Earth Resources and Natural Hazards
GEOL 100. Earth Resources and Natural Hazards
Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory (4).
Examines the effects of geologic processes and hazards on human activities, the appraisal of human impact on the natural physical environment, and the geologic occurrence, availability and use of mineral and energy resources. GEOL 100 will satisfy half the general education laboratory science requirement. Students who have earned credit for GEOL 103 may not also earn credit for GEOL 100. General Education credit – Physical and Natural Sciences.
Detailed Description of Content of Course
This course gives students an overview of environmental geology, the branch of geology that deals with man's interaction with the natural physical environment. The scope of environmental geology encompasses the recognition and amelioration of three major problems that face humans. The first is naturally occurring geologic processes and hazards such as flooding, mass wasting, volcanic activity, earthquakes, coastal erosion, and health as it relates to the geologic setting. The second deals with human-induced environmental problems such as pollution, waste disposal, and engineering as it applies to natural materials and existing topography. The third involves location, use, and conservation of geologic resources such as water, soil, minerals, and energy as well as land-use planning. Topics addressed in this course include, but are not limited to:
1. The philosophical basis and fundamental concepts involved in environmental geology
2. Natural earth cycles
3. Natural hazards
a. River flooding
b. Mass movement
c. Earthquakes and related phenomena
d. Volcanic activity
e. Coastal hazards
6. Waste disposal
7. Geologic aspects of environmental health
8. Minerals, energy, and the environment
9. Land-use and decision making
The laboratory portion of this course is designed to supplement and complement the lecture portion of this course by giving students practical experience in interpreting topographic maps, examining geologic hazards, investigating the location and use of mineral, water, and soil resources, waste disposal, and land-use planning. In addition to in-class exercises, field trips may be taken. The content of the laboratory portion of the course consists of exercises that deal with the following:
1. Topographic map interpretation
2. River flooding
3. Mass wasting
5. Volcanic activity
6. Coastal hazards
7. Surface hydrology
9. Waste disposal
10. Mineral resources
11. Energy exploration
12. Landscape evaluation
13. Hazard evaluation
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
Lectures, demonstrations, case histories, audio/video presentations, classroom discussions, laboratory exercises and reading assignments will be used.
Goals and Objectives of Course
1. Students will become acquainted with the scientific method as it applies to geology.
2. Students will learn about the effect of geologic processes as natural hazards on human life and property.
3. Students will learn to assess and come to appreciate human impacts on the natural environment, including artificially produced hazards and disruption of natural systems.
4. Students will learn about the necessity of assessing the human need for and the use of natural geologic resources.
5. Students will understand the fundamental need to live and work in harmony with the natural world and to minimize environmental impacts.
6. Students will learn how to prudently evaluate landscapes for uses that match the intrinsic suitability of the land for a variety of uses, and how to manage human wastes properly.
7. Students will apply knowledge gained in lecture to practical problems in the laboratory.
8. Students will obtain the background knowledge they will need for some of their upper level geology courses.
Lecture exams, pop quizzes, and a final examination will be used to assess the students' knowledge of geologic hazards, waste management, geologic resources, and prudent landscape evaluation and utilization. Laboratory exercises and exams will be used to assess the students' skill in reading and interpreting topographic and geologic maps, in assessing geologic hazards, resources and landscape use and analyzing geologic conditions.
Other Course Information
GEOL 100 is a required course for a major and minor in geology. GEOL 100 partially fulfills the general education requirement in laboratory science.
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Approval and Subsequent Reviews
Date Action Reviewed
September 2005 Reviewed and Updated Stephen W. Lenhart, Chair