Catalog • 2011-2012

General Sciences Courses

GSC 101 Physical Geology - 4 credits

A study of the Earth’s dynamic tectonic and hydrologic systems, seismicity, volcanism, crustal deformation, rivers, glaciers and erosion. Also covered are the origin, classification and properties of rocks and minerals. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours, including field trip.

GSC 103 Astronomy - 4 credits

A study of what is known about our place in the observable universe. The sun and the solar system, the nature of stars, stellar life cycles, galaxies and the structure of the universe are discussed. Information concerning how to view the heavens, phases of the moon, eclipses, etc. as amateur astronomers do each night is also covered. Laboratories consist of observations through a telescope, using a planisphere, comparative planetology, the Messier list, constellations, extra solar planets, and life on other worlds. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.

GSC 104 Historical Geology - 3 credits

A study of the evolution of the earth’s environment including changes in the land, seas and mountains; and the succession of life, including human, through time. Lecture three hours, including field trip.

GSC 105 A Guide to Earth’s Energy Resources: Wise Use and Future Prospects - 3 credits

Energy is a fundamental physical concept and plays an increasingly important role in society. This course will focus on describing what energy is and how the various forms of energy interrelate and can be converted to other forms. The properties of energy sources in current use will be examined with respect to supply and environmental impact. The entire range of alternative sources of energy will be discussed and critically examined, with a view towards determining the practicality of increasing societal use of one or more of them. Lecture three hours.

GSC 106 Weather and Climate - 4 credits

A study of the atmosphere and oceans and their role in the Earth's life-supporting environment; solar radiation and the energy transfers between air, land and sea; elements of weather and climate; atmospheric and ocean pollution, especially as they relate to climate change; chemical and physical oceanography. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours.

GSC 110 Geology of the National Parks - 3 credits

Encompassing over 84 million acres, America’s National Park System preserves some of our most cherished natural, cultural and historic places. While the general public may see them primarily as recreational spaces, many parks also serve as focal points for studying a variety of classic and unique geologic settings, as well as their associated ecosystems. Students will explore the history of the park system from its initial inception to the present, and analyze and interpret data from scientific research conducted within park boundaries.

GSC 351 General Science Seminar - 3 credits

Student self-conducted research on a selected topic of interest, finalized with a submitted paper and formal presentation with critique. The use of modern information retrieval techniques is emphasized.