General Geology

Rachel Teasdale

California State University Chico (Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate)


This is the lab section of the introductory physical geology class. Lab activities are designed to be hands on activities for students to better understand broad topics discussed in the "lecture" section of the course. Lab sections do not always correlate with lecture sections or instructors, so our 15-18 sections must be run uniformly, generally by graduate student TA's. Activities include identification of rocks and minerals, map activities, 2 off campus fieldtrips, rivers and streams, groundwater, and earthquakes.

Course Type: Intro Level:Physical Geology
Course Size:

Course Context:

Introductory physical geology for non-majors (mostly Freshmen) who take the class to satisfy a GE requirement. There is a required lab section with activities that largely corresponds with lecture topics. The labs are 2 hours long and meet once per week. We have 1 on-campus fieldtrip and 2 off-campus (2 hour) fieldtrips.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to synthesize data they collect and identify (samples) or predict outcomes.
Students should be able to collect data and apply their general and course-specific knowledge to interpret that data.
Students should be able to manipulate data in tables and graphs.


Students learning is assessed through discussions with each other and the instructor. Students also turn in work (graphs, calculations) that is graded, as are quizzes and exams.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 15kB Jun23 06)

Teaching Materials:

References and Notes:

The current text book is Essentials of Geology (8th Edition) by Lutgens & Tarbuck and a lab manual written specifically for activities used in the class (non-published).