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

Environmental Geology

george buchanan

Montgomery County Community College
Two Year College


This is an introductory level lab course for non-science majors. Pre-requisites are basic math and writing.

Course URL:
Subject: Environmental Science
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Course Type: Entry Level:Environmental Geology
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an introductory environmental geology course. The course satisfies the lab science requirement for non-science majors as well as Environmental Science majors. Our college does not have a geology major.

Course Goals:

  • Students should be able to recognize basic rocks types.
  • Students should be able to recognize environmental geology problems, such as potential slope instability.
  • My big goal is to have instilled into my students enough knowledge and analytical skills that they will never view the world in the same way again - they will "see" environmental geology as an integral part of their world view. For example, I never viewed a bridge the same way after I took a statics course.

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

The course activities will include:
  • Basic concepts and principles presented in sequence
  • Students prepare case study presentations based on narrowly defined concepts and principles
See assessment below.

Skills Goals

  • Oral presentation
  • Research
  • Self/peer-teaching
  • Working in teams.

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

1) Acquire a knowledge base of geologic and environmental concepts and principles to be able to apply those principles and concepts to specific case studies, and also to be able to analyze and predict the impacts to society.

Attitudinal Goals

My unwritten attitudinal goals are:
  • to help students learn how to think logically
  • to get students to "see" the world through geology filters

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

I use formative activities to determine students attitudes

I do not formally assess attitude.


Assessment will include:
  • Summative exams, quizzes
  • Labs
  • Daily formative in class
  • Grading/provide feedback for narrowly focused case studies during the term

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