Course Content and Outcome Guide for GS 106
- Posted by:
- Eriks Puris
- Course Number:
- GS 106
- Course Title:
- Physical Science (Geology)
- Credit Hours:
- Lecture hours:
- Lecture/Lab hours:
- Lab hours:
- Special Fee:
Course DescriptionCovers minerals, rocks, volcanism, earthquakes, plate tectonics, erosion and deposition by wind, glaciers and streams, weathering, fossils and geologic history. Includes weekly lab. Prerequisite: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 65 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.
Addendum to Course Description
- Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. A scientific theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
- “Creation science,” also known as scientific creationism, is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F.2d 1004).
- Geology instructors at Portland Community College will teach the generally accepted basic geologic principles (such as geologic time and the theory of evolution) not as absolute truth, but as the most widely accepted explanation for our observations of the world around us. Instructors will not teach that “creation science” is anything other than pseudoscience.
- Because "creation science", "scientific creationism", and "intelligent design" are essentially religious doctrines that are at odds with open scientific inquiry, the Geology/General Sciences SAC at Portland Community College stands with such organizations such as the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, and the American Geological Institute in excluding these doctrines from our science curriculum.
- Students are expected to be able to read and comprehend college-level science texts and perform basic mathematical operations to successfully complete this course.
Lab B Notes: The lab for this course has been approved as "Lab B". This means that Faculty effort in preparation and evaluation generally occurs outside of scheduled class hours. Class format is a combination of Faculty lectures and demonstrations, guided student interactions and supervised student application of lectures. Students produce written work such as lab notebooks, reports, and responses in writing to assigned questions, and the Instructor is expected to comment on and grade this written work outside of schedule class hours. This evaluation will take place on a regular basis throughout the term.
Intended Outcomes for the course
A student who successfully completes this course should be able to:
- Use an understanding of the rock cycle, plate tectonics and surface processes to explain how the Earth’s surface wears away and is renewed.
- Use an understanding of geologic dating methods and the interpretation of geologic deposits to explain how geologists reconstruct the history of the Earth.
- Access earth science information from a variety of sources, evaluate the quality of this information, and compare this information with current models of geologic processes identifying areas of congruence and discrepancy.
- Make field and laboratory based observations and measurements of earth materials and landscapes, use scientific reasoning to interpret these observations and measurements, and compare the results with current models of geologic processes identifying areas of congruence and discrepancy.
- Use scientifically valid modes of inquiry, individually and collaboratively, to critically evaluate the hazards and risks posed by geologic processes both to themselves and society as a whole, evaluate the efficacy of possible ethically robust responses to these risks, and effectively communicate the results of this analysis to their peers.
- Assess the contributions of geology to our evolving understanding of global change and sustainability while placing the development of geology in its historical and cultural context.
Course Activities and Design
Outcome Assessment Strategies
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
(NOTE: the topics may be chosen in any order by the instructor)
- Explain rock and mineral classification and identification
- Explain how these materials form and how they are related to each other
- Describe the major types of landscapes that make up the earth’s surface and how they are formed
- Describe the earth’s internal structure and the processes shaping it
- Explain the relationship between the processes that shape landscapes and those that shape internal structure.
- Explain the relationship between the processes that shape landscapes and structure and those that form crustal materials
- Explain how geologic histories are constructed
- Identify the major parts of and events in the geologic calendar
- Discuss the personal and societal relevance of these topics
Minerals – Properties, classification, and chemistry
Igneous rocks – Identification and classification
Magmas and magmatic cooling – Volcanism and intrusion
Sediments and weathering
Sedimentary rocks– Identification and classification
Metamorphic rocks – Identification and classification
Metamorphism- settings and processes
Global topography and structure
Topographic and geologic maps
Mass wasting and related landscapes
Streams and related landscapes
Glacial systems and related landscapes
Groundwater systems and related landscapes
Crustal deformation and related structures (folds and faults)
Earthquakes and plate tectonics
Fossils and stratigraphy
Relative and absolute dating techniques
Geologic time scale; major events in Earth history