Geology major

mhcc.edu/Science

Faculty Adviser                                                                                             

Daina Hardisty: 503-491-7407 | Room AC2590 | Daina.Hardisty@mhcc.edu

Geology is the study of the Earth. It seeks to describe, classify and analyze the Earth’s physical and chemical characteristics and catalog the history of Earth and past life forms. Geologists examine land forms and rocks to discover how the Earth has formed and changed over time. Geology involves the investigation of Earth hazards, resources and environment as well as solutions to these problems.

Curricular Outcomes

At the completion of this curriculum, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of discipline-specific fundamental geologic concepts
  • Utilize the method of scientific inquiry with respect to geosciences
  • Communicate ideas and views regarding the geosciences as these relate to current issues and daily life
  • Acquire the ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate geologic data and information
  • Apply geologic knowledge and skills to a range of problems and propose scientifically reasonable and acceptable solutions
  • Demonstrate technical skills in the collection and analysis of geologic data in field and laboratory settings

Students interested in pursuing the Geology major can complete the following courses toward the Science requirement and/or electives on the AS (recommended), AAOT, ASOT-B, AGS or ASLA degrees. Students are highly encouraged to work with a university transfer adviser to ensure transferability of courses. Admitted students may also log on to Navigate to start the process of building an academic plan based on this major and can notify an adviser for review.

G201Principles of Physical Geology 14
G202Principles of Physical Geology 24
G203Principles of Historical Geology4
G148CVolcanoes and Their Activity3
G165Regional Field Geology3

Transfer Schools

The following shows just one example of how students can complete an Associate of Science degree while also taking lower-division geology courses. Be sure to work with an MHCC adviser and the transfer institution you'd like to attend to ensure correct courses are being taken. Not all courses are offered every term. Click on a course number to see what term(s) the course is typically offered.

Plan of Study Grid
First QuarterCredits
CH221 General Chemistry I 5
MTH251 Calculus I: Differential Calculus 5
WR121 English Composition (Course offered online) 4
Arts & Letters 3-4
 Credits17-18
Second Quarter
CH222 General Chemistry II 5
MTH252 Calculus II: Integral Calculus 5
WR122
English Composition: Critical Thinking (Course offered online)
or Technical Report Writing (Course offered online)
4
Social Science 3-4
 Credits17-18
Third Quarter
CH223 General Chemistry III 5
MTH253 Calculus III 4
Oral Communication 3-4
 Credits12-13
Fourth Quarter
G201 Principles of Physical Geology 4
MTH254
Calculus IV: Multivariable/ Vector Calculus Part 1
or Linear Algebra
5
PH201
General Physics I
or General Physics with Calculus I
5
Elective / university requirement 3-4
 Credits17-18
Fifth Quarter
G202 Principles of Physical Geology 4
PH202
General Physics II
or General Physics with Calculus I
5
Social Science (GEOG265 recommended) 3-4
Arts & Letters 3-4
 Credits15-16
Sixth Quarter
G203 Principles of Historical Geology 4
PH203
General Physics III
or General Physics with Calculus III
5
Health & Physical Education 3
 Credits12
 Total Credits90-95

G148C Volcanoes and Their Activity

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; and MTH020; each with a grade of "C" or better, or placement above stated course levels. Students are required to attend a field trip listed under "Must Read" for dates. Students who cannot attend due to class or work schedule conflicts must do an alternative project.

This is an introductory course in volcanology, which is a branch of the science of geology. The student will develop an understanding of the types, origin, activity, products and hazards of volcanoes. Additionally, the student will have the opportunity to visit major volcanic sites in the Pacific Northwest.

Additional Course Fee: $30.00

This course fulfills: Non-Lab Science

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Analyze the hazards of volcanic eruptive events and assess risk with respect to the Pacific Northwest volcanic activity
  2. Describe the origin and relationship between volcanic activity, styles of eruptions and plate tectonic settings along with their internal processes
  3. Discuss a number of historical volcanic eruptions and outline the major cause of destruction for each case
  4. Examine the effects of chemical composition on eruptive style and resulting products and volcanic landscapes
  5. Explore the methods to forecast volcanic eruptions and identify the triggers of volcanism
  6. ldentify and classify internal and external igneous structures and associated landforms
  7. ldentify and classify the type of materials that are the result of volcanic processes
  8. lnterpret the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate

G165 Regional Field Geology

Credits 3Summer

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; and MTH020; each with a grade of "C" or better, or placement above stated course levels.

This course consists of an extended field trip to a region of special geologic interest. The trip is arranged to illustrate various geologic characteristics and special features unique to the selected region and includes studies of the topographic and geologic setting and significant events through geologic time. More specifically, lithology, stratigraphy, age and origin of geologic structures and geomorphology are discovered. The course will begin with a mandatory on-campus meeting prior to the field trip and finish with a mandatory on-campus meeting after the field trip. A field notebook is required.

Additional Course Fee: $60.00

This course fulfills: Lab Science

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Communicate observations and interpretations in oral and written formats.
  2. Develop analytical and observational skills through daily entries in a field notebook/journal.
  3. Explain geologic phenomena, connect those phenomena with the lithologic record, and generate an interpretation of past environments of formation
  4. Interpret and use the geologic time scale
  5. Make inferences about Earth systems from observations of the natural world and research of literature.

G201 Principles of Physical Geology

Credits 4Fall/Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; and MTH060; each with a grade of "C" or better, or placement above stated course levels. Students are required to attend a field trip listed under "Must Read" for dates. Students who cannot attend due to class or work schedule conflicts must do an alternative project.

This course is designed for both Geology majors and transfer students needing a lab science, and can also be taken by other individuals who desire to gain a better understanding of the Earth. A number of field trips are utilized throughout the year to illustrate geologic concepts utilizing Oregon's and Washington's plentiful geologic history. G201 Principles of Physical Geology, focuses on the study of mineral formation, origins of rocks and investigation of internal Earth processes as they are related to plate tectonics, mountain building, earthquakes and volcanic activity. Geologic maps and cross-sections are utilized extensively.

Additional Course Fee: $30.00

This course fulfills: Lab Science

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Differentiate between rocks and minerals as well as the environment of formation and determine how these materials relate to geologic processes and the rock cycle
  2. Distinguish between scientific hypothesis and theory as it pertains to the scientific method and utilize scientific method process in course activities.
  3. Distinguish between the various geologic structures, their origin, how rocks deform, and their relationship to tectonic settings
  4. Explore Earth's interior and the methods of determining the compositional & physical structure of the Earth
  5. Recognize and interpret data used to support Plate Tectonics theory and its relationship to geographic, geologic landforms and processes occurring on the Earth today and in the past

G202 Principles of Physical Geology

Credits 4Winter

Registration Requirement: G201; or instructor consent.

Principles of Physical Geology is designed for both Geology majors and transfer students needing a lab science. A number of field trips are utilized throughout the year to illustrate geologic concepts utilizing Oregon's and Washington's plentiful geologic history. G202 Principles of Physical Geology, analyzes the surface processes of weathering and erosion, their interaction with earth materials, and the resulting landforms. These surface processes include weathering, mass wasting, streams, groundwater, wind, waves and glaciers. Topographic maps and the method used in the sciences are utilized extensively.

Additional Course Fee: $30.00

This course fulfills: Lab Science

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe the general Geomorphic aspects of planet Earth.
  2. Examine and explain the role of Plate Tectonics in shaping the Earth's surface landforms
  3. Interpret and appraise Geological Hazards and potential mitigations.
  4. Recognize and examine landforms and surface processes.
  5. Utilize mapping and photographic tools in Geomorphological investigations and communicate findings to others.

G203 Principles of Historical Geology

Credits 4Spring

Registration Requirement: G202; or instructor consent.

Principles of Historical Geology is designed for both geology majors and transfer students needing a lab science. A number of field trips are utilized throughout the year to illustrate geologic concepts utilizing Oregon's and Washington's plentiful geologic history. G203 Principles of Historical Geology applies principles of plate tectonics and surface processes to interpret Earth's geologic history and to study fossils and examine the changes of life over time. Geologic maps and cross-sections are utilized extensively.

Additional Course Fee: $30.00

This course fulfills: Lab Science

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe the origin of the Universe, Solar System and Earth
  2. Interpret and use the geologic time scale
  3. Recognize and discuss the interrelationships between the physical and biological history of the Earth
  4. Using rock, fossils and maps, apply the major geologic principles to interpret the geologic history of a given area

Course offered online

Cultural Literacy course