Geology encompasses all studies of Earth processes and is
one of the cornerstone programs within the Earth Science Department. Students
taking a geology course at SMC will gain a scientific understanding o geologic
processes that shape the Earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere. They will
study Earth’s origin, interior processes, plate tectonics theory, evolution of
surface environments, the linkage between climate and biology, and the various
ways in which these processes are recorded in the rock record. Courses focus on
application of the scientific method to natural phenomena like the origin and
evolution of life, climate change, assessment of geologic hazards, and
formation and utilization of geologic resources.
DEGREES & CERTIFICATES
We are working towards offering an Associate in Science for Trasfer (AS-T) in Geology.
Geochemist, Geophysicist, Planetary Geologist, Environmental Consultant,
Petroleum Geologist, Seismologist, Engineering Geologist, Hydrologist, Environmental
Geologist, GIS Specialist, Oceanographer, Paleontologist, Earth Science
Teacher, Geology Professor.
PROGRAM LEVEL OUTCOMES
Upon completion of a Geology course students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the physical structure and
morphology of the Earth and operation of Earth systems through a plate tectonic
2. Identify and classify Earth materials and demonstrate an
understanding of their formational histories.
COURSES OFFERED IN GEOLOGY
Geology 1: Physical Geology
Geology 3: Environmental Geology
Geology 4: Physical Geology with Lab
Geology 5: Earth History with Lab
Geology 10: Exploration of the Solar System
Geology 31: Physical Oceanography
Geology 35 (A-Z): Field Studies in Geology
The Department of Earth Science at Santa Monica College is part of of the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN, at http://qcn.stanford.edu) which is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. Our Department is the site of one of these sensors. The sensor, known as an MEMS accelerometer, is mounted on the floor in DH 134 and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. The computer monitors the sensor and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).
These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.
Seismic data collected by the Quake-Catcher Network is available shortly after detections are made and can be used for informational and educational purposes.