Chair and Associate Professor Rodgers
Professors Link, McCurry, Ore
Assistant Professors Hughes, Thackray
Affiliate Associate Professor Akersten
Supervisory Research Geologist Welhan
The M.S. degree is offered to those students who have degrees in geology who have demonstrated the potential for research and a professional career. Classified (degree-seeking, fully accepted) admission to the program is decided by the graduate faculty of the Geology Department in accordance with standards set by the Graduate School.
A complete graduate application for classifiedstatus in the ISU Geology Department consistsof:
a. GRE aptitude scores (35% on math or verbal is required for classified students)
b. A letter of intent and statement of goals in Graduate School
c. An ISU Graduate School application form and official copies of transcripts
d. Three letters of recommendation
Applicant must hold the degree of Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in geology or the equivalent as determined by the department. The student's course of study will be determined by consultation and possibly an entrance examination. Students will normally be required to complete as deficiencies at the undergraduate level any courses required for the B.S. in geology at ISU which they have not already taken. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and upon making satisfactory progress toward the degree.
Students who do not meet the minimum requirements or with incomplete applications can be admitted on a conditional or unclassified basis. Conditional status can be changed to classified after one or two semesters if performance is satisfactory. Unclassified status is used for students with large numbers of deficiencies or with very low undergraduate GPAs. Unclassified students may petition for classified status when their performance warrants.
A student who wants to earn an M.S. in Geology must complete at least 30 credits of coursework. These credits must be earned under the conditions outlined below:
a) The student must earn at least 17 credits (including six Thesis credits) at the 600 level in Geology.
b) The remaining 13 credits may be earned at the 500 or 600 level, of which eight credits may come from a related discipline.
In addition to the 30 required credits, each student must take two approved courses from outside the Geology Department (e.g., technical writing, anthropology, etc.) or may opt to take the foreign language challenge exam at the elementary level.
The department requires that the following core courses be completed. These classes are normally taken during the first semester of graduate study:
GEOL 591 Seminar 1 cr
GEOL 601 Advanced Physical Geology 2 cr
GEOL 603 Geologic Writing Seminar 1 cr
Graduate students may not sign up for GEOL 650 (Thesis) until their thesis prospectus has been submitted and approved by the Thesis Committee. Additionally, all graduate students are required to present at least one geology colloquium dealing with their thesis topic prior to taking their oral examination.
A Geology M.S. degree may be awarded with the annotation "Emphasis in Environmental Geoscience" added, if the student completes the requirements for an M.S. Geology degree plus at least 9 credits in approved graduate-level courses in the general area of Environmental Geoscience. Students who wish their M.S. degree to contain the added designation "With Emphasis in Environmental Geoscience", need to file an amended program of study form with the Office of Graduate Studies. The curriculum may be developed in, but is not limited to, the following areas: surface and groundwater hydrology; environmental geochemistry; surficial geological processes; geomorphology; volcanic, earthquake and other geologic hazards; environmental geophysics; assessment and remediation of hazardous waste sites; Neogene and Quaternary geology. Courses in related sciences and engineering disciplines may also be included.
The curriculum must be approved by the student's graduate committee, and may include components taken at Boise State University and/or the University of Idaho. Inter-university graduate committees are encouraged.
The Master of Natural Science degree in Geology is designed primarily for teachers and prospective teachers who wish to broaden their understanding of geologic processes, the nature of natural resources, and the effect of humans on their environment. This is a non-thesis program of study with an emphasis on subject matter that will enhance the ability of the teacher to give students an interesting, up-to-date class in earth science or geology. Those interested in the program should possess or be working toward a standard teaching certificate. Requirements include completion of a prescribed program of study of 30 credits approved by a departmental committee selected by the student in consultation with the student's major professor and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and satisfactory performance on final written and oral examinations. See Master of Natural Science for details of M.N.S. degree.
Graduate students admitted to the ISU M.S. program in geology may, subject to the approval of their thesis committee, transfer up to 12 credits of graduate credit from BSU. The thesis committee consists of three or more people: an ISU geology faculty member, a graduate faculty representative from ISU, a geology and geophysics faculty member from BSU (must be member of ISU graduate faculty), and perhaps an additional geology graduate faculty as desired by the student.
Thesis research can be conducted under auspices of faculty at BSU or ISU, but registration must be for ISU GEOL 650 (Thesis) totaling six credits. Students can register for GEOL 650 only after a thesis prospectus has been approved. Normally, students must spend at least one semester at ISU. Students may apply credits of GEOL 648 (Research Problems-ISU credit), taught by BSU faculty, to their degree. These are ISU credits, not BSU transfer credits.
The total credits required are the same as for a normal ISU geology M.S. degree (at least 17 at 600 level; at most 13 at 500 level.) The requirement of two approved courses from outside the field of geology can be met at either ISU or BSU. Presentation of at least one geology colloquium at ISU is required.
Graduate students admitted to the Boise State University M.S. program in applied geophysics may, subject to the approval of their thesis committee, transfer up to 12 credits of graduate credit from ISU. For details of this cooperative program, the student should consult the BSU graduate bulletin and the BSU Department of Geology and Geophysics.
Access to the University of Idaho M.S. program in hydrology is provided to ISU and BSU graduate students via the offering of University of Idaho hydrology classes at Boise State University. Students interested in the University of Idaho hydrology degree should consult the U. of I. graduate bulletin and the U. of I. Department of Geology.
GEOL g306 Environmental Geology 3 credits. Humans and the environment, fossil fuels, soils, water quality, environmental health, pollution, waste disposal, hazards, disasters, land use. PREREQ: GEOL 106 OR GEOL 109.
GEOL g314 Optical Mineralogy and Petrography 3 credits. Lecture and laboratory covering optical properties of minerals, their description and identification. PREREQ: GEOL 211.
GEOL g352 Sedimentation-Stratigraphy 4 credits. Principles of sedimentation from source to diagenesis. The basis of stratigraphic nomenclature, classification, and correlation. Lab covers unconsolidated sediment, hand specimen, subsurface, and field techniques. PREREQ: GEOL 210, ENGL 201 OR EQUIVALENT.
GEOL g356 Geology of Southern Idaho 2 credits. A study of the geology of Southern Idaho, including stratigraphy, thrust belt structure, Idaho batholith, core complexes, Challis volcanic episode, Snake River Plain, Basin and Range, and Lake Bonneville. PREREQ: GEOL 106 OR 109.
GEOL g358 Geology of North America 3 credits. Regional stratigraphy and tectonics of North America emphasizing National Parks and the Intermountain West. Graduate students will do extensive additional reading in current literature. PREREQ: GEOL 106 OR 109.
GEOL g370 Analytical Geochemistry 3 credits. A survey of geochemical analysis techniques. All aspects of analysis, including sample collection, preparation, instrumental analysis, QA/QC procedures, interpretation and presentation are discussed. Cross-listed as CHEM g370, PHYS g370. PREREQ: CHEM 122 AND PHYS 212.
GEOL g402 Geomorphology 4 credits. Processresponse approach to landforms and landscapes. Historical perspectives, endo- and exogenetic processes, equilibrium and relict landforms. Emphasis oninterrelations among various geologic subdisciplines. Field trips, some lab exercises. PREREQ: GEOL421.
GEOL g405 Volcanology 3 credits. Aspects of physical and chemical volcanology: types of volcanoes; interpretation of volcanic deposits; propertiesof magma; generation, rise, and storage of magma;volcanic hazards and prediction. PREREQ: GEOL411.
GEOL g415 Quaternary Geology 4 credits. Use and interpretation of landforms, sediments, and fossil life in the reconstruction of Quaternary events, environment, and climates. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
GEOL g417 General Soils 3 credits. Formation, morphology, and distribution of soils, including developments in soil classification. PREREQ: GEOL 106 OR 109 OR 115, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
GEOL g420 Principles of Geochemistry 3 credits. Chemistry of the earth; a discussion of factors controlling abundance, distribution, and migration of chemical elements within the earth. PREREQ: GEOL 211 AND CHEM 122 OR 217.
GEOL g430 Principles of Hydrogeology 3 credits. An introduction to groundwater geology. Topics will include groundwater occurrence, movement and recovery, water quality and pollution, principles of aquifer analysis. PREREQ: GEOL 106, GEOL109, GEOL 115, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
GEOL g431 Invertebrate Paleontology 4 credits. Principles of biology and geology applied to the study of fossil invertebrates; consideration is given to morphology, classification, evolution, paleoecology, and the stratigraphic significance of fossils. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
GEOL g435 Vertebrate Paleontology 4 credits. Phylogenetic history of the vertebrates outlined in the light of morphology, classification, evolution, paleoecology, and the significance of fossils. Field trips. Cross-listed as BIOS 435. PREREQ: GEOL 431 OR BIOS 314 OR EQUIVALENT.
GEOL g440 Ore Deposits 3 credits. Nature, mode of occurrence, and origin of ores with each type related to a given rock association and as the product of a particular environment. PREREQ: GEOL 312 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
GEOL g442 Economic Mineralogy Lab 2 credits. Identification and study of economic minerals and commodities using techniques of hand specimen identification, study of fluid inclusions, and ore microscopy using transmitted and reflected light. PREREQ OR COREQ: GEOL 440.
GEOL g450 Field Geology 6 credits. Five-week summer field camp, applying standard geologic field instruments and geologic concepts to a series of field problems. PREREQ: GEOL 421 AND 452.
GEOL g463 Subsurface Geologic Mapping 3 credits. Generation and correlation of structuraland stratigraphic cross-sections, unit isopach and thickness maps using downhole cores/cuttings and well logs. Seismic mapping techniques. Regional examples including INEL. PREREQ: GEOL 106 OR GEOL 109.
GEOL g465 Petroleum Geology 3 credits.The organization, function, and methods of petroleum companies; generation, migration, and entrapment of petroleum; worldwide production and reserves; local potential; careers in the petroleum industry. Field trips. PREREQ: GEOL 210, GEOL g352.
GEOL g491 Seminar 1 credit. Field trip or discussion of current geologic literature and geologic problems. May be repeated until 3 credits are earned. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. S/U grading.
GEOL 597 Professional Education Development Topics. Variable credit. May be repeated. A course for practicing professionals aimed at the development and improvement of skills. May not be applied to graduate degrees. May be graded S/U.
GEOL 601 Advanced Physical Geology 2 credits. An advanced level course in physical geology required for all first year graduate students. A review of the principles of physical geology, and an overview of current hypotheses and research in the field.
GEOL 602 Advanced Geomorphology 3 credits. Seminar in the treatment of theoretical concepts in classical and modern geomorphology.
GEOL 603 Geologic Writing Seminar 1 credit. Review of quality geologic writing practices;
extended field trip and introduction to regional
geology. Topics include databases, abstracts, stratigraphic terminology, grant proposals, thesis prospecti, and use of reference library. Required for all Geology graduate students.
GEOL 613 Advanced Ore Deposits 2 credits. Advanced topics in ore deposit studies including theoretical and applied aspects. Special topics focus on ore deposit models, plate tectonic setting, hydrothermal alteration and applied exploration geology. PREREQ: GEOL 411.
GEOL 615 Neutron Activation Analysis 4 credits. Theory and use of neutron activation methods for quantitative chemical analysis of natural and synthetic materials. Applications in geologic systems will be emphasized. Cross-listed as CHEM615, PHYS 615. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
GEOL 617 Environmental Geochemistry 3 credits. Geochemistry of environmental systems. Emphasis given to low-temperature water-rock interactions, including sorption processes, retardation, reaction kinetics and reaction-mass transport modeling. Cross-listed as CHEM617. PREREQ: CHEM122 AND GEOL 420, OR CHEM 351 AND GEOL 109.
GEOL 621 Advanced Structural Geology 3 credits. Current aspects of structural geology ortectonics. May focus on regional structures, tectonic theories, orogenic mechanics, global tectonic model(s), or topics of special interest in structuralgeology.
GEOL 623 Tectonics and Sedimentation 3 credits. Sedimentary basin analysis and mechanisms of subsidence. Extensional, compressional and strike-slip tectonics as related to depositional systems, facies architecture, and provenance.
GEOL 625 Quantitative Geochemistry Lab 3 credits. Practical application of theory involving use and operation of instrumental techniques. Cross-listed as CHEM 625.
GEOL 630 Advanced Hydrogeology 3 credits. Advanced topics in hydrogeology, including precipitation and stream flow, soil moisture, principles and modeling of groundwater flow, migration of wastes in both saturated and unsaturated zones, design and impact of production wells, water chemistry. PREREQ: GEOL g430 OR EQUIVALENT.
GEOL 631 Sedimentology 3 credits. Provenance, dispersal, and environments of deposition; emphasis on various aspects of surface equilibria.
GEOL 632 Advanced Paleontology 3 credits. Theoretical and applied aspects of paleontology; origin of life, evolution and genetics, ecology and paleoecology, taxonomic theory.
GEOL 641 Advanced Petrology 3 credits. Selected topics in igneous and/or metamorphic petrology, regional and/or global aspects of current interest, including relationship to major advances in other areas of solid earth sciences.
GEOL 646 Sedimentary Petrology 4 credits. The mineralogy and petrology of terrigenous, carbonate and volcaniclastic rocks will be covered in lecture and laboratory. Field trips emphasize orientation of students to local geology and possible thesis topics. Microscope petrography is emphasized inlab.
GEOL 648 Research Problems 1-6 credits. Independent research on non-thesis subject matter, subject to approval of the staff before results receive credit. Course may be repeated until 10 credits are earned.
GEOL 650 Thesis 1-6 credits. Ordinarily a field problem with supporting laboratory work undertaken by the student with approval of the geology graduate faculty, and after a thesis prospectus has been accepted.
Revised: May 1, 1996