Geology and the Environment :
Internal Earth Processes
Geology 1063
Course Schedule | Course Objectives | Learning Outcomes | Marking Scheme

Instructor: Dr. Nancy Van Wagoner
Office: Huggins Science Hall, room 305 and Perry House, 42 University Avenue
Phone: 585-1590 (Geology Office)
             585-1435 (Continuing Education Office)
Fax: 585-1068
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-3.00 PM and by appointment.
Class meets: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:00-4:30 PM
Location: HSH 10

Information Resources:
Required text:
Geology and the Environment, 2nd Edition, by B. W. Pipkin and D. D. Trent 1
As well as assigned articles, websites, and videos

Geology is the study of Earth. 
Environmental Geology focuses on the relationship between humans and their Earth environment. It is the study of human interaction with the land, with all its sociological, economic and political ramifications.(1)
This course concentrates on the relationship between people and internal Earth processes such as, earthquakes and volcanoes, geologic structures, plate tectonics, the evolution of mountains and ocean basins, the concept of geologic time, rocks, minerals, and mineral resources.

Course Schedule 
Text Reading
January 5,7 Unit 1: Introduction to the Course and the Earth overview Chap. 1: 
pg. 1-21
January 12 Unit 2: 
Chap. 10: 
Chap. 6: 
pg. 153-160
Unit 3: 
Soils: Classification, Erosion and Protection
Chap. 6: 
Pg. 160-181
January 19, 21  Unit 4: 
Landslides and Mass Wasting
Chap. 7: Mass Wasting  
January 26, 28 Unit 4 continued: 
Case Histories: Slopes that have failed, and the lives that were lost
February 2, 4 Unit 5: 
The Water Cycle, and how streams work
Chap. 9:  Rivers  
February 9 Test 1      
February 11 Unit 5 continued: 
Case Histories: Floods and Dams 
Groundwater and Fresh Water Resources
   Flood Probability  
February 16 Unit 6: 
Groundwater Depletion and Pollution, Subsidence, Caves and Caving
Chap. 8: Groundwater   
February 18 Unit 7: 
Glaciers, Glaciation and Climate Change
pg. 322-323 
pg. 331-343
February 22-26 Study Break      
March 2, 4 Unit 8: 
Deserts, Distribution of Deserts and Desertification
pg. 324-331 Deserts   
March 9 Unit 9: 
Oceans and Ocean Currents
Chap. 11: Oceans   
March 11 Unit 9 continued: 
Coastal Processes: 
Tide, Currents, and Waves 
Coastal Environments
March 16 Unit 9 continued: 
Human Impact on Coastal Environments
March 18 Test 2      
March 23 Unit 10: 
The Atmosphere and its Geologic History 
The Ozone Layer
pg. 344-358 Global Climate and 
Human Impact
March 25 Unit 11: 
Energy Resources
pg. 364-382    
April 1 Unit 11 continued: 
Alternatives to Fossil Fuels
pg. 383-406    
April 6 Unit 12: 
Managing Waste 
Case Histores
Chap. 15:    
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Geology 1043/63 

Objectives and Learning Outcomes


1. To give you the tools to become a better steward of Earth, and a more constructive manager of the land and its population.
2. To be educated enough to know the right questions to ask when faced with environmental issues.
3. To learn to access information and tell the difference between reliable and unreliable information.
4. To depict the role of Geologists in today's society.
5. To present knowledge that will be useful for life, whether forming opinions on environmental issues, selecting a home site or other property, evaluating a business, or appreciating and understanding your surroundings.
6. To sharpen your observational skills and expand your horizons by introducing you to the complexities of geologic systems and processes, and developing your ability to "see" in three dimensions.
7. To prepare you to consider many environmental issues facing society, such as resource utilization, water use and conservation, and land-use planning.

Learning Outcomes

1. A perspective of Earth in the Universe and the Solar System.
2. A knowledge of the structure and composition of Earth from the inside out.
3. Understanding of the terrestrial foundation on which societies are built.
4. A general understanding of Earth systems, processes, and the multivariate character of nature.
5. An understanding of the vastness of geologic time, and the varying rates of geologic processes.
6. An understanding of the range of scales of geologic problems, from the global to the microscopic.
7. Appreciation that Earth resources are limited and Earth has a limited capacity to sustain life.
8. A better appreciation of Earth's beauty.

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Marking Scheme (Preliminary)
My Score
Mass Wasting
Flood Probability
Global Climate and Human Impact
Test 1
Test 2
Final Exam
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A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step 

Question?? Email Dr. Van Wagoner

Copyright 1998 Dr. Nancy VanWagoner
webmaster: Kevin. Deveau
last updated: 5th Jan. 1999