Earth Sciences: Geology

Course Overview:

Geology is the science that studies Earth - how it was formed, how it evolved, how it works, and how we can help to preserve it. An integrated approach is used in our study, with frequent references to the life sciences, chemistry and physics.

Emphasis is placed on the earth’s unifying theory – plate tectonics – and the associated activities of volcanism, earthquakes, and mountain building. Topics will include crystals, minerals and rocks, their distribution within the planet, the evolution of the earth across deep time, the earth’s past and future climate, the sculpturing of the surface of the planet by wind, waves, streams, glaciers, and landslides, as well as current events in earth science.

Course Topics:
  1. Understanding Earth as a System
    1. Minerals: Crystal structure, common rock-forming minerals
    2. Igneous rocks: Magmas and volcanism
    3. Sedimentary rocks: Weathering and erosion, sedimentary environments
    4. Metamorphic rocks: Metamorphic environments
  2. Surface Processes
    1. Rivers, Oceans, Glaciers, Winds and Deserts
    2. Landscape Evolution
  3. Structure of the Earth
    1. Geologic Time and Rock Deformation
    2. Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics
  4. Earth Resources
    1. Groundwater, energy and minerals
Tarbuck and Lutgens. Earth Science. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Class participation and classwork:25%
Test and quizzes:25%
Lab projects and reports:25%