Summer 2008
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 638
Geology of Connecticut: Stories in Stone

Zeilinga de Boer,Jelle

06/30/2008 - 07/31/2008
Monday & Wednesday 12:00 PM - 04:30 PM

Science Tower 405

Connecticut's growth from a few clustered colonies to a vibrant state in the Union was triggered and facilitated by its geologic resources. Soils in the Central Valley attracted early settlers who turned Connecticut into New England's Bread Basket. Salisbury's iron ores, Bristol's copper, and Portland's brownstone provided resources that combined with energy from white-water and Yankee ingenuity made the state America's industrial incubator. Aside from these important resources an old lava flow was responsible for political bickering between Hartford and New Haven, and earthquakes set the tone for lively religious debates. This important role of geologic processes/events is rarely acknowledged and missing from most publications. The course will attempt to make the historic coverage more complete.

Readings will be from photocopied chapters from the book Stories in Stone.

Students will be required to keep a portfolio with short descriptions of the major features seen in the field on each field trip, and will write a final paper that concentrates on the geologic and historic aspects of one of the sites visited or a site of the student's interest.

No previous knowledge of geologic concepts is required. Students are required to have boots and a camera. The instructor will provide a small version of the Geologic Map of Connecticut.

The sequence of field trips is as follows:

In the beginning: Fusion and Breakup, Folds and Faults

The Native Environment: Soapstone

The Colonial Environment: Makemoodus

Settlers and Soils: Lake Hitchcock's Legacy

Geologic Treasures 1: Cobalt Gold and Middletown Silver

Geologic Treasures 2: Haddam Gemstones

Geologic Treasures 3: Old Newgate Copper

Geologic Treasures 4: Salisbury Iron Ores

Settlers and Stone: Portland's Arkose

The Metacomet Ridge: Political and Environmental Impact

Visitors from Space: Yale Museum

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer (B.S., Ph.D. University of Utrecht) is Harold T. Stearns professor of earth and environmental sciences, emeritus, and author, with Donald T. Sanders, of Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions (Princeton University Press, 2005) and Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-reaching Effects of Major Eruptions (Princeton University Press, 2002). Click here for more information about Jelle de Boer.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Field Studies

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 14

Texts to purchase for this course:

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