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Course Description

Environmental Geology is taught in a seminar fashion or large lecture style. In both situations it is the methodology not content that differs. The major goal of the course is to explore aspects of geology that have significant impacts on humans. Some of these impacts have been exacerbated culturally and historically. We will examine those factors and impacts.

In our seminars we will be expected to read, discuss and write weekly. You may contact the instructor on e-mail and submit papers in that mode. There will be major and minor written assignments weekly. Those topics will be assigned in a timely fashion. Major evaluations will be either in essay form or written papers.

All students are expected to pre-read topics for discussion. Class participation will be crucial to understanding concepts. The instructor will offer synthesizing input sessions. There will be directed field observations and/or field trips. Ideally we can all communicate by e-mail. This course will differ from physical geology by examining not only the geology but the impacts upon humans naturally and through human non-harmonious interaction with the environment.

Course Objectives

  • 1. Recognize local potential geological problems.
  • 2. Identify local geological sites that have glacial or coastal roots.
  • 3. Examine nuclear energy sites and problems.
  • 4. Examine extractive industries and impacts upon environments.
  • 5. Identify Karst Topography and problems relating to spelunking.
  • 6. Coordinate land use and geology.
  • 7. Correlate land use law and geology.
  • 8. Recognize natural geological hazards in our local area as well as world wide.
  • 9. Develop mitigation strategies consistent with local geology.



Required Textbook

Text: Montgomery, Carla Environmental Geology, 6th Ed. WCB McGraw Hill, 2003

Copyright ©2010 John F. Looney Jr., Ed.D