SC-220-Introduction-to-Geology

Course Description:
This course provides an introduction to the natural and physical environment: landscape, rocks and minerals, rivers, volcanism, earthquakes, and other processes inside the earth.

  • Prerequisite Courses: ESL 089

A. PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (PLOS):
The student will be able to:

  1. Define and explain scientific concepts, principles and theories of science.
  2. Perform experiments that use scientific methods as part of the inquiry process.

B. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOS) - GENERAL
The student will be able to:

  1. Describe the main concepts of geology, why we should study it and why it is important in the modern world.
  2. Describe the structure of the earth, earth systems and earth’s cycles.
  3. Describe the composition of the earth including earth chemistry, minerals, rocks and the rock cycle.
  4. Identify and classify minerals and rocks from samples.
  5. Describe earth’s available resources such as minerals, renewable energy, and nonrenewable energy and discuss conservation issues.
  6. Describe the rock record.
  7. Describe geological time.
  8. Explain the dynamics of the earth including plate tectonics, deformation of the crust, earthquakes and volcanoes.
  9. Describe processes that re-shape the crust of the earth such as weathering and erosion, rivers, groundwater and glaciers.
  10. Describe the geology of Micronesia and the formation of the islands.

SLO

PLO 1

PLO 2

1

IDM

 

2

IDM

 

3

ID

I

4

ID

ID

5

I

 

6

I

ID

7

I

ID

8

IDM

 

9

ID

 

10

I

ID

I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

C. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOS) – SPECIFIC
The student will be able to:

General SLO 1: Describe the main concepts of geology, why we should study it, and why it is important in the modern world.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

1.1 Outline the applications of geology in the modern world.

Oral presentation scored with a rubric.

1.2 Describe the history of geology.

Written assignment scored with a rubric.

1.3 List and describe the different branches of geology such as geophysics, field geology, sedimentology, volcanism, engineering, seismology, paleontology etc. and describe what each entails.

Written research report on different employment opportunities within the field of geology and decide which one they would be interested in following. Scored with a rubric.

General SLO 2: Describe the structure of the earth, earth systems and earth’s cycles.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

2.1 Draw and fully label the structure of the earth and recall the function of each part of the earth from the core to the crust.

Quiz

2.2 Name and describe open and closed earth systems.

Quiz.

2.3 Name, describe, draw and fully label earth’s cycles (carbon, water, nitrogen and the phosphorus cycle).

Quiz.

General SLO 3: Describe the composition of the earth including earth chemistry, minerals, rocks and the rock cycle.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

3.1 Describe the general composition of the earth e.g., what is the earth made of by outlining common minerals and rocks from the core to the crust of the earth.

Quiz and written assignments (scored with rubric).

3.2 Demonstrate and understanding of earth chemistry by defining and discussing the following terms: matter, elements, atoms, protons, electrons, neutron, isotopes, compounds, molecules, ion, bonding and mixtures.

Oral presentation (scored with rubric) and quiz.

3.3 Draw, label and explain the rock cycle.

Quiz and practical assessment where students will use the rock cycle to describe how a rock sample has been formed.

General SLO 4: Identify and classify minerals and rocks from samples.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

4.1 Identify and classify the basic sedimentary rocks.

Students will able to identify a mystery rock sample using classification techniques.

4.2 Identify and classify the basic metamorphic rocks.

Students will able to identify a mystery rock sample using classification techniques.

4.3 Identify and classify the basic igneous rocks

Students will able to identify a mystery rock sample using classification techniques.

4.4 Identify and classify some basic fossils

Students will able to identify a mystery rock sample using classification techniques.

General SLO 5. Describe earth’s available resources such as minerals, renewable energy, and nonrenewable energy and discuss conservation issues.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

5.1 Describe the following energy resources: minerals, renewable energy, and nonrenewable energy.

Oral presentation (scored with rubric), written assignments (scored with rubric) and quiz.

5.2 Outline and discuss the following conservation issues: Climate change/global warming and sea level rise.

Oral presentation (scored with rubric), written assignments (scored with rubric) and quiz.

General SLO 6. Describe the rock record.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

6.1 Define and elaborate upon the meaning of uniformitarianism.

Written assignments (scored with rubric)

6.2 Cite and define the law of superposition.

Written assignments (scored with rubric)

6.3 List and describe the following types of unconformities: nonconformity, angular conformity and disconformities.

Written assignments (scored with rubric)

General SLO 7: Describe geological time.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

7.1 Describe and the following techniques used for dating rocks: varves, radiometric dating and carbon dating.

Quiz, creating a poster to explain a chosen form of dating and calculating half life (scored with a rubric).

7.2 List, define and describe the following geological era’s: Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic,

Quiz and written assignment (scored with a rubric) using a case study.

7.3 Describe evolution and mass extinction.

Quiz, written assignments and poster presentation (scored with a rubric).

General SLO 8: Explain the dynamics of the earth including plate tectonics, deformation of the crust, earth quakes and volcanoes.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

8.1 Describe the following concepts: plate tectonics including Wegner's Hypothesis, seafloor spreading, continental drift, paleomagnetism, supercontinent cycle and mid ocean ridges.

Quiz Written assignments, poster presentations and oral assessments (all scored with a rubric)

8.2 Outline the general processes involved in deformation of the crust and define the following terms: deformation, isostasy, stress, strain, folds and faults.

Quiz

8.3 Describe the following: how earthquakes happen, elastic rebound, seismic waves, fault zones and tsunamis.

Quiz, research based reports on recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, written assignments on the history of earthquakes/tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in the pacific islands and case studies of volcanic eruptions in Hawaii. (written assignment scored with a rubric)

8.4 Describe the following: formation of magma, volcanic zones, subduction zones, mid ocean ridges, hotspots, intrusive activity, types of eruptions (quiet and explosive), lava flows, pyroclastics and types of volcanoes.

Quiz, research based reports on recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, written assignments on the history of earthquakes/tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in the pacific islands and case studies of volcanic eruptions in Hawaii. (written assignment scored with a rubric)

General SLO 9: Describe processes that re-shape the crust of the earth such as weathering and erosion, rivers, groundwater and glaciers.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

9.1 Define the following weathering processes: Biological, physical and chemical weathering.
9.2 Outline rates of weathering processes.
9.3 State ways in which rivers erode and shape the earth.

Quiz, case study based reports, written assignments and oral presentations. (rubrics used for scoring)

9.4 Explain the main concepts of groundwater including porosity vs. permeability, aquifers and the water table.
9.5 Discuss the processes of glacial erosion by defining basal slip and internal plastic flow and defining the following landforms glacial erosion creates: cirques, arêtes, erratics, glacial drift, till, moraine, kettles and eskers.

Quiz, case study based reports, written assignments and oral presentations.. (rubrics used for scoring)

General SLO 10: Describe the geology of Micronesia and the formation of the islands.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

10.1 Explain and describe the formation of atolls, volcanic islands, low limestone islands and raised limestone islands.

Quiz

10.2 Outline the geology of these 4 types of islands.

Quiz and written assignments (scored with a rubric).

10.3 Describe in detail the geology of Pohnpei.

Poster presentation showing the geology and formation of Pohnpei (scored with a rubric).

D. COURSE CONTENT

  1. Introduction to Chemistry
    1. What is Geology
    2. Why Study Geology
    3. Why is Geology Important?
    4. What are the different fields of geology?
  2. Earth Basics
    1. Structure of the earth
    2. Earth System
    3. Earth Cycles
  3. Composition of the earth
    1. Earth chemistry
    2. Minerals
    3. Rocks(igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary)
    4. The Rock cycle
  4. Earth Resources
    1. Minerals
    2. Renewable Resources
    3. Non Renewable Resources
    4. Resources and conservation
  5. Rock Record
  6. Geological time
  7. Dynamic Earth
    1. Plate Tectonics
    2. Deformation of the earth’s crust.
    3. Earthquakes
    4. Volcanoes
  8. Reshaping the crust
    1. Weathering and erosion
    2. Rivers
    3. Groundwater
    4. Glaciers
  9. Formation of the Micronesian islands
  10. Geology of Pohnpei
E. METHODS OF INSTRUCTION

Lecture, class discussion, oral presentation, “hands-on” practicals and audio-visual material.


F. REQUIRED TEXT AND MATERIALS

Tarbuck, E.J, Lutgens, F.K and Tasa, D (2010). Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology. New Jersey, NY: Prentice Hall (or most recent edition).


G. REFERENCE MATERIALS
Allison, Degaetano and Pasachoff (2008). Earth Science. Austin: Harcourt Education Company (or most recent edition).
Waugh, D (2002). Geography: An Integrated Approach (3rd Ed.). United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes (or most recent edition).
Moshe Rapaport, (1999). The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society. Bess Press (or most recent edition).

H. INSTRUCTIONAL COST
None

I. EVALUATION
None

J. CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
None

 

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