Earth and Environmental Systems

Geology is the study of processes affecting the earth — geological, hydrological, and chemical.

Geology majors study past and present-day interrelationships between earth components and earth processes — rocks, minerals, fossils, landforms, structural features, earthquakes, glaciers, magmas, volcanoes, atmospheric gases, surface water, subsurface water, and environmental pollutants. Required coursework in geology is integrated with required or recommended coursework in forestry, soils, hydrology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Requirements for the Major in Geology

The major requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements 1
FORS/GEOL 332Oral Presentations2
GEOL 121Physical Geology (Lab)4
GEOL 221Mineralogy (Lab)4
GEOL 225Sedimentology (Lab)4
GEOL 320Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (Lab)4
GEOL 325Field and Structural Geology (Lab)4
GEOL 230Paleoecology4
or GEOL 235or Earth Systems and Climate Change
Select one laboratory course in chemistry (CHEM) numbered 120 or above4
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Computer Science
Calculus I
Calculus II
Elementary Statistics
Select three of the following:12
Fundamentals of GIS
or Advanced Applications of GIS
Introduction to Forestry (Lab)
Soils (Lab)
Hydrology (Lab)
Economic Geological Resources (Lab)
General Physics I (Lab)
or General Physics II (Lab)
One unduplicated course from MATH 101, MATH 102
A summer geology field camp (at least 4 weeks in length and at least 4 credit hours)
Total Semester Hours46
Additional Requirements
A comprehensive examination
Department capstone requirement, which may be satisfied by:
a. Receiving a grade of C or higher on the Elberton Project undertaken in GEOL 320 - Petrology;
b. Completing no earlier than the second semester of their junior year an independent study project that culminates in a technical paper or a presentation at Scholarship Sewanee; or,
c. Completing ESCI 450 during the spring semester of their senior year.

Writing-Intensive Course in the Major Requirement

Students majoring in forestry, geology, or natural resources and the environment can satisfy their writing-in-the-major requirement by

  1. successfully completing GEOL 320, or other designated writing-intensive course in the department, or
  2. by successfully completing three forestry and/or geology designated “writing portfolio” courses. Written and edited scientific papers from each writing portfolio course are to be compiled into a scientific writing portfolio by each student, and maintained by his/her advisor.

The following courses are designated as writing portfolio or writing-intensive courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems. Other courses may be approved as such during some years. In exceptional cases and by faculty permission, one of the three writing portfolio courses might be fulfilled by FORS 444 or GEOL 444.

Writing Portfolio Courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems (three required):

Forestry Major
FORS 204Forest Wildlife Management (project report)4
FORS 262Forest and Watershed Restoration (Lab) (class paper)4
FORS 305Forest Ecology (Lab) (lab report or paper)4
FORS 312Silviculture (Lab) (lab report or paper)4
FORS 319Natural Resource Management and Decisions (project report)4
Geology Major
GEOL 320Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (Lab) (writing-intensive)4
Natural Resources and the Environment Major
FORS 204Forest Wildlife Management (project report)4
FORS 262Forest and Watershed Restoration (Lab) (class paper)4
FORS 305Forest Ecology (Lab) (lab report or paper)4
FORS 312Silviculture (Lab) (lab report or paper)4
FORS 319Natural Resource Management and Decisions (project report)4
GEOL 222Historical Geology (Lab) (term paper)4
GEOL 305Economic Geological Resources (Lab) (field trip report)4
GEOL 314Hydrology (Lab) (lab report)4