The ISU Department of Geology is an active community of scholars consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, support and research staff, and professors. Objectives of the department are to train students for professional positions or further study in all aspects of the geosciences. Most courses include field trips and hands-on experience. The ISU Geology summer field camp in Copper Basin, central Idaho, is nationally recognized and attended by students from universities nationwide. Numerous evening classes are offered for the general public.
The ISU Geology Department offers Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degrees, a Master's Degree in Geology and a Master of Natural Science Degree for teachers who desire more training in up-to-date science methods. M.S. in Geology with an emphasis in Environmental Geoscience is also available. Cooperative agreements with the Geology Departments at Boise State University and the University of Idaho facilitate transfer of undergraduate credits and degrees between the three schools. ISU has a cooperative Master's Degree programs in Geology and Applied Geophysics with Boise State University, and in Hydrogeology with the University of Idaho.
Students desiring a geology major or minor should take GEOL 109 and GEOL 110 rather than GEOL 101 and GEOL 101L. Students who have taken GEOL 101 and GEOL 101L and have decided to major in geology must take GEOL 110, which is the prerequisite for many other courses in the geology major. For the purposes of a geology major or minor, only 4 credits will be granted for any combination of GEOL 101, GEOL 101L, GEOL 109, and GEOL 110.
Bachelor of Science in Geology
The B.S. degree is offered for undergraduates who wish to become professional geoscientists either after their Bachelors degree or after subsequent graduate study. It trains students in the essential observational and analytical skills of field geology as well as more applied areas of microscope petrology, geochemistry, and hydrogeology. The B.S. degree is designed to give the student a broad and comprehensive understanding of the discipline of geology and a firm background in math, physics, and chemistry.
Required Courses CHEM 111 General Chemistry I 5 cr CHEM 112 General Chemistry II 4 cr GEOL 109 Physical Geology for Scientists (recommended) 3 cr OR GEOL 101 Physical Geology 3 cr GEOL 110 Physical Geology for Scientists Laboratory 1 cr GEOL 210 Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, and Maps 2 cr GEOL 211 Mineralogy 3 cr GEOL 352 Sedimentation- Stratigraphy 4 cr GEOL g402 Geomorphology 4 cr GEOL 411 Petrology 3 cr GEOL 412 Petrology Laboratory 2 cr GEOL g420 Principles of Geochemistry 3 cr GEOL 421 Structural Geology 4 cr GEOL g431 Invertebrate Paleontology 4 cr GEOL 450**Field Geology 6 cr MATH 147 Precalculus 5 cr MATH 170 Calculus I 4 cr MATH 175 Calculus II 4 cr PHYS 111* General Physics I 3 cr AND PHYS 112* General Physics II 3 cr OR PHYS 211-212* Engineering Physics 8 crTOTAL: 39 required geology credits plus at least 9 other optional geology credits to equal at least 48 geology credits. GEOL 430 is strongly recommended for those considering graduate studies or employment in the field of environmental geology.
*Optional (May choose these as companions to * courses) PHYS 113-114 General Physics Laboratory 2 cr PHYS 213-214 Engineering Physics Laboratory 2 cr**GEOL 450 is a 5-week summer field course, usually taken between the junior and senior years.
Bachelor of Arts in Geology
The B.A. degree is offered to those students who wish either a broader-based liberal arts degree or a broader multi-disciplinary science degree than is possible with the B. S. The B.A. degree is especially suited for future earth science teachers, environmental scientists, environmental lawyers, and others who wish to learn more about how the earth works. The degree fulfills major requirements for secondary school earth science teachers.
The Geology B.A. may be an excellent alternative for students who desire a technical degree that prepares them for the growing field of environmental geology and hydrology, but require less of the strenuous and time-consuming laboratory and field component of the Geology B.S. To this end, students should augment their Geology B.A. curriculum with courses in related sciences. The specific program of study should be designed after consultation with advisors in˙the Department of Geology and other science departments. Possible areas of emphasis include: Chemistry courses in Organic Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis, Mathematics courses through Differential Equations, Engineering Courses in Surveying, Geotechnics, and Fluid Mechanics, Biological Sciences courses in Ecology and Biochemistry, or classes in Health Physics.
Required Courses CHEM 111 General Chemistry I 5 cr GEOL 109 Physical Geology for Scientists (recommended) 3 cr OR GEOL 101 Physical Geology 3 cr GEOL 110 Physical Geology for Scientists Laboratory 1 cr GEOL 112 Historical Geology 3 cr GEOL 113 Historical Geology Laboratory 1 cr GEOL 210 Rocks, Minerals, Fossils and Maps 2 cr GEOL 211 Mineralogy 3 cr GEOL g306 Environmental Geology 3 cr GEOL 352 Sedimentation-Stratigraphy 4 cr GEOL g356 Geology of Southern Idaho 2 cr OR GEOL g358 Geology of North America 3 cr GEOL 421 Structural Geology 4 cr GEOL 431 Invertebrate Paleontology 4 cr GEOL g415 Quaternary Geology 4 cr OR GEOL g420 Principles of Geochemistry 3 cr OR GEOL g430 Principles of Hydrogeology 3 cr MATH 147 Precalculus 5 cr TOTAL: 33 to 35 geology credits plus 5 to 7 other geology credits to equal 40 credits. Minor in Geology GEOL 109 Physical Geology for Scientists (recommended) 3 cr OR GEOL 101 Physical Geology 3 cr GEOL 110 Physical Geology for Scientists Laboratory 1 cr GEOL 112 Historical Geology 3 cr GEOL 113 Historical Geology Laboratory 1 cr GEOL 210 Rocks, Minerals, Fossils and Maps 2 cr GEOL 211 Mineralogy 3 cr GEOL g306 Environmental Geology 3 cr IN ADDITION: Geology electives approved by the Department 7 cr TOTAL: 23 Geology credits
NOTE: GEOL 352 and 421 are recommended for those pursuing a Geology minor.
Bachelor's Degrees at Other Universities
Bachelor of Science in Geophysics
Boise State University
Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering
University of Idaho
These professionally oriented degrees require several more physics, math, and engineering classes than a B.S. in geology. ISU students interested in these degrees should transfer to Boise State University or the University of Idaho after their sophomore year.
GEOL 100 Survey of Geology 4 credits. Interaction of humans with the environment. Historical and modern attempts to manage and use earth resources. Water resources, natural and human-caused disasters, energy, waste (including radioactive) management, laboratory exercises, field trips. Satisfies Goal 5 of the General Education Requirements. F, S, Su
GEOL 101 Physical Geology 3 credits. Geological fundamentals: rocks and minerals, geologic time, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, surface processes, earth resources and climatic change. COREQ: GEOL 101L IS RECOMMENDED. Satisfies Goal 5 of the General Education Requirements. F, S, ASu
GEOL 101L Physical Geology Laboratory 1 credit. Classification and recognition of minerals and rocks, landforms on topographic maps and air photos. Geology of Pocatello area. PREREQ OR COREQ: GEOL 101. Satisfies Goal 5 of the General Education Requirements. F, S, ASu
GEOL 109 Physical Geology for Scientists 3 credits. Essential physical, chemical and tectonic concepts in earth sciences, for geology and other science/engineering majors, or those desiring a rigorous and stimulating introductory course. COREQ: CHEM 111 AND GEOL 110. F
GEOL 110 Physical Geology for Scientists Laboratory 1 credit. Identification and classification of minerals and rocks; use of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs. Field Trips. Required for Geology majors. COREQ: GEOL 109 OR PREREQ: GEOL 100 OR 101-101L. F, S
GEOL 112 Historical Geology 3 credits. Major events in earth history; continental drift, age dating, evolution of organisms, times of extinction, mountain building, episodes of world glaciation. PREREQ: GEOL 100, 101, OR 109. F
GEOL 113 Historical Geology Laboratory 1 credit. Introduction to fossils, geologic maps and cross sections. Field trips, introductory field mapping and description of geologic relations. COREQ OR PREREQ: GEOL 110 AND 112. F
GEOL 115 Physical Geography 4 credits. The study of the form of the earth's surface, the hydrologic cycle, weather and climate. The global distribution of soils, animals and vegetation. Effects of climatic changes. Man's role in maintaining natural ecosystems. Laboratory exercises and field trips. Satisfies Goal 5 of the General Education Requirements. F, S, ASu
GEOL 122 Rocks and Stars 3 credits. A scientific and multimedia guide to planetary geology principles of mass and energy interactions; planetary growth and evolution, bolide impacts, volcanoes and lava plains, fault systems and mountains, streams, dunes, mass extinctions. AS
GEOL 201 Rocks, Rails, and Trails 1 credit. Interaction between geology, geography and early history of Southeast Idaho, emphasizing the fur trapping period, the Oregon and California Trails, the coming of the railroad, and early Pocatello. Field trips. Graded S/U. F
GEOL 210 Rocks, Minerals, Fossils and Maps 2 credits. Hand-specimen and field identification of geologic elements. Map relations, including construction of cross sections and geologic histories. Introduction to important fossil groups. PREREQ: GEOL 110. S
GEOL 211 Mineralogy 3 credits. Introduction to minerals and rocks, their chemical composition and their identification by physical properties. Includes fundamentals of crystal chemistry as related to major rock-forming minerals. PREREQ: GEOL 101 OR 109, GEOL 110 AND CHEM 111. F
GEOL g306 Environmental Geology 3 credits. Humans and the environment,. Topics include: industrial exploitation of fossil fuels, energy sources, soils, water and other materials, environmental health, pollution, waste disposal, hazards, disasters, and land use. PREREQ: GEOL 101 OR 109 F
GEOL g314 Optical Mineralogy and Petrography 3 credits. Lecture and laboratory covering optical properties of minerals, their description and identification. PREREQ: GEOL 211. AF
GEOL 352 Sedimentation-Stratigraphy 4 credits. Principles of sedimentation from source to diagenesis. The basis of stratigraphic nomenclature, classification, and correlation of rock units. Laboratory covers unconsolidated sediment, hand specimens, and field techniques. PREREQ: GEOL 210 AND ENGL 201. F
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 101 OR 109. AS
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 101 OR 109. AS
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 PHYS 370 and CHEM 370. PREREQ: CHEM 112 AND PHYS 112. S
GEOL g371 Historical Geography of Idaho 4 credits. Influences of geography and geology on Idaho's economic, political and cultural history. May be team taught. Labs, field trips, discussion sections. Cross-listed as HIST g371 and POLS g371. AS
GEOL 397 Workshop 1-2 credits. Workshops aimed at the development and improvement of skills. Does not satisfy requirements for a major or a minor. May be repeated. Graded S/U. D
GEOL g402 Geomorphology 4 credits. Process-response approach to landforms and landscapes. Historical perspectives, endo- and exogenetic processes, equilibrium and relict landforms. Emphasis on interrelations among various geologic sub-disciplines. Field trips, some lab exercises. PREREQ: GEOL 421. S
GEOL g405 Volcanology 3 credits. Aspects of physical and chemical volcanology: types of volcanoes; interpretation of volcanic deposits; properties of magma; generation, rise and storage of magma; volcanic hazards and prediction. PREREQ: GEOL 411. S
GEOL g411 Petrology 3 credits. Classification, genesis and mineralogy of the principal igneous and metamorphic rock associations. PREREQ: GEOL 210 AND 211. COREQ: GEOL 412. S
GEOL g412 Petrology Laboratory 2 credits. Microscopic identification of igneous and metamorphic minerals and rocks. PREREQ: GEOL 210 AND 211; COREQ: GEOL 411. S
GEOL 413 Sedimentary Rocks in Thin Section 2 credits. A variety of terrigenous, volcaniclastic, and carbonate rocks will be studied. PREREQ OR COREQ: GEOL 411. F
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. S
GEOL g417 General Soils 3 credits. Formation, morphology, and distribution of soils, including developments in soil classification. PREREQ: GEOL 101, 109, OR 115 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. S
GEOL g420 Principles of Geochemistry 3 credits. Chemistry of the earth; discussion of factors controlling abundance, distribution, and migration of chemical elements within the earth. PREREQ: GEOL 211 AND CHEM 112, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. F
GEOL 421 Structural Geology 4 credits. Structure of the earth's crust. Investigation of behavior of materials; identification and interpretation of earth structures. PREREQ: MATH 147 OR EQUIVALENT, GEOL 352. S
GEOL g430 Principles of Hydrogeology 3 credits. Surface and groundwater occurrence, movement and recovery, water quality and pollution, well construction principles, and computer modeling. PREREQ: GEOL 100, 101, OR 109, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. F
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. F
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 g435. PREREQ: GEOL g431 OR BIOS g314 OR EQUIVALENT. D
GEOL g440 Ore Deposits 3 credits. Nature, mode of occurrence, origin of ores with each type related to a given rock association and as the product of a particular environment. PREREQ: GEOL 210 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. D
GEOL g442 Economic Mineralogy Laboratory 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 g440. S
GEOL 450 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 352 AND 421. Su
GEOL g463 Subsurface Geologic Mapping 3 credits. Generation and correlation of structural and stratigraphic cross-sections, unit isopach and thickness maps using downhole cores/cuttings and well logs. Seismic mapping techniques. Regional examples including INEL. PREREQ: GEOL 101 OR 109. D
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, 352. AF
GEOL 482 Independent Problems and Studies in Geology 1-3 credits. Investigation of a geologic problem chosen by the student and approved by the staff. May be repeated until 6 credits are earned. D
GEOL g491 Seminar 1 credit. Field trip or discussion of current geologic literature and geologic problems. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credits. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. Graded S/U. F, S
GEOL 493 Senior Thesis 4 credits. See "All University" courses and curriculum. F, S
IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY