Academics

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Course Catalog

GEOSCIENCES

The geosciences major prepares students to become professional scientists capable of conducting research in terrestrial and marine geologic environments. Students majoring in geosciences gain knowledge regarding fundamental concepts of Earth systems history, structures, materials, and processes, as well as research methods employed by geoscientists. In addition, geoscience students also develop scientific communication skills. All graduates are expected to be able to speak professionally and utilize bibliographic resources effectively to write scientific reports.

The geosciences major is particularly appropriate for environmental studies students who wish to gain a detailed understanding of our physical environment.

B.S. in Geosciences
Nine geoscience courses plus six supporting courses and a capstone experience for a total of 16 courses are required for the major.

B.A. in Geosciences
Nine geoscience courses plus three supporting courses and a capstone experience for a total of 13 courses are required for the major.

The B.A. and B.S. degrees both require a foundation of nine geoscience courses as follows:

Required Core Courses

    MS 101 Geological Oceanography or ES 211 Intro to Earth Science
    MS 243 Earth Systems History
    MS 247 Earth Materials
    MS 305 Marine Stratigraphy & Sediment
    MS 306 Earth Structure

Four of the following Upper-Level Electives

    MS 303 Solid Earth Geophysics
    MS 304 Marine Invertebrate Paleontology
    MS 309 Principles of Hydrology
    MS 342 Chemical and Physical Oceanography
    MS 347 Marine Geochemistry
    MS 401 Coastal Geology
    ES 341 GIS for Environmental Studies
    ES 342 Remote Sensing
    Field Camp (highly recommended; see description below)

B.S. in Geosciences
Nine core courses and electives as outlined above plus 6 supporting courses and a Capstone Experience.

Supporting Courses
CH 121 Chemistry I
CH 122 Chemistry II
MA 131 Calculus I
MA 132 Calculus II or Statistics
PH 241 Physics I
PH 242 Physics II

B.A. in Geosciences
Nine core courses and electives as outlined above plus 3 supporting courses and a Capstone Experience.

Supporting Courses
MA 131 Calculus I or Statistics
Two courses chosen from the following: CH 121N, CH 122, PH 241N, PH 242.

Capstone Experiences
Majors must consult with geosciences faculty to complete one of the following capstone experiences:

    Comprehensive Exam: A thorough exam covering all geoscience courses in the major, which is typically offered during the Winter Term of a student's senior year.

    Thesis in Geoscience: A formal thesis including original research on either marine or terrestrial geologic environments. At least one geosciences faculty member must be on the thesis committee. A thesis must be planned in consultation with geosciences faculty and may be done by invitation only.

Field camp is highly recommended for all geosciences majors. It is an intense program wherein students are immersed in learning field techniques for studying terrestrial geology. To facilitate a field experience in new geologic settings that differ from Eckerd's coastal environments, students attend summer programs offered by other colleges and universities. To count as an elective in the geosciences major, the field camp must meet the criteria for acceptance of transfer credit as indicated in the Eckerd College Course Catalog. Students should consult with geosciences faculty to choose an appropriate field camp.

Sample Course Sequences for a B.S. in Geosciences

Freshmen
Geological Oceanography
Earth Systems History
Chemistry I & II

Sophomores
Earth Materials
Marine Stratigraphy & Sediment
Calculus I
Statistics

Juniors
Earth Structure
Marine Invertebrate Paleontology
Physics I & II

Seniors
Coastal Geology
Marine Geochemistry
Solid Earth Geophysics
Comprehensive Exam

Students pursuing the B.A. in geosciences may follow the same sequence but choose Calculus I or Statistics and Chemistry I or II or Physics I and II or Chemistry I and Physics I.

Students should consult with faculty to personalize schedules as most upper-level electives in geosciences are taught on an every-other-year basis. Other courses are typically offered once each year.

The Geosciences minor consists of five courses.

Three Required Core Courses:

    MS 101N Geological Oceanography
    MS 234 Earth Systems History
    MS 257 Earth Materials

Two Upper-Level Electives from the following list:

    MS 303 Solid Earth Geophysics
    MS 304 Marine Invertebrate Paleontology
    MS 305 Marine Stratigraphy & Sedimentation
    MS 306 Earth Structure
    MS 309 Principles of Hydrology
    MS 347 Marine Geochemistry
    MS 401 Coastal Geology

The Geosciences minor is particularly appropriate for Environmental Studies students who wish to better understand our physical environment.

See course descriptions in Marine Science for numbers with a MS prefix and Environmental Studies for numbers with an ES prefix.

Students who major in Geosciences may not minor in Marine Science. In addition, they may not major in the Marine Science geology or geophysics track.

GS 498: Comprehensive Exam
Capstone experience required for Geosciences majors, with the exception of those who complete a senior thesis. Written exam covering geosciences courses. Extensive written and oral report on a geosciences topic. Seniors only. Only open to students who have passed the writing competency requirement.

GS 499: Senior Thesis
Directed research project related to marine or terrestrial geologic environments. By invitation of geosciences faculty only. Formal dissertation and oral defense required. Geosciences students may substitute a senior thesis for the coomprehensive exam.

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