Teach the Earth > Introductory Courses > Virtual Workshop 2014 > Essay Collection > My GEOL 103 course applies content to Washington State

My GEOL 103 course applies content to Washington State

Nick Zentner, Geology, Central Washington University

My GEOL 103 course applies content to Washington State. The course title is 'Geology of Washington'. Instead of the usual 101 treatment - covering content for the sake of covering content - I introduce a few geology basics and then apply them to our state. Another set of basics....more application to Washington. Rise and repeat.

Serve my students? They are non-science freshman and sophomores. I'm helping them see science applied to familiar landscapes. I'm making geology relevant to their lives. I'm hoping to inspire them to explore on their own - and perhaps continue in Geology.

Serve CWU Geology? Many of our Geology Majors are swept into our program by my broom. Our major allows either GEOL 101 or GEOL 103 as their first course. A GEOL 101 LAB compliments either lecture course.

Serve the community? I teach GEOL 103 every quarter; every year. I open the course to all that have interest for free. Old people. Typically half a dozen do the whole course each quarter. Word has spread among the old-timers....they are now regularly commuting up to 80 miles each way each morning.

I create geology videos for the campus TV station and the Internet....and those programs help draw people to our program. The video is a featured part of my class, although I'm careful to keep the clips short and sweet so that our classroom vibe and flow is not interrupted.

Nick Zentner
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, Washington
Feb 20, 2014

Downloadable version of this essay

My GEOL 103 course applies content to Washington State (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 84kB Feb24 14)