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Geomorphology

Author Profile
Jeff Marshall
,
http://www.csupomona.edu/~marshall/
,
marshall@csupomona.edu

Cal Poly Pomona University
a
Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate
.

Summary

An introduction to the modern geologic study of Earth surface processes and landforms. Geomorphic analysis of landscape evolution, dynamic equilibrium, and topographic response to tectonic and climatic forcing. Terrain analysis utilizing geomorphic field data, remote sensing imagery, and numerical models. Emphasis on practical applications to natural hazards and resource problems (esp. active tectonics, river systems, hill slopes, coastlines, glaciers, soils, wind, and Quaternary climate change). This course includes 2 lecture discussions (1 hr., 15 min. ea.) and 1 field laboratory (3 hrs.) per week. Required field trips during lab session and on at least one weekend. Prerequisite GSC 111 or permission of instructor.

Course URL: http://www.csupomona.edu/~marshall/gsc323.htm
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Special Interest: Complex Systems
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Type: Upper Level:Geomorphology/Surface Processes
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an upper-division geomorphology course required of all majors in Geological Sciences and Integrated Earth Studies. Occasionally the course is taken as an elective by majors in Biology, Geography, Engineering, Agriculture, and Environmental Design. This course includes 2 lecture discussions (1 hr., 15 min. ea.) and 1 field laboratory (3 hrs.) per week. Required field trips during lab session and on at least one weekend.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to identify and interpret landforms and geomorphic processes from topographic maps, DEM, and aerial photographs.

Through interpretation of maps, DEM, and aerial photographs, students should be able to delineate distinct landscape units, analyze topographic properties, and interpret geomorphic processes.

Through focused field study, students should be able to collect and synthesize meaningful field data, interpret geomorphic processes, and evaluate landscape evolution.

Students should be able to evaluate the relative impact of tectonic and climatic processes on landscape evolution in different environments.

Students should be able to evaluate landscape equilibrium and predict future pathways of landscape evolution in different environments.

Students should be able to synthesize geomorphic data to evaluate geologic hazards (e.g., flooding, slope failure, fault rupture, ground shaking, volcanism)


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

Through an integrated sequence of lecture and discussion sessions, hands-on field activities, and lab assignments, students learn to observe and interpret Earth surface processes and landforms. The course structure and activities emphasize the analysis and evaluation of landscape evolution, dynamic equilibrium, and topographic response to tectonic and climatic forcing. These themes are explored in detail through local field trips and fieldwork in the Transverse Ranges and coastal zone of southern California. Emphasis is placed on practical applications to natural hazards and resource problems (esp. active tectonics, river systems, hill slopes, coastlines, glaciers, soils, wind, and Quaternary climate change).

Skills Goals

This course emphasizes science writing and illustration skills in the preparation of project reports

This course also develops skills in teamwork


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

Students are required to submit a professional written report for all l lab and field activities

Students are required to work in teams to complete an integrated field research project.

Attitudinal Goals

This course helps to build student self-confidence in conducting fieldwork and analyzing data.

This course develops students understanding of research methods


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

All lab and field activities involve the synthesis and evaluation of multiple data sets to develop conclusions about geomorphic processes and landscape evolution. The course research project requires students to work in teams to develop a research plan, consult prior literature, develop working hypotheses, collect field data, interpret results, draw conclusions, and present their findings in a written report and oral presentation.

Assessment

Exam performance
Quality of written lab and project reports
Quality of oral presentations
Degree of individual engagement in course activities

Syllabus:

Syllabus (Excel 16kB May5 08)

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