Graduate Catalog 2010-12

Earth Sciences


Note: Additional work will be required for graduate credit in 400-level courses.

ESCI 424         Geomorphology                                                                                          4
Prereq.:  ESCI 121; for graduate students permission of department chair. Scientific study of landforms on the earth's surface. A systematic analysis of a wide variety of landforms, with an emphasis on the processes that form them. Tectonic and climate controls of geomorphic systems are considered as are the impacts of human activities. Three, one-hour lectures, and one three-hour laboratory per week. One or more one-day field trips. Fall. (O) 

ESCI 431         Introduction to Hydrogeology                                                                  4
Prereq.:  ESCI 121, MATH 152, CHEM 161 and 162; or permission of department chair. Overview of hydrologic and hydrological factors controlling the occurrences and dynamics of groundwater. Groundwater chemistry, quality, and contamination will also be covered. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. One or one-day field trips. Spring. (O) 

ESCI 442         Weather Analysis and Forecasting                                                           4
Prereq.:  ESCI 462 and MATH 152 or permission of instructor. Basics of analysis and forecasting. National Weather Service (NWS) codes and interpretation, graphical analysis techniques, NWS facsimile products, applications of thickness and thermal wind equations, thermodynamic diagrams and their usefulness, cross-sectional analysis, tilt of pressure systems, quasi-geostrophic theory, performance characteristics of NWS prediction models. Three lecture hours and a three-hour laboratory per week. Fall. (O) 

ESCI 450         Environmental Geology                                                                             3
Prereq.:  ESCI 121 or permission of instructor. Geological factors that control or affect human habitat avoiding, or compensating for geological hazards. Applied geology from an environmental perspective that focuses on interactions between humans and Earth surface precesses. Study of natural hazards such as river flooding, landslides and debris flows, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, coastal hazards. Surface and ground water use and pollution are also covered. Fall. (E) 

ESCI 452         Independent Study in Earth Science                                               1 TO 4
Prereq.:  Approved plan of study on arrangement with supervising instructor and approval of department chair. Special work in laboratory, theory, or research to meet individual requirements in areas not covered by regular curriculum. May be taken more than one semester up to 6 credits. 

ESCI 461         Physical Meteorology                                                                                 3
Prereq.:  ESCI 129, PHYS 121 or 125 (may be taken concurrently), or permission of instructor. Examination of the physical basis of the earth's atmosphere. Structure, composition, gas laws, atmospheric thermodynamics and hydrostatics, atmospheric stability, solar radiation, and the energy budget of the earth. Three lecture hours per week. Fall. (E) 

ESCI 462         Dynamic Meteorology                                                                                3
Prereq.:  ESCI 461, MATH 126 or 221 (may be taken concurrently). Continuation of ESCI 461, with emphasis on dynamic processes of the earth's atmosphere. Equations of motion, geostrophic and gradient winds, thickness and thermal wind, circulation and vorticity, mechanism and influences of pressure changes. Three lecture hours per week. Spring. (O) 

ESCI 490         Topics in Earth Science                                                                              3-4
Selected studies in earth science which are not offered presently in the curriculum of the department. Course may be repeated with different topics.

ESCI 518         Topics in Astronomy                                                                                  3
Prereq.:  Prior permission of instructor. Topics will vary each time course is offered. Combination of lecture, discussion, and student seminar presentations. May be taken more than once for credit under different topics.

ESCI 519         Topics in Geology                                                                                       3
Prereq.:  Prior permission of instructor. Topics will vary each time course is offered. Combination of lecture, discussion, and student seminar presentations. May be taken more than once for credit under different topics.

ESCI 598         Research in Earth Science                                                                         3
Prereq.:  Admission to the M.S. program in Natural Sciences, and 15 credits in planned program of Earth Science, and permission of instructor. Course on theory and practice of conducting research in astronomy, geology, meteorology. Includes study of professional literature, evaluation of data-gathering techniques. Application of statistical methods to data; formation of multiple working hypotheses and verification of hypotheses. Classic problems in earth sciences are studied. On demand.

ESCI 599         Thesis                                                                                                           3
Prereq.:  ESCI 598, permission of the thesis advisor and a 3.00 overall GPA. Preparation of the thesis under the supervision of the thesis advisor.

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