Course syllabus: GEOL 3700 - Plate Tectonics - Spring 2016


Instructor: Harmon D. Maher Jr.

University of Nebraska at Omaha

W 6-8:45 PM DSC 280

Intended student audience: This course is designed for students with variable backgrounds in geology, from the interested novice to geology majors. An intro course in geology or physical geography is highly suggested. The course will be particularly useful to those involved in teaching earth science as plate tectonics is the central framework with which we make sense of much of the what we see occurring geologically. It will also be of interest to anyone seeking a better understanding of how the earth works.

Course Objective: To learn the large scale dynamics of the earth's surface: e.g. how oceans grow and shrink, how continents are shuffled around, how mountain belts evolve, why volcanism and earthquakes occur where they do, and much more. This in turn tells us about the inner workings of the earth.

Suggestion of how to use web site: In the lecture notes questions are often posed. These questions are linked to answers. You will learn much more if you first try to answer them on your own, and then go to the supplied answers. Since much of science is the art of answering questions, this will give you practice in doing so.

Course Content:


There is no text. This web site and the associated links, plus some readings that can be found at Blackboard, will serve as the learning materials for this course.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me: 554 2662, or Thanks.

Course materials for Plate Tectonics, GEOL 3700, University of Nebraska at Omaha. Instructor: H. D. Maher Jr., copyright. This material may be used for non-profit educational purposes with appropriate attribution of authorship. Otherwise please contact author.