Physical Geology 101
Physical Geology at Black Hawk College is an introductory course in geology. The course is a traditional lecture-style class, with a two hour lab. Through the use of lectures, textbook, and lab exercises, students explore and study rocks, and the processes that form rocks and shape the Earth. The range of topics in this course covers everything from rock and mineral formation and identification, to plate tectonic, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, deserts and remote sensing techniques. We'll even examine the geologic processes that have shaped the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars. While sharing many similarities with Earth, each planet has its own unique features.
The laboratory section of this course gives students a hands-on approach to learning about mineral and rock identification, topographic and geologic map reading, relative and absolute dating techniques, and geologic processes. Students will also participate in a field trip which examines local stream systems, human influenced terrain and geomorphic processes.
Students may also complete a term project for this course. There are a variety of term projects that are available, including research papers and GeoBriefs. Research papers are typically 7 to 10 pages. These term papers have also been used as the foundation for student designed web pages. Oral presentations of 7 to 10 minutes have also been used in this course. Each semester a list of topics are selected. One of these topics is chosen by the student, researched and submitted in a written paper, oral presentation or as a web page. Topics are usually ones that are not covered in detail by the course materials or are topics of recent interest. GeoBriefs are short reports on geologic events that are happening in the world today as reported in the news.
For those students needing a lab science course, this course meets the Lab Elective requirements.
Interested in seeing what students think after completing the course? This link will take you to a web page with recent student comments for the Physical Geology 101 course.