OSHR 1806 - Great Rivers of Earth: Geology, Geography, and Human History

  • Noncredit

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

If you are interested in learning about the great rivers of Earth and their connection with human life and civilizations, this may be the course for you. Although rivers contain an extremely small component of Earth's total water volume, they are especially important to humans and to biological diversity.

In this course, we will begin by examining the morphology of large rivers, their geologic settings, variability and complexity in space and time, and the ability of rivers to erode, transport and deposit sediments and nutrients. Our examination of some of Earth's great rivers will include their origin, hydrology, evolution from mountain source to delta, and attempts by humans to stabilize them.

Readings: Wohl, E. A., 2010, A World of Rivers: Environmental Change on Ten of the World’s Great Rivers, University of Chicago Press, 368 p., ISBN-10: 0226904784

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.


Frank Ethridge


Frank G. Ethridge, professor emeritus of Geology at Colorado State University, worked as a geologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Texas Highway Department, and Chevron Oil Co. Frank has conducted coursesand led field trips for geological societies and petroleum companies. He taught geology at Southern Illinois University and Colorado State University for a total of 35 years. Frank has a long-term interest in the Evolution of Earth and has taught courses in this topic for CSU and Osher.