Alessandro Grippo

FALL semester 2016

Professor: Dr. Alessandro Grippo, Ph.D.

Geology 252, Historical Geology


From the catalog:
(This is class is about the) Study of Earth’s history through fossils and rocks. Evolution of plants and animals, rocks, principles of geologic time, plate tectonics and mountain building, principles of stratigraphy and biostratigraphy are reviewed. Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 1 hour. Field trips are required.

Prerequisite: GEOL 150, 155, or 158

If you have taken one of the the prerequisite classes, this course is accessible to you. This accessibility does not imply that Historical Geology is "easy". This course will require constant, continuous attention and dedication. If you want to be successful you will need to be present in class, read materials ahead and study steadily. You will need to pay constant attention to the topics discussed during our meetings and dedicate a considerable amount of time to the class materials.

The pace of this classes is intensive and you can not afford to be absent or miss work. Absences will not only affect your grade but also your overall grasp and understanding of the subject.

As a student, you also need to recognize that your college education is above all a matter of opening yourself up to new dimensions of knowledge and understanding. Even if a class does not cover topics relevant to you or your major, or you feel that you "have" to take it, you need to realize that the class is interesting per se, and will enrich your intellectual background. As a professor of geology, I am here to illustrate and explain these materials to you, and it will be up to you to find your interest in them.

If you have chosen to enroll in this class it means that you should be able to move beyond your individual interests and take advantage of the opportunity of having scientific materials illustrated to you. This class is intrinsically rich in interesting concepts, and should be seen as one tool for you to open up to new ideas, concepts, and possibilities. This class will give you more interests and ideas, and consequently it will make you more knowledgeable and interesting as a person.

The principle of cross-cutting relationships, illustrated
from Death Valley National Park, California

GEOL 252 - HISTORICAL GEOLOGYLast Updated  •  December 2, 2016   


Click here for a .pdf copy of the Syllabus

Class Hours:

Tuesday and Thursday 8:00 to 9:15, BIOS 119

Tuesday, 9:25 to 10:40, BIOS 119

Required Textbooks:

R. Wilander and J. M. Monroe, Historical Geology, 8th edition, Engage Learning.

Older editions of this book are available on the market. The difference between them is minimal, but I would not recommend an edition older than the 7th.
It is also fine to buy a used copy of this Textbook. If for any reason you can not find a copy of the textbook at the CSULA bookstore, look on Amazon (a link is provided by clicking on the book title above) or at the UCLA bookstore.

Levin, H.L., and Smith, M.S., Laboratory Studies in Earth History, 10th edition, McGraw Hill Higher Education, New York

Older editions of the lab manual have different sets of questions and this makes it necessary for you to buy the new edition.
I also do not recommend that you ever buy a used copy of this lab manual because pages are usually missing
and answers (not necessarily the right ones) might have already been written in by other students who then dropped the class.
In any case, you will need to tear pages from this book at the end of lab exercises and turn them in for the grading at the end of each lab.
Xerox copies are absolutely NOT an option for the lab exercises.
Any lab exercise that is not individually completed in class on the pages of a new 10th edition of the manual will NOT be accepted.


exam 1 - Tuesday, September 20, 2016: study guide (available since September 9, 2016)
exam 2 - Tuesday, November 8, 2016: study guide (available since November 1, 2016)
exam 3 - Tuesday, December 6, 2016: study guide (available since December 2, 2016)
              notice change of time: class will meet at 9:10 in the same room

Powerpoints and Handouts:

  1 - Introduction
  2 - Plate Tectonics, part I
  3 - Plate Tectonics, part II
  4 - Plate Tectonics, part III

  5 - Geologic Time, part I (see also these notes)
  6 - Geologic Time, part II
  7 - Geologic Time, part III
  8 - Geologic Time, part IV

  9 - Sandstones
10 - Carbonates

11 - Magnetic Stratigraphy
12 - Structural Geology and Tectonics

A tombolo, a strip of sand connecting a small island to the mainland
Piper's Lagoon, Nanaimo, British Columbia

© Alessandro Grippo, since 1994,  Los Angeles, CA

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