This course is an introduction to the planet we call home, its make-up, the processes that shape it, and the stories of the distant past it holds. We will explore how to figure out what is below our feet, why only some areas have mountains and others do not, why rocks can look so different and what that may tell us about the Earth’s past. We will also consider how the geology of an area can influence decisions from mining, environmental concerns, land usage, hazard control and more. Examples of the type of questions we will pursue include:
• Why are there high mountains out in the American west but not on the east coast?
• Were there ever volcanoes in Colorado? What about oceans?
• Why are some areas more likely to have a geologic hazard such as earthquake, volcanoes, tsunamis, landslides, or flooding? How does this affect local populations?
Introductory geology for majors and non-majors. Studies Earth, its materials, its characteristics, its dynamic processes, and how it relates to people. Separate lab (GEOL 1030) is recommended.