G129 INTRODUCTORY GEOLOGY TAUGHT IN THE FIELD
Dates: June 7-21, 2015 (3 credits)
Students will fly round trip from Indianapolis to Bozeman, with cost of flight included in fees.
None. This course is open to all University students as well as incoming freshman. Scholarship application is available on-line with course application.
Introductory Geology Taught in the Field is an introductory geological science course designed for university students with widely varying backgrounds and intended majors. G129 is intended to provide students with a broadly balanced approach to the fundamental concepts that are at the heart of any study of the Earth. Lectures and field work will focus on the interactive nature of chemical, physical, and biological processes that have shaped our planetary environment during the past 4.5 billion years. Topics will be presented in a manner that intertwines these fundamental principles with applications which serve to document that Earth is a complex system.
The study of geology can best be done in the field where direct observations of both the processes and the scale of these processes, can be made. This is one example of where, if a picture is worth a thousand words, being able to engage in hands-on investigation will result in an infinitely more rewarding experience than sitting through a lecture looking at images from 1000 miles away. It follows directly from the quality of the learning experience that the pace of learning can also be accelerated allowing both time to explore details of particularly interesting aspects of the subject matter and a greater range of topics than might be found in a typical semester long course based on a traditional campus. The intensity of the experience, resulting from the total immersion environment created by living and working at the Indiana University Geologic Field Station will produce a coherent and lasting understanding of the fundamental principles that are at the heart of the geological sciences; this will provide the foundation that will allow this knowledge to be applied universally in whatever situations the person will later finds themselves in. The Indiana University Geologic Field Station is set in an area of profound geologic diversity and ready access to exposures of rocks and other relevant teaching materials and settings. Taking advantage of this location and the ability to teach in total emersion setting warrants the designation of this as a new course. Additionally, the content has been designed to overlap areas that are historically divided between two standard introductory geology courses, physical geology and historical geology that traditionally were both required as the basis of the first year of study.
Instruction will consist of a combination of lectures, classroom assignments, and field work. Quizzes and in-field evaluation exercises will be conducted on an as-appropriate schedule. The bulk of the work will be done in the field with projects set-up to have individual objectives; the format will contain aspects that require the student to work within a problem solving format. All field work will require the collection of observations and measurements conducted while in the field and a final analysis and the submission of a final set of materials and/or a report; field participation as well as the written materials submitted at the end of each project will constitute the primary component of the basis of the in-field grade.
LOGISTICS AND PREPARATION
Topics in lecture, classroom exercises, and in the field will build from fundamental concepts at the beginning of the course to complex interdisciplinary concepts as the course progresses. Active engagement in all aspects of the course is necessary both for your performance as an individual and for your contribution to group activities. Students are expected to read the assigned pages prior to lecture/field work and to be prepared for discussion and exercises based on their reading. Concepts and terms necessary to understand the laboratory exercises are presented during the lecture. Because of the intense immersion format of this course, a positive attitude must be maintained to ensure a healthy learning environment for all those involved in the course.