The purpose of this course, and for that matter all college courses, is to help you become a better thinker. As an introductory course this course is not meant to turn you into professional geologists. Although I hope this course may inspire some of you to continue in this field, in the end I will be happy if this course at least makes you better appreciate the world in which we live.
Most importantly, by the end of this semester the knowledge gained in this course will better equip you to analyze the world around you through scientific inquiry. You will be a better thinker and skills gained throughout your experience in this course will be applicable to all you do in life, especially if you become a geologist.
This course will allow you to:
- Understand the origin of the universe
- Understand the origin and composition of the earth
- Distinguish between igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks
- Understand plate tectonics
- Interpret ancient sedimentary environments based on sedimentary structures such as cross bedding, graded bedding, ordinary bedding, ripples, and mudcracks
- Interpret earth history from sedimentary beds, rock units, or other bodies of rock using relative dating techniques
- Describe possible theories on the origin of the solar system and the formation of earth
- Describe theories on the origin of the earth's internal structure, its oceans, and atmosphere
- Describe the various methods of fossilization
- Describe the doctrine of organic evolution and evidence supporting it
- Use fossils to recognize units of rock deposited during particular increments of geologic time and to reconstruct paleoenvironments
- Describe the geologic history and the record of life (with an emphasis on North America) during the Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic, and Phanerozoic