Ohio University

Online M.S. in Geology Course Schedule

Course Schedule

Fall 2020

Spring 2021

Summer 2021

Fall 2021

Spring 2022

Summer 2022

Fall 2022

Spring 2023

Summer 2023

Course Descriptions

GEOL 5060 — Geodata Analysis

This course is designed to introduce the principles of surface and subsurface data 2D and 3D visualization, analysis, and management and the applications of geospatial techniques in addressing geological, environmental, or petroleum resource exploration problems. Topics include geospatial data organization and preparation, exploratory data analysis, geospatial data correlation and regression, spatial interpolation and modeling, reservoir volume calculation, and well production data analysis and performance evaluation.

Learning outcomes:

  • Be able to summarize and manage geospatial data.
  • Be able to produce surface and subsurface data visualizations and analyze data using ArcGIS Pro and Petrel.
  • Be able to explain spatial autocorrelation and the role of autocorrelation in geospatial modeling.
  • Be able to use core geostatistical components and functionality of ArcGIS Pro.
  • Be able to analyze geospatial data distributions using geostatistical measures.
  • Be able to conduct geospatial models and conduct uncertainty analysis.
  • Be able to assess well production data to optimize future production operations in Petrel.
  • Be able to conduct well production forecasting.
  • Be able to apply appropriate data analytical techniques to address real world geological or environmental problems.

GEOL 5080 — Planetary Geology

Students examine current issues and questions regarding the geology of the solid inner planets, moons, and small bodies of our solar system. The laboratory component allows students to work with data from spacecraft missions and sample-based studies.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Be able to outline the geological evolution of the solar system and major planets in addition to several moons and small bodies.
  • Compare and contrast solid bodies in the solar system with each other with respect to geology.
  • Graduate students are expected to perform at a higher level than undergraduates and must be able to better synthesize information.
  • Graduate students will answer three additional essay questions on exams to demonstrate their superior level of understanding and capability of synthesis.
  • Have an understanding of the fundamental geological processes (in addition to physical, chemical, and biological processes) at work on solid bodies in the solar system.

GEOL 5120 — Earth Materials and Resources

An introduction to minerals and rocks, emphasizing common varieties and those important as mineral resources.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Be able to identify samples of the common rock-forming minerals.
  • Be familiar with the common ore-forming minerals and the geologic settings in which they form.
  • Graduate students are expected to perform at a higher level than their undergraduate colleagues.
  • Graduate students will give an oral presentation on one rock or mineral group.
  • Graduate students will write a 10-page term paper on the rock or mineral group that they present orally.
  • Know the essential chemical and textural characteristics of the common rock-forming minerals.
  • Know the igneous rock classification well enough to be able to identify the common igneous rock types.
  • Know the metamorphic rock classification well enough to be able to identify the common metamorphic rock types.
  • Know the sedimentary rock classification well enough to be able to identify the common sedimentary rock types.
  • On each class examination, graduate students will answer two essay questions for which undergraduates are not responsible.
  • Understand the geological controls on the genesis of the common rock-forming minerals.
  • Understand the processes by which igneous rocks form and the settings in which they occur.
  • Understand the processes by which metamorphic rocks form and the settings in which they occur.
  • Understand the processes by which sedimentary rocks form and the settings in which they occur.

GEOL 5390 — Fluvial Geomorphology

Study of stream processes and human interactions with rivers, including the qualitative and quantitative techniques used to study natural and disturbed streams as presented in lecture and field settings.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Be familiar with common field techniques, including measurements of channel geometries and stream health assessments.
  • Be familiar with stream restoration concepts and methodologies.
  • Graduate student abilities are tested by extra quantitative and qualitative problems added to the five assignments given to all students.
  • Graduate students are held to a higher standard than undergraduate students.
  • Graduate students must demonstrate a greater ability to understand and synthesize course topics.
  • Know and understand the hydraulics of open channel flow from both general and quantitative perspectives.
  • Know the major controls of channel geometries and morphologies, including those acting at the reach and watershed scales.
  • The extra quantitative problems for graduate students possess greater complexities and the qualitative questions require deeper synthesis than are expected of undergraduate students.

GEOL 5460 — Earth Systems Evolution

Synthesis of the coupled histories of the Earth’s interior, surface, and life.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Know the evidence for an oxygen-free early atmosphere. Understand how, when, and why Earth’s atmosphere became oxygenated, and the timing and cause(s) of subsequent changes in atmospheric oxygen levels.
  • Understand how the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, silica, and sulfur have evolved through Earth history.
  • Understand the Greenhouse climate planetary state and the connections between silicate weathering and carbon burial that allowed that state to be the dominant one in the Phanerozoic.
  • Understand the Hothouse climate planetary state and the connections between intense volcanism and the forcing of that climate state in the Phanerozoic and pre-Phanerozoic.
  • Understand the Icehouse climate planetary state and the connections between silicate weathering and carbon burial that forces that state.
  • Understand the fundamental interconnections between land, sea floor, ocean water, and the atmosphere, and how changes in those relationships have shaped changes in Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
  • Understand the fundamental tectonic differences between the geology of Archean and Proterozoic rocks.
  • Understand the origin and significance of Banded Iron Formations and why the seas in which they formed gave way to sulfidic Canfield ocean.

GEOL 5520 — Depositional Environments

Advanced coverage of depositional processes and environments. Latter part of course focuses on global sedimentation and events. Students read, present, and discuss current literature, as well as write a term paper.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Attain a working familiarity with the processes operating in a broad spectrum of marine and nonmarine sedimentary environments of deposition in siliciclastic and carbonate systems ranging from alluvial fans to coastal deposits to submarine fans.
  • Be able to investigate and analyze an instructor-approved topic of interest in the realm of depositional environments.
  • Graduate student term papers will be longer (20 pages) than undergraduate term papers (10 pages), and the depth of analysis should be greater than that undertaken by undergraduates in the 4000-level component of the course.
  • Graduate students are expected to take on a leadership role in the course by being scheduled to speak before the undergraduates are scheduled in each round of student presentations.
  • Graduate students will present an additional round of talks relative to the undergraduates to serve as examples to their younger colleagues. Written abstracts of these talks will be distributed to classmates and the instructor.
  • Know the essential criteria for recognizing the environments of deposition listed above.
  • Orally present the essential aspects of specific depositional environments as assigned by the instructor in short (10 minute) or longer (30 minute) formats so as to learn to focus on concepts at both punch-line and more detailed levels.
  • Write a term paper and orally present those results.
  • Write focused summaries of the essential aspects of specific depositional environments as assigned by the instructor.

GEOL 5700 — Groundwater Fundamentals and Practices

Students learn fundamental concepts and theories related to occurrence, movement, storage, reaction, contamination, and remediation of surface and groundwater and their applications to real-world problems through case studies. Topics include water issues, hydrologic cycle, surface water-groundwater interaction, groundwater sustainability, streams and watersheds, types of properties of aquifers, groundwater flow and quality, basic well hydraulics, and contamination and remediation.

Learning outcomes:

  • Be able to explain the components and the hydrologic cycle.
  • Be able to explain groundwater-surface water interaction and sustainability.
  • Be able to characterize aquifer types.
  • Be able to solve groundwater flow and reaction problems.
  • Be able to describe methods for hydrogeologic investigations.
  • Be able to calculate properties and sustainable yield of an aquifer.
  • Be able to describe basic and advanced concepts of contamination and remediation.
  • Be able to describe major water issues using hydrogeologic concepts and theories.

GEOL 6921 — Colloquium in Geology

Advanced seminar on current research in geology.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Attend a weekly departmental research lecture on advanced ideas in geological thought. Most speakers will be from outside Ohio University.
  • Be prepared to ask questions and discuss data and ideas with speakers either just after the talk or at the social events (lunch, dinner, other) that accompany each visit by a speaker.