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    South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
   
 
  Sep 24, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog

Geology and Geological Engineering Department


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Contact Information

Dr. Laurie Anderson
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Mineral Industries 303
(605) 394-2461
E-mail: Laurie.Anderson@sdsmt.edu

Geology Faculty

Professors L. Anderson, Duke, Masterlark, Price and Uzunlar; Associate Professor Pagnac; Assistant Professors Baran and Ustunisik; Professors Emeritus Fox, Lisenbee, Martin, Paterson, and Redden; Adjunct Faculty Benton and McCormick.

Geological Engineering Faculty

Professor Stetler; Associate Professors Katzenstein and Sawyer; Assistant Professor and Li; Professors Emeritus Davis and Rahn; Adjunct Faculty M. Anderson, Iles, Roggenthen, and Valder.

Paleontology Faculty

Professors L. Anderson and Price; Associate Professor Pagnac; Associate Director and Instructor Shelton; Adjunct Faculty Benton; Professors Emeritus Fox and Martin.

Geology and Geological Engineering Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering offers advanced study in three degree programs:

M.S. degree in Paleontology
M.S. degree in Geology and Geological Engineering
Ph.D. degree in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering

Also available are:

Certificate in Geospatial Technology
Certificate in Petroleum Systems
Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program

Students concentrating in paleontology at the Master’s level may apply for the separate M.S. in Paleontology. The M.S.  in Geology and Geological Engineering offers two specializations:, one in geology and one in geological engineering, with different background and curricular requirements. The Ph.D. in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering offers three specializations, in geology, in geological engineering, and in mining engineering, with different background and curricular requirements. Students wishing to focus on paleontology at the doctoral level enter Geology and Geology specialization. The mining engineering specialization in the Ph.D. program is administered by the Mining Engineering and Management Department . The available coursework and current faculty expertise in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering support the following areas of concentration.

  1. Energy Resources
  2. GIS, Geoinformatics, and Remote Sensing
  3. Groundwater and Environment
  4. Paleontology
  5. Petrology and Mineral Resources
  6. Structure, Tectonics, and Geodynamics
  7. Geomechanics

Graduate Programs Outcomes

A graduate of the M.S. in Geology/Geological Engineering, M.S. in Paleontology, PhD in Geology/Geological Engineering/Mining Engineering is expected to:

•         Demonstrate knowledge of concepts and terminology of the discipline

•         Explore and evaluate scientific and technical literature

•         Analyze, interpret, and evaluate scientific and/or engineering data and methods

•         Communicate effectively (in writing and orally)

•         Act professionally and ethically

•         Impact the profession with research

Geology and Geological Engineering Laboratories

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering has laboratory facilities that include a groundwater laboratory with digital and analytical modeling capabilities, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory, the Petrel suite of programs for petroleum systems, an InSAR laboratory, a van-mounted Geoprobe unite, a geotechnics laboratory, a 3D photogrammetric camera system, a ground-based LIDAR camera, an operational well field with data loggers and transducers, a geochemical sample prep lab, and laB.S. for paleontology preparation and imaging. Instrumentation includes geophysical equipment, ground-probing radar, a hydrologic analysis system, a portable wind tunnel, and a mobile drilling rig.

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Laboratory is a facility for generating and analyzing spatially-referenced digital information, including maps and remotely-sensed data. The computing facilities, including a computational geodynamics lab, are continually updated and contain high-speed computers with GIS and other analystical capabilities. Computer programs are available for digital modeling of groundwater flow and contaminant migration, petroleum engineering, slope stability, geophysical applications, and geochemical modeling.

Certificate in Geospatial Technology

Students are eligible to receive a Certificate in Geospatial Technology by completing these four courses (twelve credits) in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing at the 500 level: GEOL 416/416L/516/516L , GEOL 417/517 , GEOL 419/519 , GEOL 420/520 . Complete information on requirements is given at Geospatial Technology- Graduate Certificate .

Certificate in Petroleum Systems

This program is geared toward graduate students and professionals with relevant BA/B.S. degrees in engineering and/or science who are looking to expand their skill sets in petroleum and related fields or to retool and retrain for a new career. Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of course work from an approved list of courses to satisfy the certificate program requirements.  Complete information on requirements is given at Petroleum Systems Certificate .

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Programs

Both M.S. programs offer an accelerated B.S./M.S. track open to students enrolled in the B.S. in Geology or B.S. in Geological Engineering at SD Mines. The accelerated B.S./M.S. program is designed to permit qualified students to shorten the expected time to an M.S. degree by counting approved courses towards both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Students entering the accelerated M.S. program must satisfy all requirements expected of traditional M.S. students, including writing and defending a thesis. The accelerated B.S./M.S. program is governed by campus-wide policies as stated in the Graduate section of the catalog. The following additional guidelines and policies pertain to the accelerated programs within the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering.

  1. The requirement that all graduate applicants take the GRE exam is waived for students applying to the Accelerated B.S./M.S. program. However, the GRE is often used for student grant proposals, so all students are strongly encouraged to take the GRE in their senior year.
  2. One letter of reference in the graduate application must be written by a department faculty member who agrees to become the student’s major professor if the student is admitted to the M.S. program. This agreement must be stated plainly in the letter of reference.
  3. Up to nine credits of approved courses may be double-counted. To be double-counted, the courses must be GEOL or GEOE courses taken at the graduate level, which includes 400/500-level courses taken at the 500-level, or 600-level courses.
  4. Accelerated students are not eligible to hold TA or RA appointments until after they have completed the B.S. degree. Only students who have taken the GRE are eligible for TA/RA appointments.
  5. If the final cumulative GPA for the B.S. degree and the cumulative graduate GPA both fall below 3.0 at the time of completion of the B.S. degree, the department reserves the right to drop the student from the accelerated B.S./M.S. program. In this case, the student may make a new application to be admitted to the regular M.S. program, but no double-counted courses will be permitted.

Background and Application Requirements for M.S. and Ph.D. Programs

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants.  The TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam is required for students whose native language is not English. Many factors contribute to the success of an application, including the goals statement, previous coursework, grades, test scores, work experience, recommendations, and availability of a faculty member in the student’s anticipated research area. In general we prefer to see a GPA of 3.0 or above and GRE scores greater than the 50th percentile. Different specializations have different background coursework requirements, as described below.

 
Background expected for Geology Specialization and Paleontology (M.S. and Ph.D.)

Incoming students are expected to have suB.S.tantial preparation in general science, math, and geological sciences; successful applicants will ideally have completed the subjects listed below.  The student’s graduate committee may require that deficiencies important to the student’s area of interest be remedied by taking additional undergraduate courses that will not count towards the graduate degree credit requirements.

  • Calculus I and II
  • Statistics
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • General Physics I and II, or General Biology I and II
  • Stratigraphy/Sedimentation
  • Petrology
  • Structural Geology
  • Field Geology
 
Background expected for Geological Engineering Specialization (M.S. and Ph.D.)

Incoming students are expected to have suB.S.tantial preparation in science, math, geological sciences, and engineering; successful applicants will ideally have completed the subjects listed below.  The student’s graduate committee may require that deficiencies important to the student’s area of interest be remedied by taking additional undergraduate courses that will not count towards the graduate degree credit requirements.

  • Calculus I, II, and III
  • Differential Equations
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • General Physics I and II
  • Stratigraphy/Sedimentation
  • Petrology
  • Structural Geology
  • Statics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Fluid Mechanics, or Rock Mechanics
Background expected for Mining Engineering Specialization (Ph.D. program)
  • Calculus I, II, and III
  • Differential Equations
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • General Physics I and II
  • Statics and Dynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics

Degree Requirements for Graduate Programs

The M.S. degree programs require 30 credits total, including a minimum of 24 credits of coursework and 6 credits of research. No more than 15 of the credits may be at the 500-level or lower. An oral coursework examination and a thesis defense is required of all M.S. students. However, under special circumstances the department head may approve the use of the non-thesis option in the Geology and Geological Engineering M.S. program, which requires 32 credits of coursework and an oral coursework exam. The non-thesis option is not available in the M.S. in Paleontology program.

The PhD program requires seventy-two (72) credits, of which at least thirty-six (36) credits must be coursework. No more than 36 credits may be at the 500-level or lower. Students entering the PhD program with an M.S. degree may apply a total of 24 course credits and 6 research credits toward the PhD, with the approval of the student’s graduate committee. PhD students are required to complete a qualifying exam, a comprehensive exam and dissertation proposal, and a dissertation defense.

All students are required to take GEOL 700 /GEOE 700 Developing and Planning Research  in their first fall semester. Every student has a graduate committee which assists the student in developing a program of study suited to the student’s interests. Additional requirements are provided as follows.

MS in Paleontology  

MS in Geology and Geological Engineering  

PhD in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering   

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