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GY135 – Geology of the Pikes Peak Region

In block C, students in GY135 will explore the unique geology of the local region while learning basic concepts in the Earth Sciences and exploring their relationship to other natural and social aspects of the region.

How is our region built and formed over millions of years?  How have these processes shaped society and the ecosystem?
How is our region built and formed over millions of years? How have these processes shaped society and the ecosystem?

GY135 is an introductory physical geology course with a strong emphasis on field observations, critical-thinking, and use of the Scientific Method. We only lecture 2-3 days on campus and teach the rest of the course in the field and through interactive laboratory activities.

During this course students learn to identify minerals and rocks in outcrops, to make observations and interpretations of the history of the rocks, to understand the processes that cause folding, faulting and erosion of the rocks, and to record these observations and interpretations on maps. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their ability to observe, analyze and interpret geology in the field, as well as with traditional tests on comprehension of the material.

As usual at CC, we also emphasize interdisciplinary learning on these trips and will include some natural history and ecology in our discussions. Such interconnectedness is crucial to the understanding of Earth Systems we try to convey by the end of the class, and will be useful for students pursuing degrees in any of the natural sciences and/or environmental studies.

The bulk of the class will take place on extended, weeklong field trips, with significant outdoor components (camping, hiking, backpacking, rafting) and some in-the-building lecture/lab support.

Syllabus

1 unit of natural sciences credit; meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigations of the Natural World and the Lab/Field requirement

Prerequisite: None. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. A non-refundable $100 deposit is required of Colorado College students to enroll in this course. Visiting students are required to pay a non-refundable $500 deposit. The deposit will be credited to your final tuition payment.