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Undergraduate Courses

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Mountain landscape
Offered Spring & Fall 2023

GEOLSCI 105/291 - Introduction to Field Methods

Two-week, field-based course in the White Mountains of eastern California. Introduction to the techniques for geologic mapping and geologic investigation in the field: systematic observations and data collection for lithologic columns and structural cross-sections. Interpretation of field relationships and data to determine the stratigraphic and deformational history of the region. 3 credits (grade). 

Lake Lahontan aerial view
Offered Winter 2023

Virtual field trip to Ancient Lake Lahontan

The virtual field trip is the story of geologically recent change and how it is writ across the landscape. The goal is to go back in earth history (deep time) in order to better contemplate our role in earth’s history going forward.

Colored topographical map of CA Earthquake zones
Offered Spring 2022

GS 5 Living on the Edge

Are you new to the Bay Area? Welcome to life along the Pacific Rim of Fire! Do you wonder about the San Andreas Fault and earthquakes? How people live with its associated threats? Winter weather, mudslides and seacliff erosion? Do you want to discover where the best beaches are? Hidden redwood forests? Do you wonder where your water comes from? Do you want to learn more about the Earth Sciences? California’s geology is ROCKIN’ AND ROLLIN’ !

Topographical Map of Maverick's Beach, HMB
Offered Spring 2022

GEOLSCI 110 Structural Geology and Tectonics

This class introduces the basic principles and practical techniques needed to measure, describe, analyze, and interpret deformation-related structures on earth. These include an introduction to forces and stress in the brittle crust leading to fracture and faulting, deformation mechanisms operating at the crystallographic scale allowing deformation by solid-state flow in the deep crust and mantle, and the principles of finite strain needed to describe deformation.

Microstructures in crenulated schist, Brooks Range, Alaska, plane polarized light ~ 5mm across.

GES 103 Earth Materials: Rocks in Thin Section

GES 103 is a laboratory course that provides hands-on experience in identifying minerals and common mineral associations in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks in thin section. You will gain practice and expertise in describing typical crystallization, reaction and deformational relations and textures in igneous and metamorphic rocks.

GS 190 class participants, 2017

GS 190 Research in the Field

Month long courses that provide students with the opportunity to collect data in the field as part of a team-based investigation of research questions or topics under the expert guidance of knowledgeable faculty and graduate students.