Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
College of Science
Office: North Science 329
Phone: (510) 885-3486
Mitchell S. Craig (Chair), Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology
James L.J. Houpis, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Jeffery C. Seitz, Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Jean Moran, Ph.D. University of Rochester
Luther M. Strayer, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Michael Massey, Ph.D. Stanford University
Graduate Coordinator: Jean Moran
Faculty: Research Interests
- Mitchell S. Craig, Ph.D., 1990, Georgia Institute of Technology; near surface geophysics, seismology, sedimentology
- Jean Moran, Ph.D., 1994, University of Rochester; hydrogeology, aqueous geochemistry, isotope hydrology
- Jeffery C. Seitz, Ph.D., 1994, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; geochemistry, petrology, astrobiology, science education
- Luther M. Strayer, Ph.D., 1998, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; structural geology, tectonics, Bay Area earthquake geology, field geology
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree in Geology. This program is designed to prepare students for:
- employment as geologists in government (city, county, regional, state, and federal) and private enterprise (engineering and geotechnical firms, mining and oil companies, etc.);
- research at the doctoral level in various aspects of geology, geochemistry, and geophysics depending on their undergraduate background; and
- the Community College Instructor Credential (the master's degree requirement). The department also provides continuing education for professional geologists, engineers, planners, etc.
To serve graduate students who are employed during the day, graduate courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences are offered in the evenings. In addition to regular catalog courses, graduate seminars address diverse subjects; recent seminars have focused on mineral deposits, earthquakes hazards, sediment transport, and modern depositional environments. Opportunities exist for access to additional facilities and part-time employment at Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. Students registered at Cal State East Bay may enrich their graduate programs by enrolling in courses through cross-registration at the University of California, Berkeley.
Candidates for the M.S. degree must be prepared to engage in significant individual research. Recent student research in this department has included such topics as hydrogeology, near surface geophysics, areal geology and slope stability, geochemistry, structural geology, engineering geology, marine and geothermal geochemistry, neotectonics and marine sedimentology. Prospective candidates should determine whether their research interests coincide with those of the faculty members before applying to the program. Interested persons are invited to contact the department directly for more details on the program. Qualifications and advancement in the graduate program are decided by the department Graduate Coordinator with the concurrence of the department faculty.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with an M.S. in Geology from Cal State East Bay will be able to:
- conduct independent geologic research, including preparation of a project or thesis; the result should be of high enough quality to be presented at a professional meeting;
- write a technical report based on research carried out on behalf of an employer;
- evaluate reports written by other earth scientists, and to use written materials and data sets available from the library and Internet;
- communicate complex geological concepts.
Environmental Geology Option
Students who complete a combination of appropriate courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and other departments and who complete an environmentally related thesis or project, will be allowed to receive the M.S. degree with the Environmental Geology Option. A list of appropriate courses for the option must be developed in consultation with the department faculty.
With the qualifications listed under "Conditionally Classified Graduate" status below, the M.S. degree program is open to any student in possession of a baccalaureate degree in Geology with coursework equivalent at least to the core requirements for the B.S. degree in Geology at Cal State East Bay. Students who do not meet those requirements will be considered on an individual basis and accepted only after approval by a majority of regular faculty members.
Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5 in all undergraduate work and at least 2.75 in all geology courses. Any undergraduate geology course with a "D" grade will have to be repeated. Students transferring from another graduate program must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in all graduate geology courses. (No more than 13 units may be transferred.)
Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation from faculty members or work supervisors.
Conditionally Classified Graduate Status
Students who are otherwise qualified but have course deficiencies and/or have not satisfied the University Writing Skills requirement, will be accepted as "Conditionally Classified Graduate" students. Course deficiencies may be removed by enrolling on a "CR/NC" basis. (Students who wish to develop their writing skills should enroll in English 3000 or 3001.)
Classified Graduate Status
Students who fulfill all the requirements for admission to the program will be accorded "Classified Graduate" status once they have satisfied the University Writing Skills requirement. All deficiencies have to be removed, and the University Writing Skills requirement satisfied no later than the completion of 20 units of coursework applicable to the degree or the student will be disqualified.
Selection of Thesis/Project or Academic Advisor
Once "Classified Graduate" status has been attained, each student will be assigned a thesis or project advisor by the department chair after consultation with the student and the graduate coordinator. The faculty member chosen also will act as academic advisor.
Advancement to Candidacy
In order to be Advanced to Candidacy, the student must have:
- been accorded "Classified Graduate" status
- been assigned a thesis or graduate project advisor; and
- submitted to the department an acceptable Thesis or graduate Project Prospectus describing the thesis research or graduate project work to be attempted (guidelines for preparation of the Prospectus may be obtained from the department office). The research topic must be approved in advance by the advisor.
- Advancement to Candidacy
- Satisfaction of university requirements described in the Graduate Degree Information chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five-year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 GPA, and the University Writing Skills requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.
- Completion of the study plan outlined below (45 units):
- Two Graduate Seminars (GEOL 6811) (2, 2)
- University Thesis (GEOL 6910) (9) or Project (GEOL 6899) (1-2)
- Geology Graduate Courses (20-27)
- Upper division/graduate electives in Geology and related fields (12)
- Completion and defense of the University Thesis or completion (and defense, if required) of the graduate Project.
- Graduate Geology Course Requirements
All students are required to take two graduate seminars (GEOL 6811), each 2 units. In addition, any combination of graduate geology courses and additional seminars except GEOL 6420 (Internship), GEOL 6900 (Independent Study), and GEOL 6910 (University Thesis) or GEOL 6899 (Project), must be taken for a total of 20-27 units.
- Elective Course Requirement
Twelve units must be completed in courses selected from a list of approved upper division and graduate courses in Geology and related disciplines which is available from the department office; at least 4 units must be in Geology courses.
- Basic University Requirement
These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five-year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 GPA, and the University Writing Skills requirement.
Students cannot receive credit toward the master's degree for:
- Courses taken to remove deficiencies
- Independent Study, GEOL 6900, in excess of 4 units
- Internship, GEOL 6420, in excess of 4 units
- University Thesis (GEOL 6910) in excess of 9 units, or Project (GEOL 6899) in excess of 2 units.
- Cooperative Education (GEOL 3898)
Requirements: Students must submit to the Thesis Committee, and defend orally, an acceptable University Thesis. The University Thesis is a formal paper reporting the results of original research. This research normally involves field and/or laboratory investigation. The thesis is submitted to the university in the bound format specified in the "University Thesis Writing Guide," www.csueastbay.edu/thesiswritingguide. A minimum of two copies of the thesis must be submitted to the Thesis Office (Academic Programs and Graduate Studies, Student Services and Administration Building, Suite 4500); one copy will be filed in the Department Office. The Thesis Committee comprises the faculty thesis advisor plus either (1) two other faculty members from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences or other appropriate Cal State East Bay faculty, or (2) one other faculty member from the department and one or more qualified individuals from outside the university.
Units Required: GEOL 6910, University Thesis, for a total of 9 units; students may not register for more than 50% of the total units prior to starting the writing of their thesis.
Requirements: Project students must submit to the department an abstract and acceptable graduate project (manuscript, map, computer model, education module). An oral defense may be required.
Units Required: GEOL 6899, Project, for a total of 1-2 units.
Students filing for graduation are expected to know the procedures described in this catalog. (See "Apply for Graduation" in the Baccalaureate Degree Information chapter.)
|Course Number||Course Information|
|6020||Seismic Exploration (4)
Seismic exploration methods, including data acquisition, processing, modeling, and interpretation. Survey design, source and receiver types, selection of acquisition parameters. Static and gain corrections, deconvolution, velocity analysis, migration and inversion methods. Graduate research project required. Prerequisites: GEOL 2101, MATH 1304, and PHYS 2701, or consent of instructor. Not open to students with credit for GEOL 4020. Three hrs. lect., 3 hours lab.
|6040||Near Surface Geophysics (4)
High-resolution seismic, ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity, and magnetic methods. Digital terrain data and global positioning system (GPS). Geophysical data processing methods. Prerequisite: GEOL 4010 or consent of instructor. A-F grading only. Three hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab; field trip(s).
|6300||Quaternary Geology (4)
Evolution of climate and landforms of the Quaternary. Emphasis on interpretation of sedimentary deposits and erosional landforms. Techniques for determination of age relationships. Prerequisite: graduate standing in geology, geography, or permission of instructor.
|6310||Isotope Geochemistry (4)
The course focuses on using variations in the abundances of isotopes to understand natural processes. Applications of radioactivity and other nuclear reactions (radioactive/radiogenic isotope geochemistry), and chemical separation of isotopes (stable isotope geochemistry), will be covered. Prerequisite: GEOL 3701 or equivalent, GEOL 4130 or equivalent
Groundwater resource evaluation methods. Mathematical development of multi-dimensional flow equations. Introduction to computer models and numerical simulation to predict aquifer yields. Inorganic and organic groundwater contamination. Contamination transport processes. Three hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab. and/or field trips.
|6411||Engineering Geology (4)
Application of geology in location and planning of engineering works. Study of case histories. Use of geophysical techniques to solve engineering geologic problems. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Three hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab. and/or field trips.
|6412||Advanced Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (4)
Chemical characteristics of igneous rocks and magmatic evolution. Petrography of igneous and metamorphic rock suites using the polarizing microscope, emphasizing thorough description of mineralogy and textures. Prerequisite: GEOL 3701. A-F grading only. Two hrs. lect.; 6 hrs. lab.
|6414||Earthquake Geology (4)
Aspects of earthquake geology, plate tectonic and geographic location of seismicity; the source region and rock mechanics and deformation; seismic waves; event dating techniques and tectonic geomorphology; fault types and behavior. Graduate research project required. Prerequisites: GEOL 3801, 3810, or permission of instructor.
Professional experience for at least one quarter with a public or private organization involved in geologic studies, summarized in a written report. Prerequisites: "Classified Graduate" status and advisor's approval. No more than 4 units can be applied toward the master's degree. CR/NC grading only.
|6620||Advanced Topics in Geology (4)
Selected advanced topics in geology. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. May be repeated with consent of instructor. Four hrs. lect.
|6811||Graduate Seminar (2)
Investigation of a selected geologic topic. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. May be repeated once for credit with consent of instructor, for a maximum of 4 units. Two hrs. seminar.
Development of an original product (e.g., manuscript, education module, field map, computer model) that is summarized in a written abstract. Both project and abstract are submitted to the department, which specifies their format. Supervised by a departmental committee. Oral defense may be required. Prerequisite: graduate status and 32 units of coursework applicable to the master's degree. May be repeated for credit, for a maximum of 4 units. CR/NC grading only.
|6900||Independent Study (1-4)
No more than 4 units may be applied toward the master's degree. CR/NC grading only.
|6910||University Thesis (1-9)
Development and writing of a formal research paper for submission to the university in the specified bound format. Supervision by a departmental committee, at least two of whom must be Cal State East Bay faculty members. Oral defense required. (See also "University Thesis Writing Guide," www.csueastbay.edu/thesiswritingguide.) Prerequisites: "Classified Graduate" status and advisor's approval. Maximum of 9 units credit per student. CR/NC grading only.
|6999||Issues in Geological Sciences (4)
Readings, discussion, and research on contemporary and/or significant issues in geological sciences. May be repeated for credit when content varies, for a maximum of 8 units.
Marine Science Courses
(At Moss Landing Marine Laboratories - see the graduate Marine Science chapter for descriptions of the following courses.)
- MSC 6202 Oceanographic Instrumentation (6)
- MSC 6204 Sampling and Experimental Design (6)
- MSC 6242 Plate Tectonics (4.5)
- MSC 6246 Geology of the Monterey Bay Region (6)
- MSC 6248 Marine Benthic Habitat Techniques (6)
- MSC 6261 Ocean Circulation and Mixing (6)
- MSC 6262 Satellite Oceanography (6)
- MSC 6263 Application of Computers in Oceanography (6)
- MSC 6274 Advanced Topics in Oceanography (1.5-6)