Bachelor of Science, Minor in Earth Science

Geology Courses

Course offerings vary from year to year. Check Generate a Timetable for available course offerings.

GEOL 111  (4)  Discovering Planet Earth

An introduction to Physical Geology. Topics include formation of the solar system, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and Geology of British Columbia. This course includes lectures, labs, and field trips. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: None.

GEOL 111A  (3)  Discovering Planet Earth

An introduction to Physical Geology. Topics include: formation of the solar system, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and geology of British Columbia. This course has no labs or field trips. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

GEOL 111B  (1)  Discovering Planet Earth

This course is the lab and field trip component of GEOL 111A. (0:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111A.

GEOL 112  (4)  Understanding Earth's History

An introduction to historical geology and the evolution of the earth's crust, oceans, atmosphere, and life forms. Topics include geological time, stratigraphic layering, fossils, geologic age dating, rock deformation, tectonic plate movement, climate change, and mass extinction events. This course includes lectures, labs, and field trips. (3:0:1.5)

Prerequisite: None.

GEOL 112A  (3)  Understanding Earth's History

An introduction to historical geology and the evolution of the earth's crust, oceans, atmosphere, and life forms. Topics include geological time, stratigraphic layering, fossils, geologic age dating, rock deformation, tectonic plate movement, climate change, and mass extinction events. This course has no labs or field trips. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

GEOL 112B  (1)  Understanding Earth's History

This course is the lab and field trip component of GEOL 112A. (0:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 112A.

GEOL 115  (3)  Laboratory and Field Studies in Earth Science

An introduction to Earth Science through laboratory and field studies. Laboratory studies include: investigation of the properties and identification of minerals and rocks, examination of unconsolidated materials and solving geological problems. Field studies will introduce rock examination in outcrop, data collection and preparation of geological maps and reports. (0:0:3)

Prerequisite: None.

Co-requisites: GEOL 111 or GEOL 112.

GEOL 200  (3)  Mineralogy

An introduction to the study of minerals. Topics include the physical, chemical and optical properties of the common rock-forming minerals, introductory crystallography, and the application of mineralogical information to geological problems. Lab activities include examination and identification of minerals and associated rocks in hand specimen and thin section. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111 and GEOL 115 (this course may be done concurrently).

GEOL 201  (3)  Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

An introduction to the principles of sedimentology and stratigraphy, including the nature of sediment formation, transport and deposition, as well as the use of sedimentary structures in the interpretation and reconstruction of sedimentary facies, paleogeography, past climates, and depositional histories. Specific local examples are used for outdoor laboratory exercises. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111 or GEOL 112, and GEOL 115 (this course may be done concurrently).

GEOL 202  (3)  Earth Structures

An introduction to geological structures by examining the ways in which rocks deform. Emphasis is on stress and strain in the Earth's crust, brittle and ductile deformation processes, and structural features including faults, folds, foliations, regional structures, and mountain building. Field and lab work form major components of course. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111 or GEOL 112, and GEOL 115 (this course may be done concurrently).

GEOL 206  (3)  Geological Field Methods and Mapping

An introduction to geological field methods and mapping. Students will make geological observations in the field, record data in field notes, and prepare geological maps. Topics include: field safety, logistics, navigation, field mapping techniques and data collection, interpretation of geological data and maps, and communicating geological information. (0:0:36 for 2 weeks)

Prerequisite: 6 credits of 200-level GEOL courses or permission of instructor.

GEOL 300  (3)  Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Igneous and metamorphic rocks will be studied in terms of their mineralogical and chemical relationships, field characteristics, and tectonic environments. Topics include: phase diagrams, melt generation and emplacement, metamorphic facies and textures, and geochemical processes. Labs will focus on selected rock suites. Field trips will form part of course. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 200.

GEOL 301  (3)  Caves & Karst Landscapes

An introduction to the systems and processes associated with the development of caves and karst landscapes. Topics include: karst geomorphology and hydrology, cave sediments, mineral formations, karst biota, cave/karst evaluations, human interactions, and karst management. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing in Science, Geography, or Anthropology.

GEOL 302  (3)  Mineral Resources

An introduction to mineral resources and the methods used to explore for them, with particular emphasis on British Columbia. Topics include: mineral deposit types, ore forming processes, mineral exploration techniques, and mine feasibility. Environmental and social issues that relate to mineral resource extraction will also be discussed. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 200 and GEOL 202.

GEOL 303  (3)  Engineering Geology

Examination of the physical properties of earth materials in the context of engineering and environmental projects. Topics include: engineering properties of soil and rock, geological site investigations of slopes, foundations, tunnels, dams, mines, roads, and other developments. Vancouver Island and British Columbia examples will be visited and/or discussed. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: 9 credits of 200-level GEOL courses and PHYS 121.

GEOL 304  (3)  Hydrogeology

A study of the nature and movement of water in the Earth's crust. Introduces the basic concepts and principles of groundwater flow, aquifer hydraulic properties, water quality, water resource potential, and the geology of aquifers. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 201 or GEOG 212.

GEOL 305  (3)  Quaternary Geology

An examination of the processes in the Quaternary that have shaped our landscape during the last two million years, with particular attention to British Columbia. Topics include: stratigraphy and mapping of glacial and non-glacial materials; paleoenvironmental studies, Quaternary dating techniques, and applications in geologic hazard and resource evaluation. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 201 or GEOG 212.

GEOL 307  (3)  Applied Geophysics

An introduction to the principles of geophysics including: magnetic, gravity, seismic, electrical, electromagnetic and radar methods. The course will focus on gathering, analysis and interpretation of geophysical data, as well as the application of geophysical techniques for a range of geological problems including mineral exploration, environmental and engineering. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: 9 credits of 200-level GEOL courses and PHYS 122.

GEOL 308  (3)  Geochemistry

An introduction to geochemistry, including geochemical abundances, partitioning and cycling within the earth, geochemistry of igneous and hydrothermal processes, isotope geochemistry, clay minerals, water-rock interaction groundwater geochemistry, geochemical aspects of ore deposit formation, mineral exploration, and acid rock drainage. Lab and field work form major components of course. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 200, and CHEM 122 or CHEM 112.

GEOL 312  (3)  Environmental Geology

An examination of the geological aspects of our environment. Topics include: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, environmental geochemistry, climate change, geological resources, and the environmental implications of their exploitation. Many examples from British Columbia are presented through field trips or case studies. Note: This course may also be offered online. GEOL 312 was formerly called GEOL 212; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:3)

Prerequisite: GEOL 111 or GEOG 212, or permission of instructor.

GEOL 380  (3)  Earth Science Work Experience

An opportunity to learn about Earth Science through relevant employment experience. Students must complete at least 15 weeks in full-time employment in an Earth Science position that has been approved by a faculty member in the department. Interim and final work-experience reports must be submitted. (0:0:0 —525)

Prerequisite: 6 credits of 200-Level GEOL courses. GEOL 206 recommended.

GEOL 390  (3)  Special Field Studies

A minimum 7-day field trip to an area of outstanding geological significance. Students will be required to participate in pre-trip discussion sessions, select an approved research topic, collect data onsite and complete a paper on return. Course may be repeated for credit. (8:5:17 for 2 weeks)

Prerequisite: 6 credits of 200-level GEOL courses or permission of instructor.

GEOL 401  (3)  Karst Field Techniques

Field practices in the assessment and evaluation of karst landscapes. Topics include: mapping and inventorying karst landscapes, karst hydrological assessments, cave mapping techniques, karst monitoring techniques, and an introduction to karst management issues. A range of karst landscapes and environments on Vancouver Island will be visited. (0:0:36 for 2 weeks)

Prerequisite: GEOL 301 or permission of instructor.

GEOL 412  (3)  Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future

An interdisciplinary examination of global climate change from past, present, and future perspectives. The course will review the earth's current climate system, investigate evidence for past climates, and study climate change models. The factors affecting the earth's climate will be examined, along with anthropogenic impacts both globally and regionally. (2:2:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing in any Science or Geography program; or permission of instructor.

GEOL 470  (3)  Special Topics in Earth Science

An in-depth examination of a current earth science topic using seminar format. Verbal and written communication will be emphasized. Topics could include: regional geology and tectonics, mineral resources, geological hazards, energy, or others topics of interest. Course may be taken twice for credit providing topic is distinctly different. (0:4:0)

Prerequisite: 6 credits of 200-level GEOL courses or permission of instructor.

GEOL 480  (3)  Earth Science Senior Work Experience

An opportunity to learn about Earth Science through relevant employment experience and research. Student must complete at least 15 weeks full-time employment in an Earth Science position approved by faculty member. Interim work experience reports and final research report must be submitted and presented. (0:0:0 —525)

Prerequisite: Three 300- or 400-level GEOL courses in addition to GEOL 380.

GEOL 490  (3)  Directed Studies in Earth Science

A research project is planned with an instructor in the department who will act as academic supervisor. Projects are varied, but usually include library research and field/laboratory studies. The work must be distinct from student's GEOL 491 project. This course may be repeated once for credit. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Permission of Department Chair.

GEOL 491  (6)  Research Project in Geoscience

An opportunity to work on a year-long research project in geoscience under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Students will develop a research proposal, carry out data collection using field and/or laboratory studies, and complete a final report/presentation. This work must be distinct from a student's GEOL 490 project. (0:0:3 for 30 weeks)

Prerequisite: Permission of Department Chair.

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