Geoarcheology (CERT)


This certificate cross-trains students in archeology, geography, and geology to emphasize the necessity of understanding physical processes in places and regions as important vectors in shaping human habitation and resource use over time. The certificate prepares students to be highly competitive in either further education or the job market. 

Catalog Year




Major Credits


Total Credits




Career Cluster

People and Cultures

Program Requirements

Major Common Core

Archeology Foundation

A comprehensive examination of modern archaeological theory methods and activities, focusing on American archaeology. Emphasis will be given to data collection, data analysis, and museology. Lab included.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03, GE-10

Major Restricted Electives

Earth Science Foundation - Choose 4 Credit(s).

An introduction to the science of understanding earth's physical environment, with focus on the processes that drive fundamental earth systems. Includes investigation of natural hazards, earth-sun relationships, climate and climate change, weather, flora and fauna, soil, landforms, and surfaces processes driven by rivers, glaciers, wind, rock decay, gravity. North American and world-wide examples are used to demonstrate spatial distribution and interrelationships. Some coverage of human-environmental relations.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03, GE-10

An examination of the development and evolution of life on earth. In addition to reviewing the range of life forms and global climates existing on earth during various times in its geologic past, we will also look at how global industrialization could lead to the earth's next period of mass extinction. Weekly laboratory assignments help illustrate principles discussed in lectures.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03

Archeology Electives - Choose 3 Credit(s).

A detailed study of Minnesota archaeology from ca. 12,000 years ago to ca 1900, with a focus on diverse and changing Native American populations.

Prerequisites: none

A survey of current knowledge about the prehistoric Native American inhabitants of North America from ca. 15,000 years ago until ca. 1900. Topics will focus on the processes of cultural development, change, and disruption by Euro-American influences.

Prerequisites: none

A detailed study of Latin American archaeology from ca. 12,000 years ago to ca.1900, with a focus on diverse and changing Native American populations.

Prerequisites: none

An intensive exploration of how to identify, catalogue, and curate archeological materials in a laboratory setting. Topics will include lithics, pottery, faunal, floral, metal, and other materials as well as data structure and recordation.

Prerequisites: none

Earth Science Electives - Choose 6 - 8 Credit(s).

This course explores the scientific study of earth's surface, through investigating landscapes and landforms, their characteristics, origin and evolution, and the biologic, chemical, and physical processes that create these landscapes and landforms through time. Fundamental linkages between process and form and climate/climate change, earth materials, geologic structures, plate tectonics, and biological systems will be examined. Implications of anthropogenic influences on processes and modification of earth's surface will also be assessed. Laboratory exercises and field trips are required.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the dynamic nature of soils including the processes that control formation and degradation, anthropogenic impacts, spatial distribution across landscapes, and links among soils and other components of the earth system. A combination of lectures and hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings are utilized to explore the complex interactions between soils and landscapes.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the natural processes that operate on our planet and shape the landscape presently. This will be done through a focus on applied exercises, measurements and direct/indirect observations. Through applied projects students will have an understanding of how these processes interact within a variety of Earth Systems.

Prerequisites: none

An in-depth investigation into fluvial systems including sediment transport, sediment budget analysis, channel geometry/morphology, drainage basin analysis, geomorphic evolution of fluvial landscapes, hydrology (i.e., runoff generation and channel formation, storm hydrograph and flood analysis, discharge measurements) of fluvial systems, and effects of anthropogenic modification and use of fluvial systems. Registration with completed prereqs or instructor consent.

Prerequisites: Either Geog 101 or Geol 121 and Geog 315 or 415 are recommended. Or instructor consent.

Examination of the elemental composition and crystal structure of various common minerals. Laboratory time is spent practicing techniques of identifying crystals and minerals. The importance and occurrence of many economic minerals is also covered thoroughly in this course.

Prerequisites: GEOL 100 or GEOL 107 or GEOL 121

Focused studies of the origins and processes of transportation, deposition, burial, and diagenesis of sedimentary materials. Lab assignments focus on sedimentary material identification and analysis. Field trips required.

Prerequisites: Select one course: GEOL 100, GEOL 107, GEOL 121