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This year-long course focuses on physical geology. Students will study the earth and its many landforms, how they have come to be the way they are now, and how geologic processes affect the ways that they continue to change. The theory of plate tectonics provides a useful framework through which to understand many of these processes. An appreciation of the expanse of geologic time is formed as we consider the extensive changes wrought by extremely slow processes. The understanding of the variety of landforms and processes is enhanced and extended through lab activities and extensive use of audiovisual material. The interesting and well-exposed geology of the Northwest provides excellent opportunities for field trips.


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension

How do Earth's processes operate?
How does the Earth change over time, and how much time is required?
How are physics, chemistry, and biology pertinent in geology?
How does plate tectonics unify seemingly unrelated processes in geology?
How does geology affect humans?

Changes through rock cycle
Differentiating rock types
Geographic distribution of geologic features
Synthesize underlying scientific principles (physical, chemical, biological) behind geologic processes
Geology vocabulary

Identify minerals and rocks
Identify geologic land forms
Use geological principles to reconstruct history of particular landforms
Extrapolate from specific, known examples to new, unknown examples
Use geologic terminology to explain Earth's processes

Review questions
Midterm and final exams
Lab activity and field trip reports

Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology, 10th ed., Tarbuck & Lutgen
Earth Revealed (video series)
NOVA, Earth Explored, and other videos
PowerPoint presentations by chapter
Hands-on lab activities
Field trips

Effects of geologic events on civilizations worldwide throughout history