Geology Department


North’s Program Gives Special Attention to NW Geological Processes

Labs & Field Trips |  Curriculum Highlights

In North’s geology courses you study the earth, the materials that make it up and the processes that have shaped it through time, interpreted in terms of plate tectonics. Special attention is given to both deep-earth and surface processes that have shaped the Pacific Northwest.

Geology courses satisfy AA science degree or career training program requirements, provide transfer preparation without a degree, individual courses for those already in a 4-year school (lab science credits especially in demand) or personal enrichment. Geology classes have been fully online as well as in traditional classroom format since 1999. There are hybrid classes as well.

Labs & Field Trips

Earth science lab facilities are outstanding— the finest collections and equipment of any community college earth science program. NSC’s labs are the beneficiary of turnovers at the UW, and the College has a close working relationship with the university and access to their facililties, including seismology labs and natural history exhibits.

Instructors make good use of local resources to highlight concepts. All geology courses have field trips to areas like Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, the San Juan Islands, the Olympics, and the UW Burke Museum of Natural History. A 5-day field trip is the capstone of the Pacific NW Geology course.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Origins, evolution, biology, behavior and extinction of dinosaurs and their relationship to birds and mammals 
  • History of the biosphere, Earth’s climate and its changes
  • Relationship of geologic, climatic and ecological habitat changes
  • Evolutionary theory and how it applies to the classification of organisms
  • Basic geologic and biologic processes that produce fossils and other evidence of past life
  • Application of the principles of the scientific method to develop and test hypotheses
  • Identification of a basic number of earth materials, including rocks and minerals, and earth processes, both deep-earth and surface
  • Understanding and use of topographic and geologic maps
  • Understanding how hazards and resources are related to earth materials and processes
  • Use of rocks, minerals and maps to interpret the geological history of an area
  • Interpretations of observations and field notes

John Figge Passionate about North's Program & Study of Regional Geology

John Figge
Geology & Sciences Faculty

Instructor John Figge, a self-taught student of geology for thirty years, has unparalleled enthusiasm for his subject, for the unique opportunities offered by study of the Northwest landscape, and for teaching within North’s fine geology program.

Geology Department

Tracy Furutani

Math & Science Division

IB 2429 Southeast section of the Instruction Building, 2nd floor
Division Contacts
(206) 934-3746
(206) 934-3748 (fax)
Mailing Address
NSC Math & Science Division
9600 College Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
Peter Lortz


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