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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: GEOL 110
Course Title: Introduction to Physical Geology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: An introduction to earth's materials, geophysical processes acting on them and the resulting landforms and landscapes. G.E. Offered even Fall.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Textbooks listed are not necessarily the textbooks used in the course.

Earth: An Introduction to Geologic Change
By Judson, Sheldon and Richardson (Prentice Hall)
Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology
By Tarbuck, Lutgens and Tasa (Prentice Hall)
Geology Today: Understanding Our Planet
By Murck and Skinner (John Wiley and Sons)
By Chernicoff, Stanley, and Whitney, Donna (Prentice Hall)
Essentials of Geology
By Marshak, Stephen (W.W. Norton)
Course Objectives
  • To evaluate the types, formation and changes of major terrestrial surface materials (minerals, rocks, soils).
  • To provide an overview of Earth’s major surface features and how they change.
  • To relate landforms and landscapes to geologic processes.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain the scientific method and discuss its application in the geologic sciences.
  • Describe the origin of the solar system, its planets and other features.
  • Explain the molecular basis of minerals, the classification of minerals and their properties.
  • Explain the formation of different rock types and their place in the rock cycle.
  • Evaluate Plate Tectonics Theory, the evidence supporting it and the resulting surface features and geologic structures.
  • Relate the causes and locations of volcanoes and earthquakes to tectonic processes.
  • Describe the major processes of denudation and relate them to tectonics and the rock cycle.
  • Discuss the major erosional/depositional agents and the landforms they generate.
  • Review the major geologic regions of the United States and North America.
    Topical Outline:
  • Planet Earth
  • Minerals
  • Rocks and the rock cycle
  • Geologic resources and soils
  • Continental drift and plate tectonics
  • Deformation and geologic structures
  • Earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Weathering and denudation
  • Erosional/depositional processes and landforms

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Frank Somer Date: August 27, 2014
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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