Instructor: Various
Terms Taught: Fall, Summer I
Credits: 3

Course Description
This is an introductory course in Geology that covers solid Earth Physical Geology and basic Historical Geology. The course is designed for Earth Science and Environmental Science majors and minors as well as non-science majors. The course covers a variety of topics in introductory format as bases for advanced courses in Earth Sciences or as a terminal level for non-science majors. The basic learning goals for the course are for students to understand the general processes of how the Earth operates today and how it has operated in the past. Students should be able to understand the current events that involve Earth Science such as natural disasters and natural resources but also appreciate the local geology of New Jersey and how it impacts their lives.
Prerequisite: none

Learning Objectives
• Understand the basic architecture of the Earth
• Be able to classify basic mineral types
• Be able to classify basic rock types including igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary
• Understand how rocks melt and crystallize or harden
• Be able to classify faults and folded strata
• Understand basic geophysics including seismology, gravity and magnetic
• Be able to identify the hazards of earthquakes and volcanoes
• Understand how plate tectonics operate
• Be able to identify the plate margins and geology of each
• Understand and apply the methods for timing of geologic events
• Understand the basic controls on the evolution of life
• Appreciate the history of the Earth and life since the formation of the planet

Text: Textbook and clicker for this class available from the New Jersey Bookstore and Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bradley Hall

• Selected Chapters from “Physical Geology 9th Ed” and “Evolution of the Earth 8th Ed” , by Carlson, Plummer, Hammersley, Prothero and Dott. ISBN number is 13: 978-0-07-746759-3

ResponseCard QT2 clicker: with 12-month subscription. You will need to register your Response Card clicker Device ID by the second week of classes through our class on Canvas. This is mandatory - BRING IT TO EVERY CLASS!

Assignments and grading: You will be graded on the following [% of total grade shown]: 20% quizzes and attendance, 2 exams (25% each), and a final exam (30%). Attendance is mandatory.

Make up policy: Mid-terms & final exam: you must have an exceptional circumstance to qualify for a make-up exam. You will only be granted a make-up if you see me prior to the exam. No post-exam makeup requests will be granted.

Pop quizzes: conducted in class and do not qualify for make-up

Learning Resources: McGraw-Hill maintains a very good student webpage supporting the Physical geology text. It contains online quizzes and internet links to additional readings, guest essays and internet sites of interest. I highly recommend that you make use of this site to help with learning.

WEEK                                        TOPICS                                                                              READING

 1                 From Physical Geology by Carlson et al.                                          Ch. 1

                   1 Introduction: Planet Earth (course, origin, plate tectonics)

                    PART I: EARTH MATERIALS

1-2              Minerals: Chemistry and Form (classification, properties)                      Ch. 9


2-3             Igneous Rocks (classification, plutonic, volcanic)                                       Ch. 10 & 11

3                 Sedimentary Rocks (classification, occurrence)                                           Ch. 14

3-4             Sedimentary Structures (types, processes, environments)                        Ch. 14

4                 Metamorphic Rocks (classification, occurrence)                                         Ch. 15


4                 Review

5-6             Deformation of the Earth (structural geology)                                              Ch. 6

5-6              EXAM # 1

6                 Earthquakes and Deformation (faults, waves)                                               Ch. 7

7                 Geophysics and Earth's Interior (gravity, magnetics, seismic)                   Ch. 2

7-9             PLATE TECTONICS                                                                                             Ch. 4

7                 Introduction, Divergent Margins (processes, examples)                              Ch. 4

8                Convergent Margins (types, processes, examples)                                         Ch. 4

8-9             Strike-Slip Margins (types, processes, examples)                                          Ch. 4

9                 Review

10-11          EXAM # 2


                   From Evolution of the Earth by Prothero & Dott

10               Geologic Time (relative, absolute, time scale)                                                   Ch. 8

11                Fossils and Evolution (Darwin, genetics)                                                           Ch. 3

11-12          Precambrian (solar system, life, earth)                                                               Ch. 8 & 9

12-13         Paleozoic (life, earth)                                                                                               Ch. 10-11-12-13

13              Mesozoic (life, earth)                                                                                                Ch. 14

14              Cenozoic (life, earth)                                                                                                 Ch. 15

14              Anthropocene (life, earth)

14              Review

                  EXAM # 3