GEOL 117 - PHYSICAL GEOLOGY COURSE SYLLABUS - Spring 2017

Harmon D. Maher Jr. ©

Remember that you are also signed up for the lab portion of the course.

How to contact me?

Exams and grades: Grades will be posted on Blackboard.

Policy on make-ups: If you must miss an exam, and if you contact me by at least 24 hours before the test, then arrangements can usually be made for you to take the exam early (at my discretion). If you miss an exam without making arrangements beforehand, then you must take a make-up that will be given during finals week. The make-up will be essay in form. It is to your advantage not to miss the exams. You will be given at least a two week notice in class of the exact date exams will be given. They will be spaced roughly at even intervals during the semester.

I am happy to work with those of you with designated accommodations. Please coordinate implementation of those accommodations with me at least two days prior to a test or assignment where an accommodation is provided.

Text: This web site is the equivalent of your text book. I propose that reviewing the material before the lectures can significantly increase efficiency of learning. With discipline you can spend less time overall and get more out of the course material.

If you have any questions please ask!

Course Outline

Link to lecture outlines.


Introduction: brief course description & discussion of course mechanics; the philosophy of science and 2 revolutions in the development of geology as a science; some common themes in geology.

The stuff the earth is made of - levels of structure and building blocks:

First Exam


Historical Geology - rates of geologic processes and interpreting the record.

Geomorphology - the ever-changing surface of the Earth.

Second Exam


The structure and architecture of the Earth - big to small.

Humanity and geology.

Third and Final Exam - during finals week.


Link to lecture outlines.

Field Trip: Without a doubt the best place to learn geology is out in the field, and so we will take a Saturday morning field trip (usually to a local quarry). Good fossil collecting! This will be worth participation points - details are forthcoming.

UNO students on a 2016 geology field trip to Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado.

Return to Physical Geology index page.

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I reserve copyrights to all the material in this site. Students are free to use or copy any material within for their individual educational purposes.