2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Introduction to Geology

Last Updated: 05/18/2009

Spring quarter

Faculty: Paul Butler geology

Faculty Signature Required: Application and interview are required. To apply, contact Paul Butler, 360-867-6722 or butlerp@evergreen.edu, or by mail to Lab II, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505 for application information. Applications are due by 5pm on Wednesday, February 18, 2009. The decision on those accepted into the program will be made prior to the Academic Fair. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.

Major areas of study include physical geology, historical geology, evolution, and quantitative reasoning; lower division, with the possibility of up to 8 credits of upper division science (see below).

Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.

Prerequisites: One quarter of college-level science.

geology (ge-ol’-o-gy) “The study of planet Earth – the materials of which it is made, the processes that act on these materials, the products formed, and the history of the planet and its life forms since its origin. Geology considers the physical forces that act on the Earth, the chemistry of its constituent materials, and the biology of its past inhabitants as revealed by fossils.” (Glossary of Geology, American Geological Institute)

This program investigates the 4.6 billion year history of Earth, and thus provides students an opportunity to explore and integrate topics in chemistry, physics, and evolutionary biology, with an in-depth study of physical and historical geology. Quantitative skill development will be fundamental to this approach.

Physical geology concentrates on geologic processes and earth materials. Historical geology focuses on the changes in Earth environments over time, especially the evolution of life. Plate tectonics is the unifying theme for building this geologic and evolutionary framework. The goal of this program is to provide students with a solid scientific basis for future work in all aspects of environmental studies.

After several weeks on campus, all participants in the program will travel to the Grand Canyon to embark on a 16-day river trip on the Colorado River. This will afford students the opportunity to visit one of the geologic wonders of the world. During our time in the field, we will have access to over 1 billion years of geologic history, and will study the processes that are currently shaping the Canyon. There will also be several one-day field trips in western Washington.

It is important that students understand the commitment that this program requires, given the cost, rigors, and time away from campus. An application and interview are required. Credits will be awarded for each of the following subject areas: physical geology, historical geology, quantitative skills for the earth sciences, and a Grand Canyon field project. Upper division science credit may be awarded for the field project, if warranted. Students that have already completed an introductory geology class will be able to earn upper division credit for independent, directed work in physical geology.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 16

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: The cost of the Grand Canyon field trip is estimated at $2000. This fee covers the river trip, including air fare and other transportation to and from the river, and one night’s lodging in Las Vegas the night before departure.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in the earth sciences and environmental studies.

Planning Units: Environmental Studies