Skip to main content


Sedimentary Geology and Paleontology students have the opportunity to enroll in a host of courses during their undergraduate and graduate careers at UK. In addition to the regular courses listed below, topical seminars are offered annually. 

EES 401G: Invertebrate Paleontology and Evolution (Staff; spring semesters with student interest)

This course covers the ecologic and evolutionary framework of common fossil invertebrate taxa. Major principles of paleontology ecology systematics and evolution; and the use of fossils in paleoecology and biostratigraphy.

EES 450G: Sedimentary Geology (Ettensohn; Fall semesters annually)

This course provides the basic principles and concepts of sedimentary geology, petrology, and petrogenesis. Laboratory and field analysis of sedimentary rocks, including megascopic and microscopic methods. One weekend fieldtrip.

EES 511: Petroleum Geology (Bowersox; even-year Fall semesters beginning 2014)

A survey of the origin, composition and occurence of oil and gas resources.  Stratigraphy and structure of petroleum systems. Geophysical data analysis, including formation evaluation and reservoir characterization techniques using well logs.  Risk assessment and volumetric analysis. Basic petroleum valuations and assessment techniques. 

EES 555: Stratigraphy (McGlue; Spring semesters annually)

This course will introduce the principles of stratigraphy and correlation. Special focus will be placed on clastic depositional systems and facies models.  Students will learn the fundamentals of litho-, chemo-, and sequence stratigraphy, and develop the skills needed to apply these techniques to outcrops, cores, and seismic reflection datasets. Readings will highlight major advances in our understanding of Earth systems history made using the stratigraphic record. Grading will be based on participation, in-class exercises, three exams.  One weekend field trip (eastern Kentucky) and one four day fieldtrip (coastal North Carolina).    

EES 480/645: Muds and Mudrocks (McGlue; even-year Fall semesters beginning 2014)

This course will introduce students to the geology and geochemistry of shales.  Focus will be placed on the generation of silt and clay, processes of transport, depositional environments, provenance techniques (inorganic geochemistry and mineralogy), organic geochemistry, and basin analysis. Introduction to petroleum resource exploration in shale plays of the United States. Practical exercises in sediment core analysis using the KGS core library. Grading will be based on participation, in-class exercises, quizzes, and a final exam.

EES 480/645: Coal and Organic Petrology (Hower; spring semesters with student interest)

An introduction to the plants and other organisms that contribute to coal, the resulting macerals (the organic analogues to minerals), the associated minerals and inorganic elements, oil shales and gas shales, and the impact of metamorphism on coal properties. Discussions on the interactions between technologies and organic petrology; coal preparation, combustion, and cokin. Environmental problems of spontaneous combustion and burning coal mines and coal piles

EES 715: Coal Geology (Eble, Greb, and Hower)

This course explores the concepts of coal formation, paleobotany, palynology, and peat forming environments. Depositional systems and stratigraphy of coal resources. Macerals, minerals, and trace elements in coal. Applied mining geology. One weekend fieldtrip.

EES 705: Marine Sedimentology (Yeager; every three semesters beginning Fall 2014)

This course is designed to provide a survey of marine and coastal sedimentary environments; examine depositional and post-depositional processes that dominate major marine environments; define facies produced by specific processes, and identify succession of facies diagnostic of marine sedimentary environments in the geologic record.

EES 730: AAPG Imperial Barrel Award (Hickman; every Spring semester)

Beginning in 2014, UK has participated in the AAPG IBA competition ( - this course facilitates organization and participation of the UK student team in this energy geoscience competition program.

EES 782: Introduction to Petroleum Exploration Software (Hickman; Fall semesters)

This course is intended to provide an overview of the capabilities and use of two important petroleum industry software packages: Kingdom Suite (for seismic data analysis) and Petra (for well log analysis). Students who take the course will become familiar with these tools and basic techniques in subsurface mapping.