Geology

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Earth Sciences and Geography

 

Earth Sciences Option

Geology Option(Single Field Major)

Physical Science Option(Single Field Major)

 

Earth Science

 

Faculty

Ralph H. Saunders, Department Chair

Michael Ferris, Rodrick A. Hay, John Keyantash, Judith King-Rundel, Brendan McNulty, Ashish Sinha

 

Staff

Virginia Knauss, Department Secretary

John Hearn, Instructional Support Tech

Department Office: NSM B-202, (310) 243-3377

 

Program Description

The Earth Science Department offers B.S. degree options in Geology. Earth scientists and geologists are concerned with the history, behavior, and mineral composition of the earth, particularly that which provides energy and materials for manufacturing and construction. Geologic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcanic eruptions are studied. Recently, toxic wastes, migrating in ground water, have become a new challenge for earth scientists. An understanding of the processes taking place on our planet involves more than practical concerns of materials and hazards; the quality of our lives depends on our knowledge of the earth for its interpretation, protection, and enjoyment.

The programs have three objectives: thorough instruction in the fundamental physical sciences; development of skills in observation, writing and oral communication; rigorous training in the basic geological skills and subject matter.

Students may pursue either the Geology or the Physical Science Option for which no minor is required. Alternatively, students may choose the Earth Science Option, which must be taken in conjunction with a minor.

The Earth Sciences Option provides student with courses in oceanography, meteorology, geomorphology and mapping as well as geology courses. The emphasis on breadth will provide a wide exposure to many areas of the earth sciences. Students complete a minor of their choice along with this major and additional breadth and communication skills are developed through General Education.

The Geology Option prepares students for professional careers as geologists in government or industry. The degree also provides the basis for continuation into more advanced work in graduate school since many professional positions require a master’s degree. The Geology Option includes training in structural and stratigraphic interpretation, fossil identification, rock and mineral analysis, field mapping, and geologic report writing.

The Physical Science Option is designed for students seeking careers in teaching physical science in high school. This rigorous curriculum provides the student with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of geology, physics, mathematics and chemistry. Students will find this program challenging but those who complete it should find employment easily because of the exceptionally high quality of the program.

The Earth Sciences Minor can provide the student with a variety of courses in physical geography, oceanography and geology. Such a minor may form an interesting complement to many different majors. However, because the requirements are so flexible, students may design a concentration that fits their particular interests or complements their major.

 

Features

CSU Dominguez Hills is an ideal site for geological studies. To the south, lies the rocky peninsula of Palos Verdes where coastal erosion and deposition, landsliding and subsidence can be studied first hand. To the north, the magnificent San Gabriel Mountains have been thrust up against the San Andreas Fault Zone. Field trips are conducted year round to nearby desert and mountain areas where excellent rock exposures facilitate geological investigations in volcanism, ore deposits and paleontology. The campus itself is located on a major Southern California oil field that has been trapped along the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone.

The student/teacher ratio in this program assures intensive instruction and individual attention, which includes advising and counseling. Academic excellence is developed through intensive training in basic geological subjects, combined with a thorough grounding in the physical sciences.

 

Academic Advisement

Earth Sciences Majors should consult with their advisor prior to registration each semester. Records of the students progress toward the degree are maintained in the Earth Sciences Departmental office.

 

Preparation

High school students should take four years of mathematics, four years of English, one year of chemistry and one year of physics. One year of earth science and one year of biology are desirable.

Community College transfer students should check with their community college advisor to identify courses that fulfill lower division requirements in the major. These courses are listed in the articulation agreement with CSU Dominguez Hills. Students also may wish to contact the CSU Dominguez Hills Earth Sciences department office for assistance in selecting appropriate courses.

 

Career Possibilities

A large percentage of geologists are employed in petroleum and mining industries. Other employers include public utility companies, educational institutions, and federal, state and local governments. In Southern California, many geologists are employed in verifying the geological safety of construction sites. Increasingly, geologists are occupied in solving groundwater pollution and resource conservation problems.

Employment opportunities for the Earth Sciences Option are many and varied. Any position that requires a bachelor‘s degree and has applications to the natural sciences, such as land use, energy sources, or outdoor recreation could be filled by the successful graduate. These might include positions such as museum curator, assistant to the city planner, military or park service officer or environmental technician.

 

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Geology provided he or she meets the following criteria:

1.   A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;

2.   A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;

3.   Recommendation by the faculty of the Earth Sciences Department.

 

 

Bachelor of Science in Geology

 

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree

See the “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

 

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 or a maximum of 132 units.

 

General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the “General Education” requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

 

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the “Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement” in the University Catalog.

 

Minor Requirements

Students completing this major with the Earth Sciences option will need to complete a minor in another field.

 

Major Requirements (49-77 units)

Students must select one of the options listed. The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

 

Earth Sciences Option (49-50 units)

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (26 units)

EAR 100.     Physical Geology (3)

EAR 101.     Physical Geology Laboratory (1)

EAR 200.     Earth History and Evolution (3)

EAR 201.     Earth History Laboratory (1)

CHE 110.    General Chemistry I (5)

CHE 112.    General Chemistry II (5)

PHY 120.     Elements of Physics I (4) and

PHY 122.     Elements of Physics II (4) or

BIO 120.      Principles of Biology I (4) and

BIO 122.      Principles of Biology II (4)

NOTE: Completion of the lower division Geology Major requirements is also acceptable as fulfilling the lower division Earth Science Option requirements.

 

B.  Upper Division Requirements (23-24 units)

1.   Required Courses (14 units)

GEO 310.      Geomorphology (3)

GEO 315.      Meteorology (3)

EAR 356.       Mineralogy (4)

EAR 376.       Field Methods of Mapping (3)

EAR 490.       Senior Seminar in Earth Sciences (1)

2.   Electives: Select courses from the following (9-10 units):

EAR 358.       Petrology (4)

EAR 366.       Stratigraphy (4)

EAR 370.       Oceanography (3)

EAR 386.       Structural Geology (4)    

EAR 464.       Paleontology (3)

EAR 476.       Hydrogeology (3)

EAR 478.       Engineering Geology (3)

EAR 495.       Advanced Topics in Earth Sciences (3,4)

EAR 496.       Internship in Earth Sciences (2,3)

GEO 412.      Hydrology (3)

GEO 416.      Climatology (3)

 

Geology Option (73-78 units)

Single field major - no minor required

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (36-41 units)

EAR 100.     Physical Geology (3)

EAR 101.     Physical Geology Laboratory (1)

EAR 200.     Earth History and Evolution (3)

EAR 201.     Earth History Laboratory (1)

CSC 101.    Introduction to Computer Education (3)

CHE 110.    General Chemistry I (5)

CHE 112.    General Chemistry II (5)

PHY 120.     Elements of Physics I (4) and

PHY 122.     Elements of Physics II (4) or

PHY 130.     General Physics I (5) and

PHY 132.     General Physics II (5)

MAT 171.     Survey of Calculus for Management
& Life Science I (4) and

MAT 131.     Elementary Statistics and Probability (3) or

MAT 191.     Calculus I (5) and

MAT 193.     Calculus II (5)

 

B.  Upper Division Requirements (37 units )

1.   Required Courses (25 units)

EAR 356.       Mineralogy (4)

EAR 358.       Petrology (4)

EAR 366.       Stratigraphy (4)

EAR 376.       Field Methods of Mapping (3)

EAR 386.       Structural Geology (4)

EAR 464.       Paleontology (3)

EAR 490.       Senior Seminar in Earth Sciences (1)

EAR 499.       Senior Thesis (2)

2.   Select at least 6 units from the following:

EAR 476.       Hydrogeology (3)

EAR 478.       Engineering Geology (3)

EAR 495.       Advanced Topics in Earth Sciences (3, 4)

EAR 496.       Internship in Earth Sciences (2, 3)

CHE 474.      Geochemistry (3) [I]

3.   Field Geology Requirement (6 units)

      A minimum of six semester units of geologic field mapping and report preparation is required for the bachelor’s degree in Geology. This course, which is normally conducted from a camp in a primitive mountain or desert region, may be taken as a summer school or extension course at CSU Dominguez Hills or at another university. Students should take this course after their junior year, during the intersemester or summer breaks and should consult with an advisor at least two semesters prior to taking the course.

 

Physical Science Option (57-58 units)

Single field major - (no minor required)
and Subject Matter Preparation Program

Students may prepare for a career in teaching science at the secondary level (junior high or high school) by completing an approved “Subject Matter Preparation Program.” Completion of such a program is the first step in meeting the state requirements for a teaching credential. As the program requirements for the “Subject Matter Preparation Program” in science have changed recently, interested students should consult the departmentally designated advisor for current information.

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (38 units)

EAR 100.     Physical Geology (3)

EAR 101.     Physical Geology Laboratory (1)

EAR 200.     Earth History and Evolution (3)

EAR 201.     Earth History Laboratory (1)

CHE 110.    General Chemistry I (5)

CHE 112.    General Chemistry II (5)

MAT 191.     Calculus I (5)

MAT 193.     Calculus II (5)

PHY 130.     General Physics I (5)

PHY 132.     General Physics II (5)

 

B.  Upper Division Required Courses (19-20 units)

EAR 356.     Mineralogy (4)

EAR 358.     Petrology (4)

EAR 366.     Stratigraphy (4)

EAR 376.     Field Methods of Mapping (3)

CHE 310.    Organic Chemistry I (4) and

CHE 311.    Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1) or

CHE 316.    Survey of Organic Chemistry (3) and

CHE 317.    Survey of Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1)

 

Minor in Earth Sciences (20 units)

The Minor in Earth Sciences requires completion of 20 units. The lower division requirement includes courses which may be used to satisfy other university requirements such as General Education or the major.

 

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (8 units)

EAR 100.     Physical Geology (3)

EAR 101.     Physical Geology Laboratory (1)

EAR 200.     Earth History and Evolution (3)

EAR 201.     Earth History Laboratory (1)

 

B.  Upper Division Requirements (12 units)

      Any 12 units of upper division Earth Sciences (EAR) courses are sufficient to fulfill this requirement. Alternatively, the student may complete any six units of upper division Earth Sciences courses with six units selected from the geography courses listed below:

GEO 310.      Geomorphology (3)

GEO 315.      Meteorology (3)

GEO 412.      Hydrology (3)

GEO 416.      Climatology (3)

 

Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.

 

Lower Division

EAR 100  Physical Geology (3).

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in EAR 101 is recommended.

Volcanoes, earthquakes, oceanic processes and continental drift. Rock and mineral identification is enhanced by concurrent enrollment in EAR 101. Meets certain general studies requirements (is fundamental to Earth Sciences majors/minors), and has wide-ranging applications in art, commerce, public policy, and science. Field Trip.

EAR 101  Physical Geology Laboratory (1).

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in EAR 100 is recommended.

Nature and origin of rocks and minerals through determination of physical properties of specimens. Topographic and geologic map analysis. Geological features from stereoscopic air photos. Recommended elective for students interested in the outdoors, archaeology, mineral deposits, land use, and natural hazards.

EAR 200  Earth History and Evolution (3).

Prerequisites: EAR 100, EAR 101, and concurrent enrollment in EAR 201 are recommended.

Geological and biological history of the earth. Includes development of the geologic time scale, origin of the earth and life, the fossil record and evolution, and plate tectonics. Special emphasis on the geology of North America. Philosophical implications make this a valuable general elective for all students.

EAR 201  Earth History Laboratory (1).

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in EAR 200 is recommended.

Practical laboratory experience in fossil identification. Life history, form, function and evolution of animals and plants important in the fossil record. Interpretation of geologic maps and stratigraphic correlation of sedimentary rocks. Three hours of laboratory per week.

 

Upper Division

EAR 356  Mineralogy (4).

Prerequisites: EAR 100, EAR 101 and CHE 110 are required; CHE 112 is recommended.

Systematic study of the most common rock forming and ore minerals. Classification of crystals through determination of symmetry of crystal faces. Emphasis is on the identification of minerals by physical properties and qualitative chemical analysis. Two hours of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 358  Petrology (4).

Prerequisite: EAR 356.

Origin, occurrence and classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Phase equilibria, binary and ternary diagrams, significance of outcrop features. Development of skills in describing and interpreting hand specimens. Field trips. Two hours of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 366  Stratigraphy (4).

Prerequisites: EAR 200 and EAR 201 are required; EAR 356 and EAR 358 are recommended.

Interpretation of sedimentary environments through the study of bedding, grain size, fossils and sedimentary structures. Includes correlation and stratigraphic columns. Hand specimen and field analysis of sedimentary rocks. Has applications to geography, anthropology, biology, and oceanography. Two hours of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 370  Oceanography (3).

Prerequisite: EAR 100 is recommended.

Physical and chemical characteristics of seawater. Distribution of temperatures and salinity. Study of currents, tides, waves and the influence of the sea on weather and on life. Of interest to students as a general elective.

EAR 376  Field Methods of Mapping (3).

Techniques of preparing base maps with transit, tape, plane table and alidade. Brunton compass traverse methods. Introduction to geologic mapping. Applications to real estate, anthropology, construction engineering, government agencies or industries using maps. One hour of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 386  Structural Geology (4).

Prerequisites: EAR 100 and EAR 101 are required; EAR 200, EAR 201 are recommended.

Mechanics of rock deformation. Interpretation and classification of folds and faults. Graphical projections for location of subsurface features on geologic maps and cross sections. Use of stereonet. Plate tectonic implications. Two hours of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 464  Paleontology (3).

Prerequisites: EAR 200 and EAR 201.

Reviews the principles of paleontology, including biology (modes of life, growth, reproduction), morphology, phylogeny and classification, evolution, paleoecology, and biogeography. Lab: identification of fossils and application to stratigraphy. Emphasis is on invertebrate fossils. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 476  Hydrogeology (3).

Prerequisites: CHE 110, EAR 100 and EAR 101.

Interrelationships of geologic materials and processes with water. Topics include: hydrologic cycle, physical characteristics of aquifers, groundwater flow, wells, geology of flow systems, groundwater chemistry, and criteria for development and management of water resources. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 490  Senior Seminar in
Earth Sciences (1).

Prerequisite: Senior standing in Earth Sciences or consent of instructor.

Study and discussion of current research in Earth Sciences. Seminar topics of concentration include: Geological Dating Techniques, Evolution and the Fossil Record, and Geology of the Pleistocene and Man. Techniques of oral presentation, library research and preparation of audiovisual materials. One hour of seminar per week.

EAR 494  Independent Study (1-3).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Laboratory, library or field exercises to develop knowledge and skills in areas of special interest to the student. May include guided field trips when offered. CR/NC grading. Repeatable course.

EAR 495  Advanced Topics in
Earth Sciences (3,4).

Prerequisite: Senior standing in Earth Sciences or consent of instructor.

Systematic studies in such topics as optical mineralogy, petrography, ore deposits and geophysics. Utilizes specialties of visiting professors where possible. Oriented toward development of professional skills through practical laboratory or field experience. Repeatable course. Two hours of lecture and three or six hours of laboratory per week.

EAR 496  Internship in Earth                             Sciences (2,3).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Employment as an assistant or volunteer in an earth sciences-related firm or government agency. Course may run at time convenient to student and employers, including summer. Student should contact Department faculty three months prior to enrollment. CR/NC grading. Repeatable course.

EAR 498  Directed Research (1-3).

Prerequisite: Senior standing is recommended.

Laboratory, library or field research investigations intended to produce new and original information in the Earth Sciences. Conducted independently but with the general guidance of appropriate faculty. CR/NC grading. Repeatable course.

EAR 499  Senior Thesis (2).

Prerequisites: Approval of instructor.

Geological research and writing of a thesis. Generally includes library, field and laboratory investigations. Topic of research to be approved and directed by an instructor. CR/NC grading.

 

Infrequently Offered Courses

The following courses are scheduled on
a “demand” basis. Students should consult the department office for information about the next schedule offering.

 

EAR 478  Engineering Geology (3).

Prerequisite: EAR 386.

Evaluation and abatement of geologic hazards affecting construction projects and land use. Landslides, groundwater pollution, subsidence, flooding, and earthquake effects. Mechanical properties of rocks and soils. Case histories and site investigations. Application to business, law, construction engineering and environmental studies.
Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.