Geology 106

GEOL 106 The Earth through Time

GEOL 106

Catalog Entry
GEOL 106. The Earth Through Time (4)
Two hours lecture; Six hours laboratory.
Prerequisite: GEOL 105

Examines the historical aspects of geology, including the history of the physical events and life during the planet's evolution. GEOL 106 will satisfy the College Core B laboratory science requirement. – Physical and Natural Sciences.

Detailed Description of Content of Course
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of historical geology, which is that aspect of geology that deals with the origin and evolution of the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The study of historical geology involves investigations of cosmology, stratigraphy, paleontology, geochronology, paleoenvironments, structural geology and plate tectonics. Topics addressed in this course include, but are not limited to:
1.    The description and historical significance of sedimentary rocks
2.    Stratigraphic terminology and stratigraphic maps
3.    Organic evolution
4.    Taxonomy
5.    The fossil record
6.    Geologic time and the geologic time scale
7.    Planetary beginnings
8.    Development of the earth's major features
        a.    Lithosphere
        b.    Hydrosphere
        c.    Atmosphere
        d.    Biosphere
9.    Plate tectonics
10.  Overview of geologic history
        a.    The Cryptozoic Eon
        b.    The Early Paleozoic Era
        c.    The Late Paleozoic Era
        d.    The Mesozoic Era
        e.    The Cenozoic Era

The laboratory portion of this course is designed to supplement and complement the lecture portion of this course by giving students practical experience in identifying rocks and fossils, investigating geologic time and stratigraphy, and examining geologic maps. In addition to in-class exercises, field trips may be taken. The content of the laboratory portion of the course consists of exercises that investigate the following:
1.    Rates of geologic processes
2.    Geologic time
3.    Rocks
4.    Ordering geologic events
5.    Stratigraphic correlation and geologic cross-sections
6.    Fossil identification
7.    Paleogeographic, isopachous, structural and geologic maps

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
Lectures, demonstrations, audio/video presentations, classroom discussions, laboratory exercises and reading assignments will be used.


Goals and Objectives of Course
Goal 6: Students will understand the methodologies of scientific inquiry; think critically about scientific issues and understand that the results of scientific research can be critically interpreted; participate in informed discussions of scientific issues; and describe the natural/physical world within the context of a specific scientific discipline.

Students will be able to:
a.    Distinguish between findings that are based upon empirical data and those that are not;
b.    Apply scientific principles within the context of a specific scientific discipline to solve real world problems

After successfully completing the course, students will be able to:
1.    Students will become acquainted with the scientific method as it applies to geology.
2.    Students will gain a fundamental knowledge of the natural history of the earth and the life it supports by examining various aspects of cosmology, the origin        and development of the solar system and earth, stratigraphic principles, paleontology, organic evolution, geologic time, plate tectonics, and geologic history        with emphasis on North America.
3.    Students will apply knowledge gained in lecture to practical problems in the laboratory.
4.    Students will demonstrate skills in identifying rocks and fossils, reading and interpreting topographic and geologic maps, calculating the rates of geologic            processes, and performing stratigraphic correlation.
5.    Geology majors will obtain the background knowledge they will need for their upper level geology courses.

E.     Assessment Measures
Lecture exams and a final examination will be used to assess the students' knowledge of geologic history. Laboratory exercises and practical examinations will be used to assess the students' skills in reading topographic maps, identifying fossils and analyzing geologic conditions, and their knowledge of geologic time, rates of geologic processes, and the use of stratigraphic principles in interpreting geologic maps. A final geological report will be required at the end of their semester-long geological project.


Other Course Information
GEOL 106 is a required course for a major and minor in geology.  Geology 106 partially fulfills the core curriculum requirement in laboratory science.

Approval and Subsequent Reviews

September 10, 2001    Reviewed and Approved    Stephen W. Lenhart, Chair

November 8, 2011    Reviewed and Updated    Chester W. Watts

June 20, 2016