Geology of the National Parks

San Francisco State University
Mary Leech, Ph.D.

Tel (Daytime): 650-736-1821
Tel (SFSU office): 415-338-1209
Office hours: MW 18:00-18:50, Thornton Hall 517

E-mail: mary "at"

Educators - if you would like to use any of the materials in this course web site, please e-mail your request to mary "at"

[Course materials]... [Exam review]... [Lecture slides]... [Handouts]... [Field trip info]... [Web links]...

Click the links below for Geology of the National Parks course materials:

Course syllabus (Includes the revised lecture and reading schedule)

Term project guidelines

Term project template

National Park system map

Exam review materials:

Review topics for Midterm Exam #1

Review topics for Midterm Exam #2 - refer to your Death Valley and Point Reyes field guides and Week 7-12 lectures

Review topics for the Final Exam

Lecture slides (Overheads are not included - refer to your Earth textbook) [Lectures are temporarily unavailable]

Week 1 - Introduction

Week 2 - Earth structure and the rock cycle

Week 3 - Plate tectonics [Plate boundaries in the U.S.] [Animations of the plate tectonic history of western North America]

Week 4 - The Colorado Plateau

Week 5 - Active convergent margins [Part I] [Part II] [Part III]

Week 6 - Midterm exam #1

Week 7 - Divergent plate boundaries - The Basin and Range and Death Valley [Part I] [Part II] [Part III]

Week 8 - Deserts - Wind and water [Part I] [Part II]

Week 9 - Spring Break

Week 10 - No class

Week 11 - Transform plate boundaries - The San Andreas fault [Part I] [Part II]

Week 12 - Coastal processes [Part I] [Part II]

Week 13 - Hot spots [Part I] [Part II]

Week 14 - Midterm exam #2

Week 15 - Ancient convergent margins and glaciers [Part I] [Part II]

Week 16 - National Parks overview

Week 17 - Final exam

Class handouts and activities from lecture:

Stephen Reynolds' geology visualization pages
Tapestry of Time and Terrain (Age of the rocks and topography in the U.S.)

Geologic time scale

Geologic time in a single year

Field trip information:

Death Valley map

Point Reyes map

Golden Gate National Recreation Area map

Web sites of interest:

Discovering Plate Boundaries

U.S. Geological Survey

The National Park Service

Department of Geosciences, SFSU

Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader

** Updated29 April 2002 **

RETURN to Mary Leech's home page.