Apr 14, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
    
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOL 1105 - Environmental Geology: Natural Disasters and Earth Resources

Credit Hours: 4.00


Prerequisites: None

An integrated lecture-laboratory course that introduces students to the environmental analysis of hydrogeology, mining and mineral resources, soils, and air pollution. These topics will be related to impacts resulting from natural disasters and how they affect all life on planet Earth. Coverage includes the cause and aftermath of earthquakes, volcanology, flooding, mass wasting, subsidence, climate destabilization and climate change, tsunamis, and wildfires.

Billable Contact Hours: 6

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OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES
Outcome1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to analyze the relationship between planet Earth’s general internal structure and the theory of plate tectonics.

Objectives:

  1. Relate theories of Earth’s structure to energy and motion of the lithospheric plates.
  2. Relate plate boundaries to the structure of continental and oceanic crust.
  3. Relate rock cycle materials to plate tectonics.
  4. Relate tectonic activities to results such as volcanism, mountain building, and earthquakes.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain the fundamental concepts and origins of terrestrial-borne geologic disasters.

Objectives:

  1. Describe Earthquake concepts and origins.
  2. Describe tsunami concepts and origins.
  3. Describe volcano concepts and origins.
  4. Describe flooding concepts and origins.
  5. Describe mass wasting concepts and origins.
  6. Describe wild fire concepts and origins.
  7. Describe coastal hazard concepts.
  8. Describe previous and/or eventual occurrences of each natural disaster.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain the fundamental concepts and origins meteorological disasters.

Objectives:

  1. Describe severe weather concepts and origins.
  2. Describe hurricane concepts and origins.
  3. Describe climate disruption relative to climate change.
  4. Describe previous and/or eventual occurrences of each natural disaster.

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to relate Earth disasters to their effects on all organic life relative to regional and global economics.

Objectives:

  1. Describe how these events play a role in resource creation or degradation.
  2. Compare the likelihood of each natural disaster.
  3. Compare the ecologic and environmental effects of each natural disaster.
  4. Compare the financial cost of each natural disaster.
  5. Describe the impacts on human life.

COMMON DEGREE OUTCOMES (CDO)
• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES

COURSE CONTENT OUTLINE
  1. Intro to Environmental Geology
    1. Earth water as a resource
      1. Hydrologic cycle
      2. Fresh vs saline water systems
      3. Groundwater and freshwater management
    2. Mining resources
      1. Types of mineral resources
      2. Types of mining techniques
      3. Uses of mined mineral resources and source locations relative to economics
    3. Soils as a resource
      1. Soil profiles and types of soil
      2. Importance of soil
      3. Soil degradation
    4. Air pollution
      1. Structure of the Atmosphere (i.e., the four layers)
      2. Natural vs anthropogenic contributors to air pollution
      3. Clean fuel alternatives
  2. Natural Disasters
    1. Why it is important to study natural disasters relative to the environment and economics
    2. The geologic cycle
    3. Natural disasters serve as important natural service functions
  3. Internal Earth structure relative to the theory of Plate Tectonics
    1. Earth’s layers and their characteristics and functions
    2. Plate tectonics
      1. Plate boundaries
      2. Geologic features created
      3. The driving force of plate movement: mantle convection
    3. Plate tectonics relative to the rock cycle
      1. Three rock types and their origins
  4. Earthquake disasters
    1. Earthquakes relative to plate boundaries and notable locations
      1. Faults
      2. Epicenters of deep to shallow focus Earthquakes relative to each boundary
      3. Earthquake disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of Earthquakes
    4. Links to other natural disasters
    5. Extraterrestrial quakes?
  5. Tsunami disasters
    1. Origin of tsunamis and notable locations
      1. Tsunami disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of tsunamis
    4. Links to other natural disasters
  6. Volcano disasters
    1. Origin of volcanoes and notable locations
      1. Plate boundary vs hot spots
      2. Compositions and eruption styles
      3. Rock types produced
      4. Volcanic disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of volcanoes
    4. Links to other natural disasters
    5. Volcanoes in space!
  7. Flooding disasters
    1. Earth’s hydrosphere and notable locations
      1. Oceans, seas, rivers, and ground water
      2. Flood disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of Earth’s hydrosphere
    4. Links to other natural disasters
  8. Mass wasting disasters
    1. Intro to landslides and notable locations
      1. Created through tectonic movement
      2. Oversaturation of soil at steep topography
      3. Lahars
      4. Landslide disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of landslides
    4. Links to other natural disasters
  9. Wild fire disasters
    1. Intro to wild fires
      1. Locations prone to wild fires
      2. Proper land management (e.g., USFS, NPS, BLM)
      3. Wild fire disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of wild fires
    4. Links to other natural disasters
  10. Coastal disasters
    1. Intro to coastal hazards and notable locations
      1. Coastal hazard history and occurrence intervals
    2. Coastal processes
    3. Sea-level change
    4. Environmental risk relative to region
    5. Natural service of coastal disasters
    6. Links to other natural disasters
    7. Hurricane/Typhoons
      1. How heat plays a role
      2. Intensification due to climate change
      3. Hurricane disaster history and occurrence intervals
      4. Environmental risk relative to region
      5. Natural service of hurricanes
      6. Links to other natural disasters
  1. Sever weather disasters
    1. Intro to meteorology concepts
      1. Earth energy transfer and balance
      2. Atmosphere components
      3. Tornado Ally in the U.S.A.
      4. Severe weather disaster history and occurrence intervals
    2. Environmental risk relative to region
    3. Natural service of severe weather
    4. Links to other natural disasters
  2. Climate disruption disasters
    1. Climate vs weather
    2. Concentrations of greenhouse gasses relative to the industrial age
      1. How CO2, SO2, and water vapor play a role
      2. Origins of these gasses both naturally and unnaturally
      3. Climate change history
    3. Environmental risk relative to region
    4. Natural service of climate disruption
    5. Links to other natural disasters

Laboratory Core:

Section 1: terrestrial disaster labs working with actual data to construct extent of Earthquake, volcano, and tsunami disasters using geologic maps, both digital and hard copy. Google Earth Pro will be used as a tool for investigation. Geologic maps will be produced within regions affected by mass wasting to calculate approximate amount of material that was moved. GIS program ArcMap will be used to approximate the amount of human population that will be displaced if global sea level rises over 100 ft relative to coastal hazards.

Section 2: Meteorological disaster labs relating to hurricane power, intensity, duration, and direction with actual data. Measurements of CO2 gasses in a particular volume of space and their heating potential within a makeshift greenhouse.


Primary Faculty
Sadorski, Joseph
Secondary Faculty
Schafer, Carl
Associate Dean
Young, Randall
Dean
Pritchett, Marie



Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088



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