Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Environmental Geology

Environmental Geology

Steven Lev

Towson University
Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate


Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Geology
Course Size:


Course Context:

This course is designed for both majors and non-majors as an introductory course in environmental geology with a focus on environmental pollution.

Course Goals:

Student will be able to describe the geologic processes that affect the global environment

Students should be able to design a work plan to investigate the fate and transport of pollutants in geologic systems

Students will be able to interpret subsurface geochemical data and delineate the nature and extent of a contaminant plume

Students will be able to describe the role of environmental regulations in pollution prevention and control

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

The course is divided in to a series of lectures to provide students with the basic scientific concepts related to Global Climate Change, Atomospheric Chemistry, Air and Water Pollution, Environmental Regulations and Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation. I addition to lectures students complete a series of laboratories to develop their understanding of ground water flow, contaminant properties, site investigation and contaminant mapping.

Skills Goals

Working as part of a team


Analysis and synthesis of data from multiple sources

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

Students are given multiple writing assignments in unfamiliar formats. The write 2 position briefs, a work plan and a project summary.

Student role play during a site investigation exercise and are required to make all investigation and clean up decisions by consensus.

Attitudinal Goals

Develop students ability to articulate the science of global warming and pollution to non-scientists

Improve students awareness of the role of science in environmental policy

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

Discussion style lectures on the science and policy of global warming along with a position brief on the same topic provide students with an opportunity to hear a scienctist talk about policy. The position brief assignment requires students to draw conclusions and make a policy recommendation to a non-scientist. This is a challenging task made more so by a one page limit.


Student learning is assessed through short answer exam questions requiring an interpretation of data in order to draw a conclusion, challenging writing assignments and an number of group activities and laboratories where students must work as a group to acheive their goals.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 19kB Mar7 08)

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