Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Earth Sciences B.A.

Department of Earth Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 65
  • This program requires summer terms.
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Earth Sciences is the study of the composition, structure, and history of the Earth, as well as the processes that operate on and within it. Emphasis on the crust, oceans, and atmosphere. The BA prepares students for graduate study or professional employment. Earth scientists are employed in a wide range of fields, including exploration for and development of natural resources, environmental science, urban planning, education, oceanography, and other areas related to natural science. Potential employers include the oil, gas, and minerals industries, environmental consultants, federal and private research institutions, universities, schools, and government agencies. An advanced degree is usually required for a career in research or teaching.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
A GPA above 2.0 is preferred for the following:
  • 2.50 transferring from outside the University
Students interested in Earth Sciences as a major may want to consider taking one of these courses with a lab: ESCI 1001, 1005, 1006, or 1007.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Students are required to complete 4 semester(s) of any second language. with a grade of C-, or better, or S, or demonstrate proficiency in the language(s) as defined by the department or college.
CLA BA degrees require 4 semesters or the equivalent of a second language. CLA BA degrees require 18 upper-division (3xxx-level or higher) credits outside the major designator. These credits must be taken in designators different from the major designator and cannot include courses that are cross-listed with the major designator. The major designator for the Earth Sciences BA is ESCI. Students may earn a BA or a minor in earth sciences, but not both. All incoming CLA freshmen must complete the First Year Experience course sequence.
Mathematics
Take 1 of the following calculus sequences for a total of 8 credits.
MATH 1271 - Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
MATH 1272 - Calculus II (4.0 cr)
or MATH 1371 - CSE Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
MATH 1372 - CSE Calculus II (4.0 cr)
or MATH 1571H - Honors Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
MATH 1572H - Honors Calculus II (4.0 cr)
Physics
Take 2 of the following courses for a total of 8 credits.
PHYS 1301W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 1401V - Honors Physics I [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
PHYS 1302W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
or PHYS 1402V - Honors Physics II [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
Chemistry
Take 4 of the following courses for a total of 8 credits.
Chemical Principles I
CHEM 1061 - Chemical Principles I [PHYS] (3.0 cr)
CHEM 1065 - Chemical Principles I Laboratory [PHYS] (1.0 cr)
or CHEM 1071H - Honors Chemistry I [PHYS] (3.0 cr)
CHEM 1075H - Honors Chemistry I Laboratory [PHYS] (1.0 cr)
Chemical Principles II
CHEM 1062 - Chemical Principles II [PHYS] (3.0 cr)
CHEM 1066 - Chemical Principles II Laboratory [PHYS] (1.0 cr)
or CHEM 1072H - Honors Chemistry II [PHYS] (3.0 cr)
CHEM 1076H - Honors Chemistry II Laboratory [PHYS] (1.0 cr)
Major Courses
Take the following 7 courses for a total of 25 credits.
ESCI 2201 - Solid Earth Dynamics (4.0 cr)
ESCI 2202 - Earth History (4.0 cr)
ESCI 2203 - Earth Surface Dynamics (4.0 cr)
ESCI 2301 - Mineralogy (3.0 cr)
ESCI 3202 - Fluid Earth Dynamics (4.0 cr)
ESCI 3303W - Geochemical Principles [WI] (4.0 cr)
ESCI 3891 - Field Methods (2.0 cr)
Field Courses
Take 2 of the following courses for a total of 8 credits.
ESCI 3911 - Introductory Field Geology (4.0 cr)
ESCI 4911 - Advanced Field Geology (4.0 cr)
or ESCI 4971W - Field Hydrogeology [WI] (4.0 cr)
Electives
ESCI 2302, 4501, and 4602 are strongly recommended for satisfying the elective credits.
Take 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ESCI 2302 - Petrology (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3002 - Climate Change and Human History [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3004 - Water and Society [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3005 - Earth Resources (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3006 - Planets of the Solar System (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3093 - Problems in Earth Sciences: Junior (1.0-4.0 cr)
· ESCI 3402 - Science and Politics of Global Warming [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3890 - Field Workshop (1.0 cr)
· ESCI 4010 - Undergraduate Seminar: Current Topics in Earth Sciences (1.0-4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4093 - Problems in Earth Sciences: Senior (1.0-4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4094 - Senior Thesis (2.0 cr)
· ESCI 4102W - Vertebrate Paleontology: Evolutionary History and Fossil Records of Vertebrates [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4103W - Fossil Record of Mammals [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4203 - Principles of Geophysical Exploration (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4204 - Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4211 - Solid Earth Geophysics I (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4212 - Solid Earth Geophysics II (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4401 - Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4402 - Biogeochemical Cycles in the Ocean (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4501 - Structural Geology (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4502 - Tectonic Styles (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4503 - Neotectonics (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4602 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4701 - Geomorphology (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4702 - General Hydrogeology (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4703 - Glacial Geology (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4801 - Geomicrobiology (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5201 - Time-Series Analysis of Geological Phenomena (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5203 - Mineral and Rock Physics (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5204 - Geostatistics and Inverse Theory (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5205 - Fluid Mechanics in Earth and Environmental Sciences (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5302 - Isotope Geology (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5351 - Geochemical Modeling of Aqueous Systems (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5502 - Advanced Structural Geology (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5503 - Advanced Petrology (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5504W - Neotectonics [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5601W - Advanced Sedimentology [WI] (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 5705 - Limnogeology and Paleoenvironment (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5980 - Seminar: Current Topics in Earth Sciences (1.0-4.0 cr)
· GCC 3004 - Grand Challenge: The Fracking Boom - Promises and Challenges of the Hydrocarbon Renaissance [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· GCC 3006 - Grand Challenge: Climate Change - Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· GCC 5008 - Grand Challenge: Policy and Science of Global Environmental Change [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3425 - Atmospheric Pollution: From Smog to Climate Change (3.0 cr)
or ESPM 3425 - Atmospheric Pollution: From Smog to Climate Change (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5353 - Electron Microprobe Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
or MATS 5353 - Electron Microprobe Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
Major Project
The Major Project for the Earth Sciences BA is fulfilled with successful completion of either ESci 4911 or ESci 4971W. Students must complete one of these courses for the Field Courses requirement.
Upper Division Writing Intensive within the major
Students are required to take one upper division writing intensive course within the major. If that requirement has not been satisfied within the core major requirements, students must choose one course from the following list. Some of these courses may also fulfill other major requirements.
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· ESCI 3303W - Geochemical Principles [WI] (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4971W - Field Hydrogeology [WI] (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 4102W - Vertebrate Paleontology: Evolutionary History and Fossil Records of Vertebrates [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4103W - Fossil Record of Mammals [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5504W - Neotectonics [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 5601W - Advanced Sedimentology [WI] (4.0 cr)
 
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MATH 1271 - Calculus I (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00067 - Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Differential calculus of functions of a single variable, including polynomial, rational, exponential, and trig functions. Applications, including optimization and related rates problems. Single variable integral calculus, using anti-derivatives and simple substitution. Applications may include area, volume, work problems. prereq: 4 yrs high school math including trig or satisfactory score on placement test or grade of at least C- in [1151 or 1155]
MATH 1272 - Calculus II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Techniques of integration. Calculus involving transcendental functions, polar coordinates. Taylor polynomials, vectors/curves in space, cylindrical/spherical coordinates. prereq: [1271 or equiv] with grade of at least C-
MATH 1371 - CSE Calculus I (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Differentiation of single-variable functions, basics of integration of single-variable functions. Applications: max-min, related rates, area, curve-sketching. Use of calculator, cooperative learning. prereq: CSE or pre-bioprod concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in biosys engn (PRE), background in [precalculus, geometry, visualization of functions/graphs], instr consent; familiarity with graphing calculators recommended
MATH 1372 - CSE Calculus II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572
Typically offered: Every Spring
Techniques of integration. Calculus involving transcendental functions, polar coordinates, Taylor polynomials, vectors/curves in space, cylindrical/spherical coordinates. Use of calculators, cooperative learning. prereq: Grade of at least C- in [1371 or equiv], CSE or pre-Bioprod/Biosys Engr
MATH 1571H - Honors Calculus I (MATH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00067 - Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Differential/integral calculus of functions of a single variable. Emphasizes hard problem-solving rather than theory. prereq: Honors student and permission of University Honors Program
MATH 1572H - Honors Calculus II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00068 - Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continuation of 1571. Infinite series, differential calculus of several variables, introduction to linear algebra. prereq: 1571H, honors student, permission of University Honors Program
PHYS 1301W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00078
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Motion, forces, conservation principles, structure of matter. Applications to mechanical systems. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1271 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1371 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1571
PHYS 1401V - Honors Physics I (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00078
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Comprehensive, calculus-level general physics. Emphasizes use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles. Structure of matter, with applications to mechanical systems.
PHYS 1302W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00079
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Motion, forces, conservation principles, fields, structure of matter. Applications to electromagnetic phenomena. prereq: 1301W, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in Math 1272 or Math 1372 or Math 1572
PHYS 1402V - Honors Physics II (PHYS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00079
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles, fields. Structure of matter, with applications to electro-magnetic phenomena. prereq: 1401V, honors student or permission of University Honors Program
CHEM 1061 - Chemical Principles I (PHYS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01884 - Chem 1061/Chem 1071H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Atomic theory, periodic properties of elements. Thermochemistry, reaction stoichiometry. Behavior of gases, liquids, and solids. Molecular/ionic structure/bonding. Organic chemistry and polymers. energy sources, environmental issues related to energy use. Prereq-Grade of at least C- in [1011 or 1015] or [passing placement exam, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1065]; intended for science or engineering majors; concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1065; registration for 1065 must precede registration for 1061
CHEM 1065 - Chemical Principles I Laboratory (PHYS)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01878 - Chem 1065/Chem 1075H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Basic laboratory skills while investigating physical and chemical phenomena closely linked to lecture material. Experimental design, data collection and treatment, discussion of errors, and proper treatment of hazardous wastes. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1061
CHEM 1071H - Honors Chemistry I (PHYS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01884 - Chem 1061/Chem 1071H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced introduction to atomic theory. Periodic properties of elements. Behavior of gases, liquids, and solids. Molecular/ionic structure, bonding. Aspects of organic chemistry, spectroscopy, and polymers. Mathematically demanding quantitative problems. Writing for scientific journals. prereq: Honors student, permission of University Honors Program, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1075H; registration for 1075H must precede registration for 1071H
CHEM 1075H - Honors Chemistry I Laboratory (PHYS)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01878 - Chem 1065/Chem 1075H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Develop laboratory skills while investigating physical and chemical phenomena closely linked to lecture material. Experimental design, data collection and treatment, discussion of errors, and the proper treatment of hazardous wastes. Prereq-&1071H, honors student, permission of University Honors Program.
CHEM 1062 - Chemical Principles II (PHYS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01885 - Chem 1062/Chem 1072H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Chemical kinetics. Radioactive decay. Chemical equilibrium. Solutions. Acids/bases. Solubility. Second law of thermodynamics. Electrochemistry/corrosion. Descriptive chemistry of elements. Coordination chemistry. Biochemistry. prereq: Grade of at least C- in 1061 or equiv, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1066; registration for 1066 must precede registration for 1062
CHEM 1066 - Chemical Principles II Laboratory (PHYS)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01879 - Chem 1066/Chem 1076H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Basic laboratory skills while investigating physical and chemical phenomena closely linked to lecture material. Experimental design, data collection and treatment, discussion of errors, and proper treatment of hazardous wastes. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1062
CHEM 1072H - Honors Chemistry II (PHYS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01885 - Chem 1062/Chem 1072H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Advanced introduction. Chemical kinetics/reaction mechanisms, chemical/physical equilibria, acids/bases, entropy/second law of thermodynamics, electrochemistry/corrosion; descriptive chemistry of elements; coordination chemistry; biochemistry. prereq: 1071H, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1076H, honors student, registration for 1076H must precede registration for 1072H
CHEM 1076H - Honors Chemistry II Laboratory (PHYS)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01879 - Chem 1066/Chem 1076H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Develop laboratory skills as experiments become increasingly complex. Data collection/treatment, discussion of errors, proper treatment of hazardous wastes, experiment design. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 1072H
ESCI 2201 - Solid Earth Dynamics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Dynamics of solid Earth, particularly tectonic system. Seismology, internal structure of Earth. Earth's gravity, magnetic fields. Paleomagnetism, global plate tectonics, tectonic systems. Field trip. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in PHYS 1301 or instr consent
ESCI 2202 - Earth History
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Big Bang cosmology, plate tectonics, evolution. Formation of Earth. Chemical evolution of Earth, atmosphere, and ocean. Origin/tectonic evolution of continents. Origin of life, its patterns/processes. Long-term interactions between geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. prereq: [2201, 2301] or instr consent
ESCI 2203 - Earth Surface Dynamics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Earth's surface processes, drivers, and implications. Interactions between atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.
ESCI 2301 - Mineralogy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Crystallography, crystal chemistry, physics. Physical/chemical properties, crystal structures, chemical equilibria of major mineral groups. Lab includes crystallographic, polarizing microscope, X-ray powder diffraction exercises, hand-specimen mineral identification. prereq: [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1061, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1065, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1271] or instr consent
ESCI 3202 - Fluid Earth Dynamics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Dynamics of fluid Earth, mainly surface processes and convection. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 2201
ESCI 3303W - Geochemical Principles (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Origin of elements (nucleosynthesis, elemental abundances). Geochemical classifications. Isotopes (radioactive, stable). Phase equilibria. Models of Earth's geochemical evolution. Basic geochemical processes that produced Earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere. prereq: [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1061, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1065] or instr consent
ESCI 3891 - Field Methods
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Methods in geologic field mapping.
ESCI 3911 - Introductory Field Geology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Geologic mapping on topographic maps and aerial photos. Field identification of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Measurement of stratigraphic sections. Structural/geomorphic features. prereq: 2201, 3891, instr consent
ESCI 4911 - Advanced Field Geology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Geologic mapping; study of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks; structures and surficial features; problem solving. Paper required. prereq: 3911, instr consent
ESCI 4971W - Field Hydrogeology (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Summer
Aquifer, vadoze zone, and surface water hydrology field techniques. Shallow soil boring, sampling. Well installation. Single/multiple well aquifer testing. Ground water sampling for chemical analysis. Weather data collection, hydrogeologic mapping, water balance calculation. prereq: instr consent
ESCI 2302 - Petrology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Magmatic and metamorphic processes, with an emphasis on plate tectonic interpretation of rock sequences. prereq: 2301 or instr consent
ESCI 3002 - Climate Change and Human History (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01284
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Causes of long-/short-term climate change. Frequency/magnitude of past climate changes; their geologic records. Relationship of past climate changes to development of agrarian societies and to shifts in power among kingdoms/city-states. Emphasizes last 10,000 years.
ESCI 3004 - Water and Society (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
For non-science majors. Study of (1) the role of humans as agents influencing the composition (quality) of water resources through domestic, agricultural, industrial, and other land-use practices; (2) the role of water in various ecosystem services which may be at odds with the anthropocentric view of water as a resource; (3) how population increase and climate change, coupled with human actions, is affecting the quality and quantity of available water, leading to lack of access to clean water and decent sanitation, and to severe water shortages (e.g., for irrigation) in some areas, especially in developing nations and politically unstable regions; and (4) how the availability of water shapes a society’s view of water as a resource and its view of the non-human demands for water (which is not uniform across the globe).
ESCI 3005 - Earth Resources
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Geologic aspects of energy/material resources. Resource size/life-times. Environmental consequences of resource use. Issues of international/public ethics associated with resource production, distribution, and use.
ESCI 3006 - Planets of the Solar System
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Recent accomplishments of space missions. Diverse/common characteristics of planetary formation. Surface processes/interior dynamics. Meteoritic impacts. Comets. Other solar systems/possibility of life.
ESCI 3093 - Problems in Earth Sciences: Junior
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Problems in earth sciences studied independently under the direction of a faculty member. prereq: instr consent
ESCI 3402 - Science and Politics of Global Warming (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01702 - Geo 3402/Geo 5402
Typically offered: Every Spring
Detection/attribution of global warming using concepts of radiation, climate system, and carbon cycle. Effects on society/biodiversity. National/global efforts/controversy over responses/consequences.
ESCI 3890 - Field Workshop
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Earth sciences field workshop where students learn about the geological aspects of specific area(s) and culminates in a field trip to that area(s) to see the geology first-hand.
ESCI 4010 - Undergraduate Seminar: Current Topics in Earth Sciences
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics in earth sciences investigated in a seminar format. prereq: instr consent
ESCI 4093 - Problems in Earth Sciences: Senior
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Seniors engage in independent research under faculty supervision. prereq: instr consent
ESCI 4094 - Senior Thesis
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Senior-level majors engage in independent research under faculty supervision. Select problems according to individual interests and in consultation with faculty committee. Thesis and oral defense. prereq: Sr, Geo or ESci major, instr consent
ESCI 4102W - Vertebrate Paleontology: Evolutionary History and Fossil Records of Vertebrates (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Vertebrate evolution (exclusive of mammals) in phylogenetic, temporal, functional, and paleoecological contexts. Vertebrate anatomy. Methods in reconstructing phylogenetic relationships and origin/history of major vertebrate groups, from Cambrian Explosion to modern diversity of vertebrate animals. prereq: 1001 or 1002 or Biol 1001 or Biol 1002 or Biol 1009 or instr consent
ESCI 4103W - Fossil Record of Mammals (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Evolutionary history of mammals and their extinct relatives. Methods in reconstructing phylogeny. Place of mammals in evolutionary history of vertebrate animals. Major morphological/ecological transitions. Origins of modern groups of mammals. Continuing controversies in studying fossil mammals.
ESCI 4203 - Principles of Geophysical Exploration
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Seismic exploration (reflection and refraction); potential techniques (gravity and magnetics) and electrical techniques of geophysical exploration. prereq: Phys 1302
ESCI 4204 - Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Present geomagnetic field at the Earth's surface, secular variation, geomagnetic field reversals. Physical and chemical basis of paleomagnetism: origin of natural remanent magnetization, mineralogy of magnetic minerals, magnetic polarity stratigraphy, apparent polar wander, and environmental magnetism. prereq: 2201, Phys 1302, Math 1272 or instr consent
ESCI 4211 - Solid Earth Geophysics I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Basic elasticity, basic seismology, and physical structure of the Earth's crust and deep interior. prereq: 2201, Phys 1302
ESCI 4212 - Solid Earth Geophysics II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Dynamics of the solid Earth, mostly mantle and core; seismic tomography, geothermal measurements, gravity, time-dependent deformation of the Earth, computer modeling. prereq: 2201, Phys 1302
ESCI 4401 - Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02198 - ESci 4401/ESci 8401
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
General principles of solution chemistry applied to geology. Solution-mineral equilibria. Redox processes in natural waters. Geochemistry of hydrothermal fluids. Environmental geochemistry.
ESCI 4402 - Biogeochemical Cycles in the Ocean
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02130
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Marine biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography. Processes controlling chemical composition of oceans past/present. Cycles of major/minor constituents, including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, and oxygen and their isotopes. Role of these cycles in climate system. prereq: [CHEM 1021, CHEM 1022] or instr consent
ESCI 4501 - Structural Geology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fundamental concepts related to deformation of Earth's crust. Processes associated with deformation, faulting, folding, fabric development. Lab/recitation include solving problems, conducting physical/numerical experiments. Field trips. prereq: 2201, 2302
ESCI 4502 - Tectonic Styles
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Origin and nature of major types of tectonic disturbances affecting the crust and lithosphere, including analysis of the form and development of individual structural components and relationship to plate tectonics. Changes over geologic time in the nature of orogenic processes. prereq: 4501 or instr consent
ESCI 4503 - Neotectonics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Integration of diverse elements of geology, geodesy, and geophysics to examine recent and active tectonics of the Earth's lithosphere; extensional, compressional and wrench tectonic regimes with case studies around the world; modern global plate motions, geodetic techniques, seismic anisotropy, climatically driven tectonics. prereq: 4501 or instr consent
ESCI 4602 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Interpretation of origin of sedimentary rocks through application of basic physical/chemical principles. Modern depositional environments, petrographic microscopy, basin dynamics, stratigraphy. prereq: [2203, 2301] or instr consent
ESCI 4701 - Geomorphology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Origin, development, and continuing evolution of landforms in various environments. Environmental implications. Weathering, slope and shore processes, fluvial erosion and deposition, arid region processes, glacial processes. This course includes lecture and laboratory components, including field trips. prereq: ESCI 2201, 2203 and 3202; MATH 1272; and PHYS 1301; or instructor consent.
ESCI 4702 - General Hydrogeology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Theory of groundwater geology, hydrologic cycle, watershed hydrology, Darcy's law, governing equations of groundwater motion, flow net analysis, analog models, groundwater resource evaluation/development. Applied analysis of steady and transient equations of groundwater motion and chemical transport. Chemistry of natural waters. prereq: [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1062, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1066, MATH 1271, PHYS 1201] or instr consent
ESCI 4703 - Glacial Geology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Formation and characteristics of modern glaciers; erosional and depositional features of Pleistocene glaciers; history of quaternary environmental changes in glaciated and nonglaciated areas. Field trips and labs. prereq: 1001 or instr consent
ESCI 4801 - Geomicrobiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Geosphere/biosphere interactions over temporal/spatial scales. Global biogeochemical cycling, microbe-metal interactions, microbial paleobiology, environmental geomicrobiology, life detection, habitability of planets. prereq: One semester college level biology
ESCI 5201 - Time-Series Analysis of Geological Phenomena
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Time-series analysis of linear and nonlinear geological and geophysical phenomena. Examples drawn from ice age cycles, earthquakes, climatic fluctuations, volcanic eruptions, atmospheric phenomena, thermal convection and other time-dependent natural phenomena. Modern concepts of nonlinear dynamics and complexity theory applied to geological phenomena. prereq: Math 2263 or instr consent
ESCI 5203 - Mineral and Rock Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Physical properties of minerals and rocks as related to the composition and dynamics of the Earth's crust, mantle, and core. prereq: 2201, Phys 1302
ESCI 5204 - Geostatistics and Inverse Theory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Statistical treatment of geological and geophysical data. Statistical estimation. Stochastic processes/fields. Non-linear/non-assumptive error analysis. Cluster analysis. Eigenvalue-eigenvector methods. Regional variables. Correlograms and kriging. Theoretical framework of linear geostatistics and geophysical inverse theory. prereq: Stat 3011 or instr consent
ESCI 5205 - Fluid Mechanics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Flow equations in conservation of mass, energy, momentum. Fluid flow in oceans, lakes, rivers, atmosphere. Flow of Earth's mantle/outer core. Wave propagation. Porous medium flow in soils/fractures. Diffusive, advective, dispersive transfer of heat. Microbes with subsurface fluids. prereq: MATH 2263 or instr consent
ESCI 5302 - Isotope Geology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theory and uses of radioactive, radiogenic, and stable isotopes in geology. Radioactive dating, geothermometry, and tracer techniques in geologic processes. prereq: 3303W or instr consent
ESCI 5351 - Geochemical Modeling of Aqueous Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Using mass transfer reaction path models to assess chemical evolution of natural fluids, hydrothermal alteration processes, and formation of hydrothermal ore deposits. prereq: 4401
ESCI 5502 - Advanced Structural Geology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Analysis of structures and fabric of deformed rocks. Determination of states of stress and strain in rocks and of evolution of these with time. Deformation mechanisms. Extensive reading in journal literature. Field trips. prereq: 4501 or instr consent
ESCI 5503 - Advanced Petrology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Quantitative approach to modern igneous/metamorphic petrology. Emphasizes thermodynamics of minerals/melts and with applications to phase diagrams, thermobarometry, melting relationships, and energetics of petrologic mass transfer. prereq: 2302, CHEM 1061, CHEM 1065, [MATH 1372 or MATH 1272 or MATH 1572]
ESCI 5504W - Neotectonics (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02162
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Integration of multidisciplinary elements of geology, geodesy, geodynamics, seismotectonics, tectonophysics to examine recent/active tectonics of Earth's lithosphere. Extensional, compressional, wrench-tectonic regimes with global case studies incorporating mantle to surface processes. prereq: [2201, 4501] or instr consent
ESCI 5601W - Advanced Sedimentology (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02114
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Principles/processes of sedimentary geology. Interactions among lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere. Detrital/carbonate facies of modern/ancient systems, coastal processes, geobiology, tectonics, paleoclimate, stuctural diagenesis, paleosols, volcanic sedimentation. prereq: 4602 or instr consent
ESCI 5705 - Limnogeology and Paleoenvironment
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Within-lake, hydrogeologic, and landscape (geological/biological) processes that lead to formation of various proxy records of paleoenvironment. Systems approach to physical, geochemical, biogeochemical, and biotic proxies. Basic principles, case studies. Emphasizes how proxy records relate to paleoclimate. prereq: instr consent
ESCI 5980 - Seminar: Current Topics in Earth Sciences
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics in earth sciences investigated in a seminar format.
GCC 3004 - Grand Challenge: The Fracking Boom - Promises and Challenges of the Hydrocarbon Renaissance (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
This course will explore the energy revolution that has been ignited by recent technological advances (primarily hydro-fracturing or "fracking") and its many far-reaching consequences. Students will engage in understanding the economic, political, geological, environmental, and social aspects of this multi-faceted issue. After establishing the historical framework, we will discuss how the "fracking boom" has drastically altered this landscape. With a solid understanding of the role of hydrocarbons in the modern world, we will explore the promise and the perils of the fracking boom. While we will discuss all the major fracking areas, the Bakken Shale will receive special attention both because of its geographical proximity to Minnesota and because of the dramatic transformation it has spurred in North Dakota. We will explore economic and social repercussions of the Bakken boom from the interpersonal to the international, as well as issues related to environmental degradation and other potential hazards. prereq: sophomore, junior, senior
GCC 3006 - Grand Challenge: Climate Change - Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02319
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Climate variations are the norm; not the exception. The geological and archaeological records are rich with evidence of a climate system that is dynamic and non-steady state. Yet we face the challenges of understanding the complexities of this system in order to manage our resources and to prepare wisely for the future. This class examines the theory behind the atmospheric greenhouse effect and radiative forcings in the climate system, and the consequences of anthropogenic climate change for present and future societies. It also explores environmental signals that are used to diagnose climate variability. The Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties about the climate record and the biophysical feedback processes operating in the Earth-Atmosphere system will be examined. After firmly establishing the scientific basis for climate change, the remainder of the class will focus on intersections between climate change and society. prereq: sophomore, junior, senior
GCC 5008 - Grand Challenge: Policy and Science of Global Environmental Change (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00766 - EEB 5146/FNRM 5146/GCC 5008/P
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Through readings, lectures, discussions, written assignments, and presentations this course introduces the critical issues underpinning global change and its environmental and social implications. The course examines current literature in exploring evidence for human-induced global change and its potential effects on a wide range of biological processes and examines the social and economic drivers, social and economic consequences, and political processes at local, national, and international scales related to global change.
ESCI 3425 - Atmospheric Pollution: From Smog to Climate Change
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01765 - ESPM 3425/ESci 3425
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Processes governing chemical makeup of Earth's atmosphere. Implications for air pollution, climate, human welfare. Evolution of atmosphere. Atmospheric structure/transport. Biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, mercury. Greenhouse effect. Aerosols. Stratospheric ozone loss. prereq: [CHEM 1061, PHYS 1101W, MATH 1142 or 1271] or equiv or instr consent. Course cross-listed with ESCI 3425.
ESPM 3425 - Atmospheric Pollution: From Smog to Climate Change
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01765 - ESPM 3425/ESci 3425
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Processes governing chemical makeup of Earth's atmosphere. Implications for air pollution, climate, human welfare. Evolution of atmosphere. Atmospheric structure/transport. Biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, mercury. Greenhouse effect. Aerosols. Stratospheric ozone loss. prereq: [CHEM 1061, PHYS 1101W, MATH 1142 or 1271] or equiv or instr consent
ESCI 5353 - Electron Microprobe Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01780 - Geo 5353/MatS 5353
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Characterizing solid materials with electron beam instrumentation, including reduction of X-ray data to chemical compositions. prereq: [One yr chem, one yr physics] or instr consent
MATS 5353 - Electron Microprobe Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01780
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Characterizing solid materials with electron beam instrumentation, including reduction of X-ray data to chemical compositions. prereq: [One yr chem, one yr physics] or instr consent
ESCI 3303W - Geochemical Principles (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Origin of elements (nucleosynthesis, elemental abundances). Geochemical classifications. Isotopes (radioactive, stable). Phase equilibria. Models of Earth's geochemical evolution. Basic geochemical processes that produced Earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere. prereq: [concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1061, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in CHEM 1065] or instr consent
ESCI 4971W - Field Hydrogeology (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Summer
Aquifer, vadoze zone, and surface water hydrology field techniques. Shallow soil boring, sampling. Well installation. Single/multiple well aquifer testing. Ground water sampling for chemical analysis. Weather data collection, hydrogeologic mapping, water balance calculation. prereq: instr consent
ESCI 4102W - Vertebrate Paleontology: Evolutionary History and Fossil Records of Vertebrates (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Vertebrate evolution (exclusive of mammals) in phylogenetic, temporal, functional, and paleoecological contexts. Vertebrate anatomy. Methods in reconstructing phylogenetic relationships and origin/history of major vertebrate groups, from Cambrian Explosion to modern diversity of vertebrate animals. prereq: 1001 or 1002 or Biol 1001 or Biol 1002 or Biol 1009 or instr consent
ESCI 4103W - Fossil Record of Mammals (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Evolutionary history of mammals and their extinct relatives. Methods in reconstructing phylogeny. Place of mammals in evolutionary history of vertebrate animals. Major morphological/ecological transitions. Origins of modern groups of mammals. Continuing controversies in studying fossil mammals.
ESCI 5504W - Neotectonics (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02162
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Integration of multidisciplinary elements of geology, geodesy, geodynamics, seismotectonics, tectonophysics to examine recent/active tectonics of Earth's lithosphere. Extensional, compressional, wrench-tectonic regimes with global case studies incorporating mantle to surface processes. prereq: [2201, 4501] or instr consent
ESCI 5601W - Advanced Sedimentology (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02114
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Principles/processes of sedimentary geology. Interactions among lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere. Detrital/carbonate facies of modern/ancient systems, coastal processes, geobiology, tectonics, paleoclimate, stuctural diagenesis, paleosols, volcanic sedimentation. prereq: 4602 or instr consent