Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Geomorphology

Geomorphology

Karen Gran

University of Minnesota Duluth
a
University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs
.

Summary

This is an undergraduate geomorphology course, designed to introduce students to landforms and the processes that form and shape them.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Type: Upper Level:Geomorphology/Surface Processes
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geomorphology
Course Size:

15-30

Course Context:

This is a lower-level elective course, designed for students who have had introductory physical geology. Students include a mix of majors from environmental studies, environmental science, teaching in the life sciences, teaching in the earth sciences, and geological sciences. The course has a required 2-hour lab each week plus one outside field trip.

Course Goals:

By the end of the course, students should be able to...
  • Interpret landscape features from topographic maps, air photos, satellite imagery, and field observations.
  • Link landscape features to the major processes by which they formed.
  • Apply skills to determine the processes responsible for forming our local landscape.
  • Map out geomorphic terrains from a DEM
  • Describe a soil column and be able to explain how water movement and landscape position affects soil development.
  • Survey a river cross-section.
  • Identify active floodplain in field, calculate discharge of different frequencies, and relate flood frequency to risk
  • Be able to explain the relationship between river velocity and the erosion, deposition, and transport of sediment.
  • Make measurements of slope and identify slope materials (including stratigraphy),
  • Read signs in the landscape indicating downslope movement of material
  • Evaluate the role of climate and erosion on tectonics and mountain building
  • Calculate slope in the field and off of a map and link slope to sediment transport and slope stability
  • Determine where glaciers erode vs. deposit and the effects this has on the landscape
  • Explain the geomorphic history of the Duluth-Superior area.
  • Recognize local geomorphic hazard zones, how they impact humans, and why certain activities should be restricted there
  • Be able to explain the role humans have on geomorphic systems.
  • Read a scientific paper and discuss the results.
  • Conduct an independent research project and present the results.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Students took two exams covering course content. They had weekly lab write-ups that dealt with specific field and lab skills and analyses. They also had a group research project that they wrote up and presented to the class.

Skills Goals

Working in groups.

Assessment

Syllabus:

Syllabus (Microsoft Word 63kB Apr30 08)

[file 'Other Materials']

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