GEOL 2391: Environmental Geology

This course provides an examination of geological processes and material as they interact with human activities, environmental planning and management.

Learning outcomes

After completing the work in this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the role of natural geologic processes--such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and slope failures--in creating conditions that impact human infrastructure and activities.
  • Explain how human activity impacts natural geologic systems, geo-environmental settings and ecosystems on local, regional and global scales, and
  • Describe how the human suffering, property damage and economic disruption of these natural and human-induced processes can be mitigated through planning approaches that are based on a comprehensive understanding of geological processes and on appropriate consideration of geologic factors.

Course topics

The course is divided into five units, which are further divided into topics of study. The overall topics are:

Unit 1: Clay minerals, Atmosphere and Oceans, Climate Change

Unit 2: Earthquakes

Unit 3: Volcanoes

Unit 4: Glaciation, Soils and Slope Failure

Unit 5: Geological resources, waste disposal and environmental geochemistry

Required text and materials

  1. E. Keller, Environmental Geology (9th ed.), 2011, Prentice-Hall.
    ISBN: 9780321643759 / 0321643755
  2. GEOL 2391 Lab Kit


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, students are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory final exam.

Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 10%
Final Exam * 50%
TOTAL 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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