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Investigating Earth

Author Profile
Rachel Beane
,
http://www.bowdoin.edu/faculty/r/rbeane/

Bowdoin College
a
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate
.

Summary

In this introduction to physical geology course, we explore rocks exposed near campus, and do our best to interpret the processes that formed them.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Special Interest: Local Issue, Field-Based Teaching and Learning, Process of Science
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Course Type: Entry Level:Physical Geology
Course Size:

31-70

Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites. Many students take it to satisfy a general education requirement. It is a required course for the geology major and minor. The course has a required 3-hour weekly laboratory and a required 1-day field trip.

Course Goals:

Students should be able:
- To interpret geologic history (based on field observations, knowledge of rock types, geologic maps, rock structures, and principles of relative dating)
- To make connections between minerals and rocks, structures, plate tectonics, and crustal and deep-earth processes
- To pose and evaluate hypotheses and questions
- To make interpretations based on incomplete data
- To synthesize the geologic history of Maine's coast
- To describe what geologists do


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

In-class exercises, field labs, and a multi-week project help students achieve these goals. Assessment on whether students have achieved the goals is made through observations of students, discussions with students, oral project presentation, extended project abstract, field laboratory write-ups, and exams.

Skills Goals

Skill goals are for students:
- To collect and interpret their own data (using tools such as a hand lens, microscope, Brunton compass, and measuring tape)
- To create and analyze maps and graphic data
- To apply physical properties to the identification of minerals
- To differentiate clastic and crystalline textures in the identification of rocks
- To read for scientific information
- To communicate geologic information
- To make 3D interpretations
- To work individually and collaboratively


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

In-class exercises, field labs, and a multi-week project help students achieve these goals. Assessment on whether students have achieved the goals is made through observations and discussions, oral project presentation, extended project abstract, field laboratory write-ups, and exams.

Attitudinal Goals

- improvement student awareness of what geologists do
- increasing student excitement in learning about the earth

Assessment

Student learning is assessed through oral project presentations, extended project abstracts, field laboratory write-ups, and exams.

Syllabus:

Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 74kB Aug31 09)


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