Introduces the materials, processes, and concepts of geology. Topics include minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, erosion, water, wind, glaciers, and geologic time. Laboratory work is devoted to hands-on projects involving geologic materials and processes, including rocks and minerals, maps, folds and faults, and dating of geologic features and events. This is a four (4) credit course with three (3) hours of lecture and two (2) hours of laboratory per week.
Goals, Topics, and Objectives
- Plate Tectonics
- Geologic Time
- Mass Wasting
- River Systems
- Crustal Deformation
A student successfully completing this course will be able to:
- Identify and classify minerals.
- Identify and classify igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
- State the modes of occurrence of the three rock types.
- Explain the basic tenets of the theory of plate tectonics, and how it serves as a "unifying theory" for geology.
- Identify the major features of river systems, glaciers, and volcanoes.
- List the controls on the character of volcanic eruptions.
- Explain the roles of running water, ice, wind, and mass wasting (e.g. landslides) in shaping the Earth's surface.
- Identify the major types of seismic waves, and explain the differences between them.
- Explain how earthquakes occur.
- List the major divisions of the geologic time scale, and explain how the time scale is constructed.
- Use relative dating principles to place a sequence of geologic events and features in their correct order using a block diagram.
- Compute absolute ages using radiometric dating principles.
The student will also:
- Communicate concepts through the spoken and written word, and through data graphs and charts.
- Apply rigorous thought and observation to scientific problems.
- Arrange objects, events, or ideas in a specific order.
Assessment and Requirements
Student mastery of course objectives will be achieved through class participation, laboratory projects, weekly review questions, in-class quizzes, and exams;
The course is divided into three (3) units, each of which will be presented with a combination of lectures, readings, and laboratories. Student mastery of course topics will be assessed on an ongoing basis through instructor scoring of lab and homework assignments and quizzes, and feedback to students on areas needing improvement. Assessment of overall mastery within each course unit will be accomplished through an exam scheduled to take place at the end of the unit.
This is a four (4) credit course with three (3) hours of lecture and two (2) hours of laboratory per week. Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Attendance is taken by the instructor.
Essentials of Geology, by Lutgens, F.K., and Tarbuck, E.J., published by Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2006 Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology, edited by Richard M. Busch
- Natural Sciences
- Scientific Reasoning
- Category 6.1: Natural Sciences
- Category 6.2: Natural Sciences with Laboratory Experience