Skip To Content


Ended Dec 10, 2016

Full course description


Geology is the core discipline of the earth sciences and encompasses many different phenomena, including plate tectonics & mountain building, formation of volcanoes, earthquakes, landscape formation, earth history, and carbon cycling. Because of the ever-increasing demand for commodities and the changing climate, geology is of considerable societal relevance. This course introduces students to the basics of geology. Through a combination of lectures, labs, and field observations, we will address topics ranging from formation of the elements, mineral and rock identification, and geological mapping to plate tectonics, erosion and climate engineering. The course is designed to be accessible to students from all disciplines. No geology background is assumed.

To be successful in this course, plan to spend some time navigating through the course site before you begin the first unit of content. Follow the guidance given in each unit. It is your responsibility to communicate with your peers and your instructor, to keep up with the materials, and to be prepared to learn.

Course Outline

Each week participants will...

  • Read assigned chapter(s) in your text & watch videos found in Modules
  • Complete the practice quizzes
  • Turn in homework assignments
  • Complete field trip discussion with your group

Course Activities

Online discussions will give you additional opportunities to share what you are learning and to discuss the topics of the course. You should begin taking part in the weekly online discussion by Thursday afternoon at the latest. After your original post, you should continue to participate throughout the week. Respond with detailed commentary to at least one other student's posting. Demonstrate that you have read all prior postings. (For example, if the instructor has posted advice in the discussion on avoiding a common error, do not make that error in your posting.) As always, it is your responsibility to cite your sources of information, whether you are instructed to or not.

Each group will be required to find, document, and share some aspect of the environment. Using either a department provided Flip cam or your video camera on your mobile device, record a short video of your finding.