460:103 Planet Earth

Instructor: Gates
Terms Taught: Fall, Summer
Credits: 3

Course Description
This is an introductory course in Geology that covers solid Earth Physical Geology and basic Historical Geology. The course is designed for Earth Science and Environmental Science majors and minors as well as non-science majors. The course covers a variety of topics in introductory format as bases for advanced courses in Earth Sciences or as a terminal level for non-science majors. The basic learning goals for the course are for students to understand the general processes of how the Earth operates today and how it has operated in the past. Students should be able to understand the current events that involve Earth Science such as natural disasters and natural resources but also appreciate the local geology of New Jersey and how it impacts their lives.
Prerequisite: none

Learning Objectives
• Understand the basic architecture of the Earth
• Be able to classify basic mineral types
• Be able to classify basic rock types including igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary
• Understand how rocks melt and crystallize or harden
• Be able to classify faults and folded strata
• Understand basic geophysics including seismology, gravity and magnetic
• Be able to identify the hazards of earthquakes and volcanoes
• Understand how plate tectonics operate
• Be able to identify the plate margins and geology of each
• Understand and apply the methods for timing of geologic events
• Understand the basic controls on the evolution of life
• Appreciate the history of the Earth and life since the formation of the planet