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Historical Geology (GEOL 1101)

Total Credits: 4
Lecture Credits: 3
Lab Credits: 1

Description: This course serves as an introduction to the general principles and processes of geology with an emphasis on the study of geologic time (absolute and relative), and the correlation of geologic time with the rock record, past life forms and geographies. You will learn about the formation of our planet within the context of the solar system, as well as the evolution of our Earth's surface and the life forms which inhabit it. You will explore the cycles our planet experiences, which seemingly control its destiny. You will also become familiar with the general principles and techniques of sedimentary rock, mineral and fossil identification. You will examine sedimentary environments, tectonic settings and age relations. A field trip is required as part of the course. This course includes two hours of required lab per week.

Topical Outline:
1. Applying the scientific method to earth history, cycles, for example climate change
2. Principles of the analysis of strata in the context of sedimentary environments
3. Evolution and the fossil record and cycles of mass extinction
4. Fossil identification and fossils as indicators of age, environment and organism behavior
5. Sedimentary rock identification and ancient sedimentary environments
6. Major tectonic settings in earth history including analysis of Minnehaha falls

Learning Outcomes:
1. Understand the components of earth system history and appreciate the evolution of life including extinction, climate change and the role humans play in these aspects
2. Demonstrate knowledge of and explain scientific theories
3. Differentiate between relative vs. actual time with dating
4. Understand the kingdoms of life, ecologies, and fossils and ancient life from it inception to today and into the future
5. Articulate what might be done to address human impact on species, the climate and the environment
6. Identify sedimentary rock and fossils in the context of ancient sedimentary environments and tectonic settings

Prerequisites:  Placement into READ 1300 or completion of READ 0200 or ESOL 0052

  • Goal 3
  • Goal 10