Course Number

GEOL 416

Course Title

Marine Geology

Course Date

Fall 2019

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Amy Leventer, Geology Department

Document Type





The overall goal of this course is to equip you with a broad understanding of some important aspects of how the Earth works, and to communicate an appreciation for the scale and complexity of many geologic processes. The course is also designed to hone your critical reading and thinking skills, and to provide some basic experience in quantitative problem-solving. My teaching philosophy centers on the idea that you will learn more, and be more interested in the material we cover, if you actively participate in class. In order to get a sense for exciting current research and exploration in marine geosciences, there is no substitute for reading and discussing recent journal articles. To emphasize these approaches, the class time will be spent on a mixture of lectures, student-led discussion of selected research topics, and projects.

A background in general geology and introductory oceanography will be the starting point from which we will examine significant research contributions from the field of marine geology. In addition, we will take a closer look at both the field and laboratory techniques used to address marine geologic questions. This course will introduce you to the tools and techniques of marine geology and geophysics. We will examine marine sediments as natural archives of Earth’s history, with a focus on warm periods of the past. Many of the concepts discussed in this class are not unique to marine geology, but we will focus on their marine applications.

This course demands a significant amount of personal responsibility in terms of your contribution to the success of this class. Class participation is critical and attendance is mandatory. You must be ready to ask and answer questions.

Specific Course Objectives include:

• Familiarize you with the shipboard tools and techniques used in marine geology and geophysics such as survey design, geophysical data acquisition, and sediment collection.

• Introduce you to shore-based tools and techniques used in marine geology and geophysics investigations such as geochronology and construction of age models, and various physical, chemical, and biological proxies that can be used to study Earth’s history.

• Familiarize you with the data gathering, data processing, and quality control methods that are used to generate climate records and climate models.

• Practice reading and interpreting scientific journal articles.

• Practice the different methods of written and oral communication in professional scientific communities.


The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.