Earth Sciences

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Our Earth Sciences Program

Students studying the Earth Sciences at Skyline College will learn how their environment (including the Earth, the atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere) affects the lives of people around the world and how human activities affect our environment. In addition to classes in Geology and Oceanography, we offer two Associate of Science Degrees for Transfer in Geology for students looking for a clear path to transfer to a four-year institution.

hand stretched out to catch a toy globe in front of an outdoor ocean scene

The Field

The Earth sciences examine the natural world in which we live, including earth’s history and the evolution of life, the oceans and atmosphere, the chemistry and physics of earth materials, and the processes that shape the Earth’s landscapes.

To succeed in the Earth sciences, students will need to demonstrate a keen scientific curiosity and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Career Outlook

A degree in earth sciences can lead to a variety of careers, including in the environmental, engineering, mining, teaching, exploration and geophysics fields, and in hydrology, space science and oceanography. Students who are contemplating a professional career in the earth sciences should note that many occupations are looking for candidates with Masters Degrees or higher – interested students may consider Skyline College’s AS Degree in Geology as a stepping stone toward this goal.

The State of California Employment Development Department provides an online Occupational Guide that provides helpful job descriptions, job outlooks and wages, and qualification requirements for a wide variety of careers. Use this guide to find more information about a career that may interest you.

Looking for a list of classes offered this semester?

Check out the current class schedule.

All Courses

GEOL 100 Survey of Geology (3 units)

An introduction to the principles of geology with emphasis on Earth processes. Includes the study of rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and surface processes such as landslides, rivers, and glaciers.

GEOL 105 Environmental Earth Science (3 units)

An introduction to the fundamentals of Environmental Earth Science including the interactions between humans and the environment in a geologic context. Emphasizes the Earth system and connections between the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere.

GEOL 106 Weather and Climate (4 units)

Introduction to the study of Earth's atmosphere as a system, with an emphasis on the physical processes that change our atmosphere in the short term and throughout Earth's history. Topics include: atmospheric structure and composition, energy balances, seasonal changes, atmospheric moisture, storm systems, climate and climate change. Also listed as GEOG 106.

GEOL 210 General Geology (4 units)

An introduction to the principles of geology with emphasis on Earth processes, focusing on the internal structure and origin of the Earth and the processes that change and shape it. The laboratory component focuses on the identification of rocks and minerals, topographic and geologic map exercises and the identification of geologic landforms and hazards.

GEOL 220 Historical Geology (4 units)

Origin and history of the Earth and its development through geologic time. The formation of continents and ocean basins and their modifications through time. The evolution of plants and animals as seen through the fossil record. Emphasis on the geologic history of North America.

GEOL 695 Independent Study in Geology (0.5- 3 units)

Designed for students who are interested in furthering their knowledge via self-paced, individualized, directed instruction provided in selected areas to be arranged with instructor and approved by the division dean using the Independent Study Form. Varying modes of instruction can be used -- laboratory, research, skill development, etc. For each unit earned, students are required to devote three hours per week throughout the semester. Students may take only one Independent Study course within a given discipline.

OCEN 100 Survey of Oceanography (3 units)

Selected topics in oceanography designed to provide the students with an introduction and basic understanding of the geological, physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world’s oceans. Methods of scientific investigation are used to explain the history, accomplishments and goals of modern oceanography.

OCEN 101 Oceanography Laboratory/Field Study (1 units)

Introductory exercises in geographic and bathymetric maps, statistical and microscopic studies of sediments, waves and sediment transport, bathymetry of ocean basins, ocean currents, tides, estuaries, physical and chemical properties of seawater, coastal erosion, and forms and diversity of marine life. Field trips included.

ENVS 100 Introduction to Environmental Science (3 units)

An interdisciplinary introduction to aspects of environmental and natural resource issues and their impact on human welfare. Exploration of causes of environmental issues in a natural sciences, social sciences, business and engineering context. Study of sustainability and potential solutions to environmental problems.

ENVS 101 Environmental Science Laboratory (1 units)

Applied exercises that introduce the interdisciplinary aspects of environmental and natural resource issues and their impact on humans as well as how humans impact the natural environment. Exploration of causes of environmental issues in a natural sciences, social sciences, business and engineering context. Study of sustainability and potential solutions to environmental problems. Field trips are required.

ENVS 191 Environmental Leadership Seminar I (2 units)

An interdisciplinary, project-based, and student-centered course that aims to challenge students to think critically and creatively about global and local environmental issues. The course serves to provide environmental leadership skills through real world environmental issues.

ENVS 192 Environmental Leadership Seminar II (2 units)

Centers on challenging, action-based projects based on both global and local environmental issues, requiring students to think critically and creatively in order to tackle large, systemic, and ongoing problems and achieve measurable results in their chosen project.

ENVS 193 Environmental Leadership Seminar III (2 units)

Interdisciplinary and project-based class that engages students in developing the specific skills needed for innovation and creation in sustainable design, engineering and enterprise implementation. Students identify critical environmental challenges, design opportunities to address them and develop business plans to share with the community.

ENVS 400 Environmental Literacy for Career Technical Programs (2 units)

A basic oveview of general energy and sustainable concepts, climate change, carbon calculation and management, current and pending regulations for carbon, alternative energy technology, energy efficiency practices, and the emerging green economy for career technical programs.

ENVS 410 Introduction to Solar Installation and Integration (3.5 units)

Recommended: Completion of ELEC 110 with a grade of “C” or better, or concurrent enrollment in ELEC 110 or equivalent. An introductory course targeted to junior-level photovoltaic installers to provide a foundation of skills necessary in solar installation. Topics include electrical theory and practice, photovoltaic theory and integration and solar installation skills. The course is a balance of theory, hands-on practice and real world examples. Also listed as ELEC 410.

ENVS 425 Building Performance, Assessment, and Sales (4 units)

Provides a foundation to conduct home energy audits and sell home energy upgrade products and services. Topics include fundamental building science concepts, best practices for auditing and data analysis, BPI standards and the Title 24 energy code. The class prepares students for Building Performance Institute certification exam.

ENVS 491 Climate Protection Professional I (3 units)

Foundation for emerging leaders working in climate change mitigation and adaptation fields. Overview of climate change science (the greenhouse effect, emissions factors, and sources), current climate protection policies in California, including emerging regulations, and analytic tools, including mitigation and adaptation inventories and action plans. Includes professional training in project management, workplace effectiveness, communication, and fundraising.

ENVS 492 Climate Protection Professional II (3 units)

Expansion on fundamentals of climate change concepts: science and expected impacts; mitigation and adaptation strategies; metrics for analyzing current impacts, forecasts and results from solution scenarios. Expansion of project management practices, career pathways, leadership, and career development skills, within the context of client site projects in preparation for final report and/or presentation.

ENVS 665 Selected Topics in Environmental Science and Technology (0.5- 2 units)

Short course for development of knowledge, skills, and abilities in environmental technology--energy efficiency, solar, and business development. Special topics could include public policies, business tactics, currents in new technology, market trends in clean energy, software skills, energy modeling, and field training.

ENVS 670 Vocational Cooperative Education in Environmental Science & Technology (2 units)

Students may receive credit for work experience related to their major field or to their established career goal. Seminars and individual conferences with the instructor to establish learning objectives related to the student's employment, with appropriate assignments to be graded in accordance with college standards. Alternately, for those students who prefer or need a more structured learning process, regularly scheduled class meetings are available. One unit of credit earned for each 75 hours worked per semester, with a maximum of four units per semester. May be repeated for credit up to the maximum limit of 16 units. This limitation applies to Occupational Cooperative Education work experience courses offered within the SMCCCD.

ENVS 695 Independent Study in Environmental Science and Technology (0.5- 3 units)

Designed for students who are interested in furthering their knowledge via self-paced, individualized, directed instruction provided in selected areas to be arranged with instructor and approved by the division dean using the Independent Study Form. Varying modes of instruction can be used -- laboratory, research, skill development, etc. For each unit earned, students are required to devote three hours per week throughout the semester. Students may take only one Independent Study course within a given discipline.

Program Type Total Units
Geology for Transfer AS-T 60 Units
Program Type Total Units
Environmental Science for Transfer AS-T 60 Units

The Skyline College STEM Center brings together academic and student support services for students taking science, technology, engineering and math courses.

The center supports student success by ensuring students have access to resources such as academic tutoring, counseling services, a resource depository for STEM pathways and transfer, a hub for internships and work based learning opportunities, as well as a place where students and staff can collaborate and build a community and supportive connection.

Check out the STEM Center

Upon completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Apply scientific method of thinking to analyze and critically evaluate relevant literature and information, and the use of evidence for support.
  • Recognize and accurately articulate how their environment (including the Earth, the atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere) affects humans’ lives and how human activities affect their environment.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of ways, such as scientific writing, visualization of data and ideas, or through oral communication.
  • Solve quantitative problems, analyze results from data and measurements, form hypotheses from data, test hypotheses.
  • Recognize the interdisciplinary nature of science and enjoy the process of learning science.
Office Information
Location: Building 7
Email: swartoutb@smccd.edu
Phone: (650) 738-7939
Spring 2023 Courses  |  Fall 2022 Courses

Type Status Title Days Time Instructor
Online Class OPEN for Waitlist ENVS 100 - 46464 - Intro to Environmental Science
ENVS 100 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (3)
Hours/semester: 48-54 lecture. Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 846 or ESOL 400, or equivalent.
An interdisciplinary introduction to aspects of environmental and natural resource issues and their impact on human welfare. Exploration of causes of environmental issues in a natural sciences, social sciences, business and engineering context. Study of sustainability and potential solutions to environmental problems. Transfer credit: UC; CSU (B2).

TBA Anttila, C
Day Class   OPEN ENVS 100 - 42938 - Intro to Environmental Science
ENVS 100 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (3)
Hours/semester: 48-54 lecture. Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 846 or ESOL 400, or equivalent.
An interdisciplinary introduction to aspects of environmental and natural resource issues and their impact on human welfare. Exploration of causes of environmental issues in a natural sciences, social sciences, business and engineering context. Study of sustainability and potential solutions to environmental problems. Transfer credit: UC; CSU (B2).

M W 1:10pm-2:25pm Danfoura, M
Day Class   OPEN ENVS 101 - 46866 - Environmental Science Lab
ENVS 101 Environmental Science Laboratory

Applied exercises that introduce the interdisciplinary aspects of environmental and natural resource issues and their impact on humans as well as how humans impact the natural environment. Exploration of causes of environmental issues in a natural sciences, social sciences, business and engineering context. Study of sustainability and potential solutions to environmental problems. Field trips are required.

Units: 1
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lab hours/semester: 48-54
Prerequisites: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in, ENVS 100
Corequisites: None
Transfer Credit: UC; CSU (CSU GE Area B3)
W 2:45pm-5:15pm Danfoura, M
Online Class OPEN GEOL 100 - 45360 - Survey of Geology
GEOL 100 SURVEY OF GEOLOGY (3)
Hours/semester: 48-54 lecture. Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 846 or ESOL 400, or equivalent.
An introduction to the principles of geology with emphasis on Earth processes. Course includes the study of rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and surface processes such as landslides, rivers, and glaciers. Not open to students who have taken or are taking GEOL 210. Transfer credit: UC; CSU (B1).

TBA James, B
Day Class   OPEN GEOL 220 - 45674 - Historical Geology
GEOL 220 HISTORICAL GEOLOGY (4)
Hours/semester: 48-54 lecture/48-54 lab.
Origin and history of the Earth and its development through geologic time. The formation of continents and ocean basins and their modifications through time. The evolution of plants and animals as seen through the fossil record. Emphasis on the geologic history of North America. Transfer credit: UC; CSU (B1, B3).

M W 1:10pm-2:25pm Leclere, S
Day Class   OPEN GEOL 220 - 45674 - Historical Geology
GEOL 220 HISTORICAL GEOLOGY (4)
Hours/semester: 48-54 lecture/48-54 lab.
Origin and history of the Earth and its development through geologic time. The formation of continents and ocean basins and their modifications through time. The evolution of plants and animals as seen through the fossil record. Emphasis on the geologic history of North America. Transfer credit: UC; CSU (B1, B3).

M 2:35pm-5:40pm Leclere, S
Day Class   OPEN OCEN 100 - 30636 - Survey Of Oceanography
OCEN 100 Survey of Oceanography

Selected topics in oceanography designed to provide the students with an introduction and basic understanding of the geological, physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world?s oceans. Methods of scientific investigation are used to explain the history, accomplishments and goals of modern oceanography.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9B1
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area B1), UC (IGETC Area 5A)
T Th 9:35am-10:50am Patel, N
Day Class   OPEN OCEN 101 - 35392 - Oceanography Lab/Field Study
OCEN 101 Oceanography Laboratory/Field Study

Introductory exercises in geographic and bathymetric maps, statistical and microscopic studies of sediments, waves and sediment transport, bathymetry of ocean basins, ocean currents, tides, estuaries, physical and chemical properties of seawater, coastal erosion, and forms and diversity of marine life. Field trips included.

Units: 1
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lab hours/semester: 48-54
Prerequisites: Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, OCEN 100
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9B1
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area B3), UC (IGETC Area 5C)
F 11:10am-1:50pm Redman, M

Primary Contact

Bryan Swartout
Bryan Swartout (STEM Program Services Coordinator)
Science|Math|Technology-STEM Division
swartoutb@smccd.edu More details »

Department Faculty

Nidhi Patel
Nidhi Patel (Assistant Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Earth Sciences (GEOL | OCEN)
pateln@smccd.edu More details »
Cyane Dandridge
Cyane Dandridge (Assistant Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Environmental Science (ENVS)
dandridgec@smccd.edu More details »
Shirin Leclere
Shirin Leclere (Assistant Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Earth Sciences (GEOL | OCEN)
lecleres@smccd.edu More details »
Carina Anttila-Suarez
Carina Anttila-Suarez (Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Biology (BIOL)
anttilasuarezc@smccd.edu More details »
Mays Danfoura
Mays Danfoura (Assistant Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Environmental Science (ENVS)
danfouram@smccd.edu More details »
Brennan Wenck-Reilly
Brennan Wenck-Reilly (Assistant Professor)
Science|Math|Technology-Biology (BIOL)
wenckreillyb@smccd.edu More details »