Geology (GEOL) 207

Introduction to Environmental Geology (Revision 3)

GEOL 207 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with a home lab component. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: None

Centre: Centre for Science

GEOL 207 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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As a discipline, environmental geology deals with using geological knowledge to address interactions between humans and the physical environment: the biosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and, to some degree, the atmosphere.

Environmental geology is a multidisciplinary subject that covers a broad range of topics, ranging from Earth materials and their use to Earth processes, including natural hazards and their impact on human lives. The environmental effects of exploring Earth resources is also an integral component of the course.


  • The course is divided into 18 units.
  • Unit 1: Basic Concepts in Environmental Geology
  • Unit 2: The Internal Structure of Earth
  • Unit 3: Minerals and Rocks
  • Unit 4: Ecology and Geology
  • Unit 5: Introduction to Natural Hazards
  • Unit 6: Earthquakes and Related Phenomena
  • Unit 7: Volcanic Activity
  • Unit 8: Rivers and Flooding
  • Unit 9: Slope Processes, Landslides, and Subsidence
  • Unit 10: Coastal Processes
  • Unit 11: Water Resources
  • Unit 12: Water Pollution
  • Unit 13: Mineral Resources
  • Unit 14: Energy Resources
  • Unit 15: Soils and the Environment
  • Unit 16: Global Climate Change


Your final grade in GEOL 207 will be based on your performance in 10 laboratory assignments and two examinations. The passing grade for GEOL 207 is Cāˆ’ (60 percent). You must average 60 percent on the assignments, and you must receive a grade of at least 60 percent to pass an examination. The table below lists the components that contribute to your grade and the credit weight of each.

Activity Weighting
10 Lab Assignments - (5% each) 50%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The mid-term and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Keller, E. A. (2012). Introduction to Environmental Geology (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Foley, D., McKenzie, G. D., & Utgard, R. O. (2009). Investigations in Environmental Geology (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide, student manual, and a laboratory assignment manual.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, and intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GEOL 207 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, June 13, 2014.

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