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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2007-2008

 

DEPARTMENT OF EARTH SCIENCES
 
Chair: Miriam L. Fearn (251) 460-6381
Professors: Kimball, Ryder
Associate Professors: Allison, Blackwell, Clark, Fearn, Haywick, Rivizzigno
Assistant Professors: Sawyer, Shafer, Terwey
Instructors: M.A. Connors, Jordan, Mujica, Murray, Stutsman
Emeriti: Dilsaver, Isphording, Lamb, Sebastian, Williams, Wilson
 
Department of Earth Sciences web site
http://www.southalabama.edu/
earthsci
 
The Department of Earth Sciences includes the disciplines of Geography, Geology, and Meteorology, and it offers a B.S. degree as well as a minor in each of these three majors. Students can also earn a GIS Certificate.
Geography, which is both a natural and a social science, studies the location, spatial distribution, and spatial interaction of Earth’s natural and human environments. Courses cover the subfields of Human Geography, Physical Geography, Regional Geography, and Geographic Information Science.
Geology is the study of Earth, its composition, and the forces that form and change it, as well as the natural mineral resources it contains. As such, it encompasses a broad spectrum of studies and draws from the other basic sciences: chemistry, physics, and biology.
Meteorology is the study of atmospheric phenomena and the processes that cause weather. The science of meteorology is firmly rooted in basic physical laws governing mass, momentum, and energy. Many weather processes are simulated by complex computer models; however, accurate weather analysis and forecasting often requires meteorologists to identify and conceptualize weather patterns often missed by automated techniques.
The programs of the Department of Earth Sciences are designed to give the non-major a background in Earth and atmospheric science and the human impact on the landscape as part of a general education. Students pursuing a degree in Geography, Geology, or Meteorology must also have a minor in another discipline.
The Earth Sciences Department offers a departmental honors program that allows exceptional students to pursue independent research. Students work with a faculty committee to choose an Earth Sciences research project (Geography, Geology, Meteorology), develop a prospectus, and complete a senior thesis. Students completing this program graduate with departmental honors.
Requirements for successful completion of an honors degree in Geography, Geology, or Meteorology require a GPA of at least 3.50 at graduation and completion of ES 492 (Honors Earth Sciences Seminar), ES 497 (Senior Thesis Prospectus), and six hours of ES 499 (Senior Honors Thesis). These classes are in addition to those required for the major in Geography, Geology, or Meteorology. All honors courses are listed under the prefix ES. Students interested in Earth Sciences honors must apply for the program by their junior year. Complete requirements are available on the departmental web page.
 
All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.
 
GRADUATE STUDIES
Although the Department of Earth Sciences has no graduate degree program, courses are offered at the graduate level for students enrolled in Marine Sciences and Ecotoxicology, and others who need such course work. Contact the Department for more information.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN GEOGRAPHY
A student with a major in geography must take a group of required core geography courses as well as six (6) additional upper division courses for a total of 48 semester hours. The six (6) additional upper division courses must be chosen from at least three (3) of the following categories: Human, Physical, Regional, and Technical. Geography 101 and 102 are prerequisites to most upper level physical geography courses and Geography 114 and 115 are prerequisites to most upper level human geography courses listed below.
A. Geography Major Requirements (48 HRS)
  Core requirements for a geography major (30 HRS):
  GEO 101 & 101L 4 hrs GEO 102 &102L 4 hrs
  GEO 114 3 hrs GEO 115 3 hrs
  GEO 201 1 hr GEO 331 4 hrs
  GEO 332 4 hrs GEO 435 3 hrs
  GEO 480 4 hrs    
   
B. One additional natural science course, one additional social science course outside of geography, ST 210, and CIS 150.
         
C. Select six courses (for at least 18 hrs) from a minimum of three groups.
  Human Geography Courses:
  GEO 312 3 hrs GEO 321 3 hrs
  GEO 365 3 hrs GEO 370 3 hrs
  GEO 381 3 hrs    
         
  Physical Geography Courses:
  GEO 310 3 hrs GEO 341 3 hrs
  GEO 342 3 hrs GEO 353 4 hrs
  GEO 410 3 hrs GEO 411 3 hrs
  GEO 412 3 hrs GEO 440 2 hrs
  GEO 441 2 hrs    
         
  Regional Geography Courses:
  GEO 313 3 hrs GEO 314 3 hrs
  GEO 315 3 hrs GEO 320 3 hrs
         
  Technical Geography Courses: *
  GEO 420 4 hrs GEO 442 4 hrs
  GEO 460 4 hrs GEO 461 4 hrs
  GEO 462 4 hrs    
  *Only two technical geography courses may be counted toward the Geography major.
   
D. Complete at least 15 semester hours in residence in major at the 300 and/or 400 level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in major.
 
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GEOGRAPHY MAJORS
Areas I and II of the General Education Requirements for Geography are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that a portion of Area IV (GEO 114, GEO 115) and the Natural Sciences portion of Area III (GEO 101, GEO 102, ST 210) are fulfilled by the major requirements specified above.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN GEOGRAPHY
A student must take 20 semester hours of Geography, including 101, 102, 114, and three electives at the 300 or 400 level.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A GIS CERTIFICATE
Students who want to earn a GIS (Geographic Information Science) Certificate must take all six of the following courses. GEO 331, GEO/GY 332, GEO/GY 442, GEO/GY 460, GEO/GY 461, and GEO 462.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN GEOLOGY
Students should complete a minimum of 44 semester hours in geology. GY 111 and GY 112 are prerequisites for most upper level geology courses. The core requirements for a degree in Geology are listed below:
 
Core requirements for a geology major
GY 111 & 111L 4 hrs GY 112 & 112L 4 hrs
GY 301 3 hrs GY 302 4 hrs
GY 303 4 hrs GY 304 3 hrs
GY 401 3 hrs GY 402 3 hrs
GY 403 4 hrs GY 480 6 hrs
GY Elective 1 3/4 hrs GY Elective 2 3/4 hrs
      Total 44-46
 
Additional requirements from other disciplines
MA 125, MA 126, CH 131, CH 132, and a minimum of 8 hours of Physics (algebra/trigonometry-based; PH 114 and PH 115, or calculus-based; PH 201 and PH 202). Students can elect to substitute GY 305 for PH 115/PH 202 and/or substitute GY 420 for MA 126; however, those intending to pursue graduate study are encouraged to complete a full year of calculus and physics at the University of South Alabama.
A program in Composite Sciences has been approved as an acceptable minor for Geology majors, by adding BLY 101 and 102 or BLY 121 and 122 and associated labs. A Geology major may also seek a traditional minor. A Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be obtained simultaneously with a BS in Geology if the student elects to minor in Geography. Contact the Department of Earth Sciences for information concerning the GIS certification program, the composite sciences minor, Geology elective courses, and Departmental Honors opportunities in Geology. An overall GPA 2.0 is required for the major.
 
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GEOLOGY MAJORS
Areas I, II, and IV of the General Education Requirements for Geology are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that Area III requirements (Mathematics and Natural Sciences) are fulfilled by the major requirements specified above.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN GEOLOGY
A student must take a minimum of 20 semester hours of Geology courses including GY 111, GY 111L, GY 112, , GY 112L and a minimum of two courses from the following list: GY 301 (Geomorphology), GY 302 (Crystallography and Mineralogy), GY 304 (Stratigraphy), GY 401 (Paleontology), and GY 425 (Hydrology). Any GY courses numbered 300 and higher may be used to satisfy the remainder of the 20 hour requirement. A geology faculty advisor is recommended for planning an appropriate minor curriculum past the initial introductory sequence.
 
Recommended Geology Class Sequence for Freshmen Students
Year Fall
Semester
  Spring
Semester
  Summer
Semester
 
1
CAS 100 2 GY 112 & 112L 4    
GY 111 & 111L 4 MA 125 4    
CH 131 4 CH 132 4    
SS 1 3 EH 102 3    
EH 101 3        
Total
16
Total
15    
           
2
GY 301 3 GY 303 4    
GY 302 4 GY 304 3    
MA 126 4 PH 114/201 4/5    
    SS 2 3/4    
HUM 1 3        
Total
14
Total
14/16    
           
3
PH 115 4/5 GY 402 3 GY 480 6
or PH 201   GY 403 4    
GY 401 3 HUM 3 3    
HUM 2 3 FL 2 3    
FL 1 3 CA 110 3    
Minor 1 3/4        
Total
16/18
Total
16
Total
6
           
4
GY Elect 1 3/4 GY Elect 2 3/4    
Minor 2 3/4 SS 3 (3) 3    
Minor 3 3/4 SS 4 (3) 3    
Minor 4 3/4 Minor 5 3/4    
Art 3 Minor 6 3/4    
Total
15/19
Total
15/18    


Major Hours 44-46
Minor Hours 8-24

HUM = Humanities
SS = Social Sciences
FL= Foreign Language
Art = Fine and Performing Arts

Total hours 128 to 138 (Assumes student will pass placement tests for CH 131, MA 125 and CIS 150.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN METEOROLOGY
A student with a major in Meteorology must take a group of required courses totaling at least 49 semester hours. Meteorology students must take a core of 33 semester hours of meteorology courses, plus one of the three specialty tracks listed below. Each specialty track allows for flexibility with required course selections and electives.
The meteorology degree also requires MA 125, 126, 227, 238, PH 201, 202; ST 315.
 
Meteorology Major Requirements (49 HRS)
A. Meteorology Core Courses:
  MET 140 4 hrs MET 341 (W) 3 hrs
  MET 353 4 hrs MET 354 3 hrs
  MET 355 3 hrs MET 356 4 hrs
  MET 454 6 hrs. MET 455 6 hrs
 
Total
33 hrs    
         
B. Select one group:
  Group 1 - Professional Meteorology Track:
  MET 357 2 hrs.    
  Select from one of the following:
  MET 358 4 hrs MET 370 3 hrs
  Select from one of the following:
  MET 420 4 hrs GEO 460 4 hrs
  Choose 6-7 hrs of electives from the list in Part C below.
 
Total
16 hrs    
         
  Group 2 - Graduate School Meteorology Track:
  MET 420 4 hrs    
  Select one additional 2+ hr 400=level class (in major or minor) 2-4 hrs
  Select from one of the following:
  MET 358 4 hrs MET 370 3 hrs
  Choose 4-7 hrs of electives from the list in Part C below.
 
Total
16 hrs    
         
  Group 3 - Broadcast Meteorology Track:
  MET 342 3 hrs MET 358 4 hrs
  MET 359 2 hrs MET 496 1 hr
  MET 497 3 hrs    
 
Total
11 hrs    
  Total 16 hrs    
         
C. Choose from these electives as directed from the respective groups above.
  MET 191 1 hr MET 342 3 hrs
  MET 357 2 hrs MET 358 4 hrs
  MET 360 1 hr MET 370 3 hrs
  MET 410 (W) 3 hrs MET 420 4 hrs
  MET 430 3 hrs MET 440 2 hrs
  MET 442 2 hrs MET 456 (W) 3 hrs
  MET 490 1-3 hrs MET 492 1-3 hrs
  MET 495 1-2 hrs MET 496 1-2 hrs
  GY 425 4 hrs GEO 460 4 hrs
  MGT 300 3 hrs MKT 320 3 hrs
  MET 359 2 hrs    
         
  Additional electives may be approved on a case by case basis.
  MET 191 may be taken up to 3 times for credit but will only count once toward a meteorology elective.
   
D. Complete at least 15 semester hours in residence in major at the 300 and/or 400 level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in major.
 
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR METEOROLOGY MAJORS
Areas I, II, and IV of the General Education Requirements for Meteorology are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that Area III requirements (Mathematics and Natural Sciences) are fulfilled by the major requirements specified above.
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN METEOROLOGY
A student must take 20 semester hours of Meteorology, including MET 140, MET 353, MET 341 and 9 semester hours of electives from MET 191, MET 342, MET 354, MET 355, MET 356, MET 357, MET 358, MET 360, MET 370, MET 401, MET 402, MET 410 (W), MET 420, MET 430, MET 440, MET 442, and MET 456 (W). MET 191 may be taken up to 3 times for credit but will only count once toward the meteorology minor.
 
 
 


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Date last changed: February 27, 2013 2:53 PM
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