Open Educational Resources and Geology

This collection was curated by an ASCCC OERI discipline lead. A comprehensive list of current discipline leads is available.

This page is currently under development.

Physical Geology (C-ID GEOL 100)

  • An Introduction to Geology (Johnson, Affolter, Inkenbrandt, and Mosher, 2019)

    An Introduction to Geology (Johnson, et al., 2019) – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)  
    A wide-ranging and thorough Physical Geology Textbook. It includes a multitude of images and linked videos. Short comprehension-check quizzes are included. This text addresses topics to a slightly higher degree of complexity than some other textbooks. Example field sites are from domestic and international locations, but the focus is on the American Southwest.

  • Physical Geology – 2e (Earle, 2019)

    Physical Geology – 2e (Earle, 2019) – LibreTexts (CC BY 4.0)
    A comprehensive Physical Geology textbook created in British Columbia. The chapters are well-organized and include helpful comprehension-check questions. The authors have created many useful diagrams and imported others. Many original photographs and case studies from the Pacific Northwest are included. This text is less exhaustive than others but is well-focused and sufficient for introductory Physical Geology.

  • The Dynamic Earth (Kious and Tilling, 2022) – LibreTexts (CC BY-SA)

    This classic USGS short text provides an extremely useful overview of plate tectonics. Many other textbooks (traditional and OER) appear to borrow their plate tectonics chapters from this resource.

  • Introduction to Physical Geology (Staff, Miracosta College)

    The content is all “open source” material – derived or modified from available on federal, state, and local government websites and publications. Much of the content (text, graphics, and photographs) is donated from GeologyCafe.com, a website dedicated to supporting public earth science education.
    A web-based, comprehensive physical geology textbook with many images. This textbook is created by California Community College faculty and is aligned with C-ID topics and course objectives. Quizzes are included at the end of each chapter.

  • Geology (Schulte)

    This courseware includes resources copyrighted and openly licensed by multiple individuals and organizations. Click the words “Licenses and Attributions” at the bottom of each page for copyright and licensing information specific to the material on that page.
    This textbook covers most of the content required for Physical Geology. Topics receive a relatively lighter treatment compared to other textbooks. The textbook can be downloaded as a Canvas course that will include assignments and question banks.

  • Physical Geology (Panchuk, 2021) – First University of Saskatchewan Edition (CC BY)

    This comprehensive Physical Geology Textbook is a major adaptation of Earle’s Physical Geology Textbook. The order of topics is changed and topics are significantly edited and expanded. The topics included in this book are sufficient to meet C-ID topics and course objectives.

Physical Geology Laboratory (C-ID GEOL 100L)

Historical Geology (C-ID GEOL 110)

Historical Geology Laboratory (C-ID GEOL 110L)

  • The Story of Earth: An Observational Guide (Hauptvogel and Sisson) (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

    A well-organized laboratory manual with many interesting activities for students to learn from. The activities correlate strongly with the C-ID description of Historical Geology Laboratory, so they should meet most college’s SLO’s. In some cases, the activities require the instructor to provide samples (e.g. sedimentary structures and fossils). In some cases, it will be necessary to view the activities in color, either by printing in color or by viewing on a device.

Earth Science (C-ID GEOL 120)

Earth Science Laboratory (C-ID GEOL 120L)

Environmental Geology (C-ID GEOL 130)

  • Environmental Geology (Steven Earle, 2021) (CC BY-NC-SA) – Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia

    This clearly organized and presented textbook features many informative diagrams and photographs and includes chapter review questions. It covers most of the C-ID required topics for Environmental Geology. The topics not included in the book, such as formation of the Earth, are easily found in other OER resources. Overall, this book could be used as a nearly stand-alone resource for California Community College Environmental Geology course.

Environmental Geology Laboratory (C-ID GEOL 130L)

    No resources identified.

Geology of California (C-ID GEOL 200)

Mineralogy (C-ID GEOL 280)

  • Mineralogy (Perkins, Dexter, 2022) (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

    This textbook includes text, photographs, videos, diagrams, and tables that support virtually all of the content and objectives listed in the C-ID course content and objectives. The text is particularly well-provisioned with photographs. The text does not include the lab activities listed in the C-ID descriptor. An instructor would have to supplement these.


Additional Resources

The following are free and publicly available online resources. With the exception of On the Cutting Edge – Strong Undergraduate Teaching (National Association of Geoscience Teaching), these resources do not appear to be openly licensed. They are being shared here because they are widely used and well-reviewed by instructors and students:


Using an OER resource that is missing from the list above? If so, please let us know.

This page last updated November 8, 2023.