Spring 2022

Geology of the National Parks

Listed in: Geology, as GEOL-104

Moodle site: Course

Faculty

Victor E. Guevara (Section 01)

Description

Iconic and diverse landscapes characterize the National Parks of the United States, including snow-capped mountain ranges, deep canyons, volcanoes, geyser fields, and vast plateaus. North America is a dynamic, at times cataclysmic, continent that preserves a record of how Earth has evolved over four billion years. In this course, we will focus our attention on reading the geologic record of the rocks exposed in Glacier, Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks. By doing so, we will investigate the dynamic processes that have shaped the dramatic landscapes of these National Parks, and, ultimately, the processes that drive the evolution of Earth through time.

No prior study of geology is necessary. Participants in this course will be introduced to fundamental concepts in earth science: energy transfer in the earth system; rock types and their origins; plate tectonics and crustal dynamics; weathering, glaciation and the carving of landscapes; sea level rise and fall; measuring geologic time; and reading geologic maps. We will also join the debate surrounding unresolved geologic questions about these National Parks by critically assessing cutting-edge data and interpretations. The course will also develop scientific communication skills, and will culminate in the production of a guidebook for the general public to understand the geologic processes that have shaped these National Parks.

Not open to students who have completed Geology 111. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Guevara.

Keywords

Science & Math for Non-majors

Offerings

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in January 2021, Spring 2022