Apr 13, 2024  
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED 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

Geological Engineering Faculty

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

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

Geological engineering is the development and conservation of natural resources in ways useful to humankind. It encompasses diverse fields such as groundwater resources, subsurface contamination, slope stability, environmental site design, and mineral and petroleum exploration and production.

Geological engineers develop and conserve natural resources in ways useful to humankind.  The discipline encompasses diverse fields such as groundwater resources, subsurface contamination, slope stability, environmental site design, and mineral and petroleum exploration and production.

The geological engineering (GEOE) bachelor of science degree bridges the gap between the science of geology and multiple engineering disciplines including mining, civil, petroleum and environmental engineering. As such, the curriculum that students complete as part of the degree is very diverse, with courses covering topics in geology, the engineering disciplines stated above, and engineering topics unique to geological engineering.

The GEOE program at SD Mines prides itself in providing a hands-on field based education. Students spend a large amount of instruction time in the field through lab and design courses, as well as a GEOE specific, six-credit field course taken between the junior and senior year. It is this significant field experience and wide breadth of expertise that sets geological engineering graduates apart from other engineering fields, and is a large contributor to why our program has such a high placement rate (89-100% over the past 20 years). Complete information on requirements is given at Geological Engineering, B.S.  

The bachelor of science program in geological engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org, 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone +1.410.347.7700.

Geology (and includes Paleontology)

Geologists study processes shaping Earth today and through its history to learn how it formed, how it has developed over time, and how life has evolved through time in response to tectonic and climatic changes.  In their careers, geologists may seek to understand the formation of natural resources like minerals or petroleum, protect water and soil resources, or mitigate against geologic hazards like earthquakes and volcanoes.  The GEOL program at SDSM&TSD Mines takes advantage of the proximity of the Black Hills through a rigorous field-based education that provides students a unique blend of hands-on experiences with strong theoretical foundations.  Students have the opportunity to take electives in five focus areas including Energy and Mineral Resources, Environmental Geology, Geomathematics, Geospatial Technology, and Paleontology. Complete information on requirements is given at Geology, B.S.  

Minor in Geology

Majors in other science and engineering disciplines may pursue a minor in geology by completing eighteen (18) credit hours of geology courses.  Complete information on requirements is given at Geology Minor .

Minor in Geospatial Technology

Geospatial technology is a rapidly expanding field that covers the management and analysis of a spatial data from many sources, such as satellites, airborne remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GIS), surveying, and more.  Complete information on requirements is given at Geospatial Technology Minor .

Minor in Petroleum Systems

The petroleum industry employs a wide variety of engineers and scientists and this interdiscplinary minor is available to students in any major interested in expanding their portfolio of coursework to include additional content relevant to the energy sector. Complete information on requirements is given at Petroleum Systems Minor .

Certificate in Geospatial Technology (Undergraduate)

A certificate in Geospatial Technology is available by completing these four courses (twelve credits) in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing: GEOL 416/416L/516/516L , GEOL 417/517 , GEOL 419/519 , and GEOL 420/520 . Complete information on requirements is given at Geospatial Technology- Undergraduate Certificate .

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 unit, a geotechnics laboratory, a 3D photogrammetric camera systems, a ground-based LIDAR camera, an operational well field with data loggers and transducers, a geochemical sample prep lab, and labs for paleontology sample 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 analytical capabilities. Computer programs are available for digital modeling of groundwater flow and contaminant migration, petroleum engineering, slope stability, geophysical applications, and geochemical modeling.

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Programs

The M.S. programs in geology and geological engineering and in paleontology both 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 School of Mines. Complete information on requirements is located in the Accelerated B.S./M.S. Programs section of the GGE graduate programs page .

The Black Hills Natural Sciences Field Station

The Black Hills Natural Sciences Field Station functions in cooperation with universities from South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin with the purpose of providing summer field courses in the Black Hills and nearby areas, as well as overseas. Field courses in geology, geological engineering, paleontology, petroleum, and environmental science and engineering are offered.  The Field Station operates from multiplesites: School of Mines campus; Ranch A in the northern Black Hills of Wyoming; Death Valley, CA; Arizona; Montana; Hawaii; Taskesti, Turkey; the Himalayas of Nepal; Iceland; Spain; the Andes and Galapagos Islands, and the Bahamas.

Geology and Geological Engineering Field Camps:

GEOL 410 Field Geology  - five (5) weeks (six (6) semester hours) - Ranch A, Wyoming; Montana; Spain; and Taskesti, Turkey

GEOE 410 Engineering Field Geology  five (5) weeks (six (6) semester hours) - Rapid City, SD

GEOL 412/512 /GEOE 412/512  Science and Engineering Applications (3 to 6 semester hours), Rapid City - SD; Death Valley, CA; Arizona; Hawaii; Taskesti - Turkey; Himalayas, Nepal; Iceland; the Andes and Galapagos Islands; and the Bahamas.

Paleontology Field Camps:

  - two (2) weeks two (2) semester hours - held at one of several sites of ongoing paleontological research throughout the western United States with department and Museum of Geology faculty and personnel.

Further information on field camp opportunities may be obtained by calling (605) 394-2494, or going to the website: http://geologyfieldcamp.sdsmt.edu.  All deposit fees are non-refundable upon acceptance into the course.

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