Environmental Geology

Jeremy Shannon

Michigan Technological University
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


This class examines major environmental geology topics related to climate change, natural hazards such as flooding and landslides, and mining.

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


Course Context:

This is an introductory environmental geology course that serves as a science/lab elective for non-majors, and a geology elective for geology majors. The class is mostly populated by non-geology majors - (engineering, business, biology, forestry, computer science, arts). The class includes a weekly 3-hour laboratory. There are no prerequisites.

Course Goals:

1)Students should be able to measure the velocity and calculate the discharge of a stream.

2)Students should be able to interpret a stream hydrograph and predict conditions in a watershed based on the shape of the hydrograph.

3)Students should be able to recognize whether a mineral is susceptible to produce acid mine drainage based on the mineral's chemical formula and write a general chemical reaction for acid production.

4)Students should be able to assess the stability of a slope and its potential for failure by calculating a factor of safety.

5)Students should be able to calculate the recurrence interval and probability of a particular sized flood and calculate the size of a 10, 50 or 100 year flood.

6)Students should be able to interpret the direction of groundwater flow using a water table contour map and also calculate the groundwater flow velocity using Darcy's Law.

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

Homework and laboratory activities provide problems that the student must solve to meet the discipline-related goals. Similar exam questions are used for assessment.