Geosciences

College of Science and Engineering
Dean: James C. Kelley

Department of Geosciences
TH 509
415-338-2061
Fax: 415-338-7705
Chair: Karen Grove

Graduate Coordinators:
Geology--Grove
Meteorology--Dempsey

Faculty

Professors--Bickel, Galehouse, Garcia, Kelley, Mandra, Monteverdi, Mustart, Pestrong, Seibel, Sullivan

Associate Professors--Dempsey, Grove, White

Adjunct Faculty--Felton, Knox, Null, Roush

Programs

B.A. in Geology

B.S. in Geology

B.A. in Science: Concentration in Meteorology

Minor in Geology

Minor in Meteorology

M.S. in Applied Geosciences

Affiliations

The Department of Geosciences is a UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) Affiliate.

Program Scope

The Bachelor of Arts in Geology provides students with a basic foundation in the physical sciences and in several areas of geology that are essential for comprehension of this broad field. Upper division electives allow students to pursue their own special interests in geology. Courses in the major presuppose a background equivalent to two years of high school algebra, one year of plane geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, and one year of physics and/or chemistry. Prospective majors should consult with the Department of Geosciences as early as possible in their university careers.

Students who are considering teaching geology at the high school level should consult a credential adviser in the College of Science and Engineering to plan their major, as specific courses outside the geology program are required. Students who plan to work in industry or continue to graduate school are urged to complete the Bachelor of Science in Geology.

The Bachelor of Science in Geology is designed for students wishing to continue to graduate school or planning to pursue a professional career in industry, government, or university teaching. The major provides students with a fundamental background in the physical sciences and many areas of geology necessary for an in-depth comprehension of the subject. Entry to the major presupposes prior course work equivalent to two years of high school algebra, one year of plane geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, and one year of physics and/or chemistry.

The Bachelor of Arts in Science: Concentration in Meteorology is designed for students with a general interest in the atmospheric sciences and for those pursuing careers such as science teaching, science writing, and broadcast meteorology. In consultation with the faculty, students may also complete additional course work beyond the minimum degree requirements to prepare for graduate study or professional employment in meteorology.

The undergraduate program in meteorology trains students in physical, dynamical and synoptic meteorology, with a special focus on air-sea interactions. Students are also exposed to other topics including: (1) synoptic and mesoscale forecasting problems specific to the West Coast; (2) the effects of oceans on climatic change; and (3) numerical models of mesoscale flow.

The Minor in Geology is designed for students with a general interest in geology and for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching or environmental interpretation. Courses prescribed in the minor presuppose a background in mathematics and chemistry/physics at the high school level.

The Minor in Meteorology is designed to provide a basic introduction to atmospheric science. Science majors who plan to teach at the high school or community college level will find that this program will allow them to investigate not only fundamental topics but also current developments in the field of air-sea interactions, forecasting, and climatic change.

The minor also serves those students who plan to apply the principles of basic science to environmental problems. Electives include physical oceanography and applied climatology; this course work, in combination with meteorology, allows students to adequately understand the basic physical constraints on the air-sea-land system.

The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences provides an advanced degree that prepares students for careers in private industry, government agencies, teaching in community colleges, or continuing postgraduate studies leading to a doctoral degree at another university. The graduate program also provides an opportunity for practicing geoscientists to update and upgrade their background in the field. There are no formal concentrations within the program, but most students choose to emphasize either Applied Geology or Applied Atmospheric Sciences. Courses available at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, an affiliate of SFSU, also enable students to choose an emphasis in Marine Science. Before beginning course work toward the M.S., students must elect a course of study in consultation with the graduate coordinator for either geology or meteorology.

A major focus of the graduate program involves interdisciplinary studies of the San Francisco Bay Area. Courses are offered in environmental geosciences, particularly focusing on sedimentology, stratigraphy, Quaternary geology, engineering geology, and applied meteorology with a coastal emphasis. Two of the core courses (GEOL/METR 700 and 701) prepare students for more advanced course work and thesis research. The third core course (GEOL/METR 702) is a multidisciplinary seminar that exposes students to current geoscientific problems applicable to the San Francisco Bay Area. Emphases are placed on a rigorous grounding in the sciences and on extensive laboratory and field work. The Geosciences Department includes faculty with expertise in geology, meteorology, and oceanography--fields that are critical to understanding many environmental problems, such as air and water contamination, coastal erosion, and global warming.

Career Outlook

Geoscientific investigations provide the key to finding new sources of useful earth materials and to understanding earth processes that affect our lives. Geoscientists contribute the basic information to society for analyzing problems and establishing policy for resource management, environmental protection, and hazard assessment. Dwindling energy, mineral, and water resources, and increasing environmental concern about global issues such as atmospheric warming with associated rising sea levels, present challenges that create a demand for geoscientific expertise.

Graduates in geology or meteorology are currently working in a wide range of fields in the earth sciences. For the next decade, geologists will find the greatest opportunities in the broad areas of environmental/engineering geology, including such specializations as surface and groundwater hydrogeology, geotechnical studies aimed at locating and remediating toxic sites, earthquake and landslide hazard assessment, and site evaluation for urban planning or construction. There also continue to be positions available in petroleum geology and minerals exploration. Meteorologists will find opportunities in short- and long-range weather forecasting, air pollution assessment, and global climate change research. Recent job trends suggest that the strongest candidates, regardless of their area of specialization, will have a master's degree, several years of field experience, and an interdisciplinary background with strong chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer skills. Geologists and meteorologists are employed by a large number of government agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, National Weather Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California Division of Mines and Geology, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Forest Service. Many geologists and some meteorologists in the San Francisco Bay Area work for environmental consulting firms. The M.S. in Applied Geosciences trains students for teaching at community colleges or possibly high schools, and prepares others to continue into doctoral programs leading to careers in university teaching and research.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS IN GEOSCIENCES

Students should be aware of the following Academic Standards Policy which applies to all geology and meteorology majors:

Students who have completed twelve units of required upper division Geoscience courses and have failed to maintain an overall grade point average of 2.0 (C) in the major will be disenrolled from the major. Any student who does not meet these standards will not be permitted to enroll in courses designed for the major.

Prospective majors should consult with the Department of Geosciences as early as possible in their university careers. It is particularly recommended that students meet with their adviser before selecting courses in the general education program in order to avoid unnecessary duplication. Students will be advised to complete the basic science requirements before taking upper division courses in geology and will also be advised on the correct sequence of courses in the geology program. All major courses must be taken for a letter grade since CR/NC is not applicable toward the degree. Students who are considering teaching geology or meteorology should see a credential adviser in Geoscinces before planning the major. Specific courses in competency assessment are required for the credential program.

Courses for these programs are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page references).

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN GEOLOGY

Students who are planning admission to graduate school through this program are expected to complete at least one year each of college chemistry, physics, and mathematics. It is also strongly recommended that students take a summer field course in geology.

Units

Basic Science

CHEM 111	General Chemistry I		5
PHYS 111/112	General Physics I and Labor-
atory (3/1) or
PHYS 220/222	General Physics with Cal-
culus I and Laboratory (3/1) 4
MATH 220	Calculus and Analytic Geometry I		3
Electives in chemistry, physics, and mathema-
tics on advisement to be chosen from
CHEM 113/114, PHYS 121, 230, or 240,
or MATH 221 3

Basic Geology

GEOL 110	Physical Geology		4
GEOL 115	Historical Geology		4
GEOL 420	Mineralogy		4
GEOL 425	Optical Mineralogy		2
GEOL 426	Petrography and Petrology		4
GEOL 430	Structural Geology		4
GEOL 440	Paleontology		4
GEOL 460	Stratigraphy		4
GEOL 695	Field Methods in Geology		2

Geology Electives

Upper division electives in geology on advise-
ment chosen from courses numbered 400

or higher		5
Total		52

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GEOLOGY

As part of their advanced course work, students will take a summer field mapping course and complete a senior thesis that includes written and oral presentation of a final research report.

Units

Lower Division Basic Science Requirements

GEOL 110	Physical Geology		4
GEOL 115	Historical Geology		4
MATH 220	Calculus and Analytic Geometry I		3
MATH 221	Calculus and Analytic Geometry II		3
MATH 222	Calculus and Analytic Geometry III		3
PHYS 220/222	General Physics with Calcu-
lus I and Laboratory (3/1) and
PHYS 240/242	General Physics with Cal-
culus III and Laboratory (3/1) or
PHYS 220/222	General Physics with Calcu-
lus I and Laboratory (3/1) and
PHYS 230/232	General Physics with Cal-
culus II and Laboratory (3/1) 8
CHEM 111	General Chemistry		5
CHEM 113/114	General Chemistry II and 

	Laboratory (3/2)		5
Total basic science requirements		35

Upper Division Geology Requirements

GEOL 420	Mineralogy		4
GEOL 425	Optical Mineralogy		2
GEOL 426	Petrography and Petrology		4
GEOL 430	Structural Geology		4
GEOL 440	Paleontology		4
GEOL 460	Stratigraphy		4
GEOL 695	Field Methods in Geology		2
GEOL 696	Field Geology		5

GEOL 698	Senior Research and Thesis		2
Total geology requirements		31

Geology Electives

GEOL 480	Geochemistry or
GEOL 485	Geophysics or
GEOL 535	Plate Tectonics		3
Additional upper division electives in geology 
on advisement chosen from courses

numbered 400 or higher		9

Total geology electives requirement		12
Total for the major		78

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN SCIENCE: CONCENTRATION IN METEOROLOGY

Students should consult with an adviser before enrolling in the major and before planning a course of study. The adviser will help the student select courses beyond those required for the major and which are appropriate for the career goals of the individual.

Units

Basic Courses

Mathematics		15
MATH 220	Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
MATH 221	Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
MATH 222	Calculus and Analytic Geometry III
MATH 223	Calculus and Analytic Geometry IV
One of the following on advisement:
MATH 245	Elementary Differential Equa-
tions and Linear Algebra
MATH 340	Introduction to Statistics
MATH 374	Advanced Calculus
METR 406	Fortran Programming for 
Meteorologists
Physics		8
PHYS 220/222	General Physics with Calcu-
lus I and Laboratory (3/1)1
PHYS 230/232	General Physics with Calcu-
lus II and Laboratory (3/1)
Chemistry		8
CHEM 111	General Chemistry I with Labora-
tory (5)1
CHEM 113	General Chemistry II
Biology		5
BIOL 230	Introductory Biology I1
Earth Science		4
METR 401	Introductory Atmospheric Physics
History		3
CIS 500	Development of the Earth Sciences1

Thematic Concentration

Meteorology		14
METR 401	Introductory Atmospheric 
Physics (4)
METR 402	Introductory Atmospheric and 
Oceanic Dynamics (4)
METR 403	Weather Forecasting and 
Analysis (4)
Six additional units from the following, on 
advisement:
METR 203	Basic Weather Chart Analysis (1)
METR 404	Air-Ocean Instruments (2)
METR 406	Fortran Programming for Meteor-
ologists
METR 415	California Weather Analysis
METR 420	Meteorology of the Oceans (4)
METR 480	Weather Satellite Photo Interpreta-
tion (2)
METR 502	Advanced Atmospheric and 
Oceanic Dynamics (4)
METR 510	Introductory Cloud Physics (4)
METR 603	Weather Chart Discussion (1)
METR 695	Internship (1)
METR 697	Senior Project (1-3)
METR 698	Public Weather Forecasting (1-3)
METR 699	Special Study (1)
METR 703	Weather Chart (1)
METR 710	Advanced Topics in Atmospheric 
and Oceanic Dynamics
METR 715	Advanced Seminar in Severe 
Weathers
METR 780	Advanced Weather Satellite 
Analysis Techniques
METR 798	Advanced Public Weather 
Forecasting (1-3)
METR 896	Directed Reading in Meteor-
ology
PHYS 240/242	General Physics with 

	Calculus III and Laboratory (3/1)
Total for major		57

MINOR IN GEOLOGY

Students should consult with the Department of Geosciences as early as possible in the program in order to be advised on the correct sequences of courses and the selection of elective courses. All courses in the minor must be taken for a letter grade since CR/NC will not be accepted in the program.

Basic Science

One course in chemistry or physics on advise-
ment 4-5

Basic Geology

GEOL 110	Physical Geology		4
GEOL 115	Historical Geology		4

Electives

Upper division electives in geology on advise-
ment chosen from courses numbered 400

or higher		12
Total		24-25

MINOR IN METEOROLOGY

NOTE:The minor program in meteorology is designed for students in the College of Science and Engineering. MATH 220 and 221, Calculus and Analytic Geometry I-II, are minimum prerequisites for advanced course work in the pure and applied sciences.

Units

Core

PHYS 220/222	General Physics with Calcu-
lus I and Laboratory (3/1) 4
METR 401	Introductory Atmospheric Physics		4
METR 402	Introductory Atmospheric and 
Oceanic Dynamics 4

METR 403	Weather Forecasting and Analysis		4
Total		16

Electives

Units upon advisement from the following 
course list and from meteorology courses
numbered 404 and higher 7-8
METR 203	Basic Weather Chart Analysis (2)
PHYS 240/242	General Physics with 

	Calculus III and Laboratory (3/1)
Total for minor		23-24

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN APPLIED GEOSCIENCES

Admission to the Program

To be considered for admission to the master's program as a classified graduate student, applicants must:

Letters of recommendation and statement of purpose should be submitted directly to the appropriate graduate coordinator in the Department of Geosciences. Other materials should be submitted to the Graduate Division of the university.

Applicants lacking the appropriate background (i.e., geoscience degree) may be admitted as conditionally classified graduate students. These students must complete additional course work that will not be counted toward the graduate requirements. Conditionally admitted students may take courses but cannot file a Graduate Approved Program until any deficiencies have been satisfied.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Each graduate student is required to demonstrate an acceptable level of written English proficiency on two levels:

Level One:satisfied by passing the Graduate Essay Test (GET) administered by the university Testing Center, preferably before enrollment in the master's program, but no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment. If remedial work is necessary, the student will be expected to complete prescribed course(s) in English. Level Two:satisfied by completion of a written thesis (GEOL or METR 898).

Advancement to Candidacy

To be advanced to candidacy, each student must:

Units

Program

GEOL/METR 700 Seminar in Applied 
Geosciences 3
GEOL/METR 701 Research Methods in 
Applied Geosciences 3
GEOL/METR 702 Quantitative Methods in 
Applied Geosciences 3
GEOL 897	Research Project or
METR 897 Research Project			6
GEOL 898	Master's Thesis or
METR 898 Master's Thesis			3
Upper division or graduate elective courses on 

advisement		12
Minimum total		30
Elective units are chosen from courses offered by the Department of Geosciences or other university departments, and must be selected by students in consultation with their faculty advisers. At least six (6) of these units must be courses numbered 700 or higher, and at least six (6) must be courses offered in the Geosciences Department.

Students can receive their graduate degree when all course requirements are completed and the written thesis, including oral defense, has been approved by the thesis committee. Some students may choose, with their thesis advisers' approval, to complete research under the auspices of a local governmental agency, or geoscientific or environmental firm. Those who choose this option must still complete all the requirements for a thesis, but do so in the context of an internship relationship with an outside agency.



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