Geology

Physical Geology Lab (GEOL 10L)

GEOL 10L is a laboratory supplement to GEOL 10 and offers an exciting opportunity to reach students outside of the sciences with SIRIUS CURE experiences. Students learn about rocks and their mineral constituents, geological processes such as weathering, erosion, glaciation, mountain building, volcanoes, earthquakes, folds, faults, the earth's interior, plate tectonics and earth resources. The Physical Geology Lab emphasizes the identification of common minerals and rocks, and introduces students to the use of topographic and geologic maps. 

The SIRIUS Module in GEOL 10L focuses on water quality, habitat suitability and sources and types of pollution in local rivers. Students make predictions about types and locations of water pollution, collect water samples from the river, and analyze them for nutrients metals, temperature and pH. Results are then related to local sources of contaminants in surface water.

Hydrogeology (GEOL 127)

GEOL 127 is focused on fundamentals of groundwater flow, as influenced by topography and geology; geological aspects of groundwater supply, contamination, remediation, and protection of hydrogeological regions of the U.S. and their critical groundwater issues. Funding from the WM Keck Foundation has made it possible to add a laboratory section and extend the CURE throughout the semester.

The SIRIUS Module in GEOL 127 investigates the extent of hydrologic connection between the American River and the campus aquifers. Students collect and analyze data on water quality and groundwater level, which are similar to data they would handle as professional hydrogeologists.  California’s recent, historic drought led to the designation of the Sacramento area as a High Priority Groundwater Basin under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.