Geology of the National Parks

From the verdant rivers and summits of the east coast to the rocky deserts of the western United States, the US National Parks are filled with geologic wonder. In the course you will learn about these protected lands as we investigate their geology while acknowledging the native and indigenous peoples who were stewards of this land for thousands of years before us. We will split the US National Parks into regions: 1) The Pacific NW, 2) Intermountain West, 3) the Midwest, 4) East, 5) Islands, and 6) Alaska. While we will not have formal lecture on the geology of all of the national parks, you will have multiple opportunities throughout the semester to research national parks of your choice and deliver a presentation using a variety of methods. Throughout the course you will have opportunities to explore our natural world on and off campus. We will use our neighboring national park – The Blue Ridge Parkway – as a place to learn about local geology. We will hear from park staff and researchers. We will take advantage of the local community offerings for recreating in the outdoors – guided hikes, trips through ASU’s Outdoor Programs, etc.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
166: TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Spring 2024
Global Issues

Laura Mallard

Laura Mallard is the Program Director for Secondary (high school) Education for the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences as well as a Senior Lecturer in the department. Laura advises student who plan to teach Earth/Environmental Sciences in High School. Laura has traveled throughout the US exploring our National Parks as a geologist and as a mom/tourist with her two teenage boys. Laura got her BS in geology from UNC-CH and her masters in geology from UVM. She taught geology in Vermont for a few years before making her way back to NC and AppState.  She has taught intro geology classes and environmental sciences at ASU for over 20 years. Outside of ASU, Laura spends time with her family biking, rafting/canoeing, hiking and puttering around in her garden.