Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Environmental Geology and Urban Geology

Environmental Geology and Urban Geology

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Solomon Isiorho

Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne (IPFW)
Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate


This course is designed to provide the student with basic understanding of the "human-oriented" aspects of the earth sciences. The geologic features and processes that affect our environment will be discussed. Since large population of the industrial world dwell in urban areas, the geology of the urban environment will be addressed. "To achieve an understanding of the interrelationship between the earth and the urban environment, examination of the basic aspects of geology, land-use planning, and the physical, social, aesthetic, and economic attributes of cities is required."

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Special Interest: Hazards
Theme: Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Geology
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an upper level class for majors and non-majors (especially education majors). It also satisfies a general education requirement for my university. Students are required to do an independent research project as part of the course (~40% of course grade) and give an oral presentation of their result at the end of the semester. Lab field works, and group project(s) are also required of the students.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to formulate questions regarding environmental issues in their locality using geologic processes/principles.

Students should improve their skills in analyzing data pertaining to geologic environmental issues and in drawing informed conclusions regarding environmental issues.

Students should be able to discuss and debate geologic environmental issues that are relevant to their state.

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

Reading assignments, lab activities, and research projects help students meet the goal of relating knowledge of geologic processes to the understanding of environmental issues.

Skills Goals

Working in groups
Oral communication
Quantitative abilities
Critical reading of geologic literature

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

Students are required to read assigned articles and give a one page summary for each article.
Students write and submit field/lab reports as part of their grades.
Students give oral presentation of their research project. Students also work in groups on one or two assigned class projects.

Attitudinal Goals

Students through their research projects develop sense of stewardship of the earth.
Improves their awareness of their environment.
Students also feel empowered to make changes that would benefit their surroundings.

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

Students examine local environmental issues, look for plausible solutions, or how to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Students are also asked to examine how their actions or inaction may impact their surroundings.


Exam (~15% of course grade).
Review of articles (15%).
Lab/field reports (20%).
Group project (5%)
Class participation (5%).
Report of research project (30%).
Oral presentation of research project (10%).

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