GEO321a GEOLOGY OF HAWAII                  Fall 2002

Westminster College



Instructor:       Dr. Alan Goldin;  Room: CSC106B

             Office hours: MWF 10 A.M., H 11 A.M.      

            Phone: 592-5015 (



Hands-on opportunity to learn geology field techniques, do a cooperative organization planning effort, and to study on-site the geologic features in and near the national parks of Hawaii.  Following a preparatory fall seminar, the one-week course will be taught on an off-campus field trip on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu.  Some of the study will be led by federal, state and university personnel.  The geology at individual national parks will be studied as well as the regional geology.




Leave Saturday December 14 and return Saturday December 21.  Rise and shine about 6:30 A.M. and our lodging about 8.  Days should end about 5 or 6 P.M.  We will have prearranged lodging each night.  We will spend 21/2 days on the island of Hawaii 21/2  days on Maui, and one day on Oahu.  The remaining time will be travel.




The different geologic features of Hawaii will be distributed among pairs of students.  Each pair will be responsible to become experts in such geologic features as geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and natural history on the three islands.  Each pair of students will do library research, contact the parks and various agencies, and make arrangements for their personnel or others to lead us in the parks or adjacent areas.  Students will also be responsible for obtaining maps and field guides, studying the geology and history of the area, and leading discussions on their topics.  Students will be responsible for all scientific and logistical arrangements, for leading the tours in their areas, and presenting their findings to the class during fall semester and on the field trip. 


The one-credit preliminary session will include discussions of plate tectonics and how Hawaii has been forming.  Student pairs will specialize from here.  The presentations will occur in November.  Time for the presentations will be about a half hour.  During the week following each presentation all students will be tested on the material presented.  The pair making the presentation will also hand in a written report for the other students to follow the presentation as well as to be the field guide for the trip.  Each student in the pair will be responsible for his/her own part of the presentation.  Students will be responsible for arranging speakers as well as other learning experiences, such as raft trips, hiking expeditions, etc.  Students will keep a journal, providing insightful analysis of observations.  They will incorporate observations, textbooks and field people.  Interpretation, integration, and comparison of observations and research are the keys to a quality journal.  A daily "play-by-play" is not what is expected, nor is merely a description of events. 


TEXTS: Roadside Geology of Hawaii

      One geology text related to Hawaii



      Field trip organization:                       40%

      Presentation of national parks/monuments   40%

      Quizzes on presentations                       20%



      Field trip leadership for assigned parks       40%

      Field trip participation                       40%

      Journal                                   20%

            Journals are due December 21