2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Geological Processes: A History of Earth


Spring 2012 quarter

Abir Biswas geology, earth science, biogeochemistry , Christopher Coughenour sedimentology, geophysics
Fields of Study
environmental studies, field studies, geography, geology, natural history and sustainability studies
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography, Field Studies, Education
One quarter of either geology or biology or chemistry (or equivalent)

What are the origins of the Earth? What processes have shaped the planet’s structure over the past 4.6 billion years? Through lab and lecture, students will become familiar with how fundamental Earth materials (minerals and rocks) form and are altered by the persistent physical, chemical, and biological processes at work on our planet's surface. In this program students will study the mechanisms of changes in terrestrial and marine Earth systems and interpret geologic evidence in order to understand Earth system processes. Our approach will integrate topics in chemistry, physics, and evolutionary biology with in-depth studies of physical and historical geology. Quantitative skill development will be fundamental to this approach.

After a period of on-campus skill and content building, students will participate in approximately two weeks of rigorous field work. Some students will embark on a 16-day river trip through the Grand Canyon, giving those students the opportunity to visit one of the geologic wonders of the world, access to over 1 billion years of geologic history, and study the processes currently shaping the Canyon. Other students will participate in multiple hands-on field excursions across the Pacific Northwest, studying some of the incredibly diverse landscapes and applying their knowledge about Earth system process in the field.

This field-based program requires significant commitment from students, given the cost, rigors, and time away from campus. All students in the program will participate in field work though only approximately 14 students will be able to participate in the Grand Canyon river trip. Students interested in the Grand Canyon Field trip option must complete a required application and interview (BEFORE FEBRUARY 10th) asking students to demonstrate their understanding of those commitments and ability to meet them (please email Abir Biswas, biswasa@evergreen, directly for details). 

The program will integrate physical geology, historical geology, quantitative skills for the earth sciences, and a field project. Students who successfully complete this program will gain a solid scientific basis for future work in all aspects of earth sciences and environmental studies.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$1700 for a field trip to the Grand Canyon or $300 for field trips in the Pacific Northwest.
Upper Division Science Credit
Students with a demonstrated background in geology may be able to earn upper division science credit for independent, directed work in physical geology or geochemistry (no more than 8 upper division credits will be awarded).
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 30th, 2011 New offering added.