Richard Harwood's Courses




Environmental Science

Image of Richard Harwood

Richard Harwood


Phone: 309-796-5271
FAX: 309-792-3230

Black Hawk College
6600 34th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265





Richard Harwood grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Wheaton, Illinois where he attended Wheaton North High School. He then attended Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1982 to 1984. After two years in Colorado, he transferred to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology in 1987. Richard remained at NAU where he completed a Master's of Science degree in Geology in 1989. His Master's Thesis is entitled, "Cinder Cone Breaching Events at Strawberry and O'Neill Craters, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona."

After completing graduate work at NAU, Richard joined the U.S. Peace Corps and was assigned to serve for two years (1989-1991) in the Central American country of Honduras. He was assigned to work with the Geology Mapping Program in Honduras. This program is conducted under the combined direction of the Direccion General de Minas e Hidrocarburos (General Offices of Mines and Hydrocarbons) and the Instituto Geografico Nacional (National Geographic Institution). The overall project goal is to geologically map the country of Honduras. Mapping is conducted at a 1:50,000 scale. The host country agencies provided logistical and technical support while Richard conducted field mapping. He also provided geologic advice and training for agency personnel. The areas surrounding the towns of Ojojona and Yuscaran were geologically mapped during his service in the Peace Corps.

Upon his return to the U.S., Richard married Kristine Strenge. Kristine had also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. In 1992, Richard attended Rutgers University in New Jersey and completed two additional years of graduate course work.

In 1994, Richard was hired by Black Hawk College to teach Geology, Geography and Astronomy. He is currently and actively involved in developing presentation and online resources for his courses at Black Hawk College. Richard regularly gives presentations in the community for the Black Hawk College Speakers Bureau. In 2014, Black Hawk College recognized Richard for his 20 years of service to the college.

October 1999, Richard and Kristine adopted a collie-husky mix dog from the Milan Humane Society shelter. They named her Cinder. After nearly 11 years, and after a very sudden, brief illness, she passed away in July of 2010. On October 22nd, 2010, Richard and Kristine adopted a retired greyhound racer from the Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption. Her name is Lily. She was 7 years old at the time of adoption. She ran in 91 races during her racing career, and won 11 of those races, finished 2nd in 14 races and 3rd in 8 races. On August 7th, 2014, their third dog was adopted from Rock Island County Animal Care & Control shelter. Her name is Luna and she is a malamute-husky mix.

Richard is a member of the Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, the National Geographic Society, and Sigma Nu Fraternity. During his off time Richard likes reading science fiction, working on the computer, home improvement and woodworking.

Courses Currently Taught at Black Hawk College

Black Hawk College Speakers Bureau Presentations

Australia: A Travelogue
Want to know what kangaroo, crocodile and emu taste like? Or, what it's like to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef? This presentation will share the sights and stories from trips to Australia in 1996 and 1998. (All ages, 1-hour minimum)

Chile: Volcanoes, Deserts and Glaciers
The geology and geography of the South American country of Chile are described through the use of slides. The volcanoes and landforms of the Andes Mountains, the glaciers and fjords of Tierra del Fuego, and the Atacama Desert are included in this presentation. (Adults & high school, 1-hour minimum)

Energy: Sources and Suppliers
From fossil fuels to nuclear power to wind power, what are the sources of energy in the United States that powers our lights, moves our cars, provides our heat, and charges our cell phones? From where does this energy come and how is it produced? Can the United States meet its oil needs and become "oil independent"? The answer isn't what the politicians have been telling you! This presentation will give a brief overview of the various sources of energy that we use, how much we use, and who is supplying that energy. (Adults & high school, 1-hour minimum)

Geology Goes to Hollywood: Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Dinosaurs, Oh My!
Could a volcano really erupt in downtown Los Angeles? Would Tyrannosaurus rex really go chasing after jeeps? Could the Earth's core really stop spinning and spell doom for the human race? Is a tsunami going to wipe out New York City? Find out as we take a look at geology and science as portrayed in five popular Hollywood films: Jurassic Park, Superman, Volcano, The Core, and The Day After Tomorrow. (Adults & high school, 60 to 90 minutes)

Geology Goes to Hollywood: Volcanoes, Glaciers and the End of the World! Part 2
Why didn't the world end in 2012? Are those really the Rocky Mountains? Can Mars be terraformed into a habitable planet? What do rocks and geology have to do with a prison break? Find out as we take a look at geology and science as portrayed in five popular Hollywood films: Cliffhanger, 2012, The Chronicles of Riddick, Total Recall, and The Shawshank Redemption. (Adults & high school, 60 to 90 minutes)

Global Warming: Evidence and Causes
Is global warming a worldwide catastrophe that will destroy civilization and life as we know it? Global warming impacts us all, but it is not all gloom and doom. The world is getting warmer. The evidence is overwhelming. Find out what the evidence is that supports this conclusion, then learn about some of the multiple causes contributing to global warming. Some of these causes may surprise you. (Adults & high school, 1-hour minimum)

Honduras: A Peace Corps Perspective
An overview of the country of Honduras from the perspective of a Peace Corps volunteer who lived there from 1989-91. The presentation also includes an explanation of the Peace Corps and its goals. (All ages, 1 hour minimum)

Natural Hazards: Questions and Answers
We live on a dangerous planet. There are hazards all around us. Avalanches, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, landslides, volcanic eruption and asteroid collisions can all have a devastating impact on human life and property. This presentation will briefly introduce the earth science of how each of these hazards operates, then address questions and concerns regarding these hazards from the members of the audience. Are we in danger of an earthquake here in the Quad Cities? Ask and find out! (Adults & high school, 1-hour minimum)

U.S. National Parks and Monuments Geologic Overview
Planning a visit to a national park or monument? Want to learn more about what you have already seen in a recent visit? The National Parks and Monuments Geologic Overview presentation is designed to provide a quick survey of the major geologic features and major points of interest in many of the country's western National Parks. (Adults & high school, 1-hour minimum)
Some of the parks and monuments that may be included in the presentation:
Arches National Park, Utah
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks National Park/Monument, Utah
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Colorado National Monument, Colorado
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho
Death Valley National Park, California
Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
Great Sand National Monument, Colorado
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Mount St. Helens National Monument, Washington
Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Sunset Crater National Monument, Arizona
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Yosemite National Park, California
Zion National Park, Utah

For more information, or to request a presentation, go to the Black Hawk College Speakers Bureau web page.

Museum Displays

Museum Displays: Information on some of my materials that are being used in museums.

Rock Island County Fair

Rock Island County Fair Awards: Information on some of my award winning entries in the local county fair.

Images and Descriptions of Recent Trips and Special Events

Tectonic Plates Visited

QCA Underfoot

Recommended Reading

Juggling Machetes

Favorite Quotes

• "Never under estimate the power of human stupidity"
         - Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love

• "Hypocrisy is folly. It is much easier, safer and pleasanter to be the thing which a man appears, than to keep up the appearance of what he is not."
         - Richard Cecil, in Remains of the Rev. Richard Cecil, M.A., by Joseph Pratt.

• ". . . the more technically developed a nation or race is, the more cruel, ruthless, predatory, and commercialized its systems tend to become . . . all because we continue to think like animals and have not learned how to think consistently like human beings."
         - A.E. van Vogt, The World of Null-A

• "Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's really going on."
         - Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

• "Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before."
         - Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

• "Is it not a pleasure to learn and to repeat or practice from time to time what has been learned."
         - Confucius 1:1

• "And so, my fellow Americans...ask not what your country can do for you...ask what you can do for your country."
         - John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

• "Lo único que se puede aprender de la historia de la humanidad es que no hay nada más peligroso que una utopía."
         - Juan José "Pepe" Rojo, Ruido Gris

Supported Organizations
Kiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

Below are the loans and projects that are being currently supported. Also listed are the loans that have been supported and repaid. Click on the picture to learn more about the projects.

Current Loans
Exitosas Group
Exitosas Group
Ivan Dario
Ivan Dario
Furniture Making
Furniture Making
Furniture Making
Repaid Loans
Furniture Making
M. Saeed
M. Saeed
Furniture Making
Furniture Making
Costa Rica
Furniture Making
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
El Salvador
Timber Sales
Furniture Making
Furniture Making
Furniture Making
Elmer Eduardo
Elmer Eduardo
Jorge Aquiles
Jorge Aquiles
Home Products Sales
Heyssell Sarai
Heyssell Sarai
Somos Catrachos Group
Somos Catrachos…
General Store
Aida Esperanza
Aida Esperanza
General Store
Margaritas De Xesampual Group
Margaritas De…
Clothing Sales
Nguyen Thi
Nguyen Thi
Viet Nam
Clothing Sales



Office and Class Schedule
Earth Science Links
Recommended Reading/Apps
XanEdu Course Pack
Natural Science & Engineering
ILC / Testing Center


Richard Harwood
Prof. Richard Harwood

Short Subjects

Global Warming
SI - Metric Units
Geologic Time Scale
Periodic Table of Elements
Longitude and Latitude
Orbital Eccentricity
Countries of the World
Why Geography Matters
Atlas of Igneous Rocks
Atlas of Sedimentary Rocks
Atlas of Metamorphic Rocks

World Population

U.S. Population

U.S. Oil Usage

July, 2013 Daily Average:
     19.539 million barrels

The U.S. used 20.87% of world's daily oil demand in 2012.

Current Radar

Global Average Temperature

2013: 14.68°C
2012: 14.56°C
2011: 14.35°C
2010: 14.64°C
2009: 14.53°C
2008: 14.55°C
2007: 14.41°C
2006: 14.53°C
2005: 14.61°C
2004: 14.65°C
2003: 14.48°C
2002: 14.51°C
2001: 14.58°C
2000: 14.15°C