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Master Course Outline
GEOL%26 110
Environmental Geology

Credits: 5
Clock Hours per Quarter: 60

AA Discipline: [Natural Sciences]

Lecture Hours:40    Lab Hours:20

The study of geologic environments through a systems approach, which emphasizes the interconnections of Earth processes, Earth materials, and human activities. Includes student activities and projects conducted in the laboratory and outdoors. One all-day field trip is required. Lab work required. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement score or grade of C or higher in ENGL 087; or permission of the Science Division Chair or designee. Recommended: READ 088. Formerly GEOL 120, Environmental Earth Science.

Intended Learning Outcomes
  • Understand how the earth is formed, the origins of life and conditions promoting organic life forms, the similarities and differences of the earth and other planets, the origin of continents, the oceans, and the atmosphere.
  • Analyze climate and weather and the physical and cultural processes affecting and modifying the earths surface, atmosphere, oceans, rivers and aquifers: the natural resources humans need and use.
  • Recognize relevant issues, concerns, and the problems of water, air, and soil pollution and the events involved in mass extinction.
  • Define how scientific knowledge is obtained using the Scientific Method

  • Course Topics
  • The atmosphere
    a. Origin, composition and structure
    b. Earth/sun relationship
    c. Seasons and axial tilt
    d. Uneven heating of the surfact and mechanisms involved
    e. Convection, radiation, friction, advection: heat transfer
    f. Factors controlling weather and climate
    g. Distribution and redistribution of precipitation: possible causes
    h. Pressure cells and storms
    i. Gradual and/or rapid climate change and the relevance of glacial ice core studies
    j. Causes of climate change in the past and the consequences on life
    k. Human impact on the atmosphere
    l. Weather and climate in urbane and adjacent rural areas
    m. The ozone and methane problem: cause and effect
    n. Global warming and cooling
  • The Oceans
    a. Origin, composition and structure
    b. Rift zones and life without sun
    c. Complex circulatory systems and the relationships to the location of the land masses
    d. Resources from the sea: minerals and life
    e. Human impact on the oceans
  • The Land
    a. Origin and age of the continents
    b. Building continental mass
    c. Composition and structure
    d. Plate tectonics
    e. Economically important minerals, rocks and compounds
    f. Ore extraction methods: past, present, and future
    g. Soils and soil formation
    h. The hydrologic cycle, ground water, and aquifers
    i. Human impacts on the surfaces, and sub-surfaces
    j. Soil and water pollution
    k. Weathering, mass wasting, and mass movements
    l. Natural and unnatural hazards (earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes)

  • Syllabi Listing See ALL Quarters
    There are no syllabi listed at this time
    Year Quarter

    Two Year Projected Schedule

    Year One* Year Two**

    *If fall quarter starts on an odd year (2003, 2005, etc.), it's Year One.
    If fall quarter starts on an even year (2002, 2004, etc.), it's Year Two.