduces methods of soil morphology, taxonomy, and genesis of modern and fossil soils.  Describes how to use fossil soils to infer past environmental conditions.  Prerequisite:  GLG 301 or GLG 454 or permission of instructor

GLG 436/536 Paleoclimatology (3)

Reviews stable isotopic techniques to reconstruct climate change over geologic time scales from various types of records, including ocean sediment cores, ice cores, lakes, soils and speleothems.  Recommended prerequisite:  GLG 335

GLG 450/550 Sedimentary Basin Analysis (3)

Evaluation of the physical mechanisms of sedimentary basin formation including isostacy; flexure, thinning and thermal contraction of the lithosphere; subsidence provenance; and tectonics of sedimentary basins.  Prerequisite:  GLG 301. Co-requisite:  GLG 322

GLG 461/561 Geophysics (3) MPT

Active learning course on solid earth geophysics, covering theory and application.  Techniques include seismology, GPS, gravity, magnetics, and mineral physics.  Application will focus on large-scale tectonics and the Earth's interior, but will also include some exploration geophysics.  Prerequisite:  MTH 151, 153, or 157; PHY 161 or 191.

GLG 467/567 Seismology (3) MPT

Active learning course on seismology covering theory and application.  Topics will include elastic wave propagation, reflection/refraction seismology, waveform modeling, tomography plate kinematics, and time series analysis.  Applications will focus on earthquakes and large-scale tectonics.  Prerequisites: MTH 151 or 153, PHY 161 or 191; PHY 162 or PHY 192; PHY or consent of instructor.  Cross-listed with PHY.

GLG 474/574 Paleobotany, Paleoecology, Paleoclimatology (3)

Examination of the ecology and evolution of land plants throughout Earth history and in the context the past climate change.  Prerequisite:  GLG 204.

GLG 482/582 Contaminant Hydrogeology (4)

Introduces the theory of mass transport in groundwater and soil systems and examines sources, fate and cleanup of groundwater and soil contamination.  Chemical reactions and their effects on transport will be examined for both inorganic and organic contaminants.  Multiphase flow will also be investigated as will strategies for aquifer and soil remediation.  Prerequisite:  GLG 408/508, MTH 151, 153 or 157.

GLG 484/584 X-ray Diffractometry (2)

Principles of X-ray diffraction as applied to geological materials.  Utilization of powder goniometer and single-crystal cameras and goniometer.  2 Lec 1 Lab.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisite:  GLG 201 or permission of instructor.

GLG 491/591 Geochemistry of Natural Waters (3)

Explores the range of geochemical reactions governing water-rock interaction.  Includes discussions of thermodynamics, kinetics, acid/base reactions, mineral equilibria, absorption/desorption, oxidation-reduction, organic geochemistry, and geochemical modeling.  Prerequisite:  GLG 211 or permission of instructor.

GLG 492/592 Global Tectonics (4) MPT

Fundamentals of the theory of plate tectonics and its applications to regional geology.  Physical processes and kinematics of plate motions, geology and geophysics of modern ancient plate boundaries, and plate tectonic evolution of major orogenic belts examined.  Prerequisite:  GLG 322, 357 or permission of instructor

GLG 494 Sustainability Perspectives in Resources and Business (3) MPC

Addresses the need for interdisciplinary understanding of the pattern of declining quantities of critical resources and growing public awareness of environmental degradation, an understanding of relevant ecosystems, social and economic institutions and policy, and the prospects for the business community to facilitate resolution of these concerns.  Three alternative prerequisites:  (A) senior standing as a business major and one of BIO 121 or 131 or GLG 121; or (B) senor standing as a science major and ECO 201 and 202; or (C) senior standing and completion of Thematic Sequence ECO 5 Sustainable Systems

GLG 496/596 Isotopes in Environmental Processes (3)

Focuses on applications of isotopes to environmental processes.  Topics include introduction to environmental isotopes and basics of isotope fractionation, isotopes used as tracers in the hydrological cycle to identify and quantify reaction pathways for both clean and contaminated landscapes, dating of modern and paleo-groundwaters.  The emphasis is given to the role of isotopes to trace sources, reactions and pathways of various contaminants in the environment.  Prerequisite:  GLG 211 or permission of instructor

GLG 497 Trend and Topics in the Geosciences (3) MPC

A common capstone experience where students apply their diverse backgrounds to assessing, evaluating, and interpreting cutting edge geoscience data and research in three theme areas:  Earth, environment and society; Earth's climate and life through time; Earth's physical and chemical systems.  Students will further develop skills in written and oral communication, with particular emphasis on writing in multiple geoscience genres.  Prerequisites:  GLG 204 or 211; GLG 301 or 357 or 408

GLG 617 Chemistry of Earth's Interior

Geochemical evolution of the Earth.  Formation and differentiation of the Earth, composition of the core, mantle and crust, mass fluxes between major Earth reservoirs.  Prerequisite:  GLG 527 or permission of instructor.  Offered infrequently

GLG 627 Applications of Non-Traditional Isotope Systems (3)

Application of a wide variety of recently developed non-traditional stable and radiogenic isotope systems to geochemical and cosmochemical problems.  Prerequisites:  GLG 211, GLG 357, GLG 427/527 or permission of instructor

GLG 630 mineral Surface Geochemistry (3)

A study of the structure, composition, and reactivity of crystalline surfaces in aqueous environments.  Prerequisites: GLG 201, CHM 137 or 141 and permission of instructor

GLG 633 Extensional Tectonics (3)

An evaluation of the geodynamic, structural, and sedimentary processes associated with extensional deformation of the Earth's crust and lithosphere.  Prerequisite:  graduate standing or permission of instructor.

GLG 643 Introduction to the Advanced Study of Mineralogy and Geochemistry (4)

Introduction to mineralogy, high and low temperature geochemistry and isotope systematics for first-year graduate students.  Direct application of principles through laboratory investigations.  3 Lec 1 Lab.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisites:  CHM 141, 142, 144, 145 and GLG 201

GLG 646 Igneous Petrology (3)

Theoretical and laboratory treatment of modern petrologic and geochemical problems and concepts with special emphasis on phase petrology, magmatic differentiation, computer modeling and petrography.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisite:  GLG 643 or permission of instructor

GLG 662 Subduction Zones (3)

Multidisciplinary examination of the subduction zone systems focusing on current research of physical processes.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisite

GLG 666 Theoretical Seismology (3)

Investigation of earthquake sources and seismic wave propagation including derivation from first principles in physics and mathematics in addition to the development of hypotheses for predicting seismic and elastic behavior from a theoretical framework.

GLG 670 Geochemical Modeling (1-3; maximum 6)

Development and application of geochemical modeling tools to aid in interpretation of petrologic, major element, trace element, and isotopic data in geologic and environmental materials, for applications in a wide range of geoscience disciplines including areas such as igneous petrology, mineralogy, aqueous geochemistry, climate change and environmental forensics.  Students will explore the fundamentals behind existing modeling programs and develop new modeling programs geared to specific student research interests.  Prerequisite:  permission of instructor

GLG 671 Introduction to Geology for Teachers I (4)

Origin, evolution, structure and composition of Earth.  Credit may not be used toward M.A. or M.S. degree in geology.  3 Lec. 1 Lab.  Prerequisite:  at least 12 semester hours in college chemistry, physics or biology.

GLG 700 Research for Masters Thesis (1-12; minimum 6; maximum 12)

GLG 710 Geology Seminar (1-3; maximum 12)

Open to all students who have completed a year of graduate study.

GLG 720 Advanced Mineralogy (1-3; maximum 3)

Single crystal X-ray crystallographic studies; study of crystal structure and comparative crystal chemistry of various mineral groups.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisites:  GLG 484/584, 643 or equivalent work in another graduate program

GLG 730 Advanced Igneous Petrology (1-3; maximum 3)

Experimental igneous petrology, and complex magma systems.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisite:  permission of instructor.

GLG 750 Advanced Studies in Crust and Mantle Development (1-3; maximum 3)

Geochemical and tectonic development of continental crust, and evolution of the mantle.  Offered infrequently.  Prerequisite:  permission of instructor

GLG 760 Advanced Carbonate Sedimentology (1-3; maximum 12)

Selected topics of sedimentology and geochemistry of carbonate sediments and rocks.  Prerequisite:  permission of instructor

GLG 770 Advanced Topics in Isotope Geochemistry (1-3; maximum 12)

Current topics in isotope geochemistry.  Recent analytical advances and results of current research.  Prerequisite:  GLG 527

GLG 790 Research in gEology (1-4; maximum 12)
GLG 850 Research for Doctoral Dissertation (1-16; minimum 16, maximum 60)