Dutton Institute

Introduction to GEOSC 10

Welcome to GEOSC 10, Geology of the National Parks.

This course was developed to provide a broad overview of Geology while exploring some of our beautiful National Parks. It was developed to be a large enrolling, online general education course.

The instructors wanted to teach geology in a fun and engaging way by utilizing multiple modes of instruction. They include text, slide shows of the National Parks, detailed diagrams, narrated animations and PowerPoint mini-lectures, and vintage videos of students teaching other students about the geology of the National Parks. It also includes geological interpretations of classic rock songs performed by the course author! The student videos are from a CAUSE trip where students traveled to the National Parks and filmed each other teaching. The trip was way back in the early 2000s, but the videos remain in the course to build excitement for future student visits to the parks. The course has stood the test of time and remains a popular option for resident and online students alike.

The following pages are from a lesson, but the lesson in total is not replicated here. Note the structured layout of the material, providing students with clear learning objectives. The students are assessed with weekly multiple-choice quizzes, a final exam, and 6 online exercises.

Watch a brief video introduction from Dr. Alley! (1:03)

Credit: Dutton Institute. "GEOSC 10 Introduction with Dr. Richard Alley." YouTube. October 24, 2011.
Click here for a transcript of the GEOSC 10 Introduction with Dr. Richard Alley video.

Welcome to Geosciences 10. I'm Richard Alley, and I'll be your tour guide to the geology of the national parks. In the course of the semester, we're going to visit some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world. We're going to ask some big questions. Why are there mountains and volcanoes and earthquakes? Um, why are the mountains torn down by rivers, by glaciers? Um, what's the history of this planet, how do we live on the planet, how do we stay happy and healthy and terrific with the planet? And while we're doing it, we are going to visit some of the most beautiful and wonderful places on the planet. By the end of the semester, we're all going to know a lot more about the national parks, and you are going to be so excited that next summer you're going to be off to visit one because they're such wonderful places. Have a great semester. I'm going to jump on my bicycle and head into school and get to it.