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The University of Mississippi Online

Geology 105

University of Mississippi
3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Amanda Patterson

Instructor: Dr. Inoka Widanagamage

Instructor Information:
My research goals intersect among trace metal geochemistry/isotope geochemistry and bio-geochemistry of environments. My goal as a scientist is to investigate how the microbial world affects and drives metal cycling in both modern and ancient environments. My overarching research interests revolve around the interactions between microbial communities, their geochemical environments and the resulting modifications of the rock substrate and other aspects in environmental geochemistry.

Office: 118 D Carrier Hall
Office Phone: 662-915-2154

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. Office hours are 2-3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect email responses from me during that time. You can email me any time if you have questions but expect reply from me during cyber office hours if not earlier. Please make sure to write your name, Student ID, course number in subject line of your email. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826

Course Description

This course introduces you to basic concepts and principles of physical and environmental geology, focusing on Earth's materials and processes. The course will provide you with information on natural resources such as minerals, water, soils, and  petroleum, and on natural hazards such as earth quakes, volcanic eruptions and floods. Special attention will be given to understanding the relationships between natural resources and pollution, where you will learn how to address environmental issues scientifically. Also, you will have a better understanding of environmental management as it is related to geologic environment in areas such as waste management, environmental health, medical geology, global change, and environmental assessment.

Textbook Information:


Keller, Edward A. Introduction to Environmental Geology.
Austin, TX: Holt McDougal, 2010.

ISBN-10: 0321727517 or ISBN-13: 978-0321727510

It is your responsibility to order your textbook. Online textbook retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.

Use the ISBN number to make sure you are ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you will have the ability to:

  1. Understand the significance of natural resources such as minerals-rocks, soils, water
  2. Understand the importance of natural hazards
  3. Identify environmental problems and potential solutions
  4. Identify environmental health issues.
  5. Understand the global climate change and effects

Course Outline:

This course consists of 12 instructional lessons.

Lessons Reading Assignments Due for Grades

Start Here

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Syllabus Quiz



Discussion board


Chapter 1: Philosophy and Fundamental Concepts

Lesson assignment and quiz


Chapter 2: Plate Tectonics

Lesson assignment and quiz


Chapter 3: Minerals and Rocks

Lesson assignment and quiz

Course Exam 1

Covers chapters 1-3

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding


Chapter 4: Ecology and Geology
Chapter 6: Earthquakes

Lesson quiz


Chapter 5: Natural Hazards
Chapter 7: Tsunamis
Chapter 8: Volcanoes

Lesson assignment and quiz

Course Exam 2

Covers chapters 4-8

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding


Chapter 9: Rivers and Flooding

Lesson quiz


Chapter 10: Mass Wasting

Lesson assignment


Chapter 11: Coastal Erosion
Chapter 12: Impact of Extraterrestrial Objects

Lesson quiz

Course Exam 3

Covers chapters 9-12

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding


Chapter 13: Water Resources

Lesson quiz


Chapter 14: Water Pollution

Lesson quiz


Chapter 15: Mineral Resources and the Environment

Lesson quiz


Chapter 16: Energy Resources
Chapter 17: Soil and Environment

Lesson quiz

Final Exam

Comprehensive exam from all chapters

All course work must be submitted and graded before taking the final exam.


The course will not make use of the +/- designations. The grading scale is
A 88-100
B 78-87
C 68-77
D 58-67

Grading Information
Geography test: 15%
Unit Quizzes: 25% (each quiz is worth approximately 1.5% of overall grade)
Outside reading quiz: 10%
Exam 1: 25%
Exam 2: 25%
Total = 100%

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