Pacific Northwest Geology
The course has a duel role of providing future secondary earth science teaching majors with more detailed geologic content knowledge of the Pacific NW (where most of them end up teaching) and providing them opportunities to actually teach secondary earth science both in the field and lab.
For Dr. Pratt-Sitaula's reflections on the course and its design, see Pacific Northwest Geology: Role in the Program.
- Develop place-based guided-inquiry field trips and lab exercises for secondary students that is aligned with content standards
- Analyze geologic features for rock type and depositional history and interpret the geologic history
- Describe the basic chronology of geologic events in the Pacific Northwest of North America.
- List and describe the key geographic/geologic regions of the Pacific Northwest
- Construct a conceptual W-E cross-section of the Pacific NW for various times in the geologic past
- Analyze earth science literature written for geologists and the general public, extract the key points, and restate it in both written and picture form to be understandable to secondary students
Formative assessment of students goes on throughout the course—primarily in the form of direct questions, overheard student conversations, student reflections, and homework assignments. The majority of the summative assessments are through student performance. All assignments are accompanied by rubrics to detail instructor expectations and to model good assessment practices.
Listed assessments refer to the goal numbers above.
- 1 & 2. Students are required to turn in a lab of their own interpretation of a local outcrop. They then redesign the assignment to be appropriate for 9th graders, teach it, and reflect on the experience. If they are able to accomplish these tasks, goals 1 & 2 are met.
- 3-5. Summative assessment are in the form of a final exam that asks the students to make a geologic cross-section of this area at several different times in the geologic past (Goal 5). In order to fully accomplish this, they must also be able to do 3 & 4. If the cross-section is reasonably accurate, they students demonstrate proficiency of these goals.
- 6. In order to design their own field trip (a separate project from the 9th grade field trip) and develop a "Pictorial History Book" the students must access the scientific and general geologic literature and reinterpret the material for the secondary level. If they are able to successfully complete both projects, then Goal 6 is met.
References and Notes:
Required text - Geology of the Pacific Northwest by William and Elizabeth Orr (Waveland Press)
Other resources used:
- Starting Point: Field Labs
- Field Trip Guidebook to the Natural History of Kittitas County - Mabry
- Restless Northwest - Williams
- Northwest Exposures - Alt & Hindman
- Roadside Guides
- Other regional geology books
- Scientific papers - access via Georef
- Local geologist at companies, universities, and community colleges - call them. Geologists often love to talk about their local area and may know of sites that are interesting but not in official parks. They may also know of locally-used but not officially published field trip guides already in existence.
- Washington Dept of Natural Resources
- Geologic Society of America Fieldguides
- US Geological Survey Publications