The following is a list of Earth and Mineral Science courses offered at Penn State Altoona. Courses are for students majoring within Earth and Mineral Sciences and also includes general education courses for the non-science majors.
Earth and Mineral Science Courses
EARTH 101 (GN;US) Natural Disasters: Hollywood vs. Reality (3)
Analysis of the causes and consequences of natural disasters; comparison of popular media portrayal of disasters with perspective from scientific research. (Generally offered every semester).
GEOG 001N Global Parks and Sustainability
An exploration of parks and protected areas both in the US and globally, as a framework for exploring broad themes of sustainability, conservation and socio-ecological systems. Case studies that exemplify parkscapes (parks and protected areas embedded within complex landscapes) are used to convey stories of evolving attitudes and approaches toward conservation and sustainability. (Generally offered fall and spring semesters).
GEOG 030N Environment and Society in a Changing World
An exploration of the relationships between humans and the natural environment. The course is designed to introduce students to the major problems facing the Earth, and the role that humans play in causing the problems and solving them. Additionally, the course will introduce how social and ecological processes interact and spread across spatial scales. (Generally offered Fall and Spring semesters).
GEOG 115 (GN) Landforms of the World (3)
Distribution of the world's landform features and mineral resources; their characteristics, causes, and significance. Practicum includes correlated field trips and laboratory studies. (Generally offered Spring semester).
GEOG 210 Geographic Perspectives on Environmental Systems Science
An overview of the physical aspects of the environment in which we live. A systematic approach of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere will be presented with an emphasis on how human activities alter the features of the physical landscape. Visual aids, animations, and laboratory exercises will be used to further support the concepts presented during the lecture. (Generally offered Fall and Spring semesters).
GEOG 260 Geographic Information in a Changing World: Introduction to GIScience
An introduction to Geographic Information Science (GIS) software. GIS is concerned with the design, development, and use of geographic information and technologies (also called geospatial technologies) to help institutions and individuals respond to, and ideally to predict environmental and social change. This course provides a broad, practical foundation of GIS methods and technologies. In a rapidly changing world, detailed, up-to-date geographic data are indispensable in governance, commerce, security, public health, and many other domains. These data are also needed to support research intended to improve our understanding of social and environmental systems. (Generally offered Fall semester).
GEOSC 001 Physical Geology (3)
Earth processes and their effects on the materials, structure, and morphology of the earth's crust. Practicum includes field work, study of rocks, minerals, dynamic models, and topographic maps. (This course includes from one to several field trips). (Generally offered Fall semester).
GEOSC 020 (GN) Planet Earth (3)
Nontechnical presentation of earth processes, materials, and landscape. Practicum includes field trips, study of maps, rocks, and dynamic models, introduction to geologic experimentation. (This course includes from one to several field trips). (Generally offered fall semester).
GEOSC 212N Earthquakes and Human History
An examination of the historical development of seismicity and its evolution due to scientific advances in the field of seismology - the study of earthquakes and the structure of the earth. The course begins with a look at what is known today about both seismicity and seismology. Then the historical evolution of seismology is explored up to the present day. This requires examining the history of how earthquakes have been understood in addition to their impact on the historical development of certain societies – their politics, economic development, and social policies. These impacts will be analyzed through case studies of several prominent historical earthquake events to understand the historical evolution of ideas about earthquakes and the range of social impacts of earthquakes. (Generally offered Fall and Spring semesters).
METEO 003 (GN) Introductory Meteorology (3)
Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate. A student who took METEO 002 may take the laboratory part of this course for 1 credit only. (Generally offered every semester).
METEO 005 (GN) Severe and Unusual Weather (3)
Non-technical introduction to the physical processes important in the formation of various severe and unusual weather phenomena. (Generally offered Spring semester).
SOILS 101 (GN) Introductory Soil Science (3)
A study of soil properties and processes and relationships to land use, plant growth, environmental quality, and society. (Generally offered Spring semester).