GLG 102IN - Historical Geology [SUN# GLG 1102] 4 Credits, 6 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 3 lab periods
Introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological history of the Earth, including hands-on identification and classification of major fossil groups according to their phyla, ages, and ecosystems. Includes scientific measurements, maps, scientific method, history of historical geology (Uniformitarianism, Catastrophism); identification and interpretation of rocks and sedimentary textures, environments, and structures; geologic time, the evolution of life, planetary evolution, plate tectonics, evolution of the Earth’s surface (including the physical environments, resources, and life of the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic); and human evolution and human impacts. Also includes a field trip to observe rocks and structures and interpret geologic history and fossils in a natural outdoor setting.
Gen-Ed: Meets AGEC - SCI; Meets CTE - M&S.
Course Learning Outcomes
- Utilize scientific methods to formulate and answer questions.
- Describe major concepts in historical geology, radiometric dating techniques, and the organization of the geologic timescale.
- Describe the formation and evolution of life on earth through identification and classification of major fossil groups.
- Describe plate tectonics, associated phenomena, its role in the evolution of Earth’s surface, the formation of geologic resources, and the evolution of life.
- Explain the necessary conditions and processes involved in the formation of igneous, metamorphic, and (especially) sedimentary rocks.
- Observe and interpret geologic formations in a natural, outdoor setting.
- Perform activities to demonstrate improvement in the general education goals of communication and critical thinking.
- Demonstrate the ability to measure mass, length, and volume in metrics using appropriate scientific measurement tools.
- Use and interpret geologic maps and cross-sections.
- Use the scientific method and appropriate analytic and synthesis skills to evaluate rock composition, texture, and structures in order to interpret geologic processes and related biological processes.
- Discuss development of major concepts in historical geology, including modern positions on “Uniformitarianism” and “Catastrophism”.
- Describe the scope of geologic time, including major subdivisions of eras and periods, relative dating using fossils, and the nature of geochronometric measurements.
- Recognize the characteristics of the major rock types and their constituent minerals, with an emphasis on sedimentary rocks and structures.
- Describe the principles of plate tectonics, giving examples of plate interactions that create various mountain building episodes, unconformities, advances of shallow seas, and recurring Ice Ages throughout Earth’s history.
- Explain scientific theories of the origin of life and the evolution of organisms, including the major trends through geologic time.
- Describe the physical evolution of the universe, galaxy, solar system, and planets, especially the Earth.
- Describe the physical, chemical, and biological evolution of the Earth’s surface, considering the interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.
- Understand the contribution of plate tectonics to the interpretation of geologic processes, mountain building, climate, and the geologic history of North America.
- Describe life on earth, including its geologic history, classification, evolution, and evolutionary relationships.
- Relate the occurrence of natural resources to the geologic history of the Earth
- Identify and classify the major fossil groups according to their ages and ecosystems using hands-on field methods and references.
- Discuss the evolution and impacts of humans with respect to the geologic history of the earth
- Observe geologic and paleontologic evidence and interpret the geologic history of surface and subsurface earth processes in a natural, outdoor setting.
- Scientific Measurements, Maps and the Scientific Method
- Maps on a sphere (Earth)
- Metric measurements and conversion factors
- The scientific method
- Introduction to Historical Geology
- Development of early geologic concepts (superposition, uniformitarianism & catastrophism)
- Geologic time
- Radiometric age dating
- Fossils, a potential record of time and place
- Geologic evidence for interpreting Earth history
- Rock and mineral identification
- Sedimentary textures and structures
- Geologic maps
- Plate Tectonics
- Development of theory from continental drift to sea-floor spreading
- Evidence supporting plate tectonics
- Plate tectonic processes (divergence, convergence, and transform)
- Precambrian - Archean
- The formation of the universe, galaxy, solar system and planets
- Formation of Earth and Moon
- Early chemical and thermal evolution of Earth
- Origin and evolution of atmosphere and hydrosphere
- Evidence of early crust formation and oldest dated crustal rocks –from cratons
- Early continents and ocean basins
- Prokaryotes (± 4 bya to present) and oldest fossils (3.5 bya)
- Natural resources, such as gold, uranium, and diamond deposits, formed in Archean
- Mountain building episodes
- Eukaryotes (± 2.7 bya to present) and oldest eukaryotic fossils (1.2 bya)
- Ocean basins and epeiric seas
- Ice Age
- Great Unconformity
- Natural resources, such as iron and other metal deposits, formed in Proterozoic
- Plate tectonic examples of convergence and divergence of continents
- Cratonic sequences (onlap and offlap of shallow seas onto cratons)
- Invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds
- Land plants, conifers, and flowering plants
- Ice Age
- Major extinction event
- Natural resources, such as coal, oil, and iron, formed in Paleozoic
- Plate tectonic example of Atlantic sea-floor spreading
- Evolution of dinosaurs
- Evolution of conifers and flowering plants
- Extinction event
- Natural resources, such as uranium, copper, coal, and limestone, formed in Mesozoic
- Plate tectonic example of mountain-building episodes
- Evolution of mammals
- Pleistocene glaciation and human evolution
- Natural resources, such as copper, coal, oil, sand, and gravel, formed in Cenozoic
- Organic Evolution
- Historic development of the theory of evolution
- Evidence from the fossil record
- Evidence from genetics
- Organic evolution of the species is a fact
- Identification of major fossil phyla (trilobites, cnidaria, bryozoa, brachiopods, mollusks, echinoderms, protozoans, plants, and vertebrates) and trends through geologic time
- Interpretations of Earth history and trends
- Global warming / global cooling cycles
- Human population expansion
- Consumption of nonrenewable natural resources and fossil fuels
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