May 23, 2018  
2018-2019 SLCC General Catalog 
2018-2019 SLCC General Catalog

Geology: AS

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Associate of Science | 62 credits minimum

Division of Natural Science
Taylorsville Redwood Campus
SI 241
General Information (801) 957-4073
Program Information (801) 957-4150
Program Website
Academic and Career Advising
Academic Advisor SI 201B, (801) 957-4858

Associate Professors - Christopher L. Johnson, P.G.
Geoscience Department Faculty - Adam Dastrup and Maura Hahnenberger

Program Description
This program provides a strong foundation in physical, historical and environmental geology with a hands-on and project-based approach. The program emphasizes the collection, analysis and interpretation of data in the field and laboratory setting; research and the application of scientific inquiry. Students will learn how to use technical field equipment to collect and analyze real field data. Students will learn how to apply geologic principles to help solve real-world problems through case studies from the environmental consulting industry, academia and the Natural History Museum of Utah. This program meets the needs of vocationally-oriented students with a two-year degree goal and also provides a solid foundation for a four-year degree program.

Career Opportunities
In 2015, 40% of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in geoscience worked in the environmental industry (assessing contaminants in soil and water, hydrogeology, hydrology, and water quality). Starting salaries for recent graduates in this industry are about $30,000-$50,000 and the median salary for all geoscientists working in this field is around $80,000. Graduates with master’s degrees make more money and mainly work in the oil and gas industry with starting salaries around $100,000-$120,000. A master’s degree also makes a recent graduate more competitive in the environmental industry (Wilson, 2016).

In 2015, recent graduates with bachelor’s degree worked in the following sectors: 40% Environmental Services, 16% Oil and Gas, 11% Federal Government, 9% Four-Year University, 7% Information Services, 3% K-12 Education, 4% Nonprofit/NGO, 4% State or Local Government, 2% Agriculture/Forestry/Fishery, and 4% Other (Wilson, 2016). In 2014, there were about 324,000 geoscientists working in the United States over the next decade, 48% of the workforce will be at or near retirement. Therefore, a shortage of geoscientists is expected (Wilson, 2016).

References: Carolyn Wilson, 2016, Status the Geoscience Workforce 2016, American Geosciences Institute.

Formal articulation agreements are being developed for the University of Utah and Westminster so that all required courses and elective courses will transfer to these two schools and count toward degree requirements. All other courses transfer to all other USHE institutions except Geo 2350 Field Studies, which only articulates to the University of Utah and Westminster.

Estimated Cost for Students
Tuition and student fees:

Estimated Time to Completion
Time to completion is six semesters based on a full-time minimum of 12 credits per semester. However, if students are enrolled in Math 1210 Calculus I their first semester, then they can complete in four semesters with 15 to 16 units per semester. Less than 15 credits per semester will increase time to completion.

Program Student Learning Outcomes Related College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes
  1 - Acquire substantive knowledge
2 - Communicate effectively
3 - Develop quantitative literacies
4 - Think critically and creatively
5 - Develop knowledge and skills to be civically engaged
6 - Develop the knowledge and skills to work with others in a professional and constructive manner
7 - Develop computer and information literacy
8 - Develop the attitudes and skills for lifelong wellness
Students will demonstrate the ability to:  
Apply the scientific method to evaluate geologic problems. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
Write scientific papers and cite high-quality sources. 2, 7
Identify and describe rocks, minerals, rock formations, natural resources, fossils, landforms, and plate tectonic settings. 1, 4
Analyze rock and fossil characteristics to interpret past depositional environments. 1, 4
Describe and analyze geologic evidence for the evolution of life, sedimentation, tectonics, and climatic history. 1, 4
Identify, describe, and analyze surficial landforms associated with landslides, streams, shorelines, glaciers and desert environments; the physical processes that shape them; and their relationship to society. 1, 4
Construct and interpret maps and cross-sections for the purposes of evaluating geologic phenomena and problems. 1, 3, 4
Describe the physical processes and societal adaptation to natural hazards such as global climate change, mass wasting, floods, sea-level rise, volcanoes, and earthquakes. 1, 4
Analyze and evaluate geologic evidence for the theory of plate tectonics, plate boundaries, internal layers of earth, and earthquakes. 1, 4

General Education Requirements

Core Skills

Quantitative Literacy (QL) 1 course

American Institutions (AI) 1 course

Institutional Requirements

Lifelong Wellness (LW) 1 course

Communication (CM) 1 course

International & Global (IG) 1 course

Distribution Areas

Choose one course (three credit hours) from each of the following distribution areas. One of the courses must also be a Diversity course (DV).

Life Sciences (LS)    
Fine Arts (FA)    
Humanities (HU)    
Social Science (SS)    

Note: Physical Science (PS)  general education component is satisfied through pre-major coursework.

Required Courses (21 credits)

Although not required for the degree at SLCC, geology programs at four-year institutions require Physics II. Students should prioritize degree electives at SLCC and focus on Chem 1220 Chem II, Math 1220 Calculus II, and Phys 2220 Physics f/Sci&Eng II. The three geography classes are GIS classes and don’t transfer. However, these courses are a useful and important skill.

Advising Notes:

It is the student’s responsibility to examine each course description for details of prerequisite courses. Those prerequisites must be satisfied before the designated course may be taken. Students who need to take preparatory classes to meet the requirements of first semester courses should plan on extra time to complete the full program. Students should check the semester class schedule for day/evening availability and modifications caused by varying enrollment.

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