Geology 481


Catalog Entry

GEOL 481. Seminar in Modern Topics in Geology. (1-3)
One to three hours classroom lecture and/or field instruction.

Prerequisite: GEOL 105 and GEOL 100 or GEOL 106 and permission of instructor.

Emphasis on geologic literature, classroom presentation, and group discussion of current geologic topics and/or on-site study of classic geological localities. May be taken maximum for no more than nine semester hours of credit. Topic may not be repeated by a student.


Detailed Description of Content of Course
The content of the course or location of the field experience will vary each time the course is offered during four-year period.  After that period, topics or field localities may be repeated.  Past topics have included mineral studies using the x-ray diffractometer, enhancement of professional writing and speaking skills, and planetary geology.

A selected, but by no means complete, list of general areas of geology from which more detailed topics may be selected for the seminar course is as follows:
1.     Plate Tectonics
2.     Planetary Geology
3.     Birth and Development of the Geological Sciences
4.     Geologic Hazards
5.     Origin and History of Life
6.     Remote Sensing
7.     Paleoclimates
8.     Chemical Evolution of the Earth
9.     Geomedical Research
10.    The Geology of Classic Geological Localities


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The conduct of the course will vary with each topic. Seminars generally attempt to be interactive learning experiences, emphasizing student research, classroom discussion, and preparation of lab/field reports or research papers.


Goals and Objectives of Course
Specific student outcomes will vary with the subject matter each time the course is offered. The general goals include:
-     students will demonstrate a mastery of knowledge concerning a topic of current interest in geology that is not covered extensively in the regular curriculum.
-     students will show skills in the use of the geologic literature, in the writing of a proper scientific report, and in the oral discussion of a particular topic.


Assessment Measures
The professor teaching the seminar course is responsible for evaluating the performance of the student. Exact measures will vary according to the professor and chosen topic. General assessment measures might include:
-     graded exercises concerning use of equipment or identification and analysis of geologic materials
-     examinations measuring student understanding and synthesis of the course content
-    written reports and/or oral presentations discussing data and conclusions concerning the topic of study


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
Date             Action                 Approved By    
September 10, 2001    Reviewed and Approved    Stephen W. Lenhart, Chair
August 17, 2005    Reviewed and Updated    Stephen W. Lenhart, Chair
November 5, 2009    Reviewed and Updated    Chester F. Watts, Head