GEOL& 101 Introduction to Physical Geology • 6 Cr.


Studies the physical processes, both on and beneath the surface, that have over time given the earth its present form. Course format includes field and laboratory study of minerals, rocks, and maps. Fulfills laboratory science course requirement at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Describe the Scientific Method, and the basic principles and history of the science of geology.
  • Explain the theory of plate tectonics and describe how it is the foundation of modern geology.
  • Identify the major types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) and minerals, and use their physical characteristics to interpret Earth history (i.e., "read the rocks").
  • Describe the major processes that shape the earth's surface (rivers, glaciers, waves, etc.) and identify landforms created by these processes.
  • Describe how to determine the age of rocks and fossils, and illustrate an understanding of deep time.
  • Identify the structure of the Earth's interior and describe the processes that operate beneath the surface.
  • Describe the interactions between geology and human society, with a focus on geologic hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides, etc.) and geologic resources (minerals, fossil fuels, groundwater, etc.).
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret laboratory data pertaining to geology.