GEOLOGY 161- Introduction to Geology (Spring 2013)

Course: Physical Geology               
Course Number:  GEOL 161 section 5
Instructor:
  Jim Durbin                   
Meets (lect): MWF
1:00-1:50 PM; SC2243
Labs:
Monday 2:00-4:20 PM (in room SC2230
Office: Science Center Room 2218 (inside room SC2219)                  
Office Hours:  Mon & Tues 11-12; Wed 10--11; 4-5; Thur 9-10 

E-mail:
jdurbin@usi.edu                  
Phone (office)
:  (812) 465-1208
Web page:
http://www.usi.edu/science/geology/jdurbin/geol161/index.html

Textbook:
  Essentials of Geology 3rd or 4th ed., 2009, by S. Marshak, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, ISBN# 0-393-93238-6, 518 p. plus appendices.

Lab manual: Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology,2012 by A. Lundman & S. Marshak, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, ISBN# 0-393-91328-6, customized edition available in bookstore.

Course Objectives:
  This course is designed to give you an understanding of Earth’s geological materials and processes, familiarize you with the means by which scientific conclusions are drawn concerning Earth’s many materials, systems and history, and introduce you to many events that have shaped Earth over the last 4.6 billion years.  Topics include identification of minerals and the major rock types, identification and interpretation of basic deformation such as faults, folds, and mountains, Plate tectonics theory, relative and chronological time concepts, Geologic timescale, reconstruction of environments from geologic evidence, Oceans, Rivers, Deserts, and Groundwater.  

Structure of the Course
:  The course has a lecture and a lab section, you must pass both the lecture and the lab in order to pass the class.  The lab grade comprises ~ 25% of the total grade for the course.  In most cases, the materials shown during the lecture will be posted on the classroom web page listed above, 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. The lab will focus on applying information we discuss in lecture to specific exercises designed to let you understand the Earth and earth materials, and the processes that affect the way our planet looks and behaves.   

Caution:  The web page is not a substitute for coming to class!

This is a college level course with a tremendous amount of material that many students have never been exposed to before.  I require more than just memorization of material; I require you to think and apply what you have learned to the problems presented to you.  The content of the web page is to provide you with access to some of the materials so that you can review and study material after the class, as opposed to trying to listen to what I have to say and  write down what is on the slide and  look at the visual material I am showing.  While you may be able to do 1 or 2 of the 3 tasks, it is a very rare person who can do all three of them at the same time without missing something!  

Policy:
  Do not bring cellular phones or beepers to class unless they have a vibration mode.  If you choose to bring these items to class with a normal ringer mode on, you will receive one warning, and the next time, you will be dropped from the class!  I do not mind students coming late to class, as I would prefer you come in a little late rather than missing a class.  Do not make a lot of noise when coming in late, and try not to make a habit of being late to class as you will miss valuable and informative material.  Don’t talk in class while I am speaking, unless it is to ask a question pertaining to the class.  Do not bring children into either the classroom or the lab. The University has excellent child care facilities and ways to accommodate nearly any circumstance. You may eat or drink in the lecture hall, provided the University doesn't mind and you don’t make “crinkling” noises when unwrapping food items or “burping” noises when finishing your drink.  If you know ahead of time that there is a conflict with a scheduled exam date, you must see me in advance to make arrangements as to when you will make up the exam.  If for any reason you miss an exam, you must see me to see if you will be allowed to make it up.  Late assignments will be evaluated, but penalized 20% per day. I have scheduled office hours during the week, but I will be in my office between 8:00 AM and 6:30 PM Monday through Friday and you can come by and see me at any time with or without an appointment to discuss any matter that you choose.  If I am not available (i.e., not in my office) you may leave a message with the departmental secretary, leave a voice mail message, or e-mail me and I will respond to you as quickly as possible.  

Grading Policy: 
The grades in the lecture section are based on 4 exams, 3 worth 100 points each, occurring about every four weeks, and the Final, which is comprehensive and worth 175 points.  Lecture exams are curved up to 10 points, based on the highest score becoming 100.  Lab exams are not curved. The lab portion of the course constitutes 25% of your grade, and you must pass both the lab and the lecture to pass the class! This means you must earn at least 285 lab points (105 points once converted to the course grades) in the lab and 320 points in the lecture in order to be evaluated for a passing grade in the class.  

Exams:
  Exams dates are fixed and will not change.  Topics covered on each of the first 3 exams will constitute all of the material covered since the previous exam.  The final exam is semi-comprehensive, with 55% covering new material, and 45% covering old material.  Exams are multiple choice, true or false, matching, and short answer.  They include slides of features we have discussed in class.  Exams are curved based on the highest score being adjusted to 100, up to 10% of the total points.  Examples- 1) The top score is 92 out of 100.  Therefore everyone gets 8 points added to their score, and the top score becomes 100; 2) The top score is 88 out of 100.  Therefore everyone gets 10 points added to their total, making the top score 98.    Lab exercises and Lab exams are not curved. At the end of the semester, the total points you have earned in lab will be converted to a percentage, and that percentage will be multiplied by the 175 points that the Lab is worth out of the total of 700 possible points. All decimals will be rounded up to the next highest full point in that conversion.



Point Breakdown for Lecture, Lab, and course (Table 1, 2, and 3)

Table 1. Lecture points breakdown
Table 2. Lab points breakdown

Item

Points

Normal Exams

3 @ 100 points

Lecture assignments

50 points

Final Exam-Comprehensive

175 points

Total Points

525 points



Item

Points per item

Points

Lab exercises

10@15 pts

150 pts

Final Exam

1@200 pts

200 pts

Midterm

1@100 pts

100 pts
Attendence

perfect = 25 pts
1 miss = 15 pts
2 miss = 0 pts

25 pts

Total Points

475 points

Table 3. Course points breakdown

Item

Points

Normal Exams

3 @ 100 pts

Lecture assignments

50 pts

Final Exam-Comprehensive

175 pts

Lab*

175 pts

Total pts

700 pts



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


* see table 1, 2 and 3 for Lecture, Lab and Course points breakdown



Grading Scale (Tables 4, 5 and 6)

Table 4. Lecture grading scale
Table 5. Lab grading scale

Points

Grade

Points

Grade

525- 473

A

404-368

C

472-462

B+

367-352

D+

461-420

B

351-320

D

419-405

C+

319-000

F


You must earn 320 points in the lecture to pass the lecture

Points

Grade

Points

Grade

475-427

A

360-332

C

426-408

B+

331-313

D+

407-380

B

312-285

D

379-361

C+

284-000

F


You must earn at least a 285 points in lab to pass the lab component of the course
Table 6. Course grading scale

Points

Grade

Points

Grade

700-630

A

538-490

C

629-609

B+

489-469

D+

608-560

B

468-430

D

559-539

C+

429-000

F

 

Course grades are assigned based on the total number of POINTS accumulated.  Do not assume that because you earned an A in one part and a B+ in the other that you will earn an A for the course. To determine your grade for the course, Divide the total number of points earned in lab by the total possible (600) to get a percentage. Multiply that percentage by 175 to get the point value for the Lab component of the course that will be added to the total points earned in lecture. The POINT breakdown for the grading scale is shown in Tables 4, 5 and 6 below.  All fractional points will be rounded up to the next whole number (e.g., 75.00001 will get recorded as a 76).

Lab information

You are required to have the chapters covering the content of the lab for any particular day read ahead of time. Labs will generally have a quiz over the reading materials (see readings for lab in the list below) and/or the information covered in the prior lab meeting time (e.g., mineral or rock properties / ID quizzes). The Lab is scheduled to run for 2 hours and 20 minutes. Do not plan on leaving early or you will miss the points covered with the quizzes. There are two exams in the lab- a midterm and a final, and there are assignments due each week at the end of the period- unless otherwise stated. In most instances, the lab exercises will be evaluated for correctness and understanding, with one opportunity to make corrections before a final evaluation. Upon completion of the lab component, the points score will be converted to a percentage (see scale above) and multiplied by 175 points to determine the total points for the entire course.

Schedule of topics and readings - not yet complete!

 

Week

Week of dates

Readings

Topics

Notes

Lab topic Lab Readings

1

1/14- 1/18

Chapter

Intro & Minerals

Intro- Tools of the trade - No assigned readings - exercise handed out in lab

2

1/21- 1/25

Chapter

Minerals & Ig Rocks

No classes on 21st- Martin Luther King Jr. Day

No lab- MLK holiday No lab readings

3

1/28- 2/1

Chapter

IG Rocks & SED Rocks

Mineral Properties & Identification Chapter 2- minerals

4

2/4- 2/8

Chapter

SED Rocks; MM Rocks

 

Igneous Rocks Chapter 3- Igneous Rocks

5

2/11- 2/15

Chapter

SED Rocks; MM Rocks

EXAM 1  Monday 2/8/13

Sedimentary Rocks Chapter 4- Sedimentary Rocks

6

2/18- 2/22

Chapter

Volcanoes

Metamorphic Rocks Chapter 5- Metamorphic rocks

7

2/25- 3/1

Chapter

Earthquakes & Earth's Interior

Earthquakes

Chapter

8

3/4- 3/8

Chapter

Earthquakes & Earth's Interior

EXAM 2   3/8/13

Lab Midterm- practicum; Chapter
9 3/11-3/15 SPRING BREAK NO CLASSES  

10

3/18- 3/22

Chapter

Geologic Time & Fossils- First life - DVD

Geologic Time & GeologicTimescale Chapter

11

3/25-3/29

Chapter

Geologic Time

No classes on 3/29/13

Plate Tectonics- The Living Machine DVD Chapter

12

4/1- 4/5

Chapter

Plate Tectonics and Mountains

Topographic & Geologic maps Chapter

13

4/8- 4/12

Chapter

Mountains; Deserts

Exam 3
4/12/13

Plate tectonics & Geologic Structures Chapter

14

4/15 -4/19

Chapter

Deserts; Glaciers



Deserts & Landforms Chapter

15

4/22-4/26

Chapter

Glaciers; Groundwater & Karst

Glaciers & Landforms

Chapter

16

4/29- 5/8

Last lecture on 4/29
FINAL EXAMS 5/2 through 5/8

FINAL EXAM  

Final Exam 5/3/13
1:00-3:00 PM

Lab Final: Practicum 4/29/2013  


I reserve the right to adjust the syllabus should the need arise during the semester.  I will notify the class of any changes that are made.