2021-2022 Pierce College Catalog 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Pierce College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOL& 110 Environmental Geology (5 credits)

Distribution Area Fulfilled Natural Sciences with Lab; General Transfer Elective
Formerly GEOL/ENVIR 105

Course Description
A study of the interaction of humans and the Earth, with emphasis on geologic hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, and flooding; resources such as energy, water, and minerals; disposal of wastes and pollution. Appropriate for non-science and science majors. Field trip required. Labs included.

Student Outcomes
1. Describe the basic relationships between the solid earth, water, atmosphere, and life on Earth through geologic time.
2. Analyze the impact of population growth and human activities on the Earth’s systems (e.g. soil loss, water use, coastal development, natural resources)
3. Apply the scientific method and relate basic scientific concepts to geologic processes (e.g. plate tectonics or other examples.
4. Identify common rock-forming and ore minerals, and describe their importance to environmental geology.
5. Explain the rock cycle and identify important igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks; describe the importance of rocks to environmental geology.
6. Discuss important plate tectonic processes and explain how they relate to geologic hazards and resources.
7. Describe the origin, occurrence, and hazards of earthquakes; describe the difficulties in predicting earthquakes; evaluate the mitigation of earthquake hazards.
8. Analyze the relationship between magmas, volcanic styles, plate tectonics, and the occurrence of volcanic hazards; evaluate the prediction and mitigation of volcanic hazards.
9. Draw and describe the hydrologic cycle; relate stream dynamics and human land use to flood hazards; evaluate the prediction and mitigation of flooding hazards.
10. Analyze the effects of coastal processes and human development on coastal hazards and erosion; evaluate mitigation strategies.
11. Relate slope processes and human development to hazards from mass movement; evaluate preventive measures.
12. Discuss groundwater and surface water resources.
13. Relate weathering and soil formation to soil use and erosion problems.
14. Explain the geographic origin, supply, extraction techniques, impacts of extraction, and mitigation of impacts of mineral resources.
15. Discuss the geologic origin, supply, extraction techniques, impacts of extraction and use, and mitigation of impacts of energy resources. Compare the potential benefits of alternative energy sources.
16. Assess the geologic and political aspects of solid, liquid, hazardous, and radioactive waste disposal.
17. Evaluate human responsibility for sources and mitigation of water pollution.
18. Discuss the main concepts of other relevant special topics in environmental geology as determined by the instructor (such as global climate change, air pollution, medical geology, environmental law, land-use planning and engineering geology, meteorite impacts).
19. Interpret topographic maps, geologic maps, aerial photographs, and satellite imagery to understand geologic processes and solve geologic problems.
20. Critical Thinking: Integrate and analyze quantitative data and qualitative information and ideas in several contexts. Examines assumptions; integrates experience, reason, and information to draw scientific conclusions. Examples: map and photo interpretation, or evaluation of mitigation strategies for geologic hazards.
21. Effective Communication: Can appropriately communicate geologic or environmental data to an audience through reports or presentations.
22. Information Competency: Evaluate and selectively use appropriate tools and sources in order to access and manipulate geologic and environmental information including library research, the Internet, and field research.
23. Responsibility: Examine the relationship between self and the environment, evaluate potential impacts of actions,
and make choices based on that examination and evaluation.

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