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Office: Braun Hall, Building 320
Mail Code: 94305-2115
Phone: (650) 723-0848
Web Site: http://earth.stanford.edu/gs

Courses offered by the Department of Geological Sciences (formerly the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences) are listed under the subject code GS on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The geological sciences are naturally interdisciplinary, and include: the study of earth materials, earth processes, and how they have changed over Earth's 4.56 billion year history. More specifically, courses and research within the department address: the chemical and physical makeup and properties of minerals, rocks, soils, sediments, and water; the formation and evolution of Earth and other planets; the processes that deform Earth's crust and shape Earth's surface; the stratigraphic, paleobiological, and geochemical records of Earth history including changes in climate, oceans, and atmosphere; present-day, historical, and long-term feedbacks between the geosphere and biosphere, and the origin and occurrence of our natural resources.

The department's research is critical to the study of natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods), environmental and geological engineering, surface and groundwater management, the assessment, exploration, and extraction of energy, mineral and water resources, ecology and conservation biology, remediation of contaminated water and soil, geological mapping and land use planning, and human health and the environment.

A broad range of instrumentation for elemental and radiogenic/stable isotope analysis is available, including ion microprobe, electron microprobe, thermal and gas source mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. The Center for Materials Research and facilities at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), and the U.S. Geological Survey in nearby Menlo Park are also available for the department's research. Branner Library, devoted exclusively to the Earth Sciences, represents one of the department's most important resources. The department also maintains rock preparation (crushing, cutting, polishing), mineral separation, and microscopy facilities.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Geological Sciences

The purpose of the undergraduate program in Geological Sciences is to provide students with a broad background in the fundamentals of the Earth sciences and the quantitative, analytical, and communications skills necessary to conduct research and think critically about questions involving the Earth. The major provides excellent preparation for graduate school and careers in geological and environmental consulting, land use planning, law, teaching, and other professions in which an understanding of the Earth and a background in science are important.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to develop and demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of fundamental concepts in Earth science.
  2. the ability to collect, analyze, and interpret geological and environmental data using a variety of techniques to test hypotheses.
  3. the ability to address real geological and/or environmental problems in the field.
  4. the ability to communicate scientific knowledge orally, visually, and in writing.

Graduate Programs in Geological Sciences

Graduate Studies in the Department of Geological Sciences involve academic course work and independent research. Students are prepared for careers as professional scientists in research, education, or the application of the earth sciences to mineral, energy, and water resources. Programs lead to the M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees. Course programs in the areas of faculty interest are tailored to the student's needs and interests with the aid of his or her research adviser. Students are encouraged to include in their program courses offered in other departments in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences as well as in other departments in the University. Diplomas designate degrees in Geological and Environmental Sciences or Geological Sciences and may also indicate the following specialized fields of study: Geostatistics and Hydrogeology.

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

The purpose of the master's program in Geological Sciences is to continue a student's training in one of a broad range of earth science disciplines and to prepare students for either a professional career or doctoral studies.

The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship, high attainment in a particular field of knowledge, and the ability to conduct independent research. To this end, the objectives of the doctoral program are to enable students to develop the skills needed to conduct original investigations in a particular discipline or set of disciplines in the earth sciences, to interpret the results, and to present the data and conclusions in a publishable manner.

On April 16, 2015, the Senate of the Academic Council approved the Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences. Students who declared the Bachelor of Science in Geological and Environmental Sciences have the option of changing the name of their degree to Geological Sciences. Degree requirements remain the same.

Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences

The major consists of five interrelated components:

  1. Earth Sciences Fundamentals—Students must complete a set of core courses that introduce the properties of Earth materials, the processes that change the Earth, and the timescales over which those processes act. These courses provide a broad foundational knowledge that can lead to specialization in many different disciplines of the geological and environmental sciences.
  2. Quantitative and Analytical Skills—Students must complete adequate course work in mathematics, chemistry, and physics or biology. In addition, they learn analytical techniques specific to the Earth sciences through the laboratory component of courses.
  3. Advanced Course Work and Research—Students gain breadth and depth in upper-level electives and are encouraged to apply these skills and knowledge to problems in the Earth sciences through directed research.
  4. Field Research Skills—Most GS courses include field trips and/or field-based projects. In addition, students must complete at least six weeks of field research through departmental offerings (GS 105 Introduction to Field Methods and GS 190 Research in the Field), in which they learn and apply field techniques, field mapping, and the prepare a written report.
  5. Communication Skills—To fulfill the Writing in the Major requirement, students take a writing-intensive senior seminar (GS 150 Senior Seminar: Issues in Earth Sciences), in which they give both oral and written presentations that address current research in the earth sciences.

The major requires at least 93 units; letter grades are required in all courses if available. Students interested in the GS major should consult with the undergraduate program coordinator for information about options within the curriculum.

Course Sequence (102-121 units total)

Core Requirement

Students are required to take all of the following:

Units
GS 1Introduction to Geology5
GS 4Coevolution of Earth and Life4
GS 90Introduction to Geochemistry3-4
GS 102Earth Materials: Introduction to Mineralogy4
GS 103Earth Materials: Rocks in Thin Section3
GS 104Introduction to Petrology4
GS 105Introduction to Field Methods3
GS 106Sedimentary Geology and Depositional Systems4
GS 110Structural Geology and Tectonics3-5
GS 150Senior Seminar: Issues in Earth Sciences3
GS 190Research in the Field6
Total Units42-45

Breadth in the Discipline Requirement

To gain understanding of the breadth of subject areas within the geological  sciences, students are required to take one course from each of the following five groups (15-23 units).

Surface and Hydrologic Processes
Units
GS 118D^3: Disasters, Decisions, Development3-5
or GS 121 What Makes a Habitable Planet?
or ESS 117 Earth Sciences of the Hawaiian Islands
or ESS 155 Science of Soils
or ESS 156 Soil and Water Chemistry
or ESS 220 Physical Hydrogeology
or GEOPHYS 120 Ice, Water, Fire
or GEOPHYS 190 Near-Surface Geophysics
Biogeosciences
Units
GS 123Evolution of Marine Ecosystems3-4
or GS 128 Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
or GS 233A Microbial Physiology
or ESS 158 Geomicrobiology
Earth Materials and Geochemistry
Units
GS 135Field and Analytical Methods in Historical Geobiology3-4
or GS 163 Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry
or GS 180 Igneous Processes
or CEE 177 Aquatic Chemistry and Biology
or ESS 152 Marine Chemistry
Tectonics and Geophysics
Units
GEOPHYS 120Ice, Water, Fire3-5
or GEOPHYS 130 Introductory Seismology
or GS 122 Planetary Systems: Dynamics and Origins
or GEOPHYS 150 Geodynamics: Our Dynamic Earth
or GEOPHYS 170 Global Tectonics
or GEOPHYS 182 Reflection Seismology
Geospatial Statistics and Computer Science
Units
CS 106AProgramming Methodology3-5
or EARTH 211 Software Development for Scientists and Engineers
or ENERGY 125 Modeling and Simulation for Geoscientists and Engineers
or ENERGY 160 Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences
or ESS 164 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS)
or GEOPHYS 112 Exploring Geosciences with MATLAB

Additional Field Opportunities (optional)

GS 5Living on the Edge1
GS 101Environmental and Geological Field Studies in the Rocky Mountains3
GEOPHYS 170Global Tectonics3
OSPAUSTL 10Coral Reef Ecosystems3
OSPAUSTL 25Freshwater Systems3
OSPAUSTL 30Coastal Forest Ecosystems3

Depth in the Discipline Requirement (10 Units)

To allow students to go into greater depth in the major, students must complete at least 10 units of electives drawn primarily from the list above and other upper-level courses in GS (including graduate-level courses). Additional courses in Geophysics, ESS, and ERE may be counted towards the elective units if they allow a student to pursue a topic in depth; these options should be discussed with an adviser. A maximum of 3 elective units may be fulfilled by:

Units
Undergraduate Research in Geological Sciences
Senior Thesis
Special Problems in Geological Sciences
Advanced Seminars

Honors research (GS 199 Honors Program) may fulfill up to 4 elective units.

Required Supporting Mathematics (20 Units)

Choose one of the following equivalent series:

Units
Select one of the following series:
Series A
MATH 19
MATH 20
MATH 21
Calculus
and Calculus
and Calculus
10
Series B
MATH 41
MATH 42
Calculus
and Calculus
10
or a score of 4-5 on the Calculus BC exam
And at least TWO of the following:
CME 100Vector Calculus for Engineers5
or MATH 51 Linear Algebra and Differential Calculus of Several Variables
CME 102Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers5
or MATH 52 Integral Calculus of Several Variables
CME 104Linear Algebra and Partial Differential Equations for Engineers5
or MATH 53 Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra

Required Supporting Sciences (15-23 Units)

Advanced placement credit may be accepted for these courses as determined by the relevant departments.

Units
Chemistry
CHEM 31A
CHEM 31B
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II
5-10
or CHEM 31X Chemical Principles Accelerated
or a score of 4-5 on the Chemistry AP exam
And one of the following:
GS 171Geochemical Thermodynamics3
or CHEM 135
or CHEM 171 Physical Chemistry I
In addition to chemistry, students may choose between introductory sequences in biology and physics. This choice should be made after discussion with an adviser and based on a student's interests.
Biology
BIO 41Genetics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology5
And one of the following:
BIO 42Cell Biology and Animal Physiology3-5
or BIO 43 Plant Biology, Evolution, and Ecology
or ESS 151 Biological Oceanography
or BIO 116 Ecology of the Hawaiian Islands
Or
Physics
Select one of the following Series:8-9
Series A
PHYSICS 21
PHYSICS 22
PHYSICS 23
PHYSICS 24
Mechanics, Fluids, and Heat
and Mechanics, Fluids, and Heat Laboratory
and Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics
and Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics Laboratory
10
Series B
PHYSICS 41
PHYSICS 43
PHYSICS 44
Mechanics
and Electricity and Magnetism
and Electricity and Magnetism Lab
9
Series C
PHYSICS 41
PHYSICS 45
PHYSICS 46
Mechanics
and Light and Heat
and Light and Heat Laboratory
9

Field Research

Field research skills are a critical component of the undergraduate curriculum in GS. The conventional and most straightforward way for undergraduates to meet the field requirement is to take the GS courses (GS 105 Introduction to Field Methods and GS 190 Research in the Field):

  • GS 105 Introduction to Field Methods, is a two-week introduction to field techniques and geologic mapping that is taught every year in the White Mountains of eastern California prior to the start of Autumn Quarter in September. This course gives students the tools to undertake geologic research in the field. GS 105 Introduction to Field Methods is required of all GS majors and is the framework upon which all subsequent undergraduate field-related instruction is based.
  • GS 190 Research in the Field, gives GS undergraduates additional training in field research. This course provides undergraduates with a team-based experience of collecting data to answer research questions and is directed by faculty and graduate students. Offered in June and/or September.

By taking GS 105 Introduction to Field Methods and two iterations of GS 190 Research in the Field, GS undergraduates develop the broad experience and confidence necessary to go out and evaluate a geological or environmental geology question by collecting field-based data. The main goal is that, upon graduation, GS undergraduates will be able to plan and execute independent field research.

It is also possible to substitute non-Stanford courses to allow flexibility in fulfilling the field requirement.  A modified version of an existing field-based course such as Stanford at Sea/Australia/Hawaii may fulfill one GS 190 Research in the Field requirement. To receive credit for GS 190, a proposal must be filed at the end of Winter Quarter with the field program committee which evaluates it for suitability. Students subsequently enroll in GS 190 with a specific instructor or their faculty mentor who evaluates the final report from the fieldwork.

GS 190 Research in the Field can also be satisfied by enrolling in a single four-to-six week geology field camp offered by another institution. This externally administered experience can substitute for two GS 190 courses, subject to approval by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. 

Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology Undergraduate Specialized Curriculum

The Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology curriculum is intended for undergraduates interested in the application of geological and engineering data and principles to the study of rock, soil, and water to recognize and interpret geological and environmental factors affecting engineering structures and groundwater resources. Students learn to characterize and assess the risks associated with natural geological hazards, such as landslides and earthquakes, and with groundwater flow and contamination. The curriculum prepares students for graduate programs and professional careers in engineering, environmental geology, geology, geotechnical engineering, and hydrogeology.

GS majors who elect the Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology curriculum are expected to complete a core course sequence and a set of courses in supporting sciences and mathematics. The core courses come from Earth Sciences and Engineering. Any substitutions for core courses must be approved by the faculty adviser and through a formal petition to the undergraduate program director. In addition, four elective courses, consistent with the core curriculum and required of all majors, are to be chosen with the advice and consent of the adviser. Typically, electives are chosen from the list below. Letter grades are required if available.

Course Sequence (85-101 Units Total)

Required Geological Sciences (33-35 Units)

Units
GS 1Introduction to Geology5
GS 102Earth Materials: Introduction to Mineralogy4
GS 104Introduction to Petrology4
GS 111Fundamentals of Structural Geology3
GS 115Engineering Geology and Global Change3
GS 150Senior Seminar: Issues in Earth Sciences3
ESS 164Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS)3-4
ESS 220Physical Hydrogeology4
ENERGY 160Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences3-4
GEOPHYS 190Near-Surface Geophysics3
Total Units35-37

Required Engineering (18-21 Units)

Units
CEE 101AMechanics of Materials4
or ME 80 Mechanics of Materials
CEE 101BMechanics of Fluids4
CEE 101CGeotechnical Engineering3-4
CS 106AProgramming Methodology3-5
ENGR 14Intro to Solid Mechanics4
Total Units18-21

Required Supporting Sciences and Mathematics (23-29 Units)

Units
CHEM 31A
CHEM 31B
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II
5-10
or CHEM 31X Chemical Principles Accelerated
MATH 51Linear Algebra and Differential Calculus of Several Variables5
MATH 52Integral Calculus of Several Variables5
MATH 53Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra5
PHYSICS 41Mechanics4
Total Units24-29

Suggested Electives Electives (11-16 Units)

Choose four courses from the following list or, with faculty approval, four related courses:

Units
CEE 101DComputations in Civil and Environmental Engineering3
CEE 180Structural Analysis4
CEE 270Movement and Fate of Organic Contaminants in Waters3
CEE 293Foundations and Earth Structures3
ESS 221Contaminant Hydrogeology and Reactive Transport4
ENGR 30Engineering Thermodynamics3
ENGR 50Introduction to Materials Science, Nanotechnology Emphasis4
GEOPHYS 112Exploring Geosciences with MATLAB1-3
GS 130Soil Physics and Hydrology3
GS 131Hydrologically-Driven Landscape Evolution3
GS 237Surface and Near-Surface Hydrologic Response3
MATSCI 151Microstructure and Mechanical Properties3-4
ME 80Mechanics of Materials4

Honors Program

The honors program provides an opportunity for year-long independent study and research on a topic of special interest, culminating in a written thesis. Students select research topics in consultation with the faculty adviser of their choosing. Research undertaken for the honors program may be of a theoretical, field, or experimental nature, or a combination of these approaches. The honors program is open to students with a GPA of at least 3.5 in GS courses and 3.0 in all University course work. Modest financial support is available from several sources to help defray laboratory and field expenses incurred in conjunction with honors research. Interested students must submit an application, including a research proposal, to the department by the end of their junior year.

Upon approval of the research proposal and entrance to the program, course credit for the honors research project and thesis preparation is assigned by the student's faculty adviser within the framework of GS 199 Honors Program; the student must complete a total of 9 units over the course of the senior year. Up to 4 units of GS 199 may be counted towards the elective requirement, but cannot be used as a substitute for regularly required courses.

Both a written and oral presentation of research results are required. The thesis must be read, approved, and signed by the student's faculty adviser and a second member of the faculty. In addition, honors students must participate in the GS Honors Symposium in which they present their research to the broader community. Honors students in GS are also eligible for the Firestone medal, awarded by Undergraduate Advising and Research for exceptional theses.

Minor in Geological Sciences

The minor in GS consists of a small set of required courses plus 12 elective units. A wide variety of courses may be used to satisfy these elective requirements. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Required Courses

Units
GS 1Introduction to Geology5
GS 4Coevolution of Earth and Life4
GS 102Earth Materials: Introduction to Mineralogy4
GS 104Introduction to Petrology4
Total Units17

Electives (12 Units)

Students must take a minimum of 12 additional units drawn primarily from the Breadth in the Discipline list in the GS major; a majority of units must be from classes within the GS department. Up to 3 units of Stanford Introductory Seminars in GS may be counted.

Students pursuing a minor in GS are encouraged to participate in the senior seminar (GS 150 Senior Seminar: Issues in Earth Sciences) and in field research (GS 105 Introduction to Field Methods)

On April 16, 2015, the Senate of the Academic Council approved the Master of Science in Geological Sciences. Students who matriculated into the Master of Science in Geological and Environmental Sciences have the option of changing the name of their degree to Geological Sciences. Degree requirements remain the same.

Coterminal Master of Science Degree in Geological Sciences

The coterminal B.S./M.S. program offers students the opportunity to pursue graduate research and an M.S. degree concurrently with or subsequent to their B.S. studies. The M.S. degree can serve as an entrance to a professional degree in subdisciplines within the Earth sciences such as engineering geology and environmental geology, or to graduate course work and research as an intermediate step in pursuit of the Ph.D. Regardless of professional goals, coterminal B.S./M.S. students are treated as members of the graduate community and are expected to meet all of the standards set for regular M.S. students. Applicants must have earned no fewer than 120 units toward graduation, and must submit their application no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree, normally the Winter Quarter prior to Spring Quarter graduation. The application includes a statement of purpose, a current Stanford transcript, official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation from two members of the Stanford faculty (at least one of whom must be in the GS department), and a list of courses in which they intend to enroll to fulfill the M.S. degree requirements. Specific research interests should be noted in the statement of purpose and discussed with a member of the GS faculty prior to submission of the application. Coterminal students must complete a thesis describing research results.

Students must meet all requirements for both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Students may either:

  1. complete 180 units required for the B.S. degree and then complete three full-time quarters (45 units at the 100-level or above) for the M.S. degree
  2. or. complete a total of fifteen quarters during which the requirements of the two degrees are fulfilled concurrently.

At least half of the courses used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement must be designated as being primarily for graduate students, normally at the 200-level or above. No more than 15 units of thesis research may be used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement. Further information about this program may be obtained from the GS office.

University Coterminal Requirements

Coterminal master’s degree candidates are expected to complete all master’s degree requirements as described in this bulletin. University requirements for the coterminal master’s degree are described in the “Coterminal Master’s Program” section. University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

After accepting admission to this coterminal master’s degree program, students may request transfer of courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree. Transfer of courses to the graduate career requires review and approval of both the undergraduate and graduate programs on a case by case basis.

In this master’s program, courses taken during or after the first quarter of the sophomore year are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate career; the timing of the first graduate quarter is not a factor. No courses taken prior to the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements.

Course transfers are not possible after the bachelor’s degree has been conferred.

The University requires that the graduate adviser be assigned in the student’s first graduate quarter even though the undergraduate career may still be open. The University also requires that the Master’s Degree Program Proposal be completed by the student and approved by the department by the end of the student’s first graduate quarter.

Admission

For admission to graduate work in the department, the applicant must have taken the Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing assessment) of the Graduate Record Examination. In keeping with University policy, applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores from a test taken within the last 18 months. Individuals who have completed a B.S. or two-year M.S. program in the U.S. or other English-speaking country are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

Master of Science in Geological Sciences

Objectives

The purpose of the master's program in Geological Sciences is to continue a student's training in one of a broad range of earth science disciplines and to prepare students for either a professional career or doctoral studies.

Procedures

In consultation with the adviser, the student plans a program of course work for the first year. The student should select a thesis adviser within the first year of residence and submit to the thesis adviser a proposal for thesis research as soon as possible. The academic adviser supervises completion of the department requirements for the M.S. program (as outlined below) until the research proposal has been accepted; responsibility then passes to the thesis adviser. The student may change either thesis or academic advisers by mutual agreement and after approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Requirements

The University's requirements for M.S. degrees are outlined in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. Practical training (GS 385 Practical Experience in the Geosciences) may be required by some programs, with adviser approval, depending on the background of the student. Additional department requirements include the following:

  1. A minimum of 45 units of course work at the 100 level or above.
    1. Half of the courses used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement must be intended as being primarily for graduate students, usually at the 200 level or above.
    2. No more than 15 units of thesis research may be used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement.
    3. Some students may be required to make up background deficiencies in addition to these basic requirements.
  2. By the end of Spring Quarter of their first year in residence, students must complete at least three graduate level courses taught by a minimum of two different GS faculty members.
  3. Each student must have a research adviser who is a faculty member in the department and is within the student's thesis topic area or specialized area of study.
  4. Each student must complete a thesis describing his or her research. Thesis research should begin during the first year of study at Stanford and should be completed before the end of the second year of residence.
  5. Early during the thesis research period, and after consultation with the student, the thesis adviser appoints a second reader for the thesis, who must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies; the thesis adviser is the first reader. The two readers jointly determine whether the thesis is acceptable for the M.S. degree in the department.

Engineer Degree in Geological Sciences

The Engineer degree is offered as an option for students in applied disciplines who wish to obtain a graduate education extending beyond that of an M.S., yet do not have the desire to conduct the research needed to obtain a Ph.D. A minimum of two years (six quarters) of graduate study is required. The candidate must complete 90 units of course work, no more than 10 of which may be applied to overcoming deficiencies in undergraduate training. The student must prepare a substantial thesis that meets the approval of the thesis adviser and the graduate coordinator.

On April 16, 2015, the Senate of the Academic Council approved the Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences. Students who matriculated into the Doctor of Philosophy in Geological and Environmental Sciences have the option of changing the name of their degree to Geological Sciences. Degree requirements remain the same.

Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences

Objectives

The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship, high attainment in a particular field of knowledge, and the ability to conduct independent research. To this end, the objectives of the doctoral program are to enable students to develop the skills needed to conduct original investigations in a particular discipline or set of disciplines in the earth sciences, to interpret the results, and to present the data and conclusions in a publishable manner.

Admission

For admission to graduate work in the department, the applicant must have taken the Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing assessment) of the Graduate Record Examination. In keeping with University policy, applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores from a test taken within the last 18 months. Individuals who have completed a B.S. or two-year M.S. program in the U.S. or other English-speaking country are not required to submit TOEFL scores. Previously admitted students who wish to change their degree objective from M.S. to Ph.D. must petition the GS Admissions Committee.

Requirements

The University's requirements for the Ph.D. degree are outlined in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. Practical training (GS 385 Practical Experience in the Geosciences) may be required by some programs, with adviser approval, depending on the background of the student. A summary of additional department requirements is presented below:

  1. Ph.D. students must complete the required courses in their individual program or in their specialized area of study with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or higher, or demonstrate that they have completed the equivalents elsewhere. Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of four graduate level, letter-grade courses of at least 3 units each from four different faculty members on the Academic Council in the University. By the end of Spring Quarter of their first year in residence, students must complete at least three graduate level courses taught by a minimum of two different GS faculty members.
  2. Each student must qualify for candidacy for the Ph.D. by the end of the sixth quarter in residence, excluding summers. Department procedures require selection of a faculty thesis adviser, preparation of a written research proposal, approval of this proposal by the thesis adviser, selection of a committee for the Ph.D. qualifying examination, and approval of the membership by the graduate coordinator and chair of the department. The research examination consists of three parts: oral presentation of a research proposal, examination on the research proposal, and examination on subject matter relevant to the proposed research. The exam should be scheduled prior to May 1, so that the outcome of the exam is known at the time of the annual spring evaluation of graduate students.
  3. Upon qualifying for Ph.D. candidacy, the student and thesis adviser, who must be a department faculty member, choose a research committee that includes a minimum of two faculty members in the University in addition to the adviser. Annually, during the Spring Quarter, the candidate must organize a meeting of the research committee to present a brief progress report covering the past year.
  4. Under the supervision of the research advisory committee, the candidate must prepare a doctoral dissertation that is a contribution to knowledge and is the result of independent research. The format of the dissertation must meet University guidelines. The student is strongly urged to prepare dissertation chapters that, in scientific content and format, are readily publishable.
  5. The doctoral dissertation is defended in the University oral examination. The research adviser and two other members of the research committee are determined to be readers of the draft dissertation. The readers are charged to read the draft and to certify in writing to the department that it is adequate to serve as a basis for the University oral examination. Upon obtaining this written certification, the student is permitted to schedule the University oral examination.

Ph.D. Minor in Geological Sciences

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in other departments who wish to obtain a minor in Geological Sciences must complete, with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better, 20 units in the geosciences in lecture courses intended for graduate students. The selection of courses must be approved by the student's GS adviser and the department chair.

Emeriti: (Professors) Atilla Aydin, W. Gary Ernst, James C. Ingle, Jr., Juhn G. Liou, Keith Loague*, David D. Pollard

Chair: Jonathan Payne

Associate Chair: Wendy Mao

Professors: Dennis K. Bird, Gordon E. Brown, Jr., Jef Caers, Rodney C. Ewing, Stephan A. Graham, Donald R. Lowe, Gail A. Mahood, Elizabeth L. Miller, Jonathan F. Stebbins

Associate Professors: C. Kevin Boyce, George Hilley, Katherine Maher, Wendy Mao, Jonathan Payne

Assistant Professors: Erik Sperling

Professors (Research): Martin J. Grove

Courtesy Professors: Page Chamberlain, Elizabeth Hadly, Simon L. Klemperer, Anders R. Nilsson, Alfred M. Spormann

* Recalled to active duty

Cognate Courses

Many courses offered within the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, as well as courses in other schools with a significant Earth sciences component, may be used in satisfaction of optional requirements for the Geological Sciences degree. Undergraduates should discuss the options available to them with the undergraduate program coordinator; graduate students should discuss options with their advisers.

The following courses outside the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences are particularly applicable:

Units
BIO 121
BIO 136
BIOHOPK 182HStanford at Sea16
CEE 63Weather and Storms3
CEE 64Air Pollution and Global Warming: History, Science, and Solutions3
CEE 101AMechanics of Materials4
CEE 101BMechanics of Fluids4
CEE 101CGeotechnical Engineering3-4
CEE 166AWatersheds and Wetlands4

Overseas Studies Courses in Geological Sciences

The Bing Overseas Studies Program manages Stanford study abroad programs for Stanford undergraduates. Students should consult their department or program's student services office for applicability of Overseas Studies courses to a major or minor program.

The Bing Overseas Studies course search site displays courses, locations, and quarters relevant to specific majors.

For course descriptions and additional offerings, see the listings in the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses or Bing Overseas Studies.

Units
explorecourses:OSPgs

Courses

GS 1. Introduction to Geology. 5 Units.

Lectures, hands-on laboratories, in-class activities, and one field trip. Focus is on the physical and chemical processes of heat and mass transfer within the earth and its fluid envelopes, including deep-earth, crustal, surface, and atmospheric processes. Topics include plate tectonics, the cycling and formation of different types of rocks, and how geologists use rocks to understand Earth's history.
Same as: EARTHSYS 11

GS 4. Coevolution of Earth and Life. 4 Units.

Earth is the only planet in the universe currently known to harbor life. When and how did Earth become inhabited? How have biological activities altered the planet? How have environmental changes affected the evolution of life? Are we living in a sixth mass extinction? In this course, we will develop and use the tools of geology, paleontology, geochemistry, and modeling that allow us to reconstruct Earth¿s 4.5 billion year history and to reconstruct the interactions between life and its host planet over the past 4 billion years. We will also ask what this long history can tell us about life¿s likely future on Earth. We will also use One half-day field trip.
Same as: EARTHSYS 4

GS 5. Living on the Edge. 1 Unit.

A weekend field trip along the Pacific Coast. Tour local beaches, geology, and landforms with expert guides from the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Enjoy a BBQ dinner and stay overnight in tents along the Santa Cruz coast. Get to know faculty and graduate students in Stanford Earth. Requirements: Two campus meeting and weekend field trip (Fall Quarter: Nov 5-6; Spring Quarter: April 8-9) to Pacific Coast. Enrollment limited to 25. Freshman have first choice. If you are interested in signing up for the course, complete this form: http://web.stanford.edu/~aferree/GS5.fb.
Same as: EARTH 15

GS 8. Oceanography: An Introduction to the Marine Environment. 3 Units.

For non-majors and earth science and environmental majors. Topics: topography and geology of the sea floor; evolution of ocean basins; circulation of ocean and atmosphere; nature of sea water, waves, and tides; and the history of the major ocean basins. The interface between continents and ocean basins, emphasizing estuaries, beaches, and continental shelves with California margin examples. Relationships among the distribution of inorganic constituents, ocean circulation, biologic productivity, and marine environments from deep sea to the coast. One-day field trip to measure and analyze waves and currents.

GS 12SC. Environmental and Geological Field Studies in the Rocky Mountains. 2 Units.

The ecologically and geologically diverse Rocky Mountain area is being strongly impacted by changing land use patterns, global and regional environmental change, and societal demands for energy and natural resources. This field program emphasizes coupled environmental and geological problems in the Rocky Mountains, covering a broad range of topics including the geologic origin of the American West from three billion years ago to the present; paleoclimatology and the glacial history of this mountainous region; the long- and short-term carbon cycle and global climate change; and environmental issues in the American West related to changing land-use patterns and increased demand for its abundant natural resources. In addition to the science aspects of this course we will also investigate the unique western culture of the area particularly in regards to modern ranching and outfitting in the American West. These broad topics are integrated into a coherent field-study as we examine earth/ environmental science-related questions in three different settings: 1) the three-billion-year-old rocks and the modern glaciers of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming; 2) the sediments in the adjacent Wind River basin that host abundant gas and oil reserves and also contain the long-term climate history of this region; and 3) the volcanic center of Yellowstone National Park and the mountainous region of Teton National Park. Students will complete six assignments based upon field exercises, working in small groups to analyze data and prepare reports and maps. Lectures will be held in the field prior to and after fieldwork. The students will read two required books prior to this course that will be discussed on the trip.nnNote: This course involves one week of backpacking in the Wind Rivers and hiking while staying in cabins near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Students must arrive in Salt Lake City on Monday, September 4. (Hotel lodging will be provided for the night of September 4, and thereafter students will travel as a Sophomore College group.) We will return to campus on Friday, September 22.
Same as: EARTHSYS 12SC, ESS 12SC

GS 14. Our National Parks. 2 Units.

Explore the history and natural science of three national parks proximal to Stanford. Under the guidance of instructors, students will work in teams to learn about chosen aspects of these parks, develop dynamic self-guided tours for public consumption, and implement (and publish) these tours using the XibitEd app for iPhones. Students will learn how to present their findings to a general, non-scientific audience, delineate physical locations at which storytelling will take place through the XibitEd system, and create and configure the content for the system. The course will culminate in the publishing of the experiential learning tours, as well as a weekend-long field trip to the Pinnacles National Park.
Same as: EARTH 14, EARTH 114A, GS 114A

GS 38N. The Worst Journey in the World: The Science, Literature, and History of Polar Exploration. 3 Units.

This course examines the motivations and experiences of polar explorers under the harshest conditions on Earth, as well as the chronicles of their explorations and hardships, dating to the 1500s for the Arctic and the 1700s for the Antarctic. Materials include The Worst Journey in the World by Aspley Cherry-Garrard who in 1911 participated in a midwinter Antarctic sledging trip to recover emperor penguin eggs. Optional field trip into the high Sierra in March.
Same as: EARTHSYS 38N, ESS 38N

GS 40N. Diamonds. 3 Units.

Preference to freshmen. Topics include the history of diamonds as gemstones, prospecting and mining, and their often tragic politics. How diamond samples provide clues for geologists to understand the Earth's deep interior and the origins of the solar system. Diamond's unique materials properties and efforts in synthesizing diamonds.

GS 42N. Landscapes and Tectonics of the San Francisco Bay Area. 4 Units.

Active faulting and erosion in the Bay Area, and its effects upon landscapes. Earth science concepts and skills through investigation of the valley, mountain, and coastal areas around Stanford. Faulting associated with the San Andreas Fault, coastal processes along the San Mateo coast, uplift of the mountains by plate tectonic processes, and landsliding in urban and mountainous areas. Field excursions; student projects.

GS 43Q. Environmental Problems. 3 Units.

Preference to sophomores. Components of multidisciplinary environmental problems and ethical questions associated with decision making in the regulatory arena. Students lead discussions on environmental issues such as groundwater contamination from point and nonpoint sources, cumulative watershed effects related to timber and mining practices, acid rain, and subsurface disposal of nuclear waste.

GS 46Q. Environmental Impact of Energy Systems: What are the Risks?. 3 Units.

In order to reduce CO2 emissions and meet growing energy demands during the 21st Century, the world can expect to experience major shifts in the types and proportions of energy-producing systems. These decisions will depend on considerations of cost per energy unit, resource availability, and unique national policy needs. Less often considered is the environmental impact of the different energy producing systems: fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, and other alternatives. One of the challenges has been not only to evaluate the environmental impact but also to develop a systematic basis for comparison of environmental impact among the energy sources. The course will consider fossil fuels (natural gas, petroleum and coal), nuclear power, wind and solar and consider the impact of resource extraction, refining and production, transmission and utilization for each energy source.
Same as: EARTHSYS 46Q

GS 55Q. The California Gold Rush: Geologic Background and Environmental Impact. 3 Units.

Preference to sophomores. Topics include: geologic processes that led to the concentration of gold in the river gravels and rocks of the Mother Lode region of California; and environmental impact of the Gold Rush due to population increase, mining operations, and high concentrations of arsenic and mercury in sediments from hard rock mining and milling operations. Recommended: introductory geology.

GS 59N. Earthquake 9.0: The Heritage of Fukushima Daiichi 6 Years Later. 3 Units.

We will consider the case for nuclear power as an energy source through the lens of the Fukushima disaster. Specific topics will include the cause of the earthquake and tsunami, the causes for the nuclear power plant failure, the mechanisms for the release of radioactivity at the time of the accident and today, and the ongoing human impact of this tragedy. In addition to the details of the accident and the release of radioactivity, class discussions and readings will explore the health and economic impacts of nuclear power and examine how the accident has affected the future prospects of nuclear power in Japan, the U.S., and around the world.

GS 90. Introduction to Geochemistry. 3-4 Units.

The chemistry of the solid earth and its atmosphere and oceans, emphasizing the processes that control the distribution of the elements in the earth over geological time and at present, and on the conceptual and analytical tools needed to explore these questions. The basics of geochemical thermodynamics and isotope geochemistry. The formation of the elements, crust, atmosphere and oceans, global geochemical cycles, and the interaction of geochemistry, biological evolution, and climate. Recommended: introductory chemistry.

GS 101. Environmental and Geological Field Studies in the Rocky Mountains. 3 Units.

Three-week, field-based program in the Greater Yellowstone/Teton and Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. Field-based exercises covering topics including: basics of structural geology and petrology; glacial geology; western cordillera geology; paleoclimatology; chemical weathering; aqueous geochemistry; and environmental issues such as acid mine drainage and changing land-use patterns.
Same as: EARTHSYS 100, ESS 101

GS 102. Earth Materials: Introduction to Mineralogy. 4 Units.

The minerals and materials that comprise the earth and their uses in modern society. How to identify, classify, and interpret rock-forming minerals. Emphasis is on information provided by common minerals about the nature of the Earth's interior and processes such as magmatism and metamorphism that operate there, as well as the major processes of weathering and erosion that link plate tectonics to earth cycles. Required lab section. Prerequisite: introductory geology course. Recommended: introductory chemistry.

GS 103. Earth Materials: Rocks in Thin Section. 3 Units.

Use of petrographic microscope to identify minerals and common mineral associations in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Crystallization histories, mineral growth and reaction relations, deformation textures in metamorphic rocks, and provenance of siliciclastic rocks. Required lab section. Prerequisite 102.
Same as: GS 203

GS 104. Introduction to Petrology. 3-4 Units.

The origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks as a function of geologic and plate tectonic setting. How to determine the temperature and pressure conditions of formation from mineral assemblages, textures, and compositions. Undergraduate students majoring in Geological Sciences must take the course for 4 units and complete a weekly lab section examining rocks in thin section. Prerequisite: introductory geology course, GS102; those taking the lab must also have completed GS103 or have equivalent experience with a petrographic microscope.
Same as: GS 204

GS 105. Introduction to Field Methods. 3 Units.

Two-week, field-based course in the White Mountains of eastern California. Introduction to the techniques for geologic mapping and geologic investigation in the field: systematic observations and data collection for lithologic columns and structural cross-sections. Interpretation of field relationships and data to determine the stratigraphic and deformational history of the region. Prerequisite: GS 1, recommended: GS 102.

GS 106. Sedimentary Geology and Depositional Systems. 4 Units.

Topics: weathering, erosion and transportation, deposition, origins of sedimentary structures and textures, sediment composition, diagenesis, sedimentary facies, tectonics and sedimentation, and the characteristics of the major siliciclastic and carbonate depositional environments. Required Lab Section: methods of analysis of sediments in hand specimen and thin section. There is a required field problem trips to the field site(s) during the quarter, data collection and analysis, and preparation of a final written and oral report. Prerequisites: 1, 102, 103.

GS 107. Journey to the Center of the Earth. 3 Units.

The interconnected set of dynamic systems that make up the Earth. Focus is on fundamental geophysical observations of the Earth and the laboratory experiments to understand and interpret them. What earthquakes, volcanoes, gravity, magnetic fields, and rocks reveal about the Earth's formation and evolution. Offered every other year, winter quarter. Next offering Winter 2013-14.
Same as: GEOPHYS 184, GEOPHYS 274, GS 207

GS 110. Structural Geology and Tectonics. 3-5 Units.

Theory, principles, and practical techniques to measure, describe, analyze, and interpret deformation-related structures on Earth. Collection of fault and fold data in the field followed by lab and computer analysis; interpretation of geologic maps and methods of cross-section construction; structural analysis of fault zone and metamorphic rocks; measuring deformation; regional structural styles and associated landforms related to plate tectonic convergence, rifting, and strike-slip faulting; the evolution of mountain belts and formation of sedimentary basins. Prerequisite: GS 1, calculus. Recommended: 102.
Same as: GS 294

GS 111. Fundamentals of Structural Geology. 3 Units.

Techniques for mapping using GPS and differential geometry to characterize structures; dimensional analysis and scaling relations; kinematics of deformation and flow; measurement and analysis of stress; elastic deformation and properties of rock; brittle deformation including fracture and faulting; linear viscous flow including folding and magma dynamics; model development and methodology. Models of tectonic processes are constructed and solutions visualized using MATLAB. Prerequisites: GS 1, MATH 51.
Same as: CEE 195

GS 114A. Our National Parks. 2 Units.

Explore the history and natural science of three national parks proximal to Stanford. Under the guidance of instructors, students will work in teams to learn about chosen aspects of these parks, develop dynamic self-guided tours for public consumption, and implement (and publish) these tours using the XibitEd app for iPhones. Students will learn how to present their findings to a general, non-scientific audience, delineate physical locations at which storytelling will take place through the XibitEd system, and create and configure the content for the system. The course will culminate in the publishing of the experiential learning tours, as well as a weekend-long field trip to the Pinnacles National Park.
Same as: EARTH 14, EARTH 114A, GS 14

GS 115. Engineering Geology and Global Change. 3 Units.

The application of geology and global change to the planning, design, and operation of engineering projects. Case histories taught in a seminar setting and field trips emphasize the impact of geology and global change on both individual engineering works and the built environment by considering Quaternary history and tectonics, anthropogenic sea level rise, active geologic processes, engineering properties of geologic deposits, site exploration, and professional ethics. Prerequisite: GS 1 or consent of instructor.
Same as: CEE 196

GS 118. D^3: Disasters, Decisions, Development. 3-5 Units.

This class connects the science behind natural disasters with the real-world constraints of disaster management and development. In each iteration of this class we will focus on a specific, disaster-prone location as case study. By collaborating with local stakeholders we will explore how science and engineering can make a make a difference in reducing disaster risk in the future. Offered every other year.
Same as: EARTHSYS 124, ESS 118, ESS 218, GEOPHYS 118, GEOPHYS 218, GS 218

GS 121. What Makes a Habitable Planet?. 3 Units.

Physical processes affecting habitability such as large impacts and the atmospheric greenhouse effect, comets, geochemistry, the rise of oxygen, climate controls, and impact cratering. Detecting and interpreting the spectra of extrasolar terrestrial planets. Student-led discussions of readings from the scientific literature. Team taught by planetary scientists from NASA Ames Research Center.
Same as: GS 221

GS 122. Planetary Systems: Dynamics and Origins. 3-4 Units.

(Students with a strong background in mathematics and the physical sciences should register for 222.) Motions of planets and smaller bodies, energy transport in planetary systems, composition, structure and dynamics of planetary atmospheres, cratering on planetary surfaces, properties of meteorites, asteroids and comets, extrasolar planets, and planetary formation. Prerequisite: some background in the physical sciences, especially astronomy, geophysics, or physics.
Same as: GEOPHYS 122, GS 222

GS 123. Evolution of Marine Ecosystems. 3-4 Units.

Life originally evolved in the ocean. When, why, and how did the major transitions occur in the history of marine life? What triggered the rapid evolution and diversification of animals in the Cambrian, after more than 3.5 billion years of Earth's history? What caused Earth's major mass extinction events? How do ancient extinction events compare to current threats to marine ecosystems? How has the evolution of primary producers impacted animals, and how has animal evolution impacted primary producers? In this course, we will review the latest evidence regarding these major questions in the history of marine ecosystems. We will develop familiarity with the most common groups of marine animal fossils. We will also conduct original analyses of paleontological data, developing skills both in the framing and testing of scientific hypotheses and in data analysis and presentation.
Same as: EARTHSYS 122, GS 223B

GS 128. Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems. 4 Units.

The what, when, where, and how do we know it regarding life on land through time. Fossil plants, fungi, invertebrates, and vertebrates (yes, dinosaurs) are all covered, including how all of those components interact with each other and with changing climates, continental drift, atmospheric composition, and environmental perturbations like glaciation and mass extinction. The course involves both lecture and lab components. Graduate students registering at the 200-level are expected to write a term paper, but can opt out of some labs where appropriate.
Same as: EARTHSYS 128, GS 228

GS 130. Soil Physics and Hydrology. 3 Units.

The occurrence, distribution, circulation, and reaction of water at the surface and within the near surface. Topics: precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration and vadose zone, groundwater, surface water and streamflow generation, and water balance estimates. Current and classic theory in soil physics and hydrology. Urban, rangeland, and forested environments.

GS 131. Hydrologically-Driven Landscape Evolution. 3 Units.

Materials of the Earth and hydrologically driven landscape processes. Topics: hillslope hydrology, weathering of rocks and soils, erosion, flow failures, mass wasting, and conceptual models of landscape evolution. Current and classic theory in geomorphology.

GS 135. Field and Analytical Methods in Historical Geobiology. 4 Units.

Introduction to research methods in historical geobiology. This research-based course will examine how life in ancient oceans, as recorded in the paleontological record, was affected by environmental change, as recorded in the geochemical record. Students will collect paleontological and geochemical data from a measured stratigraphic section in the western United States. In lab, students will learn low temperature geochemical techniques focusing on the cycling of biogeochemical elements (O, C, S, and Fe) in marine sediments throughout Earth history. This is a lab-based course complemented with lectures. Preference will be given to students able to attend a four-day field trip at the end of spring break to measure the stratigraphic section and collect samples.
Same as: GS 235

GS 135A. Historical Geobiology Field Trip. 1 Unit.

Field trip to a sedimentary succession of geobiological interest. Students will measure the stratigraphic section, describe fossils and trace fossils, and collect samples for geochemical analysis. Offered over spring break.

GS 150. Senior Seminar: Issues in Earth Sciences. 3 Units.

Focus is on written and oral communication in a topical context. Topics from current frontiers in earth science research and issues of concern to the public. Readings, oral presentations, written work, and peer review.
Same as: GEOPHYS 199

GS 163. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry. 3 Units.

Isotopic variations in nature provide key insights into the age of the Earth and its rocks, as well as the evolution of Earth¿s major reservoirs, including the mantle, crust and hydrosphere. How do we know the age of the Earth? When did continents first form? How have the oceans changed through time? This course will address these and related topics by focusing on the fundamental processes that govern isotopic variations, including radioactive decay, mass dependent isotope fractionation and dynamic transfers between reservoirs.
Same as: GS 263

GS 170. Environmental Geochemistry. 4 Units.

Solid, aqueous, and gaseous phases comprising the environment, their natural compositional variations, and chemical interactions. Contrast between natural sources of hazardous elements and compounds and types and sources of anthropogenic contaminants and pollutants. Chemical and physical processes of weathering and soil formation. Chemical factors that affect the stability of solids and aqueous species under earth surface conditions. The release, mobility, and fate of contaminants in natural waters and the roles that water and dissolved substances play in the physical behavior of rocks and soils. The impact of contaminants and design of remediation strategies. Case studies. Prerequisite: 90 or consent of instructor.
Same as: EARTHSYS 170, GS 270

GS 171. Geochemical Thermodynamics. 3 Units.

Introduction to the application of chemical principles and concepts to geologic systems. The chemical behavior of fluids, minerals, and gases using simple equilibrium approaches to modeling the geochemical consequences of diagenetic, hydrothermal, metamorphic, and igneous processes. Topics: reversible thermodynamics, solution chemistry, mineral-solution equilibria, reaction kinetics, and the distribution and transport of elements by geologic processes. Prerequisite: GS 102.

GS 180. Igneous Processes. 4 Units.

For juniors, seniors and beginning graduate students in Earth Sciences. Structure and physical properties of magmas; use of phase equilibria and mineral barometers and thermometers to determine conditions of magmatic processes; melting and magmatic lineages as a function of tectonic setting; processes that control magma composition including fractional crystallization, partial melting, and assimilation; petrogenetic use of trace elements and isotopes. Labs emphasize identification of volcanic and plutonic rocks in thin section and interpretation of rock textures. Prerequisite 102, 103, or consent of instructor.
Same as: GS 280

GS 182. Field Trip to Cascade Volcanoes of California. 1 Unit.

Three-day field trip (involving light hiking and camping) to study active and dormant volcanoes of northern California, including Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, and Medicine Lake, and their relationship to regional extensional faulting. Features visited include stratovolcanoes, cinder cones, lava caves, obsidian flows, hot springs and hydrothermal alteration, volcanic blast deposits and mudflows, debris avalanches, fault scarps. Recommended: 1 or equivalent. Limited enrollment; preference to frosh, sophs, and undergraduates and graduates majoring in SE3.

GS 183. California Desert Geologic Field Trip. 1 Unit.

Field seminar. Three class meetings during Winter quarter followed by a 6-day field trip over Spring Break to Mojave Desert, Death Valley, and Owens Valley. See stunning desert and mountain scenery, and examine geology that includes active faults, recent volcanoes, hot springs, ore deposits, rocks that have been stretched and melted deep in the earth's crust, peaks carved by glaciers, vast ancient lakebeds that are now huge salt flats, shifting fields of sand dunes, and desert flora and fauna. Involves camping and some hiking. Enrollment limited to 25 students; preference given to freshmen and sophomores; additionally graduate students in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Students interested in signing up for the course must complete this form: http://web.stanford.edu/~aferree/GS183.fb.
Same as: EARTH 183

GS 184. Field Trip to Volcanoes of the Eastern Sierran Volcanism. 1 Unit.

Four-day trip over Memorial Day weekend (involving light hiking and camping) to study silicic and mafic volcanism in the eastern Sierra Nevada: basaltic lavas and cinder cones erupted along normal faults bounding Owens Valley, Long Valley caldera, postcaldera rhyolite lavas, hydrothermal alteration and hot springs, Holocene rhyolite lavas of the Inyo and Mono craters, subaqueous basaltic and silicic eruptions of Mono Basin, floating pumice blocks. If snow-level permits, granites of Yosemite and/or silicic volcanism associated with the Bodie gold district. Recommended: 1 or equivalent. Limited enrollment; preference to frosh, sophs, and undergraduates and graduates majoring in SE3.

GS 185. Volcanology. 3-4 Units.

For juniors, seniors, and beginning graduate students. Eruptive processes that create volcanic deposits and landforms; shield, stratocone, and composite volcanoes, lava dome fields; calderas. Control of magma viscosity and water content on eruptive style. Fluid dynamic controls on the characteristics of lavas and pyroclastic flows. Submarine and subglacial eruptions and interaction of magma with groundwater. Rhyolitic supereruptions and flood basalts: effects on climate and atmospheric chemistry, relation to extinction events. Volcanic hazards and mitigating risk. Geophysical monitoring of active volcanoes. Volcanic-hosted geothermal systems and mineral resources. Those taking the class for 4 units will complete a 3-hour weekly lab that emphasizes recognizing types of lavas and products of explosive eruptions in hand specimen and thin section. Prerequisite: 1, for those taking the course for 3 units; 103 and 104 or equivalent for those taking the course for 4 units.
Same as: GS 285A

GS 190. Research in the Field. 3-6 Units.

Month long courses that provide students with the opportunity to collect data in the field as part of a team-based investigation of research questions or topics under the expert guidance of knowledgeable faculty and graduate students. Topics and locations vary. May be taken multiple times for credit. Prerequisites: GS 1, GS 102, GS 105.
Same as: GS 295

GS 191. Stanford EARTH Field Courses. 1 Unit.

Four- to seven-day field trips to locations of geologic and environmental interest. Includes trips offered during Thanksgiving and Spring breaks. May be repeated for credit.
Same as: EARTH 191

GS 192. Undergraduate Research in Geological Sciences. 1-10 Unit.

Field-, lab-, or literature-based. Faculty supervision. Written reports. May be repeated for credit.

GS 197. Senior Thesis. 3-5 Units.

For seniors who wish to write a thesis based on research in 192 or as a summer research fellow. May not be repeated for credit; may not be taken if enrolled in 199.

GS 198. Special Problems in Geological Sciences. 1-10 Unit.

Reading and instruction under faculty supervision. Written reports. May be repeated for credit.

GS 199. Honors Program. 1-10 Unit.

Research on a topic of special interest. See "Undergraduate Honors Program" above.nMay be repeated for credit.

GS 203. Earth Materials: Rocks in Thin Section. 3 Units.

Use of petrographic microscope to identify minerals and common mineral associations in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Crystallization histories, mineral growth and reaction relations, deformation textures in metamorphic rocks, and provenance of siliciclastic rocks. Required lab section. Prerequisite 102.
Same as: GS 103

GS 204. Introduction to Petrology. 3-4 Units.

The origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks as a function of geologic and plate tectonic setting. How to determine the temperature and pressure conditions of formation from mineral assemblages, textures, and compositions. Undergraduate students majoring in Geological Sciences must take the course for 4 units and complete a weekly lab section examining rocks in thin section. Prerequisite: introductory geology course, GS102; those taking the lab must also have completed GS103 or have equivalent experience with a petrographic microscope.
Same as: GS 104

GS 206. Topics in Organismal Paleobiology. 2-3 Units.

Seminar course covering an area of structural biology, physiology, or ecology relevant to understanding the fossil record, with the topic changing each time the course is offered. Examples of potential topics are biomineralization, fluid mechanics, biomechanics, taphonomy & biochemical preservation, and the functional morphology/fossil history of specific evolutionary groups such as vertebrates, insects, or plants. This year¿s topic will be the Evolution of Photosynthesis, co-taught with visiting professor Woody Fischer.

GS 207. Journey to the Center of the Earth. 3 Units.

The interconnected set of dynamic systems that make up the Earth. Focus is on fundamental geophysical observations of the Earth and the laboratory experiments to understand and interpret them. What earthquakes, volcanoes, gravity, magnetic fields, and rocks reveal about the Earth's formation and evolution. Offered every other year, winter quarter. Next offering Winter 2013-14.
Same as: GEOPHYS 184, GEOPHYS 274, GS 107

GS 208. Topics in Geobiology. 1 Unit.

Reading and discussion of classic and recent papers in the field of Geobiology. Co-evolution of Earth and life; critical intervals of environmental and biological change; geomicrobiology; paleobiology; global biogeochemical cycles; scaling of geobiological processes in space and time.
Same as: ESS 208

GS 209. Microstructures. 3-5 Units.

Microstructures in metamorphic rocks reveal temperature, pressure, and rates of deformation in the crust and variations in its thermo-mechanical behavior. Topics include the rheology of rocks and minerals, strain partitioning, shear zones and brittle-ductile transition in the crust, mechanisms of foliation and lineation development, preferred crystallographic fabrics, and geochronologic methods useful for dating deformation. Labs involve microstructure analysis of suites of rocks from classic localities. 5 units for extra project.

GS 210. Geologic Evolution of the Western U.S. Cordillera. 1-3 Unit.

The geologic and tectonic evolution of the U.S. Cordillera based on its rock record through time. This region provides good examples of large-scale structures and magmatic activity generated during crustal shortening, extension, and strike-slip faulting and affords opportunity to study crustal-scale processes involved in mountain building in context of plate tectonic motions.

GS 211. Topics in Regional Geology and Tectonics. 2-3 Units.

May be repeated for credit.

GS 212. Topics in Tectonic Geomorphology. 2 Units.

For upper-division undergraduates and graduate students. Topics vary and may include coupling among erosional, tectonic, and chemical weathering processes at the scale of orogens; historical review of tectonic geomorphology; hillslope and fluvial process response to active uplift; measures of landscape form and their relationship to tectonic uplift and bedrock lithology. May be repeated for credit.

GS 213. Topics in Sedimentary Geology. 2 Units.

For upper division undergraduates and graduate students. Topics vary each year but the focus is on current developments and problems in sedimentary geology, sedimentology, Archean geology, and basin analysis. These include issues in deep-water sediments, their origin, facies, and architecture; sedimentary systems on the early Earth; and relationships among tectonics, basin development, and basin fill. May be repeated for credit.

GS 214. Topics in Paleobiology. 1 Unit.

For upper division undergraduates and graduate students. Topics vary each year; focus is on paleontological, sedimentological, and geochemical approaches to the history of life. Topics may include: mass extinction events; evolutionary radiations; the history of global biodiversity; links between evolutionary histories of primary producers and consumers; and the quality of the fossil record. Term paper. May be repeated for credit.

GS 216. Topics in Basin & Petroleum System Modeling. 1 Unit.

Reading and discussion of research in the field of Basin & Petroleum System Modeling. Topics vary by year. May be repeat for credit.

GS 218. D^3: Disasters, Decisions, Development. 3-5 Units.

This class connects the science behind natural disasters with the real-world constraints of disaster management and development. In each iteration of this class we will focus on a specific, disaster-prone location as case study. By collaborating with local stakeholders we will explore how science and engineering can make a make a difference in reducing disaster risk in the future. Offered every other year.
Same as: EARTHSYS 124, ESS 118, ESS 218, GEOPHYS 118, GEOPHYS 218, GS 118

GS 221. What Makes a Habitable Planet?. 3 Units.

Physical processes affecting habitability such as large impacts and the atmospheric greenhouse effect, comets, geochemistry, the rise of oxygen, climate controls, and impact cratering. Detecting and interpreting the spectra of extrasolar terrestrial planets. Student-led discussions of readings from the scientific literature. Team taught by planetary scientists from NASA Ames Research Center.
Same as: GS 121

GS 222. Planetary Systems: Dynamics and Origins. 3-4 Units.

(Students with a strong background in mathematics and the physical sciences should register for 222.) Motions of planets and smaller bodies, energy transport in planetary systems, composition, structure and dynamics of planetary atmospheres, cratering on planetary surfaces, properties of meteorites, asteroids and comets, extrasolar planets, and planetary formation. Prerequisite: some background in the physical sciences, especially astronomy, geophysics, or physics.
Same as: GEOPHYS 122, GS 122

GS 223. Reflection Seismology Interpretation. 1-4 Unit.

The structural and stratigraphic interpretation of seismic reflection data, emphasizing hydrocarbon traps in two and three dimensions on industry data, including workstation-based interpretation. Lectures only, 1 unit. Prerequisite: 222, or consent of instructor. (GEOPHYS 183 must be taken for a minimum of 3 units to be eligible for Ways credit).
Same as: GEOPHYS 183, GEOPHYS 223

GS 223B. Evolution of Marine Ecosystems. 3-4 Units.

Life originally evolved in the ocean. When, why, and how did the major transitions occur in the history of marine life? What triggered the rapid evolution and diversification of animals in the Cambrian, after more than 3.5 billion years of Earth's history? What caused Earth's major mass extinction events? How do ancient extinction events compare to current threats to marine ecosystems? How has the evolution of primary producers impacted animals, and how has animal evolution impacted primary producers? In this course, we will review the latest evidence regarding these major questions in the history of marine ecosystems. We will develop familiarity with the most common groups of marine animal fossils. We will also conduct original analyses of paleontological data, developing skills both in the framing and testing of scientific hypotheses and in data analysis and presentation.
Same as: EARTHSYS 122, GS 123

GS 225. Contaminant Hydrogeology and Reactive Transport. 4 Units.

Decades of industrial activity have released vast quantities of contaminants to groundwater, threatening water resources, ecosystems and human health. What processes control the fate and transport of contaminants in the subsurface? What remediation strategies are effective and what are the tradeoffs among them? How are these processes represented in models used for regulatory and decision-making purposes? This course will address these and related issues by focusing on the conceptual and quantitative treatment of advective-dispersive transport with reacting solutes, including modern methods of contaminant transport simulation. Some Matlab programming / program modification required. Prerequisite: Physical Hydrogeology ESS 220 / CEE 260A (Gorelick) or equivalent and college-level course work in chemistry.
Same as: CEE 260C, ESS 221

GS 225A. Fundamentals of Geochemical Modeling. 3 Units.

A class devoted to geochemical models and the computational and analytical tools required to successfully construct and solve them. Topics include: box models, impulse responses, transfer functions, eigenvalues, advection-diffusion-reaction models, discretization schemes, numerical methods (Euler, Runge-Kutta, Gauss¿Seidel), Green's function, Laplace and Fourier transforms. The class will include a final project in which students will have the opportunity to apply the above tools to their own research or a problem of their choice.

GS 226. At the intersection of geochemistry, sedimentary geology, and paleobiology. 3 Units.

Recent work in geochemistry, sedimentary geology, and paleobiology increasingly supports the notion that common geological factors control long-term biogeochemical cycles, the erosion and deposition of sedimentary rocks, and the evolution of the marine biosphere. During this course students will read and discuss recent primary literature addressing the possible mechanisms underlying these patterns. Questions addressed will include: Why do sedimentary rock area and biodiversity covary? How are these records linked to biogeochemical cycles, as inferred from the stable isotope compositions of elements such as carbon and sulfur? What are the relative roles of biotic interactions vs. physical environmental changes in shaping the macroevolutionary history of life?.

GS 228. Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems. 4 Units.

The what, when, where, and how do we know it regarding life on land through time. Fossil plants, fungi, invertebrates, and vertebrates (yes, dinosaurs) are all covered, including how all of those components interact with each other and with changing climates, continental drift, atmospheric composition, and environmental perturbations like glaciation and mass extinction. The course involves both lecture and lab components. Graduate students registering at the 200-level are expected to write a term paper, but can opt out of some labs where appropriate.
Same as: EARTHSYS 128, GS 128

GS 233A. Microbial Physiology. 3 Units.

Introduction to the physiology of microbes including cellular structure, transcription and translation, growth and metabolism, mechanisms for stress resistance and the formation of microbial communities. These topics will be covered in relation to the evolution of early life on Earth, ancient ecosystems, and the interpretation of the rock record. Recommended: introductory biology and chemistry.
Same as: BIO 180, EARTHSYS 255, ESS 255

GS 234A. Molecular Microbial Biosignatures. 1-3 Unit.

Critical reading and discussion of literature on molecular biosignatures as indicators of microbial life and metabolisms in modern and ancient environments. Focus will be primarily on recalcitrant lipids that form chemical fossils and topics covered will include biosynthetic pathways of these lipids, their phylogenetic origins, their physiological roles in modern organisms, and their occurrence throughout the geological record. Recommended: microbiology and organic chemistry.
Same as: ESS 261

GS 235. Field and Analytical Methods in Historical Geobiology. 4 Units.

Introduction to research methods in historical geobiology. This research-based course will examine how life in ancient oceans, as recorded in the paleontological record, was affected by environmental change, as recorded in the geochemical record. Students will collect paleontological and geochemical data from a measured stratigraphic section in the western United States. In lab, students will learn low temperature geochemical techniques focusing on the cycling of biogeochemical elements (O, C, S, and Fe) in marine sediments throughout Earth history. This is a lab-based course complemented with lectures. Preference will be given to students able to attend a four-day field trip at the end of spring break to measure the stratigraphic section and collect samples.
Same as: GS 135

GS 237. Surface and Near-Surface Hydrologic Response. 3 Units.

Quantitative review of process-based hydrology and geomorphology. Introduction to finite-difference and finite-element methods of numerical analysis. Topics: biometeorology, unsaturated and saturated subsurface fluid flow, overland and open channel flow, and physically-based simulation of coupled surface and near-surface hydrologic response. Links hydrogeology, soil physics, and surface water hydrology.
Same as: CEE 260B

GS 238. Soil Physics. 3 Units.

Physical properties of the soil solid phase emphasizing the transport, retention, and transformation of water, heat, gases, and solutes in the unsaturated subsurface. Field experiments.

GS 240. Geostatistics. 2-3 Units.

Geostatistical theory and practical methodologies for quantifying and simulating spatial and spatio-temporal patterns for the Earth Sciences. Real case development of models of spatial continuity, including variograms, Boolean models and training images. Estimation versus simulation of spatial patterns. Loss functions. Estimation by kriging, co-kriging with secondary data. Dealing with data on various scales. Unconditional and conditional Boolean simulation, sequential simulation for continuous and categorical variables. Multi-variate geostatistical simulation. Probabilistic and pattern-based approaches to multiple-point simulation. Trend, secondary variable, auxiliary variable and probability-type constraints. Quality control techniques on generated models. Workflows for practical geostatistical applications in mining, petroleum, hydrogeology, remote sensing and environmental sciences. prerequisites: ENERGY 160/260 or basic course in data analysis/statistics.
Same as: ENERGY 240

GS 241. Data Science for Geoscience. 3 Units.

Comprehensive overview and taxonomy of data science (statistics, machine learning & computer vision) relevant for geological sciences, as well as other Earth Sciences. Areas covered are: extreme value statistics for predicting rare geological events; compositional data analysis for geochemistry; multivariate analysis for design of geological data & computer experiments; probabilistic aggregation of evidence for potential mapping; functional data analysis for multivariate environmental datasets, dimension reduction methods for analysis & visualization of geological data & models; sensitivity analysis of coupled physical/chemical numerical models; machine learning-based classification & regression for building surrogate computational models; identification & learning of geological objects with computer vision. Focus on practicality rather than theory. Matlab exercises on realistic data problems.

GS 246. Reservoir Characterization and Flow Modeling with Outcrop Data. 3 Units.

Project addressing a reservoir management problem by studying an outcrop analog, constructing geostatistical reservoir models, and performing flow simulation. How to use outcrop observations in quantitative geological modeling and flow simulation. Relationships between disciplines. Weekend field trip.
Same as: ENERGY 146, ENERGY 246

GS 247. Architecture of Turbidite Depositional Systems. 3 Units.

This course considers the research that has led to current architectural models of turbidite deposits as we examine diverse data sets that allow us to test these models. Intense exploration and exploitation activities by the petroleum industry have significantly advanced understanding of turbidite systems. These activities stimulated research aimed at developing predictive models of the three common turbidite reservoir types: (1) confined channel systems, (2) weakly confined channel systems, and (3) unconfined lobe systems. Each of these reservoir types are examined in detail considering recognition criteria, internal structure, reservoir characteristics, and important issues related to reservoir potential and performance. Topics of discussion include controlling processes, hierarchy, variability, uncertainty and active areas of research.

GS 248. The Petroleum System: Investigative method to explore for conventional & unconventional hydrocarbons. 1 Unit.

How the petroleum system concept can be used to more systematically investigate how hydrocarbon fluid becomes an unconventional accumulation in a pod of active source rock and how this fluid moves from this pod to a conventional pool. How to identify, map, and name a petroleum system. The conventional and unconventional accumulation as well as the use of modeling.

GS 249. Petroleum Geochemistry in Environmental and Earth Science. 3 Units.

How molecular fossils in crude oils, oil spills, refinery products, and human artifacts identify their age, origin, and environment of formation. The origin and habitat of petroleum, technology for its analysis, and parameters for interpretation, including: origins of molecular fossils; function, biosynthesis, and precursors; tectonic history related to the evolution of life, mass extinctions, and molecular fossils; petroleum refinery processes and the kinds of molecular fossils that survive; environmental pollution from natural and anthropogenic sources including how to identify genetic relationships among crude oil or oil spill samples; applications of molecular fossils to archaeology; worldwide petroleum systems through geologic time.

GS 250. Sedimentation Mechanics. 3-4 Units.

The mechanics of sediment transport and deposition and the origins of sedimentary structures and textures as applied to interpreting modern sediments and ancient rock sequences. Dimensional analysis, fluid flow, drag, boundary layers, open channel flow, particle settling, erosion, sediment transport, sediment gravity flows, soft sediment deformation, and fluid escape. Required field trip and lab section.

GS 251. Sedimentary Basins. 3 Units.

Analysis of the sedimentary fill and tectonic evolution of sedimentary basins. Topics: tectonic and environmental controls on depositional systems, detrital composition, burial history, and stratigraphic architecture; synthesis of basin development through time. One weekend field trip required. Prerequisites: 110, 151.

GS 252. Sedimentary Petrography. 4 Units.

Siliciclastic sediments and sedimentary rocks. Research in modern sedimentary mineralogy and petrography and the relationship between the composition and texture of sediments and their provenance, tectonic settings, and diagenetic histories. Prerequisite: 151 or equivalent or instructor approval. Required lab section.

GS 253. Petroleum Geology and Exploration. 3 Units.

The origin and occurrence of hydrocarbons. Topics: thermal maturation history in hydrocarbon generation, significance of sedimentary, structural and tectonic setting, trapping geometries and principles of accumulation, and exploration techniques. Prerequisites: 110, 151. Recommended: GEOPHYS 223.

GS 254. Carbonate Sedimentology. 3-4 Units.

Processes of precipitation and sedimentation of carbonate minerals with emphasis on marine systems. Topics include: geographic and bathymetric distribution of carbonates in modern and ancient oceans; genesis and environmental significance of carbonate grains and sedimentary textures; carbonate rocks and sediments as sources of geochemical proxy data; carbonate diagenesis; changes in styles of carbonate deposition through Earth history; carbonate depositional patterns and the global carbon cycle. Lab exercises emphasize petrographic and geochemical analysis of carbonate rocks including map and outcrop scale, hand samples, polished slabs, and thin sections.

GS 255. Basin and Petroleum System Modeling. 3-4 Units.

For advanced undergraduates or graduate students. Students use stratigraphy, subsurface maps, and basic well log, lithologic, paleontologic, and geochemical data to construct 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D models of petroleum systems that predict the extent of source-rock thermal maturity, petroleum migration paths, and the volumes and compositions of accumulations through time (4-D). Recent software such as PetroMod designed to reconstruct basin geohistory. Recommended: 251 or 253.

GS 256. Quantitative Methods in Basin and Petroleum System Modeling. 1-3 Unit.

Examine the physical processes operating in sedimentary basins by deriving the basic equations of fundamental, coupled geologic processes such as fluid flow and heat flow, deposition, compaction, mass conservation, and chemical reactions. Through hands-on computational exercises and instructor-provided "recipes," students will deconstruct the black box of basin modeling software. Students write their own codes (Matlab) as well as gain expertise in modern finite-element modeling software (PetroMod, COMSOL).
Same as: ENERGY 275

GS 257. Clastic Sequence Stratigraphy. 3 Units.

Sequence stratigraphy facilitates integration of all sources of geologic data, including seismic, log, core, and paleontological, into a time-stratigraphic model of sediment architecture. Tools applicable to regional and field scales. Emphasis is on practical applications and integration of seismic and well data to exploration and field reservoir problems. Examples from industry data; hands-on exercises.

GS 258. Introduction to Depositional Systems. 3 Units.

The characteristics of the major sedimentary environments and their deposits in the geologic record, including alluvial fans, braided and meandering rivers, aeolian systems, deltas, open coasts, barred coasts, marine shelves, and deep-water systems. Emphasis is on subdivisions; morphology; the dynamics of modern systems; and the architectural organization and sedimentary structures, textures, and biological components of ancient deposits.

GS 259. Stratigraphic Architecture. 1 Unit.

The stratigraphic architecture of deposits associated with a spectrum of depositional environments, using outcrop and subsurface data. Participants read and discuss selected literature.

GS 261. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals and Mineral Surfaces. 4 Units.

The concepts of symmetry and periodicity in crystals; the physical properties of crystals and their relationship to atomic-level structure; basic structure types; crystal chemistry and bonding in solids and their relative stability; the interaction of x-rays with solids and liquids (scattering and spectroscopy); structural variations in silicate glasses and liquids; UV-visible spectroscopy and the color of minerals; review of the mineralogy, crystal chemistry, and structures of selected rock-forming silicates and oxides; mineral surface and interface geochemistry.

GS 262. Thermodynamics and Disorder in Minerals and Melts. 3 Units.

The thermodynamic properties of crystalline, glassy, and molten silicates and oxides in light of microscopic information about short range structure and ordering. Measurements of bulk properties such as enthalpy, density, and their pressure and temperature derivatives, and structural determination by spectroscopies such as nuclear magnetic resonance and Mössbauer. Basic formulations for configurational entropy, heats of mixing in solid solutions, activities; and the energetics of exsolution, phase transitions, and nucleation. Quantitative models of silicate melt thermodynamics are related to atomic-scale views of structure. A general view of geothermometry and geobarometry. Prerequisites: introductory mineralogy and thermodynamics.

GS 263. Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry. 3 Units.

Isotopic variations in nature provide key insights into the age of the Earth and its rocks, as well as the evolution of Earth¿s major reservoirs, including the mantle, crust and hydrosphere. How do we know the age of the Earth? When did continents first form? How have the oceans changed through time? This course will address these and related topics by focusing on the fundamental processes that govern isotopic variations, including radioactive decay, mass dependent isotope fractionation and dynamic transfers between reservoirs.
Same as: GS 163

GS 266. Managing Nuclear Waste: Technical, Political and Organizational Challenges. 3 Units.

The essential technical and scientific elements of the nuclear fuel cycle, focusing on the sources, types, and characteristics of the nuclear waste generated, as well as various strategies for the disposition of spent nuclear fuel - including reprocessing, transmutation, and direct geologic disposal. Policy and organizational issues, such as: options for the characteristics and structure of a new federal nuclear waste management organization, options for a consent-based process for locating nuclear facilities, and the regulatory framework for a geologic repository. A technical background in the nuclear fuel cycle, while desirable, is not required.
Same as: IPS 266

GS 270. Environmental Geochemistry. 4 Units.

Solid, aqueous, and gaseous phases comprising the environment, their natural compositional variations, and chemical interactions. Contrast between natural sources of hazardous elements and compounds and types and sources of anthropogenic contaminants and pollutants. Chemical and physical processes of weathering and soil formation. Chemical factors that affect the stability of solids and aqueous species under earth surface conditions. The release, mobility, and fate of contaminants in natural waters and the roles that water and dissolved substances play in the physical behavior of rocks and soils. The impact of contaminants and design of remediation strategies. Case studies. Prerequisite: 90 or consent of instructor.
Same as: EARTHSYS 170, GS 170

GS 276. Earth's Weathering Engine. 3 Units.

The complex interactions between the chemical, biological, hydrologic and tectonic process that control the chemical and isotopic flux of material to the oceans, and ultimately the long-term composition of both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. Through a literature review and discussions students will identify key outstanding questions regarding global chemical weathering fluxes. Through data collection, data analysis, and application of appropriate modeling tools students will produce novel analyses and conclusions regarding the operation of the Earth¿s weathering engine. Permission of instructor required.

GS 280. Igneous Processes. 4 Units.

For juniors, seniors and beginning graduate students in Earth Sciences. Structure and physical properties of magmas; use of phase equilibria and mineral barometers and thermometers to determine conditions of magmatic processes; melting and magmatic lineages as a function of tectonic setting; processes that control magma composition including fractional crystallization, partial melting, and assimilation; petrogenetic use of trace elements and isotopes. Labs emphasize identification of volcanic and plutonic rocks in thin section and interpretation of rock textures. Prerequisite 102, 103, or consent of instructor.
Same as: GS 180

GS 281. Principles of 40Ar/39Ar Thermochronometry. 3-4 Units.

The 40Ar/39Ar method is based upon the K-Ar decay scheme and allows high precision geochronology and thermochronology to be performed with K-bearing minerals. Provides a detailed exploration of the method including all practical considerations and laboratory procedures for standardization and instrument calibration. A laboratory component allows practical experience in making measurements and interpreting results.

GS 282. Interpretative Methods in Detrital Geochronology. 3 Units.

Over the past decade, the number of studies that make use of isotopic provenance data has sky-rocketed. This type of data is now routinely used throughout the geosciences to solve a broad range of geologic problems. This seminar examines the state-of-the-art of existing interpretative methods for detrital geo/thermochronology data in provenance studies and critically examines their strengths and weaknesses. While this course will touch upon sampling approaches analytical aspects of data collection, focus is primarily upon data interpretation.

GS 283. Thermochronology and Crustal Evolution. 4 Units.

Thermochronology analyzes the competition between radioactive in-growth and temperature-dependant loss of radiogenic isotopes within radioactive mineral hosts in terms of temperature-time history. Coupled with quantitative understanding of kinetic phenomena and crustal- or landscape-scale interpretational models, thermochronology provides an important source of data for the Earth Sciences, notably tectonics, geomorphology, and petrogenesis. Focus on recent developments in thermochronology, specifically analytical and interpretative innovations developed over the past decade. Integrates the latest thermochronology techniques with field work in a small-scale research project focused upon crustal evolution.

GS 284. Field Seminar on Eastern Sierran Volcanism. 1 Unit.

For graduate students in the earth sciences and archaeology. Four-day trip over Memorial Day weekend to study silicic and mafic volcanism in the eastern Sierra Nevada: basaltic lavas and cinder cones erupted along normal faults bounding Owens Valley, Long Valley caldera, postcaldera rhyolite lavas, hydrothermal alteration and hot springs, Holocene rhyolite lavas of the Inyo and Mono craters, subaqueous basaltic and silicic eruptions of Mono Basin, floating pumice blocks. If snow-level permits, silicic volcanism associated with the Bodie gold district. Recommended: 1 or equivalent.

GS 285. Igneous Petrogenesis of the Continents. 2-4 Units.

Radiogenic isotopes, stable isotopes, and trace elements applied to igneous processes; interaction of magmas with mantle and crust; convergent-margin magmatism; magmatism in extensional terrains; origins of rhyolites; residence times of magmas and magma chamber processes; granites as imperfect mirrors of their source regions; trace element modeling of igneous processes; trace element discriminant diagrams in tectonic analysis; phase equilibria of partial melting of mantle and crust; geothermometry and geobarometry. Topics emphasize student interest. Prerequisite: 180 or equivalent.

GS 285A. Volcanology. 3-4 Units.

For juniors, seniors, and beginning graduate students. Eruptive processes that create volcanic deposits and landforms; shield, stratocone, and composite volcanoes, lava dome fields; calderas. Control of magma viscosity and water content on eruptive style. Fluid dynamic controls on the characteristics of lavas and pyroclastic flows. Submarine and subglacial eruptions and interaction of magma with groundwater. Rhyolitic supereruptions and flood basalts: effects on climate and atmospheric chemistry, relation to extinction events. Volcanic hazards and mitigating risk. Geophysical monitoring of active volcanoes. Volcanic-hosted geothermal systems and mineral resources. Those taking the class for 4 units will complete a 3-hour weekly lab that emphasizes recognizing types of lavas and products of explosive eruptions in hand specimen and thin section. Prerequisite: 1, for those taking the course for 3 units; 103 and 104 or equivalent for those taking the course for 4 units.
Same as: GS 185

GS 286. Secondary Ionization Mass Spectrometry. 3 Units.

Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) is a versatile method capable of performing elemental and isotopic analysis in the solid-state at the nanogram to picogram scale. SIMS offers the most favorable combination of high spatial resolution, sensitivity, and mass resolving power. This course explores the ion optics of the primary and secondary columns of SIMS instruments and explains instrumental mass fractionation and standardization methods for both positive and negative secondary ions. Ion imaging and depth profiling approaches are also covered. Practical experience using Stanford's SHRIMP-RG and NanoSIMS instruments is provided.

GS 287. Fundamentals of Mass Spectrometry. 3 Units.

This course explains ion creation, mass separation, and ion detection in mass spectrometry methods commonly used in the Earth Sciences. Gas source (C-O-H-S stable isotope, 40Ar/39Ar, and (U-Th)-He), secondary ionization (SIMS), laser ablation and solution-based mass inductively coupled (ICP-MS) and thermal ionization (TIMS) mass spectrometry techniques are also explored. Additional topics include ion optics, vacuum generation, and pressure measurement, instrument calibration, data reduction, and error propagation methods.

GS 290. Departmental Seminar in Geological Sciences. 1 Unit.

Current research topics. Presentations by guest speakers from Stanford and elsewhere. May be repeated for credit.

GS 291. GS Field Trips. 1 Unit.

Field trips for teaching and research purposes. Trips average 5-10 days. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

GS 292. Directed Reading with Geological Sciences Faculty. 1-10 Unit.

May be repeated for credit.

GS 293A. Modern Carbonates Field Trip. 1 Unit.

Reading and discussion of papers addressing current topics in carbonate sedimentology, with a focus on modern carbonate sediments of the Bahamas. By invitation only.

GS 294. Structural Geology and Tectonics. 3-5 Units.

Theory, principles, and practical techniques to measure, describe, analyze, and interpret deformation-related structures on Earth. Collection of fault and fold data in the field followed by lab and computer analysis; interpretation of geologic maps and methods of cross-section construction; structural analysis of fault zone and metamorphic rocks; measuring deformation; regional structural styles and associated landforms related to plate tectonic convergence, rifting, and strike-slip faulting; the evolution of mountain belts and formation of sedimentary basins. Prerequisite: GS 1, calculus. Recommended: 102.
Same as: GS 110

GS 295. Research in the Field. 3-6 Units.

Month long courses that provide students with the opportunity to collect data in the field as part of a team-based investigation of research questions or topics under the expert guidance of knowledgeable faculty and graduate students. Topics and locations vary. May be taken multiple times for credit. Prerequisites: GS 1, GS 102, GS 105.
Same as: GS 190

GS 299. Field Research. 2-4 Units.

Two-three week field research projects. Written report required. May be repeated three times.

GS 311. Interpretation of Tectonically Active Landscapes. 3 Units.

Focuses on interpreting various topographic attributes in terms of horizontal and vertical tectonic motions. Topics include identification, mapping, and dating of geomorphic markers, deducing tectonic motions from spatial changes in landscape steepness, understanding processes that give rise to different landscape elements, interrogating the role of climate and lithology in producing these landscape elements, and understanding relationships between tectonic motions, surface topography, and the spatial distribution of erosion. Consists of two one hour lectures per week and one laboratory section that help students gain proficiency in Quaternary mapping and interpretation of topographic metrics.

GS 312. Analysis of Landforms. 3 Units.

Quantitative methods to analyze digital topography and to interpret rates of tectonic and geomorphic processes from topographic metrics. Topics include analysis of digital topography using local and neighborhood-based methods, spectral methods, and wavelet methods. Course consists of two one hour lectures per week and one laboratory section that will help students gain proficiency in calculating topographic metrics using ArcGIS and Matlab.

GS 313. Modeling of Landforms. 3 Units.

Geomorphic-transport-rule-based, as well as mass- and momentum-conservation based models to understand the evolution of Earth¿s topography. Topics include formulation of land-sculpting processes as geomorphic transport rules, coupling this mass-conservation approach with mechanical models of crustal deformation, and analysis of landscape forms in terms of events for which mass and momentum of fluid and sediment can be conserved. Both analytical, as well as numerical (finite-volume) treatments of particular problems in tectonic geomorphology will be covered. The specific problems addressed as part of the course will be tailored to those currently investigated by class participants.

GS 315. Literature of Structural Geology. 1 Unit.

Classic studies and current journal articles. May be repeated for credit.

GS 325. The Evolution of Body Size. 2 Units.

Preference to graduate students and upper-division undergraduates in GS and Biology. The influence of organism size on evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes. Focus is on integration of theoretical principles, observations of living organisms, and data from the fossil record. What are the physiological and ecological correlates of body size? Is there an optimum size? Do organisms tend to evolve to larger size? Does productivity control the size distribution of consumers? Does size affect the likelihood of extinction or speciation? How does size scale from the genome to the phenotype? How is metabolic rate involved in evolution of body size? What is the influence of geographic area on maximum body size?.

GS 328. Seminar in Paleobiology. 1 Unit.

For graduate students. Current research topics including paleobotany, vertebrate and invertebrate evolution, paleoecology, and major events in the history of life on Earth.

GS 336. Stanford Alpine Project Seminar. 1 Unit.

Weekly student presentations on continental collision tectonics, sedimentology, petrology, geomorphology, climate, culture, and other topics of interest. Students create a guidebook of geologic stops in advance of field trip. May be repeated for credit.

GS 373. METAMORPHIC PETROLOGY. 3 Units.

Metamorphic petrology is concerned with the range of solid-state recrystallization and chemical mass transfer processes under physical conditions ranging from those prevalent at the Earth's surface to crustal melting. This course explores the phenomenology of these processes from mineralogic, textural, structural, geochemical, and geodynamic perspectives. The focus is on subduction, arc magmatic, rift magmatic and regional tectonic (collisional and extensional) settings. Important concepts and methods in phase equiibria, thermobarometry, geo/thermochronology, and fabric analysis are explored.

GS 373L. Metamorphic Petrology Laboratory. 1 Unit.

Teaches petrographic methods for characterizing recrystallization of common clastic and chemically precipitated sedimentary, mafic and felsic igneous, and ultramafic mantle rocks. Features suites from contact and regional metamorphic settings including arc magmatic, subduction, convergent , and extensional metamorphic settings.

GS 381. Igneous Petrology and Petrogenesis Seminar. 1-2 Unit.

Topics vary by quarter. May be repeated for credit.

GS 385. Practical Experience in the Geosciences. 1 Unit.

On-the-job training in the geosciences. May include summer internship; emphasizes training in applied aspects of the geosciences, and technical, organizational, and communication dimensions. Meets USCIS requirements for F-1 curricular practical training.n (Staff).

GS 399. Advanced Projects. 1-10 Unit.

Graduate research projects that lead to reports, papers, or other products during the quarter taken. On registration, students designate faculty member and agreed-upon units.

GS 400. Graduate Research. 1-15 Unit.

Faculty supervision. On registration, students designate faculty member and agreed-upon units.

GS 801. TGR Project. 0 Units.

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GS 802. TGR Dissertation. 0 Units.

.