Course Title: Advanced Physical Geology   
Course Number:
  GEOL 261 section 001
    Jim Durbin                             
Meets (lect):
M, F  3:00-4:50 PM; Ocassional Saturday lab meetings as well
  Science Center Room 2218  (inside room SC2219)             
Office Hours: posted on door  

Phone (office)
:  (812) 465-1208
Textbook :
     ANY Physical Geology textbook.. The lab exercises will be handed out in class by me, along with all necessary reading and visual materials

Objectives of the course:
  This course is designed to give students a more advanced understanding of Earth’s physical makeup and the timeframe within which the Earth formed. Topics include: recognition of mineral and major rock types; identification and interpretation of sedimentary rocks; collection and interpretation of data; reading and interpretation of aerial photos; use of topographic and geologic maps; taking field notes; proper scientific communication skills in both oral and written formats.  

Structure of the Course
:  The course has a laboratory that is required and which will constitute 50% of the total grade for the course.  You must pass the lab in order to be considered for a passing grade for the course.  Part of the class will be a lecture format with regular exams covering the material discussed in class that is also worth 50% of the course grade.  I tend to use a multimedia format, including computer driven slide presentations, Quicktime movies, animation, and anything I else I can find to try and get a particular point across.  In most cases, the material shown using the computer will be posted on a classroom web page, which can be reviewed at your convenience.  The material on the web page will be posted shortly after the day it was discussed, and in some cases prior to the class period.  In some cases, information may not be available right away, or it may not be available at all.  Don’t become dependent on the web page for all of your notes   The lab will focus on applying some of the information we discuss in lecture with specific exercises designed to let you understand what the Earth is made of, how it is formed, and how we can interpret what is observed in a logical and scientific way. The grading scale is based on percentages as listed in the table below.

Table 1. Grading Scale for GEOL261- Fall 2013


Course %   Lecture grading % of 50 Lab Grading % of 50
Lecture 50   Exams 100 Quizzes 40
Lab 50       Lab Exercises 40
          Field notes, conduct 20


The class has several field trips, the dates of which are listed on the calendar below.  Field trips are mandatory, and require that you keep a field notebook.  In addition, there is always an assignment that goes with each field trip.  Notes are to taken while in the field, in addition to adding relelvant information on analysis of data from the field notes in the notebook. 


Failure to participate in the any aspect of the course will constitute failure of the course.

Table 2.
GEOL261- Calendar of topics and events for Fall 2013
; Yellow = Field trip date; Red= no class; Green= test or quiz day; Blue= No formal class- conference date.

Week Date Day    Lecture Topic  Lab Topic Readings
1 August 26, 2013 Mon   Intro & Earth Materials I  
  August 30, 2013 Fri   Earth Materials- I Lab 1 - Earth Materials I- Mineral and Igneous Rock ID
2 Sept. 2, 2013 Mon   No Class- Labor Day Holiday  
  September 6, 2013 Fri   Earth Materials- I & II Lab 2 - Earth Materials II- Sedimentary and Metamorphic rock ID
3 September 9, 2013 Mon   Earth Materials- II  
  September 13, 2013 Fri   Topographic maps & Aerial photographs Lab 3 - Using Topographic maps & Aerial photographs Lab
4 September 16, 2013 Mon   Topographic maps & Aerial photographs; Geologic Time, Stratigraphy and Fossils  
  September 20, 2013 Fri   Note taking in the field; Elements of Technical Report writing I No lab- Lecture
  Saturday 9/21/2013     Field trip I- Geological column & Rock descriptions  Lab 4 - Field trip Notebook and report on findings Field Trip I- 9/21/2013
5 September 23, 2013 Mon   Geologic Time, Stratigraphy and Fossils
  September 27, 2013 Fri   Geologic Time, Stratigraphy and Fossils Lab Quiz I over Earth Materials & maps;
Lab 5 - Geologic Time & fossils
September 30, 2013
Mon   Fluvial systems
October 4, 2013
Fri   Fluvial systems Lab 6 - River landforms
7 October 7, 2013 Mon   Lecture Exam 1; Lecture topic- Geological Structures, Tectonics, and Volcanoes  
  October 11, 2013 Fri   Data collection & analyses & Graphing; Elements of Technical Report writing II No lab - Lecture  
8 October 14, 2013 Mon   No classes- Fall break
  October 18, 2013 Fri   Data collection & analyses & Graphing; Elements of Technical Report writing II; Intro to Geologic maps  
  Saturday 10/19/2013     Field trip II - Wabash River  Lab 7 - Quatitative analysis of River sediments Field Trip II -10/19/2013
9 October 21, 2013 Mon   Structure, tectonics and volcanoes on Geological Maps  
  October 25, 2013 Fri   Structure, tectonics and volcanoes on Geological Maps Lab 8 - Geologic maps- intro
10 October 28, 2013 Mon   GSA Meeting- work on Quantitative analysis & report lab  
  November 1, 2013 Fri   Structural & Volcanic landforms Lab 9 - Geologic maps- structures  







11 November 4, 2013 Mon   Deserts landforms; Coastal landforms    
  November 8, 2013 Fri   Desert landforms; Coastal landforms Lab 10 - Desert landforms lab  







12 November 11, 2013 Mon   Lecture Exam 2; Coastal landforms  
  November 15, 2013 Fri     Lab Quiz 2 over Geologic Time, Rivers & Structure  
13 November 18, 2013 Mon   Coastal landforms; Glaciers
  November 22, 2013 Fri   Glaciers Lab 11 - Coastal landforms lab
  Saturday 11/23/2013     Field Trip III - KY-Rough Creek Graben  Lab 12 - Rough Creek Graben data collection, map and report Field Trip III -11/23/2013
14 November 25, 2013 Mon   Groundwater & Karst Lab 13 - Glacial landforms Lab  
  November 29, 2013 Fri   Thanksgiving Recess No class  No Class
15 December 2, 2013 Mon   Groundwater & Karst
  December 6, 2013 Fri  
Rough Creek Graaben Assignment due
Prep for Lab Final on Monday!
16 December 9, 2013 Mon   Lab Final Monday Dec. 5, 2013 Lab Final- comprehensive; EVERYTHING!
  December 13, 2013 Fri   Final exams week 12/12 through 12/18/2013  
17 December 16, 2013 Mon   Final Exam- Monday Dec 16, 2013  Lecture Final- Comprehensive