FACULTY SENATE


Senate Document Number     2209S


Date of Senate Approval      01/22/09


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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:



APC Document 10:                                           Add new course, ENVR 106, Earth History;

                                                                        Add new course, ENVR 310, Economic Geology



Effective Date: Fall 2009



1.  Add:         On page 141, new course, ENVR 106, Earth History


                     106          Earth History (3)

Introduction to the development of Earth as preserved in the rock record. Includes geologic time, stratigraphy, major mountain building events, and evolution of life forms. Even years Fall.




Minimal. This course will be part of the teaching responsibility of current (now in second year) faculty. Other faculty can also teach it if needed.




The Earth History course will allow for expanded coverage of historical geology, radiometric dating methods, and stratigraphy, which previously had been covered in abbreviated form in ENVR 105, Physical Geology. Having two separate general geology courses will provide time in Physical Geology for coverage of geomorphologic subjects, such as glaciology and desert landforms, among other subjects, which are covered in normal general geology sequences.





2.  Add:      On page 141, new course, ENVR 310, Economic Geology:


310       Economic Geology (3)

Study of economic mineral deposits with emphasis on representative types, formation, and methods and environmental effects of extraction. Will include field trips. Prerequisite: ENVR 105. Odd years Fall.  




Minimal. The content of the course has been taught as a major part of Environmental Geology (ENVR 382), which will be dropped from four credits to three credits. Contact hours for teaching Environmental Geology (ENVR 282) and Economic Geology (ENVR 310) versus teaching the previous Environmental Geology (ENVR 382) will remain the same (total of six), while credit hours for students will increase to six compared to four, as in the current incarnation of the concentration. Lab experiences will be accomplished through mini-labs and one all-day field trip.



Along with the change to make Environmental Geology more accessible to all Environmental Studies majors as part of the Environmental Studies core courses, we also wanted to maintain this more focused course for the Earth Science concentration. Offering of courses on mineral resources and their stewardship in American universities waned in the past few decades as metal mining activities for all but gold in the U.S. essentially ceased. Now that consumption has vastly increased due to demand from China and India in addition to the U.S., our educational system is attempting to catch up to meet the demand for graduates with knowledge and expertise of mineral resource characterization, extraction, and environmental effects.