West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Geology/Oceanography Department:
Description of Courses

 


Geo 1A - Physical Geology | Geo 1B - Historical Geology Lecture
Geo 2B - Historical Geology Laboratory | Geo 3B - California Natural History Field Laboratory
Geo 5 - Mineralogy | Geo 10 - Earth Science Systems | Geo 12A - Environmental Geology
Geo 12B - Environmental Laboratory | Geo 15 - California Geology | Geo 16 - Natural History of Dinosaurs
Geo 18 - Geology of National Parks | Geo 20 - Field Geology Methods
Geo 91, 92, 93 - Directed Studies | Oceanography 1- Oceanography

Geology 1A - Physical Geology (4 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours (also offered as a television course)
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University
This course provides an introduction to the field of earth science as applied to the study of the nature, properties, and distribution of earth materials; how the material forms, changes, and moves throughout the earth; how landscapes develop. Emphasis is on plate tectonic setting. The course is designed to serve both the non-science major and those students intending to major in the earth sciences. (CAN GEOL2)


This course has a laboratory section that meets for a three hour session each week.
One weekend field trip and one lab section field trip offered.

 


Geology 1B - Historical Geology (3 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University
Theories of the origin of the earth, and a study of the evolution history of the earth as seen in the fossil and stratigraphic record. Emphasis on the development of the North American continent with particular interset in the geotectonic evolution the North American Cordillera.
One weekend field trip offered

 


Geology 2B - Historical Geology Laboratory (1 unit) (return to top of page)

Lab 3 hours per week
Recommended preparation: Geol 1B or concurrent
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University
This course provides laboratory and field experience to introduce the field of historical earth science. It includes description of rocks, fossils, and geologic maps, directed to provide evidence for the theories on the evolution of the Earth. Time is spent in the field, both during the regular scheduled time plus one weekend.

 


Geology 3B - California Natural History Field Laboratory (2 units) (return to top of page)
Recommended preparation: Concurrent enrollment in Biology 13 and completion of a either Geology 1A, Geology 15, Geology 10.
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University
This course covers the natural history of specific regions in California with emphasis on geology and should be taken concurrently with Biology 13. This field geology laboratory sequence illustrates topics covered in course Geology 1A, Geology 1B, Geology 10, and Geology 15 as well as biology courses Biology 10, Biology 12, Biology 14, Biology 24, Biology 42, and Biology 49. This is a field-oriented course and will have nominal instructional meetings per week followed by a six-day field trip/camp. The instructional meetings will serve to introduce the use of topographic and geologic maps in the field as well as background on the specific focus region of the trip. Biology 13 portion of the course will focus on the botany and zoology of the specific regions with emphasis on ecology. Trip locations will differ from summer to summer (Cascade and Modoc Volcanoes; Sierra Nevada Foothills and Yosemite; Lake Tahoe and High Sierra; Eastern Sierra Nevada; San Francisco Bay, Coast Ranges and San Andreas Fault; Los Angeles and Transverse Ranges; Death Valley and Mohave Desert; Penninsular Ranges, Anza Borrego Desert, and Imperial Valley; Baja California Sur, Baja California Norte). This course may be taken multiple times.
A fee will be charged .

 


Geology 5 - Mineralogy (4 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University
This course stresses the study of crystallography, physical properties, and origin of common minerals. Specimens of common minerals will be identified both in hand sample and optical microscope.

 


Geology 10 - Earth Science Systems (3 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University.
Introductory science survey course covering major topics in geology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, geography, and the scientific method. This course is intended to fulfill a science requirement for teaching programs and non-science majors.
 


Geology 12A - Environmental Geology (3 units) pending accreditation (return to top of page)

Lecture 3 hours; Lab 3 hours
Introduction to aspects of geology that affect and are affected by humans. Addresses a broad range of topics including resource management, geologic hazards, air and water issues, population and land use, energy costs and effectiveness, and global change, all from a unique geological/environmental perspective. Lectures include strategies for mitigating these issues.
Includes a one-day field trip. Concurrent enrollment in Geology 12B required for majors.

 


Geology 12B - Environmental Lab (1 unit) pending accreditation (return to top of page)

Lab 3 hours per week
Laboratory sequence illustrating topics covered in course Geology 12, with emphasis on rock and mineral identification, geologic hazard assessment, geologic resource management, and land use planning.
Several in-lab field trips. Requirement: Concurrent enrollement or completion of Geology 12A.

 


Geology 15 - Geology of California (3 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University.
Study of the geologic development of California in space and time with emphasis on plate tectonics. Focus is on the natrual provinces of California including the Seirra Nevada, Coast Ranges, Basin and Range plus Mojave, Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau, Transverse Ranges, Great Valley, Pennisular Ranges, Colorado Desert. Intended for both the non-science major and geology major with interest in the geotectonic evolution of California.
One weekend field trip by arrangement.

 


Geology 16 - Natural History of Dinosaurs (3 units) pending accreditation (return to top of page)

Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
The course focuses on the origin, evolution, and extinction of dinosaurs with emphasis on paleobiology and paleoecology. Covers fundamental paleontological and evolutionary principles including dinosaur anatomy and behavior, the hot-blooded/cold- blooded debate, dinosaur-bird relationships, dinosaur diversity, exploits of the great dinosaur hunters, and dinosaurs� prospects. Intended for both science and non-science majors. Two hours of lecture followed by a three-hour discussion/exercise session each week.
Two weekend field trips are by arrangement.

 


Geology 18 - Geology of National Parks (3 units) pending accreditation (return to top of page)

Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
This course introduces students to the geologic concepts and processes responsible for shaping our national parks in terms of plate tectonic setting over geologic time. The geologic concepts discussed including mountain building, volcanic and earthquake activity, sedimentation, weathering, erosion, and glaciation. An understanding of how geology impacts our lives is emphasized with some discussion on the history of National Parks. Appropriate for both science and non-science majors who wish to enhance their knowledge, enjoyment, and appreciation of our National Parks.
One camping field trip by arrangement.

 


Geology 20 - Field Geology (2 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 1 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University.
Study and practice in observing, mapping, and interpreting rocks and rock structures in the field. Locations studied depend on the season and interests of the class. In the past, work has been done in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Pt. Lobos, the Diablo Range, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite National Park, the northern California Coast Range, the New Idria Mines, and Point Reyes National Park. The class meets nominally one day per week.
Saturday and weekend field trips are by arrangement.

 


Geology 91, 92, 93 - Directed Studies (1-3 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 3, 6, or 9 hours per week by arrangement
Prerequisite: Interview with a teacher or complete relevant course.
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University.
Students may apply for Directed Studies in Geology or Oceanography, provided they have successfully completed sufficient course work to do advanced, independent work beyond the regular course curriculum. A project report is required.

 


Oceanography 1 - General Oceanography (3 units) (return to top of page)

Lecture 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University.
A general study of the physical chemical, biological and geological properties of the oceans with emphasis on the impact between humans and the seas. This is an interdisciplinary course covering topics that include origins of earth, ocean, and life, atmorpheric circulation, ocean circulation, plate tectonics, seawater chemistry, ocean sediment, ocean waves, tides, marine communities, biological productivity, marine animal evolution, marine invertibrates, marine vertibrates, coral reefs, kelp forests, and human impact on the world ocean.
Two weekend field trips by arrangement (includes a boat trip on the San Francisco Bay/trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium {fee required})

 


For a complete list of classes offered at West Valley College see the College Catalogue

last published: 12/4/12 • validate xhtml css 508