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The Earth and Life Through Time

This 1 credit course is intended to serve as an opportunity to directly observe and inquire about materials and processes which make up the Earth. Geology is the study of the Earth and the goal of this lab is to give you, the Kent State University liberal arts student, a chance to be involved directly in that study.

Scientific study is a process whereby questions about the real world are asked, experiments and observations are made to test the question, and conclusions are based upon how well the observations answer the questions.  Scientists are not all geeks – some are actually normal people who are curious about the world they live in.  Many of the things we observe about the Earth are the result of events that occurred long before humans inhabited the planet; thus, Earth and Life Through Time is an historical science.  Historical science questions are answered by observing rocks and fossils and determining how they formed and what they mean.  As such, there is a close parallel of these studies with modern forensic work. 

The laboratory in Earth and Life Through Time Laboratory (GEOL 11043) is designed to use a combination of experiments and observations that provide answers to questions pertaining to nearly all areas of study for students majoring in virtually all areas.  We will explore techniques for identifying and interpreting the origin of various rock types, for exploring the patterns of evolution of life on Earth, and compare and contrast events that occurred in the planet in the past with the human impact on the modern environment.

GEOLOGY 11042 – The Earth and Life Through Time – is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for this lab course.  Each lab is designed to be completed in about 1 hour 45 minutes.  Typically, the projects are group efforts, working with 3 or 4 other students.  All the labs will be held in McGilvrey Hall, Room 233, with the exception of the fieldtrip.

Lab Course Pack

All of the exercises and their explanations are printed in a course pack available at Wordsmiths, 402 East Main Street.  The instructor's name is Rodney Feldmann.  Students must have the course pack prior to the first laboratory so that the first exercise can be completed.

Assignments and Grading

For each lab the instructor will make a brief presentation explaining the exercise to be completed during the lab period and will discuss relevant aspects of the projects to be undertaken.  The exercises will typically be completed by a small group of students, but each student must write the answers to questions in their own words.  Exercises will be handed in at the end of the class period, and instructors will grade them and return them during the next lab period.  Your grade will be based upon your performance on the exercises and on a final exam.

Free Tutoring by experienced Geology graduate students, lab instructors and advanced undergraduates begins in Week 3 of each semester.

Geology Department

The Geology Department at KSU is an active, vibrant, and fun center for the study of Earth materials, processes, and history. We have ~15 faculty members who teach and do research in many different fields of Geology. The department currently has about 70 undergraduate majors (both B.A. and B.S.) and 30 graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.). The Kent State Geological Society (KSGS) is one of the more active societies on campus and you are encouraged to become a member of it. The society holds informal fieldtrips throughout the year and each fall semester holds a picnic in one of the nearby parks.

Students with Disabilities

In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester or when given an assignment for which an accommodation is required. Students with disabilities must verify their eligibility through the Office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) in the DeWeese Health Center on Kent Campus.