This is a partially developed activity description. It is included in the collection because it contains ideas useful for teaching even though it is incomplete.

The role of geology in the London cholera outbreak of 1854

Steven Lev, Towson University
Topic: Urban hydrology
Contaminant Hydrology
Medical Geology
Course Type: upper level


Students will read an discuss the scientific aspects of "The Ghost Map" by Steven Johnson. This book chronicles the science used by physician John Snow to prove his hypothesis that cholera was being spread through the city's water supply.


Students will develop a basic understanding of epidemiology.

Students will examine the role of geology in public health issues.


Students will identify other examples where geology plays a role in a public health issue (especially urban issues) and describe in a paper and powerpoint presentation the role of geologists in the investigation/solution.