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Geology

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Welcome to the Eastfield College Geology website! 

Ground-rending earthquakes, massive volcanoes, water on Mars, the Northern Lights, dinosaurs, the closure of mighty oceans, and the birth of towering mountains.  What do they all have in common?  They are all part of Geology! 

No doubt about it, the Earth is a special place, but how much do you really know about the planet that we call home? 

  • • Do you know why Mt. Kīlauea can erupt for 30 years and not kill anybody, while Mt. Vesuvius can erupt for two days and kill thousands?  
  • • Why is it that the DFW area is so rich in fossils?  
  • • Why have there been so many earthquakes around the DFW area recently? 
  • • What is inside the Earth; and why does Hawaii exist at all? 
  • • Were the dinosaurs covered in feathers and how did humans evolve? 

If you are interested in these sorts of questions, then geology is the right science for you!  All of the above questions and more are answered through our different geology classes.  There are five classes taught by your Geology faculty at Eastfield College: Earth Science I, Earth Science II, Physical Geology, Historical Geology, and Oceanography.  All of them are core courses and count as a general science credit.  

Below are brief descriptions of each of the Geology classes taught here at Eastfield.  Read through them, find the one that you like the best and sign up today!

GEOL 1401 – Earth Sciences for Non-Science Majors I
Earth Science is a general science survey class for non-science majors.  We cover a wide variety of topics, all within the fields of Physical Geology (the study of the Earth and the materials and processes that shape it), Historical Geology (the history of the Earth and the evolution of life through time), Oceanography (the study of the oceans), Meteorology (the study of the atmosphere and weather), and Astronomy (the solar system and the universe).  This course is offered both face-to-face and online.   

GEOL 1402 – Earth Sciences for Non-Science Majors II
Earth Science II is a special topics class that focuses on natural hazards, climate variability, and natural resources.  How can a city minimize flooding?  What other natural disasters can be triggered by an earthquake?  What are the potential natural hazards in my neighborhood?  Understanding geologic processes will allow us to assess risks and make informed decisions in our daily life as well as when the natural disaster strikes.   This course is offered both face-to-face and online and has a prerequisite of either GEOL 1401 or GEOL 1403.  

GEOL 1403 – Physical Geology
This course covers the materials that make up the Earth and the processes that shape it in greater detail than GEOL 1401.  Major themes include: minerals, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and different geologic environments (glacial, desert, etc.).  This course is only offered face-to-face.    

GEOL 1404 – Historical Geology
This course covers the basics of geology before launching into the history of our planet.  Where did the Earth come from, and how did it end up the way it did?  Where did life come from?  We cover the origin of life, and its evolution from bacteria, to fish, to dinosaurs, to mammals, to us.  The three major themes that run through the course are plate tectonics, geologic time, and evolution.  Labs utilize the Eastfield College fossil collection for hands on time with real fossils.  Part Biology, part Geology, this course has something for the little fossil collector within us all.  This course is only offered face-to-face.    

GEOL 1445 – Oceanography
The oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, so why don’t we know more about them?  Oceanography is an interdisciplinary science that incorporates a little of all of the four basic natural sciences (geology, biology, physics, and chemistry) without needing a background in any of them.  Major themes include the geology of the ocean basins, the chemistry of the water, the forces that control waves and currents, and the animals that live in the ocean.  Why are sharks found where they are?  What is the biggest animal on Earth?  Why can’t we drink ocean water?  What controls the waves?  These questions and more are answered in Oceanography.  This course is only offered online.