Geoscience

Bachelor of Science: 185.0 - 189.0 quarter credits

About the Program

From energy to climate change to environmental degradation, many of the most pressing societal issues of the coming century will pertain to geoscience. The study of the Earth is central to maintaining clean drinking water, mitigating environmental contamination, providing ores and rare elements necessary for industry, and locating new sources of energy.

The Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) Department offers a major in geoscience, with three concentration options designed to meet the needs of students wishing to pursue graduate school or immediate employment in the geosciences:

  • Applied Geology
  • General Geoscience
  • Paleontology

The core requirements encompass foundational courses in science, writing, and math, and traditional courses that form the backbone of the geosciences. Building upon these are innovative courses focused on Earth systems processes, key environmental issues, practical field experiences, and advanced geological study.

In addition to nourishing and honing the passions of students studying the Earth, the core curriculum is designed to:

  1. Instill key technical skills early-on, as a pathway to high-quality co-op opportunities;
  2. Lay the groundwork for our students to pursue advanced graduate study in the geosciences and other disciplines, and;
  3. Enable our graduates to translate marketable skills and knowledge into high-quality jobs in industry and government.

Geoscience majors will begin their field experiences during the first term of their freshmen year. Most courses include a laboratory section or a hands-on recitation section (“dry lab”), plus at least three field trips to relevant regional geological sites. These courses, combined with the co-op experience and summer geological field camp, provide students real-world experience in the field.

About the Concentrations

Applied Geology

The applied geology concentration is designed for students wishing to enter the geoscience workforce upon graduation. Possible employment opportunities include jobs in: environmental consulting, geotechnical consulting, geophysical consulting, the petroleum and natural gas industry, the mining industry, federal agencies (e.g., USGS, USDA, NOAA, FEMA, EPA, DOI, and Army Corps of Engineers), and state and local agencies (e.g., state environmental agencies, state geological surveys, and municipal water departments).

General Geoscience

The general geoscience concentration allows maximum flexibility and is designed for students wishing to pursue other areas of study within the geosciences, students wishing to pursue policy-related careers, and students planning to apply to professional graduate programs, such as those in law or business schools. The policy component of this concentration allows students to explore related societal issues, which may help guide their career aspirations. This concentration also provides transfer students with a pathway to graduate on time.

Students graduating from this concentration will be well prepared to enter graduate school in science or policy, as well as to pursue professional studies. Students seeking immediate employment will be competitive for jobs with, for example, certain NGOs, environmental foundations, consulting companies, and government policy positions related to natural resources and the environment.

Paleontology

The concentration in paleontology prepares students who are interested in pursuing related research in graduate school and students seeking entry-level positions in paleontology. Examples of these jobs include biostratigrapher for petroleum companies, fossil resource manager for the Bureau of Land Management, and related positions with the National Parks Service, USGS, and state geological surveys.

Undergraduates in this concentration benefit from world-class resources already established at the Academy of Natural Sciences. These include the Invertebrate paleontology collection, with over 1 million specimens; the vertebrate fossil collection, with over 22,000 specimens; historically important specimens, such as the Thomas Jefferson fossil collection, the first discovered dinosaur skeleton, and the first discovered tyrannosaur; and the paleobotany collection, with over 5,000 specimens, including a large proportion of type specimens

Students in the paleontology concentration will have access to numerous fossil sites along the Atlantic Coastal Plain and in the Appalachian Province. Opportunities exist for student research at two well-established sites: Dr. Daeschler’s Red Hill site, which produces evolutionarily important forms representing the fish to tetrapod transition; and Dr. Lacovara’s Inversand site, which records a mass-death assemblage at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

Additional Information

For additional information about this program, visit the Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) Department website.

 Degree Requirements

General Education Requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
COM 310 [WI] Technical Communication3.0
PHIL 251Ethics3.0
or PHIL 341 Philosophy of the Environment
UNIV S101The Drexel Experience1.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
UNIV S201Looking Forward: Academics and Careers1.0
Humanities or Social Science electives6.0
Free electives24.0
Mathematics and Statistics
Choose one of the following math sequences:12.0
Introduction to Analysis I
   and Introduction to Analysis II
   and Mathematics for the Life Sciences
Calculus I
   and Calculus II
   and Calculus III
MATH 410Scientific Data Analysis I3.0
MATH 411Scientific Data Analysis II3.0
Physical Sciences
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3.5
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
CHEM 103General Chemistry III5.0
Complete one of the following Physics sequences:8.0
Introductory Physics I
   and Introductory Physics II
Fundamentals of Physics I
   and Fundamentals of Physics II
Complete one of the following Biological Sciences sequences:8.0-9.0
BIO 107
  & BIO 108
  & BIO 109
  & BIO 110
Cells, Genetics & Physiology
   and Cells, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory
   and Biological Diversity, Ecology & Evolution
   and Biological Diversity, Ecology and Evolution Laboratory
Evolution & Organismal Diversity
   and Physiology and Ecology
Environmental Science
ENVS 101Introduction to Environmental Science5.0
ENVS 102Natural History, Research and Collections2.0
ENVS 212Evolution4.0
ENVS 441 [WI] Issues in Global Change I: Seminar2.0
ENVS 442Issues in Global Change II: Research2.0
ENVS 443Issues in Global Change III: Synthesis2.0
Geoscience Core Courses
GEO 101Physical Geology4.0
GEO 102History of Life on Earth4.0
GEO 103Introduction to Field Methods in Earth Science2.0
GEO 201 [WI] Earth Systems Processes3.0
GEO 210Structural Geology4.0
GEO 215Minerology4.0
GEO 301Advanced Field Methods in Earth Science2.0
GEO 310Sedimentary Environments4.0
GEO 311Stratigraphy4.0
GEO 320Invertebrate Paleontology4.0
GEO 401Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology4.0
Geology Field Camp3.0
GEO Electives *8.0
Geoscience Concentration Courses20.0-23.0
Applied Geology Concentration
GIS and Environmental Modeling
Environmental Geology
Geochemistry
Geology of Groundwater
Geophysics
General Geoscience Concentration
See the Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) Department for the General Geoscience Concentration course list.
Paleontology Concentration
Tree of Life
Field Methods in Paleoecology
Vertebrate Paleontology
Paleontology elective *
Choose one of the following:
Form, Function & Evolution of Vertebrates
   and Vertebrate Biology and Evolution Laboratory
Invertebrate Morphology and Physiology
   and Invertebrate Morphology and Physiology Lab
Total Credits185.0-189.0

 

*

 See the Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) for the GEO Core and Paleo elective list.


Sample Plan of Study

The sample plan of study is a general guideline that can be used for each of the three concentrations, depending on course selections in certain terms.

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENVS 101Introduction to Environmental Science5.0
GEO 101Physical Geology4.0
MATH 101
or 121
Introduction to Analysis I
Calculus I
4.0
UNIV S101The Drexel Experience1.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 2
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
GEO 102History of Life on Earth4.0
MATH 102
or 122
Introduction to Analysis II
Calculus II
4.0
Choose one of the following biology sequences:4.0-4.5
Biological Diversity, Ecology & Evolution 
Evolution & Organismal Diversity 
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
 Term Credits16.0-16.5
Term 3
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
ENVS 102Natural History, Research and Collections2.0
GEO 103Introduction to Field Methods in Earth Science2.0
MATH 239
or 123
Mathematics for the Life Sciences
Calculus III
4.0
Choose one of the following biology sequences:4.0-4.5
Cells, Genetics & Physiology 
Physiology and Ecology 
 Term Credits15.0-15.5
Term 4
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3.5
ENVS 212Evolution4.0
GEO 210Structural Geology4.0
Humanities or Social Science elective3.0
 Term Credits14.5
Term 5
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
GEO 201 [WI] Earth Systems Processes3.0
GEO 215Minerology4.0
Choose one of the following two options, based on chosen concentration:4.0-5.0
4-credit GEO concentration course
 
2-credit GEO concentration (Paleo) course and a 3-credit free elective
 
 Term Credits15.5-16.5
Term 6
CHEM 103General Chemistry III5.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
GEO 310Sedimentary Environments4.0
PHYS 152
or 101
Introductory Physics I
Fundamentals of Physics I
4.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 7
COM 310 [WI] Technical Communication3.0
GEO 311Stratigraphy4.0
PHYS 153
or 102
Introductory Physics II
Fundamentals of Physics II
4.0
UNIV S201Looking Forward: Academics and Careers1.0
Select one of the following options based on chosen concentration:3.0-5.0
GEO Concentration (Paleo) course
 
Free elective
 
 Term Credits15.0-17.0
Term 8
GEO 301Advanced Field Methods in Earth Science2.0
MATH 410Scientific Data Analysis I3.0
PHIL 251
or 341
Ethics
Philosophy of the Environment
3.0
GEO Concentration elective4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
GEO 320Invertebrate Paleontology4.0
MATH 411Scientific Data Analysis II3.0
GEO Concentration course4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 10
Geology Field Camp Summer JR Year3.0
 Term Credits3.0
Term 11
ENVS 441 [WI] Issues in Global Change I: Seminar2.0
Humanities or Social Science elective3.0
GEO Concentration course4.0
GEO elective4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 12
ENVS 442Issues in Global Change II: Research2.0
GEO Concentration course4.0
GEO elective4.0
Free elective6.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 13
ENVS 443Issues in Global Change III: Synthesis2.0
GEO 401Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology4.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 185.0-189.0


Co-Op/Career Opportunities

Co-Op Opportunities

There are over one hundred environmental, geophysical, and geotechnical firms within the greater Philadelphia region. Plus, there are opportunities with federal, state, and municipal agencies, jobs in central Pennsylvania related to the Marcellus Shale, and research opportunities between Drexel and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

All geoscience majors follow the five-year, three co-op plan of study program. Transfer students may be granted an exception for a two co-op plan of study, so that they may remain on schedule. The summer geological field camp will occur during the third co-op cycle. In this third co-op, geoscience students attend field camp and also partake in an abbreviated co-op work experience.

Career Opportunities

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for geoscientists through 2020 is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, the geosciences are expected to outpace life, physical, and social sciences in job creation. The employment outlook for geoscientists in Drexel's surrounding area is particularly bright, with a robust environmental consulting industry and exploding demand related to Marcellus Shale drilling.

The geoscience major, with its three concentrations, prepares students who are interested in entering the workforce immediately as well as those who are interested in pursuing related research in graduate schools.

Facilities and Field Sites

Facilities

The geoscience major leverages resources at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences, such as a mineral collection with 9,000 specimens, over a million fossil specimens, Dinosaur Hall, The Patrick Center for Environmental Research, a state-of-the-art fossil preparation lab, notable research programs, and faculty with expertise in geology, paleontology, and related disciplines.

Summer Geological Field Camp

Summer geological field camp is the quintessential undergraduate experience for geosciences students. It is a long-held tradition in geology departments that students head out West, during the summer before graduation, to apply their knowledge to real-world situations and to acquire field skills that will serve them throughout their careers. This is particularly important for students in eastern schools, where the mountains are small and outcrops are scarce. Field camp also provides networking and bonding opportunity for students. Friends made at field camp often become colleagues for life. At the Geological Society of America meeting, reunions are organized by university and by field camp.

The summer geological field camp for geoscience students will occur during the third co-op cycle.

Barnegat Bay Coastal Field Station

The BEES field station on Barnegat Bay in Waretown, NJ provides geoscience students with opportunities to engage in hands-on research in coastal geology, barrier island morphology, oceanography, and sedimentology. The facility includes a lodge, two classrooms/meeting rooms, dining hall, dormitories, and rustic cabins. The field station is located on 194 acres of diverse coastal habitat, including a maritime forest, tidal creek, salt marsh, fresh water pond, brackish impoundment, and bayshore environments. The department’s research vessel gives students access to back-bay and near-shore marine environments. 

The department holds its introductory field session for incoming freshmen and other events at the field station. The facility may also serve as a base for excursions into the Pine Barrens, a heavily forested area containing a number of interesting deposits related to the last glacial period.

Red Hill Fossil Site

The Red Hill fossil site, in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, exposes Devonian coastal sedimentary rocks that preserve a rich fossil fauna. Of particular importance is a fossil fish species, studied by Dr. Ted Daeschler, representing a critical transition between fish and tetrapods (land animals.) This site offers opportunities for studying vertebrate paleontology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology and provides students with a window into an important moment in the history of life on Earth.

 Inversand Fossil Site: Local training ground for Geoscience Majors

The Inversand fossil site is a unique resource for geological education, research, and STEM outreach. The quarry is located in Gloucester Country, NJ, only 20 minutes from Drexel’s campus, making it possible to conduct field exercises there within a three-hour class period. The geological formations that outcrop in the Inversand Quarry have yielded many new fossil species. The site has significance beyond vertebrate paleontology, however, and will provide a local laboratory for classes in geochemistry, geophysics, stratigraphy, sedimentology, hydrogeology, and environmental geology. As such, it will provide a valuable training-ground, a short distance from campus, for all Drexel geoscience majors.

Courses

GEO 101 Physical Geology 4.0 Credits

This course is an introduction to geology emphasizing the role of plate tectonics. Topics include formation of minerals, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, depositional environments, and geological hazards. Labs focus on mineral and rock identification, map skills, and 3D visualization.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 102 History of Life on Earth 4.0 Credits

The origin and evolution of life on earth are examined. Topics include the origins of life and the natural histories of plants and animals. The role of natural selection and contingency are emphasized. Lab exercises include hands-on fossil identification and may include fossil collecting trips.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 103 Introduction to Field Methods in Earth Science 2.0 Credits

This is an introductory course in earth science that provides experience with the fundamental skills and methods for the field study of the earth and earth processes.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 201 [WI] Earth Systems Processes 3.0 Credits

Students will examine local and global environmental changes from an earth systems perspective. Important concepts include feed-back loops, tipping points, the "butterfly effect," and geological time. From a geological perspective, students will examine: natural and anthropogenic climate change; soil degradation; sea-level rise; plate tectonics; and natural hazards, such as coastal storms, levee breaks, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and more.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 205 Dinosaurs and Their World 3.0 Credits

An introduction to dinosaur paleontology, this course focuses on the scientific method as applied to dinosaur studies. Topics include dinosaur evolution, the history of dinosaur research, an overview of dinosaurs, and birds as living dinosaurs. This is suitable for all majors.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 210 Structural Geology 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will explore the physical and geometric structures within the earth's crust and the ways in which these structures reflect natural history. Mapping techniques and methods of describing stress and strain in rocks will be covered, while emphasizing visualization of three-dimensional relationships. Students will learn practical analytical techniques and foundational field skill. This course is at the heart of field geology and will prepare students for a successful summer field camp experience.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 101 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 215 Minerology 4.0 Credits

In this course, students will study mineralogy and optical mineralogy, with a focus on describing minerals within their geologic context. The foundations of mineralogy will be covered, including: crystallography, chemical bonding, controls on mineral structure, mineral stability, and crystal growth. Students will learn physical and chemical analytical methods to examine mineral composition and structure. Hand-sample identification will be emphasized in the laboratory component. In the field, students will learn to identify rock-forming minerals within the context of historical geological events.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 301 Advanced Field Methods in Earth Science 2.0 Credits

This skills course focuses on fundamental and commonly used geoscience field techniques. Students will learn surface and subsurface mapping, coring techniques and core analysis, remote sensing techniques, and sampling techniques. This course builds on GEO 103 and prepares students for advanced field studies.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 103 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 306 Environmental Geology 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will focus on interactions between humans and the geosphere. Students will develop an understanding of a broad range of natural and human-induced geohazards, from earthquakes and tsunamis to industrial pollution and anthropogenic climate change. Regional examples will be emphasized, such environmental industrial contamination and remediation efforts in the Delaware Valley and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Pennsylvania.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 309 Geochemistry 4.0 Credits

This course is a topics-based approach to the field of geochemistry with emphasis on aqueous systems, both marine and freshwater. Topics include: composition of the earth and oceans; chemical equilibrium; solubility; thermodynamics; oxidation-reduction reactions; organic geochemistry; isotope geochemistry; contaminant geochemistry; applications of geochemistry; consequences of weathering; composition of surface waters; geochemical modeling; and selected areas of interest.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: CHEM 103 [Min Grade: D] or CHEM 123 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 310 Sedimentary Environments 4.0 Credits

Students in this course develop an understanding of sedimentary processes and the ability to interpret paleoenvironments based on sedimentological parameters. Topics include current flow, bedforms, siliciclastic and carbonate rocks, fluvial, coastal, and Aeolian environments, taphonomy, and paleosols.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 101 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 311 Stratigraphy 4.0 Credits

Students in this core course will learn the about foundations of stratigraphy, including the discovery of “Deep Time.” Lithostratigraphic, chronstratigraphic, and geochronologic principles will be examined, including the development of the geological time scale. Students will learn to construct stratigraphic cross-section, though lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, and sequence stratigraphic correlation. Practical techniques, such as magnetostratigraphy and electrologging will be covered and students will gain hands-on, field experience in stratigraphic settings ranging from the Paleozoic to the Pleistocene.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 310 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 320 Invertebrate Paleontology 4.0 Credits

This course focuses on the evolution of hard-bodied invertebrates from the Cambrian period to today. Topics include taxonomy, taphonomy, biostratigraphy, and paleoecology. Natural selection, functional morphology, extinction and adaption are emphasized. The lab focuses on hands-on fossil identification.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: ENVS 212 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 322 Vertebrate Paleontology 4.0 Credits

This course focuses on the evolution of vertebrates from the Cambrian Period to today. Topics include cartilaginous and bony fishes, amphibians, turtles, crocodiles, pterosaurs, birds, and mammals. Natural selection, cladistics, functional morphology, adaptation and extinction are emphasized.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: ENVS 212 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 324 Paleobotany 4.0 Credits

The origin and evolution of plants are examined in this course. Topics include plant phylogeny, paleoecology, evolution and adaptation through geological time. Plants will also be examined within the context of long-term climate change and as environmental proxies.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: ENVS 212 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 340 Quaternary Geology 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will examine a great variety of evidence used to establish the history and scale of environmental changes during the most recent geological time period – the Quaternary. The evidence ranges from landforms and sediments to fossil assemblages and isotope ratios. Understanding the Quaternary Period, which encompasses all of human history, is critical for the future well being of our species.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

GEO 342 Geomorphology 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will learn how landscapes originate and develop over time, through an integrative approach that covers all of the major constructional and erosional processes. The fundamentals of sediment entrainment, transport, and deposition will be applied to landform evolution. Students will learn about the importance of geomorphology in environmental geology.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 101 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 346 Coastal Geology 4.0 Credits

This course will furnish an understanding of the tectonic framework, hydrographic regime, climatic setting, and geological components that determine the morphology and behavior of coastlines. The response of coasts to changes in sea level, sediment supply, and human development will be examined. Fundamental geomorphic processes, such as wave-driven currents and tidal dynamics, will be covered.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 101 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 348 Oceanography 4.0 Credits

This course provides a topics-based approach to the field of oceanography with special emphasis on marine geology and geochemistry. Provides a solid understanding of the discipline of oceanography and a foundation to pursue further advanced topics in oceanography.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 101 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 365 Field Methods in Paleoecology 4.0 Credits

Weekly fieldtrips to the Inversand fossil sites in New Jersey form the basis for this course. Students will learn the rudiments of stratigraphy and fossil identification and will learn excavation and data collection techniques. Collected fossils will be prepared by students in labs at Drexel University and at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

GEO 401 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will explore the processes that control the genesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks, with emphasis on igneous processes. In the laboratory portion of the course students will learn identification and classification of petrographic specimens. Students will gain hand-on experience identifying igneous and metamorphic rocks in the field.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: CHEM 103 [Min Grade: D] and GEO 101 [Min Grade: D] and GEO 215 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 412 Geology of Groundwater 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will learn the theoretical basis and practical techniques of hydrogeology. The significance of groundwater for ecosystem health, including human well-being, will be emphasized. Students will learn commonly used industrial techniques, such as hydrograph analyses, borehole measurements, and stream gauge techniques and will gain hands-on experience assessing hydrogeology in the field.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if major is AE or major is CIVE or major is ENVE
Prerequisites: CHEM 103 [Min Grade: D] and (MATH 239 [Min Grade: D] or MATH 123 [Min Grade: D]) and GEO 101 [Min Grade: D]

GEO 418 Geophysics 4.0 Credits

Students in this course will learn geophysical concepts and practical (and marketable) skills for using geophysical techniques in the field. Students will gain hands-on experience in seismic profiling, borehole logging and other techniques important in environmental consulting and the energy industry.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: GEO 101 [Min Grade: D] and (MATH 239 [Min Grade: D] or MATH 123 [Min Grade: D]) and (PHYS 153 [Min Grade: D] or PHYS 102 [Min Grade: D])

GEO 480 Special Topics 12.0 Credits

In this course, students will explore specific areas not covered in the regularly offered Geoscience courses. The course will be taught by teaching faculty members of the Geoscience Program, Drexel professors who are members of the Geoscience Faculty Committee, or by visiting professors.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

GEO 497 Research 12.0 Credits

Students pursue a specific area of research in geoscience under the direction of a geoscience faculty member. Faculty permission required.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

GEO 498 Independent Study 12.0 Credits

In this course, students will cover an area of academic study not offered in an existing Geoscience course. Only students with sufficient background work will be accepted by the faculty member for independent work.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science Faculty

Walter F. Bien, PhD (Drexel University) Director, Laboratory of Pinelands Research. Research Professor. Natural resource management, restoration ecology, conservation biology, and New Jersey Pinelands community dynamics.
Donald F. Charles, PhD (Indiana University) Senior Scientist and Section Leader, Phycology Section, Academy of Natural Sciences. Professor. Diatoms as water quality indicators; paleolimnological approaches for inferring change in biology and chemistry of lakes; lake management; assessment of perturbations in aquatic ecosystems due to municipal and industrial effluents, land-use change, acid deposition, eutrophication and climate change.
Ted Daeschler, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology; Vice President for Systematic Biology and the Library: Academy of Natural Sciences. Associate Professor. Vertebrate fauna of the Late Devonian Period in eastern North America; fossil collecting; systematic work focusing on freshwater vertebrates; nature of early non-marine ecosystems.
Daniel P. Duran, PhD (Vanderbilt University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Phylogeography, systematics and taxonomy, population and conservation genetics , ecological niche modeling, focusing on insect systems to better understand fundamental evolutionary processes and maintain biodiversity.
Jon Gelhaus, PhD (University of Kansas) Curator, Department of Entomology: Academy of Natural Sciences. Professor. Systematic expertise in crane flies (Tipuloidea); phylogenetic reconstruction; historical and ecological biogeography; biodiversity measures and evolution of morphological character systems.
Richard J. Horwitz, PhD (University of Chicago) Senior Scientist; Fisheries Section Leader; Ruth Patrick Chair of Environmental Sciences. Professor. Reproductive ecology, life history and distribution of freshwater fishes; effects of land use, habitat structure and hydrology on population dynamics and species composition in aquatic systems; ecological modeling and biometry; anthropogenic contaminants in fishes.
Susan S. Kilham, PhD (Duke University). Professor. Aquatic ecology: phytoplankton; physiological ecology, especially of diatoms in freshwater and marine systems; large lakes; food webs; biogeochemistry.
Danielle Kreeger, PhD (Oregon State University). Assistant Research Professor. Trophic interactions in aquatic ecosystems.
Kenneth J. Lacovara, PhD (University of Delaware). Associate Professor. Vertebrate paleontology of dinosaurs and other animals; Mesozoic terrestrial and coastal ecosystems; preservation of ancient tissues and cells, ancient mangroves, clastic sedimentology, coastal geology, sea level change, evolution and earth history. Field
Tatyana Livshultz, PhD (Cornell University) Assistant Curator of Botany. Assistant Professor. Expertise of the milkweed and dogbane family (Apocynaceae); evolution and species diversity of the genus Dischidia; differences in floral form and function.
Richard McCourt, PhD (University of Arizona) Associate Curator of Botany, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; 2010-2012: Program Director, Division of Graduate Education, National Science Foundation. . Professor. Biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and systematic of green algae, specifically charophyte algae.
Jerry V. Mead, PhD (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) Assistant Scientist and Section Leader, Watershed and Systems Ecology Section: Academy of Natural Sciences. Assistant Research Professor. Spatial modeling of aquatic ecosystems; bioenergetics of aquatic invertebrates and fishes; effects of water level management on aquatic organisms; biophysical economics and watershed planning; stream geomorphology and environmental conditions; economics and bioconservation; energy and fisheries.
Mikael O'Connor, MD, PhD (MD, Johns Hopkins University; PhD, Colorado State). Associate Professor. Biophysical and physiological ecology, thermoregulation of vertebrates, ecological modeling.
Sean O'Donnell, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Professor. Tropical ecology, focusing on geographic variation and elevation effects on ecology and behavior of army ants and ant-bird interactions; neurobiology, focusing on brain plasticity and brain evolution in social insects.
Marina Potapova, PhD (Russian Academy of Sciences) Assistant Curator. Assistant Professor. Taxonomy, ecology, and biogeography of freshwater diatoms; methods of quantifying morphological characters of diatom frustules based on geometric morphometrics; systematic of monoraphid freshwater diatoms.
Tracy Quirk, PhD (University of Delaware). Assistant Professor. Vegetation dynamics in coastal wetlands, including factors that influence organic matter accumulation and decomposition and carbon and nutrient cycling; distribution of carbon and nitrogen pools in a salt marsh fringing a coastal lagoon and ecotypic variation of wetland plant species in biomass, carbon and nutrient allocation; establishing long‑term fixed station monitoring of tidal wetlands along the Delaware Estuary and Barnegat Bay.
Ling Ren, PhD (Hamburg University) Research Scientist. Diatom identification and enumeration in stream and river samples; utilizing diatom data for water quality assessment; eutrophication, nutrient enrichment on phytoplankton growth; harmful algal blooms in estuarine and coastal ecosystems.
Barbara Rinkel, PhD (University of Bristol) Research Scientist. Investigating water quality of river, streams, and wetlands; use of soft-bodied algae as water quality indicators; expertise in freshwater soft-bodied algal flora.
Gary Rosenberg, PhD (Harvard University) Pilsbry Chair of Malacology: Academy of Natural Sciences. Professor. Magnitude and origin of species-level diversity in the Mollusca.
David J. Velinsky, PhD (Old Dominion University) Department Head, Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science. Professor. Geochemical cycling of organic and inorganic constituents of sediments and waters; Sedimentary diagenesis of major and minor elements; Isotope biogeochemistry of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in marine and freshwater systems.
Jason D. Weckstein, PhD (Louisiana State University) Associate Curator of Ornithology: Academy of Natural Sciences. Associate Professor. Avian phylogenetics, population genetics, and evolutionary history; Coevolutionary history of birds and their parasites; biodiversity of birds and their parasites.

Interdepartmental Faculty

Gail Hearn, PhD (Rockefeller University). Professor. The conservation of primate species on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, Africa.
Jacob Russell, PhD (University of Arizona). Assistant Professor. The functional significance and evolutionary histories of symbioses between insects and bacteria.

Emeritus Faculty

John G. Lundberg, PhD (University of Michigan) Chaplin Chair and Curator of Ichthyology. Professor Emeritus. Diversity and diversification of fishes; documenting and interpreting the morphological, molecular, and taxonomic diversity of living and fossil fishes in the interrelated fields of systematic, faunistics and biogeography and paleobiology; exploration and collecting in poorly-known tropical freshwater habitats and regions.
Daniel Otte, PhD (University of Michigan) Senior Curator, Systematics and Evolutionary Biology. Professor Emeritus. Taxonomy and biogeography of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids and their relatives).
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