Geology 102: Introduction to Geology
In your department, do majors and non-majors take separate introductory courses?
Yes. Majors and non-majors are required to take two different classes that cover approximately the same material. The primary difference between the two classes is that the major class meets for three hours per week and moves at a slightly faster pace, while the non-major class meets for four hours per week. This difference in these classes was designed to accommodate majors that are required to take an introductory geology course, but that also have very tight unit restrictions.
If students take a non-majors course, and then decide to become a major, do they have to go back and take an additional introductory course?
- Use tectonic maps to draw lithospheric-scale cross sections and describe significant igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes that occur in different tectonic settings.
- Make and communicate descriptive observations of rocks and minerals in hand sample; differentiate between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in hand sample.
- Improve ability to interpret graphical representations of data.
What are the main features of the course that help students achieve these goals?
Ninety-minute lectures are broken up by break-out sessions in which students work in small groups with their neighbors to complete a series of tutorials that utilize maps, outcrop photographs, and graphs designed to reinforce lecture concepts. Lecture tutorials are published as course readers that are purchased from the bookstore and can be used by students as study guides for exams and for future reference. Discussion sections are limited to 30 students and provide an opportunity for one-on-one interaction between students and professors, while students gain experience making descriptive observations and interpreting data working through tutorials that accompany hand samples, maps and graphs. Homework assignments are designed to make students apply concepts learned in lectures and discussions to introductory level science articles (e.g., from periodicals like Scientific American).
High quality illustrations, department precedent.