Academic Catalogs

Geology

Geology is the science of the Earth. In its broadest sense, geology concerns itself with planetary formation and subsequent modification, with emphasis on the study of planet Earth. Geologists study Earth's internal and surficial structure and materials, the chemical and physical processes acting within and on the Earth, and utilize the principles of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to understand our planet and its environments. The Geology Department at Orange Coast College is committed to excellence in both teaching and research. Courses taught by our faculty cover a variety of topics within this exciting field. Our goal is to offer the highest possible quality education in the geological sciences at the undergraduate level. The mission of our department is to serve two main populations: undergraduate geology majors who will eventually transfer to a four-year institution, and undergraduates from other departments for their general education courses. For all of these students we strive to create excitement about discovery and the process of geologic inquiry.  We want to develop in all students an appreciation of how geological processes affect the earth and society so that they will be environmentally responsible, scientifically literate citizens. We strive to produce majors with an interdisciplinary content background in geology and the physical sciences who are competent in the field, who can work collaboratively, conduct original research, and effectively communicate their results.

Department Contact Information

Dr. E. Erik Bender
ebender@occ.cccd.edu 

Geology Department Website

Credit Courses

GEOL A1014 Units (54 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Age of the Dinosaurs  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

The course focuses on the origin, evolution and extinction of dinosaurs with emphasis on paleobiology and paleoecology. Covers fundamentals of dinosaur anatomy and behavior, hot/cold-blooded debate, relationships to birds, diversity and exploits of dinosaur hunters. Extended field trip required. Intended for science and non-science majors.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A101

GEOL A1053 Units (54 lecture hours)  
General Geology  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC: Credit Limitation: No credit for GEOL A105, GEOL A105H if taken after or concurrently with GEOL A110.

Composition and structure of the earth and the processes which modify the crust and the surface and their effect on man. Not open to students who are taking or have successfully completed GEOL A110. One field trip required. May be taken for grades or on a pass/no pass basis. This course may also be offered online. C-ID: GEOL 100.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A105

GEOL A105H3 Units (54 lecture hours)  
General Geology Honors  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC: Credit Limitation: No credit for GEOL A105, GEOL A105H if taken after or concurrently with GEOL A110.

Composition and structure of the earth and the processes which modify the crust and the surface and their effect on man. Not open to students who are taking or have successfully completed Geology A110. One field trip required during semester. May be taken for grades or on a pass-no pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A105H

GEOL A1064 Units (54 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Earth Science for Teachers  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter

Transfer Credit: CSU.

A broad-based study of earth science, including geology, oceanography, meteorology, and solar system astronomy. Topics are aligned with the California State Science Standards for K-12 and will prepare future teachers to teach these subjects. C-ID: GEOL 121.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A106

GEOL A1153 Units (54 lecture hours)  
California Geology  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

The study of a geologic showcase--California. The geologic framework of our state and its corresponding geologic provinces; geologic factors which have influenced California's human history. The intimate interrelationships of geology with our agriculture, transportation, construction, mining, oil and gas industry, recreation and public welfare. Field trip required. May be taken for grades or on a pass/no pass basis. C-ID: GEOL 200.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A115

GEOL A1313 Units (54 lecture hours)  
Weather and Climate  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC: Credit Limitation: GEOG A130 and GEOL A131 combined: maximum credit, 1 course.

A survey in meteorology, emphasizing atmospheric composition and variability as well as interactions between atmosphere, oceans and continents to produce our weather. Includes the terminology and tools that meteorologists employ to observe, study and predict storm systems, storm fronts, thunderstorms, tornadoes and wind-driven ocean waves. Current topics such as air pollution and climate change will also be addressed.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A131

GEOL A1322 Units (18 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Death Valley  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the tectonic, petrologic, historical and geomorphological setting of the Death Valley region. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to various locales of geological interest and may involve camping in primitive wilderness environments . Topics include the volcanic, tectonic and hydrologic history of the region. OR GEOL A110.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A132

GEOL A1334 Units (18 lecture hours; 162 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Colorado Plateau  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the tectonic, petrologic, historical and geomorphological setting of the Colorado Plateau. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to study the geology of the Colorado Plateau region. Emphasis is on the stratigraphy, tectonic evolution and geologic history of the parks of the Southwest, including the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion National Parks. 18 hours lecture, 18 hours scheduled lab, 144 hours field study lab.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A133

GEOL A1344 Units (18 lecture hours; 162 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Cascade Range  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the tectonic, petrologic, historical and geomorphological setting of the Cascade Range of Northern California, Oregon and Washington. The course combines classroom and field studies of Pacific Northwest geology with an emphasis on the volcanic and geothermal features of Mt. Lassen, Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake, Medicine Lake and Lava Beds National Monument. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to various locales of geological interest and may involve camping in primitive wilderness environments. 18 hours lecture, 18 hours scheduled lab, 144 hours field study lab.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A134

GEOL A1353 Units (54 lecture hours)  
Geology of the Natural Parks and Monuments  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

Geology of national parks, seashores and monuments and its influence on land forms, climate and human history. Classes will vary each semester in order to develop particular skills in interpreting field problems and relationships unique to a given area. Approximate locations will be selected from one of four geologic provinces--The Mojave Desert, Basin and Range, Sierra Nevada, or Colorado Plateau. Field trip required. May be taken for grades or on a pass-no pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A135

GEOL A1361 Unit (9 lecture hours; 27 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - San Andreas Fault  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the tectonic, petrologic, historical and geomorphological setting of the San Andreas Fault Zone. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to various locales of geological interest and may involve camping in primitive wilderness environments.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A136

GEOL A1374 Units (54 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Introductory Field Geology  
Prerequisite(s): GEOL A105 or GEOL A105H or GEOL A110.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

Provides intensive field experience in application of field geology equipment, methods, techniques and maintenance procedures. Emphasizes a "hands-on" approach to the interpretation of geologic data in the field. Includes use of Brunton compass and tape, aerial photos, global positioning system, and geographical mapping.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A137

GEOL A1382 Units (9 lecture hours; 81 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Yosemite National Park  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the tectonic, petrologic, historical and geomorphological setting of the Sierra Nevada mountains with an emphasis on the geologic origin and evolution of Yosemite National Park, California. Introductory lectures complement direct field observations, field data collection, analyses and interpretation. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to various locales of geological interest and may involve camping in primitive wilderness environments. 9 hours lecture, 18 hours scheduled lab, 63 hours field study lab.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A138

GEOL A1392 Units (18 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Eastern Sierra Nevada  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the faults, volcanoes, glaciers, mining and tectonic history of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to various locales of geological interest and may involve camping in primitive wilderness environments. 18 hours lecture, 18 hours scheduled lab, 36 hours field study lab. May be taken for grades or on a pass/no-pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A139

GEOL A1412 Units (18 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Mojave Desert  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

The Mojave Desert is a major economic and recreational resource for southern California. Provides students an opportunity to learn about the geologic processes which have created and shaped the region. Studies the origin, evolution, and geology of the Mojave Desert and adjacent areas. 18 hours lecture, 18 hours scheduled lab, 36 hours field study lab. May be taken for grades or on a pass/no-pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A141

GEOL A1422.5 Units (9 lecture hours; 108 lab hours)  
Geologic Field Studies - Hawaii Volcanology  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

This course offers students an opportunity to explore fundamental geological concepts in a field-based setting. Pre-trip meetings will orient students to the tectonic, structural, plutonic and volcanic features of the Hawaiian Islands with special emphasis on Kilauea volcano. Kilauea’s long-documented eruptive history and easy accessibility make it a training ground for USGS volcanologists. Focuses on the history and features of the volcano and its interactions with the people that live on it. This course includes a multi-day field excursion to various locales of geological interest and may involve camping in primitive wilderness environments. 9 hours lecture, 18 hours scheduled lab, 90 hours field study lab. Course may be taken for grades or on a pass/no-pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A142

GEOL A1604 Units (54 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Environmental Geology  
Prerequisite(s): ENGL A100 or concurrent enrollment.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

The study of natural environments and the impact of humans on geologic systems and will focus on studies of environmental problems associated with soils, water resources and pollution, energy and mineral utilization, coastal erosion, natural geologic hazards, and global atmospheric changes. Principles of sound management of the geologic environment will be emphasized. C-ID: GEOL 131.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A160

GEOL A1653 Units (54 lecture hours)  
Natural Disasters  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

This course explores those natural disasters that affect human activities. Topics include earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornados, and asteroid/meteor impacts. The consequences of pollution and population growth will also be explored. Hypothetical and case histories of natural disasters will also be studied. Class discussion will focus on aspects of regional planning, environmental laws and the interaction between science and society.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A165

GEOL A185H3 Units (54 lecture hours)  
Evolution of the Earth Honors  

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

Geologic evolution of the earth as shown by the changing patterns of land and sea, and by the succession of fauna and flora. A second course in geology for science majors. May be taken for grades or on a pass-no pass basis. C-ID: GEOL 110.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A185H

GEOL A185L1 Unit (54 lab hours)  
Evolution of the Earth Lab  
Prerequisite(s): GEOL A185 or GEOL A185H or concurrent enrollment.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

Laboratory and field exercises to learn how the geologic history of the earth may be determined. Extended weekend field trip required. May be taken for grades or on a pass-no pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A185L

GEOL A185M1 Unit (54 lab hours)  
Evolution of the Earth Lab Honors  
Prerequisite(s): GEOL A185 or GEOL A185H or concurrent enrollment.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU.

Laboratory and field exercises to learn how the geologic history of the earth may be determined. Extended weekend field trip required. May be taken for grades or on a pass-no pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A185M

GEOL A2503 Units (54 lecture hours)  
Water Resources and Society  
Prerequisite(s): GEOL A105 and GEOL A105L or GEOL A105H and GEOL A105M or GEOL A110.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter

Transfer Credit: CSU.

Hydrologic, geologic, and other factors controlling groundwater and surface water occurrence, movement, quality, and contamination. Environmental effects of groundwater and surface water contamination.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A250

GEOL A2804 Units (54 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Introduction to Mineralogy  
Advisory: CHEM A110 or CHEM A130.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Transfer Credit: CSU; UC.

Introduction to basic concepts of mineralogy, crystallography, crystal and mineral chemistry, beginning optics, paragenesis of economic minerals, and plate tectonics of mineral resources. May be taken for grades or on a pass-no pass basis.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A280

GEOL A2854 Units (54 lecture hours; 54 lab hours)  
Petrology  
Prerequisite(s): GEOL A280.

Grading Mode: Standard Letter

Transfer Credit: CSU.

Origin, occurrence, identification, and classification of rocks and rock-forming minerals. Emphasis on hand lens/microscopic identification and field occurrences.

Catalog Program Pages Referencing GEOL A285