Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

The geologic record demonstrates that our environment has changed over a variety of time scales from seconds to billions of years. This course explores the many ways in which geologic and anthropologic processes control and modify the Earth’s environment. Topics include: chemical and physical interactions between the solid Earth, its oceans and atmosphere; the effect of catastrophic events such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on the environment; geologic hazards; and our role in modifying the environment through earth resource development. This course serves as an introduction to Environmental Earth Science Field Course (12.120), which addresses field applications of these principles in the American Southwest.

Main Text

Merritts, D., A. de Wet, and K. Menking. Environmental Geology: an Earth System Science Approach. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1998. ISBN: 9780716728344.

Supplemental Texts

Keller, E. A. Environmental Geology. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1999. ISBN: 9780130224668.

Montgomery, C. W. Environmental Geology. 6th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2002. ISBN: 9780073661957.

Pipken, B. W., and D. D. Trent. Geology and the Environment. 4th ed. California, CA: Brooks Cole, 2004. ISBN: 9780534490515.

Thompson, G. R., and J. Turk. Environmental Geoscience. 3rd ed. Ft Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1997. ISBN: 9780030988660.


Problem Sets 30%
Exams 30%
Project 30%
Attendance and Participation 10%

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Problem Sets