Environmental Geology


Instructor: Bereket Haileab
Email: bhaileab@carleton.edu
Office: Mudd 162
Lecture: Monday & Wednesday 8:30AM-9:40AM, Friday 8:30AM-9:30AM
Office Hours: Wednesday 11:00-12:00 or by appointment
Textbook: Environmental Geology, by Carla W. Montgomery, Seventh Edition




The primary focus of this course is to:

  • " Introduce the student to the dynamic Earth and how it works."
  • " Explore the relationship between natural and man-made systems and changing Earth conditions."
  • " Evaluate the role that man and developing technologies play in maintaining and altering these Earth conditions."



Testing and Grading
Two exams, group paper, group poster, and final project presentation. Weekly assignments (homework) covering problem sets and short quizzes.

Exam1: (see syllabus for dates) 25 %
Exam2: (see syllabus for dates) 25 %
Homework/quizzes 10%
Labs: 10%
Final project: 30%


Homework: Homework assignments will consist of multiple choices, true false, writing or sketching responses to selected review questions at the end of each chapter, and are designed to help the student prepare for the exams and quizzes. Homework MUST be submitted to the instructor by the indicated due date. Late homework will not be accepted for grading.

Reading: You are expected to read the textbook from cover to cover. I will also give you additional papers to read.

Laboratory and field sessions: You are required to attend each laboratory and field session in the course.

Office Hours: If you cannot make it to the above office hours, you can come visit me anytime that is convenient to both of us. If you see me around campus, please don't hesitate to ask any questions that you might have. If you are having trouble finding me (which won't happen), first check with our department secretary Mrs. Sarah Rechtzigel in Mudd 167 (646-4407), if that does not work try calling me at home (664-9229) before 10:00 PM, or leave a note on my bulletin board or leave message on my voice mail.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with documented physical, sensory, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. Contact the instructor to work out the details of accommodations. Class materials prepared by the instructor can be made available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact the instructor as early as possible.


Major topics to be covered will include:










Lectures: As lecture outlines are developed links will be made to this page. The page will evolve over the

term as notes are added. All reading assignments are to be covered before coming to class.


1 January 4 Introduction, overview Chapter 1 1-22
2 January 6 Earth Materials (Minerals) Chapter 2 and handouts and website 23-42
3 January 9 Earth Materials (Minerals and Rocks) continued Chapter 2 and handouts (homework#1) 23-42
4 January 11 Earth Materials (Rocks) continued Chapter 2 and handouts (handouts) Homework #1 due today 23-42
5 January 13 Plate tectonics Chapter 3 43-63
6 January 16 Plate tectonics Chapter 3 43-63
7 January 18 Plate tectonics Chapter 3, (homework#2 due) 43-63
8 January 20 Plate tectonics Chapter 3 43-63
9 January 23 Plate tectonics Chapter 3, 4omework #3, http://rainbow.ldgo.columbia.edu/ees/ 43-63
10 January 25 Plate tectonics Chapter 3, ppt 43-63
11 January 27 Earthquakes Chapter 4, ppt, homework #3 due 64-90
12 January 30 Earthquakes Chapter 4, ppt, homwork #4 64-90
13 February 1 Volcanoes Chapter 4, ppt, homework #4 due, homework #5 92-119
14 February 3 Exam 1 (one hour long, on chapters we have covered sofar) Homework #5 due  
15 February 6 Midterm Break no classes    
16 February 8 Review of Midterm exam    
17 February 10 Geology and Climate: Glaciers, Deserts, and Global Climate Trends Chapter 9 193-222
18 February 13 Geology and Climate: Glaciers, Deserts, and Global Climate Trends conti. Chapter 9 193-222
19 February 15 Water as a Resource Chapter 10, Homework #6 228-257
20 February 17 Water as a Resource Chapter 10 228-257
21 February 20 Hominid evolution Homework #6 due  
22 February 22 Geologic resources Chapter 12, 13 and 14 280-352
23 February 24 Time and Geology Appendix A (Homework #7) 497-504
24 February 27 Energy (Talk by Warren Ringlien) Homework # 8  
25 March 1 Geologic Time Scale Cont. Appendix A and handouts (homework # 9) 497-504
26 March 3


Reveiw for exam on Monday


Homework #7 and Homework #9 are due today  
27 March 6


Exam (one hour long, on chapters we have covered after the midterm)


Final Project draft copy due  
28 March 8


Final project presentation (Monday Group 1, 2, 3, and 4, 10 minutes each)


Keep working on your final project  
29 March 10 Final project presentation (Tuesday Group 5, 6, 7, and 8, 10 minutes each) Final Project due @ 5:00 PM (both hardcopy and electronic copies)  





Lab # 1 January 9 and 10 Earth Materials (Minerals) Chapter 2 and additional handouts and website 24-30
Lab # 2 January 16 and 17 Earth Materials (Rocks) and group assignment Chapter 2 and mineral quzi #1 24-30
Lab # 3 January 23 and 24 Making a calibration curve, field trip to CRWP, Lecture on how to use the library resource Chapter 2, Handout, Rock quiz # 2 24-30
Lab # 4 January 30 and 31 Group projects start today    
Lab # 5 Feburary 7 (no lab Feb. 6) Group projects    
Lab # 6 Feburary 13 and 14 Sample analysis using IC and AAS    
Lab # 7 Feburary 13 and 14 Sample analysis using IC and AAS    
Lab # 8 Feburary 20 and 21 Field trip to Turkey M Compost site    
Lab # 9 Feburary 27 and 28 Field trip to Carleton College’s Windmill    
Lab # 10 March 5 and 6 Final Project draft copy due There will be a meeting with each group during labs  



Additional reading:
Library research



Some common minerals and their use:




Plate Tectonics:

Plate Tectonics http://rainbow.ldgo.columbia.edu/ees/


IRIS Seismic Monitor http://www.iris.edu/seismon/
USGS Response to an Urban Earthquake http://geohazards.cr.usgs.gov/northridge/norpub1.htm
USGS Earthquake Hazards http://geohazards.cr.usgs.gov/earthquake.html


Earth's Active Volcanoes http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/world.html

Population Reference Bureau:

World Population Trends http://www.un.org/popin/
Population Reference Bureau, Population Change, Resources and the Environment http://www.prb.org/

Water Resources:

Earth's Water http://wwwga.usgs.gov/edu/mearth.html
US Water Use http://wwwga.usgs.gov/edu/wateruse.html
Groundwater http://wwwga.usgs.gov/edu/earthgw.html
Subsidence http://lakeaccess.org/russ/oxygen.htm

Climate / Air Pollution:

USGS- Acid Rain http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/acidrain/2.htm
EPA - Acid Rain http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/student/student2.html
EPA - Acid Rain Program http://www.epa.gov/docs/acidrain/ardhome.html
EPA - Global Warming http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/index.html
Federal Clean Air Act http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/peg_caa/pegcaain.html

Ice Core Studies:

World Climate Report http://www.nhes.com/

Waste Disposal:

Solid Waste  
EPA - Pay-As-You-Throw http://www.epa.gov/payt/intro.htm
Hazardous Waste  
Love Canal http://web.globalserve.net/~spinc/atomcc/lovecana.htm
EPA - Superfund Program--Radioactive Waste (WIPP Project) http://www.wipp.carlsbad.nm.us/index.html
Radioactive Waste (Yucca Mountain) http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/Biodegradable


Renewable Energy Network http://www.eere.energy.gov/
Cold Fusion Energy http://world.std.com/~mica/cftsci.html#1989
Energy Sources http://dir.yahoo.com/Science/Energy/

Streams and Rivers:

Restoration http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/restore/
The Gathering Storm http://www.sacbee.com/news/projects/gathering_storm/

Mass Wasting:

Real-time Monitoring of Active Landslides Along Highway 50, El Dorado County, California http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Projects/CalifLandslide/Publications/ReidLaHusen/report_inlined.html
Landslide Images http://landslides.usgs.gov/html_files/landslides/slides/landslideimages.htm
Lakes in Rice County and DNR http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/results.html?start=0&n=36

Click here to print -- and access the syllabus in .doc format



Research Projects:

Each year the students conduct a research project analyzing the water quality of lakes and streams in the greater Northfield area. These research projects can be viewed by clicking on the following link or by contacting the professor. These research projects and reports are then neatly bound and distributed to the class as a record of the research conducted that term. The groups then present their research to the class in the form of a poster and powerpoint presentation.

Fall 2004 Research Projects

Spring 2003 Research Projcets


Additional Lake information:

Links to maps of southern Minnesota: This word document contains web pages that I have found to be useful in locating maps of lakes in southern Minnesota.

Links to Water Quality resources: This word dodument contains a DRAFT LOCAL WATER PLAN COMPONENT MATRIX with the INFORMATION COMPONENTS FOR 2001-2006 WATER MANAGEMENT PLANS. On this page you will find a table containing the components (both data and assessments) that are
required by state statute to be addressed within the Water Plan. Within the table there are links to websites containing this data and more.

Links to Upper LLake temperature data