Geology Graduate Courses

General Graduate Program Requirements (7/2019)

  • Students must enroll for a minimum of 12 units per quarter. Under exceptional circumstances only, students may be admitted to the Graduate Program as part-time students. The conditions under which a student may be admitted and participate in the Graduate Program in part-time status will be determined by the student and Faculty Advisor, in consultation with the Graduate Advisors.

  • Students must enroll in Geology 290, our weekly departmental seminar, each quarter prior to passing their Qualifying Exam. Enrolling in GEL 290 is strongly recommended thereafter.

  • All new students are required to take GEL 390, “Methods of Teaching in Geology”, during their first Fall Quarter. All students are required to take the T.A. Orientation offered by the Center for Educational Excellence (CEE) during their first year.

GEL Graduate Courses

Geology Graduate Courses by Academic Year (pdfs)
2019-2020 | 2018-2019 | 2017-2018 | 2016-2017

NOTE: Courses are subject to change. Last updated June 2019

Fall 2019
  • GEL 219–Fracture and Flow of Rocks (3) Billen
    The class will have a combination of lectures on the theory and other background of brittle and viscous rheology and article-based discussions focused on review papers on the topics introduced in lecture. Includes two oral presentations by students. Topics include: rheology, stress & strain, brittle vs ductile deformation, plasticity, viscous deformation, grain growth and recrystallization, effect of melt and water on viscous rheology.
  • GEL 227–Stable Isotopes Biogeochemistry (4) units; Spero
    Discussion and application of stable isotope techniques for scientific research problems. Course emphasizes carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulfur isotopes. Laboratory will develop basic skills of cryogenic gas extraction and specific techniques for individual research using stable isotopes.
  • GEL 261–Topics in Paleobiology (3) Carlson
    Paleobiology Seminar: Evolutionary Aspects. Using a new book on Rates of Evolution, the seminar will build on previous classes on estimating time in the rock record and scales of analysis.
  • GEL 290– Seminar (1) TBD
  • GEL 294–Structure & Tectonics forum (1) Roeske
  • GEL 390–Methods of Teaching Geology (2) Mukhopadhyay
Winter 2020
  • GEL 206–Carbonate Diagenesis & Geochemistry (3) Montañez
    This course will cover the span of the carbonate diagenetic environments, starting with syndepositional marine diagenesis through the meteoric (vadose and phreatic) to deep-burial diagenetic realms. We will also address non-marine carbonate formation & diagenesis (soils, lacustrine, palustrine, speleothems, travertines), dolomitization, and evaporates of a range of origins. Includes petrographic labwork on suites of samples.
  • GEL 230–Geomorphology and River Management (3) Pinter
    Application required for enrollmentThis graduate seminar is preparatory to the private and optional Grand Canyon field trip, March 10-28, 2020. Currently, ~40 million people rely on the water in the Colorado River, but changing precipitation patterns and increasing population and water demands are adding challenges to river management. The US Bureau of Reclamation recently published a study assessing supply and demand under various climate and demand scenarios. American Rivers listed the Colorado River as the most endangered river in the United States.
  • GEL 260–Paleontology (3) Vermeij
    Topic undecided; previous topics have explored symbiosis, the Pliocene, contingency & necessity, and the North Pacific biota.
  • GEL 290–Seminar (1) TBD
  • GEL 294–Structure & Tectonics forum (1) Roeske
Spring 2020
  • GEL 281N–Instrumental Techniques for Earth Scientists (3) Yin
    This course is designed to familiarize students with analytical facilities available in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and in other campus and regional facilities. Each week there will be a lecture providing background on one or more instruments, followed by hands-on demonstrations and instruction in the lab. Students are expected to attend all lectures and labs, and all participants must register for the course. In addition to the scheduled lectures and labs, each student will be required to participate in one of group research projects using a particularinstrument suite. Project results will be presented to the class and instructors by each group atthe end of the quarter.
  • GEL 298–Foundations of Geophysics (3) Rudolph and Stewart
    This course presents foundational concepts in geophysics at a level accessible to all graduate students in the EPS department. Topics to be covered include the geophysical constraints on the large-scale structure and dynamics of Earth and planetary interiors such as seismology, gravity, heat flow, magnetic field, and geodesy. We will explore the physics of the processes that shape planetary surfaces and interiors including impact events, differentiation, mantle convection, and tectonics. The course will include a computer laboratory with hands-on programming activities in Python that reinforce the concepts covered in lecture.
    Format: Lectures, weekly problem sets/labs, midterm, final.
    Note: This course is one of several regular 'core classes' being developed to strengthen our graduate curriculum.
  • GEL 290–Seminar (1) TBD
  • GEL 294–Structure & Tectonics forum (1) Roeske