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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Natural Sciences • Geology

Geology of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest GEOL-123

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 01
  • 4 Credits
  • 08/26/2012 to 12/21/2012
  • Modified 08/23/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Mark D. McFaddan Ph.D.

Cell Phone:  208-512-2511

Faculty Finder:

School Closure Info:  Check NIC homepage


Geology 123 is the study of the geologic history of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. It examines the development of existing geologic structures and rock types, focussing on the development and distribution of major topographic and scenic features. Included are field trips to areas of important mineral and gem occurrences. This course provides an appreciation for the development and distribution of geologic natural resources in the region. This course satisfies a laboratory science requirement for the A.S., A.A., and A.A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in GEOL 101


TextbooksNorthwest Exposures by Alt & Hyndman; The Field Guide to Geology by David Lambert and the Diagram Group; Geology of the Pacific Northwest by Orr and Orr (optional)



Learning Outcomes

Assessment Measures

Describe, classify, and explain the origin and uses of various earth materials.

Test, written work, lab exercises

Identify the major geologic conditions conducive to development of the major natural resources occurring in the Pacific Northwest.

Test, written work, lab exercises

Describe the structure and composition of Earth from the inside out.

Test, written work, lab exercises

Give examples of landforms specific to the Pacific Northwest that are evidence of various geologic forces that shape the earth's surface and explain how those landforms were formed.

Test, written work, lab exercises


General education abilities emphasized in this course:


?        Historical, cultural, and global awareness

?        Communication

?        Information literacy

?        Critical/creative-thinking and problem solving



Week of                                             Lecture Topics


Aug    28             Course introduction, overview of geologic provinces in the Pacific Northwest, geologic time scale

Sept   4               Precambrian units and geologic history – Archean rocks

Sept  11              Precambrian units and geologic history – Proterozoic rocks

Sept  18              Precambrian units and geologic history – Proterozoic rocks

                                      (Exam #1:  Tuesday, September 18)

Sept  25              Paleozoic overview, fossilization types

Oct     2               Cambrian - Ordovician rocks and events

Oct     9               Silurian – Devonian rocks and events

Oct    16              Carboniferous rocks and events (Exam #2: Tuesday, October 16)

Oct     23              Permian - Triassic rocks  & events     

Oct    30               Mesozoic geology and tectonic history                            

Nov      6              Mesozoic geology and tectonic history

Nov     13              Cenozoic volcanism (Exam #3 on Tuesday, November 13)

Nov     20              IdahoBatholith & related intrusive events

                                    &Thanksgiving Break (NO LAB) 

Nov      27           Tertiary features and events

Dec       4            Tertiary regional features and events

Dec     11             Quaternary regional features & events (Exam #4: Tues., Dec. 11)

Dec     18              Finals Week - Final Exam exact time & date TBA

Additional Items

Office Hours:  Mon & Tues 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.; Thurs 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. - or almost any time by appointment (contact me @!)

Division Policies

The Peer Tutoring Program offers free tutoring to NIC students. Students may sign up for 2 hours of tutoring each week for each enrolled NIC course. You can sign up for tutoring in the College Skills Center in Lee-Kildow Hall, Room 130, starting on the first Thursday of the semester and continuing throughout the semester. Contact the College Skills Center at 769-3327 or visit the College Skills Center website for additional information.

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 7, 2011. 

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.