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Alysia Cox


Dr. Alysia Cox

Phone: (406) 496-4185
Location: CBB 217

Department Overview

Geochemistry is an interdisciplinary field of study in which the science of chemistry is used to solve earth science problems. Areas of study include the full spectrum of topics from geobiochemistry, to water/rock/microbe interactions, thermodynamics of natural systems, coevolution of geochemistry and life, thermodynamics of minerals, and migration of pollutant species in soil and water.

The geochemistry option is centered in the Chemistry and Geochemistry Department. Students acquire relatively strong backgrounds in chemistry and can choose thesis topics ranging among a large variety of geochemical/environmental topics.

Admission requirements: B.S. in chemistry, geology, or any science or engineering.

Options: Thesis, Publishable paper, or Non-Thesis

Seminar Requirements:

  • TC 5150 Graduate Writing Seminar or TC 5160 Technical Writing and Publishing
  • ENGR 5940 Geoscience Seminar


Many of our graduates continue their graduate work in a Ph.D. program. Other graduates have found employment with various minerals industry companies such as the Pegasus Gold Corp., Applied Technology, Inc., Chemex Labs, the Atlantic Richfield Chemical Co., Marathon Oil Co., Westinghouse, American Geochemist, Corp., and Stauffer Chemical Co.


The following are pre-requisite courses for the Geochemistry curriculum and if the student has not received at least a grade of C in these courses, they would have to be taken as deficiencies:

  • CHMY 373 Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics and Kinetics)
  • CHMY 311 Analytical Chemistry (Quantitative Analysis)
  • GEO 101 Physical Geology
  • GEO 204 Mineralogy-Petrology
  • GEO 209 Introduction to Field Geology

The following sequence constitutes the core of the Geochemistry Program:

Fall (Year 1):
  • CHMY 540 Environmental Chemistry (3 cr)
  • GEOE 520 Advanced Hydrogeology (3 cr)
  • TC 5160 Graduate Writing Seminar (1 cr)
Spring (Year 1):
  • CHMY 542 Environmental Organic Chemistry (3 cr)
  • CHMY 591 Geochemical Modeling (3 cr)
Fall (Year 2):
  • GSCI 5940 Graduate Geoscience Seminar (1 cr)
  • CHMY 599 Thesis Research (4 cr)
  • GEOE 533 Hydrogeochemistry (3 cr)
Spring (Year 2):
  • CHMY or GEOE 5xx Elective
  • CHMY 599 Thesis Research (4 cr)
  • CHMY 594 Graduate Geochemistry Seminar (1 cr)

Other options include but not limited to:

  • CHMY 530 Chemistry Literature (2 cr)
  • CHMY 501 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5030 Water Quality Engineering II (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5240 Surface Water Modeling (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5300 Subsurface Remediation (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5390 Bioremediation (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5610 Advanced Water Quality (3 cr)
  • GEOE 422 Groundwater Flow Modeling (3 cr)
  • GEOE 591 GIS Applications in Natural Resources (3 cr)
  • GEOE 531 Acid-Rock Drainage (3 cr)
  • GEOE 528 Contaminant Transport (3 cr)

Note: Usually only a total of 9 credits of 400 level work can be counted toward your graduate degree.