The Geology:Earth Science Concentration at
Colby College

Nationwide, pre-college teachers with physical science backgrounds are in very high demand. The Geology:Earth Science Concentration at Colby is specifically intended for those students who desire to teach earth science at the pre-college level, and has been designed to provide students with a background in the geosciences that will enable them to step directly into a classroom with a broad-based background in the discipline. Students interested in following this track are also encouraged to investigate the Maine State Certification Requirements for Physical Science teachers, offered through the Education and Human Development Program at Colby. Completion of the geology:earth science concentration and the certification program together will open up many options in public as well as private school teaching.
The Earth Science Concentration at Colby consists of a total of 8 courses in geology, plus one course each in chemistry and meteorology (offered through the Science, Technology and Society program), for a total of ten. Included in the Geology courses is a minimum of three semester hours of credit in independent field- or laboratory-based research, resulting in a formal oral presentation and research paper. This independent research experience is often the crowning achievement of a four-year course of study in which a student brings everything she or he has learned to bear on an interesting geologic problem.
It should be understood that students who elect this major option and then decide to enter graduate school in geology will need to complete the remainder of the courses required for the basic geology major to be prepared adequately. This will entail additional study in geology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.


GEOLOGY 141fs Physical Processes of Planet Earth The study of the Earth as a physical environment. Includes study of the composition of earth materials and the processes that have produced and continue to modify the modern Earth, from plate tectonics and volcanoes to streams and glaciation. Lecture and laboratory; laboratories include mandatory field trips, including an all-day weekend trip to the Maine coast. Enrollment limited; priority to first-year and second-year students. Four credit hours. See : Introductory Geology Field Trips and GE141 Syllabus page

GEOLOGY 142s Deciphering Earth History Within the crustal rocks of planet Earth is the evidence that can be used to understand the patterns and processes that have shaped the world we know. The course is designed to investigate the physical and biological patterns and processes that can be deciphered from Earth's historical record, as well as the impact these have had on the evolution of the planet over the past 4.6 billion years. The focus is on North America, but global-scale Earth systems are included. Lecture and laboratory; laboratory includes a two-week project at the end of the semester. Enrollment limited; priority to first-year and second-year students. N.Prerequisite: Geology 141. Four credit hours. See: Field Trip to the Hartford Basin and the GE142 Web Pages

GEOLOGY 225f Mineralogy Physical properties and chemical structure of minerals leading to investigation of the chemical composition and optical properties of minerals. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Geology 141, Chemistry 141 (may be taken concurrently), or permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.

GEOLOGY 226s Optical Mineralogy A continuation of the study of minerals utilizing their optical properties, as studied by petrographic microscope analysis of thin sections and x-ray powder diffraction techniques. Prerequisite: Geology 225. Four credit hours.

GEOLOGY 251f Invertebrate Paleontology Morphology of invertebrates and general principles, including nomenclature, taxonomy, paleoecology, evolution, and techniques of identification. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Geology 142 or one year of biology. Four credit hours.

GEOLOGY 351f Principles of Geomorphology The origin, history, and classification of landforms and the processes that shape the Earth's surface. Emphasis on study of physical processes. Lecture and laboratory; laboratory focus is on aerial photograph and topographic map interpretation, ability to recognize geologic significance of particular landforms. At least one all-day field trip required. Prerequisite: Geology 141 & 142 or 331 or permission of the instructor; students completing only Geology 141 with a grade of B or better will be admitted but should consult with instructor prior to registration. Four credit hours.

GEOLOGY 356s Stratigraphy and Sedimentation A course covering the combined contents of Geology 312 and Geology 376; processes of sedimentation, methods of analysis of sediments, interpretation of depositional environments, classification and description of sedimentary rocks, and study of the relationships and correlation of sedimentary units. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Geology 142; Geology 225 recommended. Four credit hours.

GEOLOGY 491f, 492s Independent Study Field and laboratory problems in some aspect of geological inquiry, with regular interim reports and a final written report and oral presentation to the Department. Students should consult with major advisors in the spring of their junior years. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One to four credit hours. A minimum of three semester hours of credit are required for the geology : earth science concentration.


CHEMISTRY 141f General Chemistry Fundamental principles, with examples selected from inorganic chemistry; stoichiometry; atomic theory; chemical bonding; thermochemistry; gases, liquids, and solids; solutions; chemical equilibria; electrochemistry; chemistry of certain important elements; radioactivity. Lecture, discussion, and laboratory. Four credit hours.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY 215 Atmospheric Science Comprehensive introduction to the Earth's atmosphere: origin, composition, structure, general circulation, weather systems, climate, air pollution, ozone depletion, climate change, and social aspects. Four credit hours.

Return to the Geology Majors page

Return to the Geology Homepage

You are visitor number to this page since 16 March, 1998.

Last modified 9 February, 2001