Course Title: Geomorphology                            Course Number/Room: Geol 407 section 001 Room 3211

Instructor:    Jim Durbin                                   Meets:                  TR 1:30-2:45  F 2:00-4:50

Office:          Science Center Room 3211        Phone:                              (812) 465-1208 (office)

E-mail:           jdurbin@usi.edu                    

Web page:   http://www.usi.edu/science/geology/jdurbin/geomorph/index.html

Textbooks:    I am choosing NOT to assign a textbook.  However, should you choose to purchase one to assist you in the course, the following are good selections.

 

Process Geomorphology, (any edition) by D.F. Ritter, R.C. Kochel, and J.R. Miller, Wm. C. Brown Pub. Inc,

Geomorphology: A Systematic Analysis of Late Cenozoic Landforms (any edition) by Arthur Bloom, Waveland press Publishers.

Introducing Geomorphology: A Guide to Landforms and Processes (any edition) by Adrian Harvey, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd

Geomorphology (any edition- last printing was in 1985) by Richard Chorley, Stanley A. Schumm and David E. Sugden, Routledge Kegan & Paul publishers

Many are available as used books from a variety of online sources for less than $35.  In addition, many public and university libraries have them as well.

 

Course Objectives:  The primary goal of the course is to examine geomorphic systems and the processes that shape Earth’s landscapes.  This involves looking at and understanding the interaction of wind, water, ice and gravity with the surface materials of the Earth.  Topics include soils and paleosols, fluvial systems and landforms, glacial systems and landforms, eolian and arid region systems and landforms, coastal systems and landforms, and karst terranes. 

 

Structure of the Course: The course consists of lectures, lab, field trips, and a semester-long field-based research project.  The lecture will be broken down into various systems and the processes and landforms associated with them.  Labs will involve identifying the landforms that result from those processes, determining other geologic circumstances, as well as going out into the field to observe the features.

 

Exams and Lab assignments: Participants in the class will be evaluated on 3 exams (2 normal exams and a comprehensive Final).  Exams are curved based on the highest score in the class, up to a maximum of 10%.  That person's score becomes 100% and the rest of the class gets adjusted up by the same amount.

Labs will consist of exercises designed to support landforms and processes discussed in class.  In some instances, we will have more than one week to work on lab exercises.  Some labs will encompass working on recognition of features from maps and photos before going out into the field.

In addition, students are required to do a semester long project involving geomorphology.  The nature of the topic can cover any subdiscipline within geomorphology including fluvial (rivers), pedology (soils), mass wasting, glaciers, karst, eolian (wind) etc.  The final product will be a paper documenting the results of your groups project, and a presentation to the class (and anyone else who comes!) the final week of classes.  Included in the project paper will be an abstract, suitable for submittal to the spring meeting of the Geological Society of America.  There will be several mandatory field trips over the semester to examine localities that demonstrate geomorphic systems.  They are listed on the calendar.

 

Point breakdown: I evaluate on a strictly adhered to scale (listed below).  All decimal points are rounded up to the next whole number regardless of the decimal (E.G., 76.00001 would be rounded up to 77). There is ample opportunity to acquire enough points over the semester to get a decent grade if you do the work.  Late assignments will be penalized 20% of the value per day it is late.  Assignments are due at the start of the period unless otherwise instructed.  You should keep track of what your grade is (points you have acquired thus far divided by the total number of points possible) and adjust your studying habits, class attendance, note-taking skills, and exam performance so that you can achieve a grade more in tune with the amount of effort you spend on the class.

Exams are curved up to 10% of the total points.  The curve is based on the high score being set at 100% with all other exams adjusted accordingly.  Grades are based on the points accumulated over term.

 

 


Point Breakdown (table 1)               

Assignment

Points

%

Exam 1

150

15%

Exam 2

150

15%

Labs

150

15%

Final Exam

250

25%

Semester Project

300

30%

Totals

1000

100%

 

Grading Scale (table 2)

Points

Grade

Points

Grade

1000-900

A

759-700

C

899-860

B+

699-660

D+

859-800

B

599-560

D

799-760

C+

499-000

F


 

Policy:  I do not mind students coming late to class.  I would prefer you to come in a little late than to not show up at all.  Try not to make a lot of noise when coming in late, and do NOT to make a habit of being late to or missing class.

I do not mind students eating or drinking in the classroom, provided the University doesn’t mind and you don’t make noises when unwrapping food items or finishing your drink.  If you know ahead of time that there is a conflict with an 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.  On exam days, anyone coming into the classroom more than 15 minutes late will be allowed to start the exam at that time, but will not be given extra time to complete the exam.  Make exams are at my discretion.

I have scheduled office hours during the week, and I am available for meetings to discuss projects or other matters by appointment or any time I am in my office and the door is open.

I reserve the right to alter the syllabus should the need arise.  I will notify the class of any changes.


 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

8/19/12

20

21- Intro, syllabus and Discussion of Semester Long Research topics

22

23- Introduction to geomorphology  Chaps 1 & 2

24- Maps and air Photos Lab

25

26

27

28- Intro to Soils

29

30 -Soils

31- Soils lab part 1

9/01/12

2

3 - Labor Day           No classes

4 - Soils & Paleosols

5

6 - Soils & Paleosols

7 - Soils and paleosols Lab pt 2

8

9

10

11- Assessment day

NO CLASSES

12

13- Mass wasting

14- Day Trip Giddings  Soils lab pt II (location to be determined)

15

16

17

18- Mass wasting

19

20- Mass wasting

21- Mass wasting afternoon field trip;

22

23

23

25- Coastal Geomorphology

26

27 - Exam 1

28 - Coastal geomorphology lab

 proposals for semester long projects due

29

30

10/01/12

2 - Coastal Geomorphology

3

4 - Fluvial Geomorphology

5 –Wabash river trip discussion and prep

6- Daylong Trip- Wabash River- notebook due on return- assignment due 10/22/10

7

8- Fall Break- NO CLASS

9- Fall Break- NO CLASS

10

11 - Fluvial Geomorphology

12- fluvial landforms lab

 13

14

15

16 - Fluvial Geomorphology

17

18 - Glacial Gemorphology- expanded outline for  research project due

19 - Work on semester long research projects!!!!

20

21

22

23- Glacial Gemorphology

24

25 - Glacial Geomorphology

26- Glacial landforms lab   (due 11/05/10)

27

28

29

30 - Glacial Geomorphology

31

11/01/12 - Karst

2- Karst Landforms lab                      (due 11/12/10)

3

4

5

6 - Karst

7

8 – Exam 2

9-karst field trip prep

10- Karst Field trip

11

12

13-Arid regions

14

15-Arid regions

16 – Arid regions lab (due 12/2/10)

17

18

19

20 - work on semester long projects

21- Thanksgiving Break

22 -Thanksgiving Break

23 - Thanksgiving Break

24 - Thanksgiving Break

25 - Thanksgiving Break

26

27-Arid regions

28

29 - Arid regions

30- Presentation of semester-long projects

12/01/12

2

3

4 - Finish up report for semester-long research projects

5- Dead day- NO CLASSES

6 - Written Research Project reports due

7 -

8

9

10

11 - Final Exam 1:30 - 3:30 PM

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20-

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29