Course Number

GEOL 190

Course Title

Evolution of Planet Earth

Course Date

Spring 2012

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Martin Wong, Geology Department

Document Type





This course explores our planet’s 4.5-billion-year history and how geologists unearth the past through examination of minerals, rocks, and fossils. Earth’s evolution is a natural experiment that cannot be reproduced, and this course makes use of primary observational and interpretative tools that geologists use to understand the past. Age-dating techniques, plate tectonics and origin of continental crust, mountain building events, and evolution of Earth’s landscape, atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere are examined in the context of the geological evolution of North America. Laboratory sessions focus on analysis of rocks, minerals, and fossils, and geology in the field, with an emphasis on field data collected during trips to local geological localities. The required credit-bearing laboratory GEOL 190L must be taken and passed concurrently with GEOL 190. GEOL 190 is recommended for students interested in majoring in geology or environmental geology. A previous earth science or geology course is recommended


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