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    Syracuse University
   
 
  Dec 14, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Earth Sciences, BS


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Laura Lautz, Chair
204 Heroy Geology Laboratory,
315-443-2672.

Faculty

Suzanne L. Baldwin, Marion E. Bickford, Paul G. Fitzgerald, Gregory D. Hoke, Linda C. Ivany, Christopher Junium, Jeffrey A. Karson, Christa Kelleher, Laura K. Lautz, Zunli Lu, Robert Moucha, Cathryn R. Newton, Scott D. Samson, Christopher A. Scholz, Donald I. Siegel, Jay Thomas, Bruce H. Wilkinson

The Earth Sciences provide insights into some of humanity’s deepest questions. How was the planet Earth, our lifeboat in space, formed? What are the processes that have shaped the Earth - its surface and internal structure? How has life, of which humanity is a part, evolved? Why are there earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain chains, continents, and oceans? How has the surface of the Earth changed through time? On a practical level, the study of Earth Sciences provides a basis for understanding natural hazards, assessing Earth’s climate variability and global change, predicting the migration of man-made pollutants, and exploring for the energy and mineral resources upon which society depends. The study of Earth Sciences also, uniquely, provides a perspective of time and an appreciation of the natural world that can enrich a lifetime.

The Department of Earth Sciences offers bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees. The bachelor of science degree is recommended for students intending to pursue a career in the Earth Sciences-either professionally or in academia. Most bachelor of science students continue on to graduate school to obtain a master’s degree, the standard entry-level professional degree in the Earth sciences, or a Ph.D. if they intend to pursue a career in academia. Two bachelor of science degree tracks are offered within the department, the B.S. in Earth Sciences, and the B.S. in Earth Sciences with focus in environmental science. The B.S. in Earth Sciences provides a strong background in basic science and geology, and through appropriate choice of electives can be tailored to meet a wide range of possible interests within the Earth Sciences. The B.S. in Earth Sciences with focus in environmental science is offered jointly with the biology department, and is recommended for those students specifically intending to pursue a career in the environmental arena.

The bachelor of arts degree in Earth Sciences is recommended for those students who enjoy and are intellectually intrigued by the Earth Sciences, but intend to pursue careers in other fields. The B.A. degree differs from the B.S. degree in that it requires fewer ancillary science courses and fewer electives from within the department. Along with intellectual enrichment, the B.A. degree provides a rounded science foundation and critical thinking skills that can be applied to numerous other fields. Graduates with B.A.s in Earth Sciences go on to be lawyers, teachers, business people, environmental planners, public policy makers, and politicians, as well as geologists.

Student Learning Outcomes


1. Can explain process-based linkages among tectonics, climate, and life as illustrated by the Earth system over time; can relate general patterns in the history of the earth system using rocks and fossils

2. Can identify and describe the major rock-forming minerals and relate the origin of the three major rock types

3. Can infer depositional processes and environments from field and lab observations of sedimentary systems

4. Can describe tectonic controls in Earth’s crust and expressions of plate tectonics including faults and folds

5. Can effectively synthesize published literature related to earth science in a written report

6. Can prepare and deliver effective oral presentations

7. Can competently represent, manipulate, and interpret scientific data

Requirements for B.S. Degree in Earth Sciences


Note:


EAR 104  is the laboratory for EAR 105  and may be taken concurrently with EAR 210 .

Core Courses in Earth Sciences (12 credits plus an approved field course)


Summer Field Experience


  • EAR 470 - Experience Credit (6 cr., by transfer, as approved field experience)   This requirement consists of 6 credit hours of transfer credit brought in as EAR 470 . The requirement is satisfied by participation in an approved 6-week summer geological field camp, or through an alternative approved field program. The field experience is typically scheduled in the summer between junior and senior years, but completion of the requirement during the summer following graduation is also possible. Participation in the SU Abroad ‘Frontiers Abroad’ semester program in New Zealand also satisfies the field experience requirement.  For enrollment in a traditional geological field camp, courses in Structural Geology and Sedimentary Geology may be required.

Department Elective Courses


24 credits of Earth Science or approved auxiliary science or math courses, at least 15 of which must be upper-division Earth Science credits.

Requirements for B.S. Degree in Earth Sciences with Focus in Environmental Science


Additional Available Elective Courses


Several courses in the College of Environmental Science and Forestry are also available for students in this program, as substitutes for Upper Division Electives, pending permission of the Undergraduate Advisor. These courses include but are not limited to:

•     EFB 415 - Ecological Biogeochemistry

•     FCH 515 - Methods of Environmental Chemical Analysis

•     EFB 452 - Principles of Chemical Control

•     FCH 352 - Introduction to Remote Sensing

•     EFB 505 - Microbial Ecology

•     EFB 510 - Health and Our Chemical Environment

•     EFB 524 - Limnology

•     EFB 525 - Limnology laboratory

Required Senior Capstone Course 3 credits


Summer Field Experience


  • EAR 470 - Experience Credit (6 cr., by transfer, as approved field experience) This requirement consists of 6 credit hours of transfer credit brought in as EAR 470 . The requirement is satisfied by participation in an approved 6-week summer geological field camp, or through an alternative approved field program. The field experience is typically scheduled in the summer between junior and senior years, but completion of the requirement during the summer following graduation is also possible. Participation in the SU Abroad ‘Frontiers Abroad’ semester program in New Zealand also satisfies the field experience requirement.  For enrollment in a traditional geological field camp, courses in Structural Geology and Sedimentary Geology may be required.

Summer Field Experience


The Geology Field Experience


This requirement consists of 6 or more credit hours of transfer credit brought in as EAR 470 . The requirement is satisfied by participation in an approved 6-week summer geological field camp, or through an alternative approved field program. The field experience is typically scheduled in the summer between junior and senior years, but completion of the requirement during the summer following graduation is also possible. For enrollment in a traditional Geological Field Camp, courses in Structural Geology and Sedimentary Geology may be required.

Required Ancillary Sciences and Mathematics (20 to 22 credits)


1 year General Physics


(PHY 211  /PHY 221  and PHY 212PHY 212  /PHY 222PHY 222  ) are also recommended for students interested in pursuing careers in hydrology.

Requirements For Distinction In Earth Sciences


Minimum GPA Within Department 3.6


Cumulative GPA, by End of Senior Year 3.4


Other Criteria Required for the Degree with Distinction:


Students must complete a research-based senior thesis in conjunction with a faculty supervisor. The thesis must constitute independent, hypothesis-driven research involving investigative tools and techniques in the Earth Sciences. Students must submit the written thesis to the department and give a public seminar reporting their results. Students should register for EAR 409 - Senior Thesis in Earth Science  in the semester in which they plan to submit the thesis. All else being satisfied, Distinction is conferred following a vote of approval from the Faculty of the Department of Earth Sciences.

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