The MSG program is awarded after successful completion of 45 quarter units as specified below.
Graduation Writing Test (GWT) Information:
All persons who receive undergraduate, graduate, or external degrees from Cal Poly Pomona must pass the Graduation Writing Test (GWT). If you are unable to pass the test after two attempts, you may apply to enroll in CPU401, a class in which your writing is assessed on a portfolio basis. Students enrolling in CPU401 will be charged the state graduate level tuition fees for this course. Please visit the links below for more detailed information.
A review and analysis of fundamental geological concepts, principles and processes. Geoscience sub-disciplines may include but are not limited to Hydrogeology, Geophysics, Engineering Geology, Mineral and Energy Resources, Structural Geology, Neotectonics and Natural Hazards. Participants will present oral and written summaries of important geological concepts, and participate in discussion sessions which examine the underlying hypotheses and recent research advances.
Field excursions to sites of geological, geophysical, hydrologic or geotechnical importance within California and the southwestern U.S. Students will participate in advanced field mapping projects, geophysical surveys of hydrogeologic/geotechnical investigations and present “on-site” reviews of field relationships or data collected with instruments. Written and/or oral reports will summarize the pertinent aspects of student field experiences. Course may involve multi-day field trips and/or shorter one-day excursions. Trips will be scheduled at the discretion of the instructor(s).
Practical techniques for converting traditional coordinate-based geoscience data into digital map layers. GIS methods applied to creation of geologic, hydrologic, meteorologic, and oceanographic maps. Acquisition of X-Y-Z-attribute data in natural field settings.
Observation and evaluation of oral presentations associated with professional Earth science seminars. Discussion and practice of the design, mechanics and style of presenting Earth science information.
Practical GIS methods for map representation and quantitative analysis of coordinate-based geoscience data. Practical acquisition of X-Y-Z-attribute data. Creation of geo-databases linked to topology. Manipulation of digital data layers; enhancement with graphics programs. Derivative GIS maps applied to spatial analysis of geologic and hydrologic processes. Three-dimensional analysis of well data; cross section construction.
Application of geologic and geophysical principles to engineering problems encountered in the geotechnical industry. Lecture topics include earthquake faults and seismology of Southern California, earthquake-induced strong ground motion and site effects, seismic instrumentation and shake maps, probabilistic hazard analysis, Alquist- Priolo/fault trench studies, stability analysis of slopes and dams, and case studies of landslides, earthquakes, and dam failures. Laboratory sessions involve 3-dimensional analysis of geologic data, field measurement and analysis of unstable slopes, and investigation of dam sites.
Stratigraphic procedures, correlation, depositional environments, classification and origin of stratigraphic units, chemical, mineralogic and textural studies of sedimentary rocks, using petrographic, mechanical and x-ray techniques. Theory of the classification and origin of these rocks. Field trips.
A systematic study of the deposition of metallic ores. Preparation of comprehensive ore deposit models is stressed requiring the integration of mineralogy, petrology and structural geology. Discussions and practical exercises on wall rock alteration, paragenesis, metal zoning and fluid inclusion geothermometry. Laboratory examination of polished sections and thin sections from “classic” mining districts throughout the world and field trips to important mining districts compliment the lecture.
Methods and approaches used in geophysics to investigate the shallow subsurface. Fundamentals of seismic methods. Refraction and reflection seismology. Exploration using gravity. Principles of electrical resistivity, electromagnetic methods and ground-penetrating radar. Equipment, field procedures and experiment design. Computer processing and analysis using forward and inverse modeling. Examples from industry and science.
Planning and implementation of mineral exploration programs, resource extraction and ore-processing. Mineral economics, exploration planning, exploration techniques, ore deposit valuation and mining and processing systems. Economic theory and practical aspects of development of precious metal properties. Laboratory exercises focus on all aspects of exploration from field exercises involving claim staking, to geochemical/geophysical prospecting, underground mine mapping to on-campus work with computer generated ore reserve models and automated data base literature searches.
Study of the major tectonic elements of the Earth, their geometry, kinematics and dynamics with special emphasis on the Cordillera of Western North America. All tectonic features will be analyzed in the context of plate tectonics.
The study of the generation, propagation and recording of seismic waves and of the sources that produce them. Stress and strain. Body waves and ray theory. Surface waves and free oscillations. Seismometry. Interpretation of seismograms. Determination of Earth structure. Reflection seismology. Seismic sources. Strong motion seismology and earthquake hazard. Earthquake statistics. Seismotectonics.
Advanced geologic mapping in a variety of geologic settings. Field reports, maps and cross-sections required. Techniques emphasized include surveying, GPS mapping, satellite and aerial photo interpretation, Brunton compass pace and traverse. Each module requires five field days with additional field and lab time as necessary to complete the assignments. Of the four required modules in the Geology emphasis, each module should be topically distinctive, and at least two must be taken from different instructors.
Characteristics of planets, satellites and small bodies in our solar system as deduced from cutting edge developments in contemporary planetary science; space exploration and remote sensing of these bodies; formation and evolution of their surfaces, atmospheres and interiors. Discussions of laboratory simulations of planetary processes and field studies of landforms on Earth analogous to extraterrestrial features. Processes related to observable extra-solar planet properties.
History of the Earth during and since Ice Ages; Quaternary record of sedimentation, faulting and volcanism; causes and mechanisms of cyclical deposition patterns; global, physical and biological effects of Quaternary glaciations and climate change.
Three hours of lecture/problems per week plus one three-hour laboratory. Morphology, classification and evolution of major plant and animal microfossil groups with emphasis on the Foraminiferida. Use of microfossils in petroleum exploration and paleoenvironmental reconstruction.
Modern techniques and recent advances in hydrogeology such as groundwater modeling, well hydraulics and aquifer analysis, contaminant hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, and environmental sampling and protocols.
Advanced methods used in geophysics to investigate the shallow subsurface, focused on the interpretation of geophysical data through forward and inverse modeling. Use of seismic ambient noise measurements to determine shallow shear wave velocity. Application of Ground Penetrating Radar. Gravity surveys using gravimeter and total station. Inversion of refraction data for a seismic velocity model. Discussion of recent case studies from literature.
Advanced topics and applications of global, engineering and applied seismology, covering recent developments in both source and structural studies. Rupture processes of large earthquakes. Factors involved in excitation of strong ground motion. Tsunamigenesis. Issues in global and California-specific seismic and tsunami hazard. Discussion of recent scientific literature.
Advanced techniques for quantifying the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment including mass balance, advection, diffusion, partitioning of chemicals between different phases in the environment, and the use of chemical and isotopic tracers to track migration of contaminants.