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Economic Geology and Earth Resources
/ GEOS 205
“If it can’t be grown, it must be mined.” We depend on the solid Earth for a huge array of resources. The metal in your soda can, the plastic in your Nalgene, the components of your computer, the glass in your window, the hydrocarbons being burned to keep you warm in the winter or to transport you in cars or aircraft, the cars and aircraft themselves: all are made of materials mined from the Earth. Right now there are more people building more houses, paving more roads, making more vehicles, more electronics, and more plastic packaging-all with geologic materials. As demand soars in both established and growing economies, and as we realize the environmental damage that can result from resource extraction and processing, the importance of understanding Earth’s resources increases. Finding new deposits and managing those we have requires insight into the geology that underlies the location and origin of strategic Earth materials. This class introduces the geologic processes that control formation, distribution, and extent of materials reserves: dimension stone and gravel, base and precious metal ores, gemstones, petroleum, nuclear energy sources, and specialty materials for medical, technological, and military uses. This course is in the SOLID EARTH GROUP for the Geosciences major.
Format: lecture/laboratory; 2.5 hours lecture per week and one 3 hour lab per week, including some field labs
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
one hour exam, a final exam, lab exercises, and a group project
one 100-level GEOS course or permission of instructor
sophomores and Geosciences majors
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI Natural World Electives
GEOS Group C Electives - Solid Earth