Geology-Biology

Geology-Biology involves study of the interactions of the Earth and its hydrosphere and atmosphere with the great diversity of life forms, and how they have evolved and influenced one another over the entire history of the Earth. Many courses emphasize climate and biogeochemistry; this concentration is a good one for students interested in quantitative approaches to environmental science. Students take a basic suite of geoscience courses and at least 4 bio courses of their choosing, plus some supporting math and science courses; the AB degree requires a total of 14 courses and the ScB degree requires a total of 19, including one semester of research. There is a strong emphasis on active and collaborative learning, and on practice in communication. There are many opportunities for students to do research work (typically in paid positions) during the academic year or in the summer, in areas such as determining the history of climate change during the recent ice age, investigating the causes of major extinctions, and using paleoenvironmental records to determine the vulnerability of different regions of the globe to droughts and other processes that strongly affect society.

Standard program for the A.B. degree

This program provides a broad introduction to the geologic and biologic processes that shape the Earth and our environment. It is recommended for students seeking a liberal education and a general understanding of Earth processes, including the evolution of climate and the environment, global environmental change and Earth history. The program prepares students for careers in environmental science, geology, ecology, oceanography, and global change.

Basic supporting science courses
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (or more advanced)1
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
Select two courses in mathematics and/or physics at the level of:2
Introductory Calculus, Part I (or more advanced)
Foundations of Mechanics (or more advanced)
Introduction to Engineering (or more advanced, or courses in data analysis and statistics)
Concentration courses
GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0230Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes1
GEOL 0240Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet1
GEOL 1240Stratigraphy and Sedimentation1
Select three Biology courses from the following:3
Vertebrate Evolution and Diversity
Invertebrate Zoology
Microbes in the Environment
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
Plant Organism
Evolutionary Biology
Conservation Biology
Terrestrial Biogeochemistry and the Functioning of Ecosystems
Plant Physiological Ecology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Three geological sciences courses from the following:3
Foundations of Physical Hydrology
Estuarine Oceanography
Paleoceanography
Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles
Limnology: The Study of Lakes
Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Weather and Climate
Environmental Geochemistry
Environmental Stable Isotopes
Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
Ocean Circulation and Climate
Total Credits14

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

This program is recommended for students interested in graduate study and careers in the Earth, Environmental, or Biological Sciences. It is relevant for students interested in environmental science, paleoclimate, Earth systems science, biogeochemistry, oceanography, or paleobiology.

Five basic supporting science courses
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (or more advanced)1
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure (or advanced placement)1
PHYS 0050Foundations of Mechanics (or more advanced)1
or ENGN 0030 Introduction to Engineering
Select two courses in mathematics at the level of:2
Introductory Calculus, Part I
Introductory Calculus, Part II (or more advanced, or advanced courses in data analysis)
Fourteen (14) concentration courses
GEOL 0220Physical Processes in Geology1
GEOL 0230Geochemistry: Earth and Planetary Materials and Processes1
GEOL 0240Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet1
GEOL 1240Stratigraphy and Sedimentation1
Three biology courses from the following:3
Vertebrate Evolution and Diversity
Invertebrate Zoology
Microbes in the Environment
Principles of Ecology
The Evolution of Plant Diversity
Plant Organism
Evolutionary Biology
Conservation Biology
Terrestrial Biogeochemistry and the Functioning of Ecosystems
Plant Physiological Ecology
Comparative Biology of the Vertebrates
Three geological sciences courses from the following:3
Foundations of Physical Hydrology
Estuarine Oceanography
Paleoceanography
Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles
Limnology: The Study of Lakes
Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Weather and Climate
Environmental Geochemistry
Environmental Stable Isotopes
Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
Ocean Circulation and Climate
Three additional courses from upper level geological sciences, mathematics, or supporting sciences with approval from the concentration advisor3
GEOL 1970Individual Study of Geologic Problems (Senior Research Thesis)1
Total Credits19