North Seattle Community College                                                           Fall 2007

 

Geology 101: Physical Geology

 

Course meeting times:       MWF, noon - 2:20 p.m.

Lectures, discussions and labs will be held in Room AS 1623

 

Text: No official one. You are required to have a copy of any physical geology textbook with a copyright date of 1995 or more recent. Textbooks can be borrowed for the term from a limited supply in the classroom, or purchased from used book stores, on-line textbook companies or the NSCC Bookstore.

 

Other required materials:

• Clipboard (for field trips)

• Calculator (for labs)

• E-mail address that you will check twice a week

 

Course purpose and outcomes: This course will introduce you to the study of the Earth, of both its materials and its processes that shape the materials. You will also look at how earth scientists employ the scientific process in studying the planet; this will include some quantitative methods. We will use these larger ideas to explain why the Pacific Northwest geology and geography looks the way that it does, and why this pleasant area is rife with danger. I hope you take away from the course an appreciation of earth materials and hazards, and how both influence our lives.

 

Prerequisites: There are none, though you will need to be able to work in groups, use your calculator, draw a graph and have the desire to apply some of your math knowledge to practical problems. Since there is no official textbook, you will also have to be adept at finding definitions for geological terms in various sources, should your primary reference not mention a particular term.

 

Instructor: Tracy Furutani                                      Office: IB 2328B

Phone: 528-4509                                                       Office hours: MWF, 11:00 – noon

e-mail: tfurutani@sccd.ctc.edu                                Course coordinator: John Figge

website: http://northonline.sccd.ctc.edu/tfurutani/

 

Grading:        Group projects, 2 at 50 pts. each                100

                        Poster abstract, 10 pts.                                10

                        Poster project, 40 pts.                                  40

                        Field trip report, 50 pts.                              50

                        Labs, best 8 of 9 at 20 pts. each                  160

                        Assignments, 8 at 10 pts. each, total/2     40

                        Exams, 2 at 50 points each              100

                        Final                                                               100

 

                        Total                                                               600

 

Grades will be assigned as follows:

 

Your total points:     570 - 600         4.0

                                    540 - 569         3.7

                                    510 - 539         3.3

                                    480 - 509         3.0

                                    450 - 479         2.7

                                    420 - 449         2.3

                                    390 - 419         2.0

                                    360 - 389         1.7

                                    330 - 359         1.3

                                    300 - 329         1.0

                                    < 300               0.0

 

This schedule is subject to a minimal amount of change.

 

Group projects: There will be two group projects, one (at the beginning of the quarter) on “Geological misconceptions”, the other (at the end of the quarter) called "The Berkeley Grant Proposal Game". These are multi-day affairs and you will be turning in a final report and/or an oral summation. Your group members will all receive the same grade; some points will be earned during the project and some will be earned at the presentation.

 

Labs: There will be eleven lab exercises, designed to help you understand geological concepts, summarize in-class field trips, etc. We will go over the labs during class, and the labs are due in class at the next meeting. Some labs require the use of samples and maps in the classroom, so it is important that you attend class to gain full use of these items. Some labs will be short field trips off-campus; transportation will be provided and you will be back on-campus by 2:20.

 

Weekly assignments: Each week or so, I will be handing out a list of geological terms I’ll assume you will know by the end of that week. This assignment will be turned in and graded, and it should greatly help you on the tests, since I will not define geological terms on the exams.

 

Tests: There will be two fifty-minute exams; the format is short answer and essay questions. They are based on the questions asked in the labs, as well as terms from the weekly assignment. The exam is a diagnostic tool; a good score means that you have kept up with the material. The final is similarly structured, merely longer and comprehensive. In an effort to reward greater understanding toward the end of the quarter, if either of your exam scores is lower than half of your final exam score, then that will be substituted for the low exam score. This means that there will be no make-up exams, since the “0” on a missed midterm exam can be replaced by half of the final exam score. Exams are open-note and open-lab, so keeping your papers in order is a good idea.

 

Poster project: You may work on them individually or with one partner. The project will be the creation of a poster, a visual presentation of some geological topic. It must contain some of your own photographs and diagrams. I will have a list of topics available or you may discuss any ideas with me. In addition, the field trips are a good source of projects. Be sure to get my okay before proceeding, partly so that we both know you are working on the project and partly so that we can increase or decrease the scope of your project.  You will also write a 75-word abstract for your poster to be turned in by e-mail.

 

Field trip report: The best teacher is the planet itself. There is one field trip outside of scheduled class time: Saturday, October 6, to the Upper Yakima River Valley. You are required to go on this trip because you will write a three-page report on an aspect of the trip; the exact assignment will be explained in class. Please be prepared to walk short distances (less than a half mile) in rain and mud, and to jot notes while looking at rocks. For all trips, we will be using rental vans, which your lab fee has covered.

 

Cheating: Please don't. I will use the policy outlined in the Student Conduct section of the Student Handbook. Remember, a group project is the result of a roughly equal sharing of ideas from each member of the group. Collaboration is absolutely essential. Collaboration is also important during labs. An exam, however, is an evaluation of what each individual understands. Please do not collaborate on these endeavors. And, yes, plagiarism (of ideas or words without attribution) is cheating and will be referred to the Secret Punishment Committee.

 

Chemical sensitivities: Due to the increasing numbers of individuals developing chemical sensitivities and the increasing awareness of such conditions, everyone who attends this class is asked to refrain from wearing any fragrance or perfume. The greatest feasible efforts will also be taken to ensure a fresh air environment free of not only the above-mentioned fragrances but also potentially harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, carpet odor, organic solvents, etc. Individuals who are unsure of the importance of this policy should see the Associate Dean for additional information.

 

Attendance: I will not take attendance during the quarter, but it is imperative that you attend every meeting; we will be covering a textbook chapter’s worth of material every two meetings. You may have personal reasons for missing class and to accommodate this, most of the components of the final grade (see above) drop the lowest score. For this reason, I will not offer makeup labs or exams. In addition, attendance at the field trips is necessary; please let me know as soon as possible if those dates are unworkable.

 

Cell phones: The use of pagers and cell phones is a symptom of our ever-increasingly wired society. For people such as myself with extremely short attention spans, these devices can easily destroy concentration. Please switch your devices to a “silent” setting during class.

 

Dates to remember:

            Last day to drop course                                          November 16

            Last day of instruction                                            December 7

            Final                                                                           December 12, 1 p.m.


The topics should be listed in the textbook you use in the table of contents; obviously, the exact chapter number will vary from book to book. In addition, you may discover that not all of the terms in the weekly assignment will be necessarily found in one chapter of your textbook!

 

September 24

Introduction; reading maps

Group Pr. 1 starts

 

Lab 1

 

Assignment 1

25

26

Maps

 

27

 

28

Minerals

Group Pr. 1 presentations

October 1

Minerals

 

Assignment 2

 

Lab 2

2

3

Igneous rocks

 

Poster project handed out

4

 

5

Igneous rocks

(6th  — field trip at 8 a.m.)

8

Volcanic processes

 

Assignment 3

 

Lab 3

9

10

Weathering and soils

11

 

12

Sedimentary rocks

 

Lab 4

 

Sample exam 1

15

Metamorphic rocks

 

Assignment 4

16

17

Metamorphic rocks

18

 

19

Exam 1

 

Dating methods (relative)

22

Dating methods (relative)

 

Assignment 5

23

24

Dating methods (numerical)

 

 

25

26

Dating methods (numerical)

 

Field trip report due

29

Structural geology field trip

 

Assignment 6

 

Lab 6, part one

30

31

Structural geology

 

Lab 6, part two

Nov. 1

 

2

Structural geology

 

Lab 7

5

Earthquakes

 

6

7

Plate tectonics

 

Lab 8

8

 

9

Plate tectonics

 

Sample exam 2

12

Veteran’s Day

13

14 Plate tectonics

 

Poster abstract due

15

 

16

Meet at ATG 154 on the University of Washington campus

 

Seismology lab tour

 

Exam 2

 

19

Streams and groundwater

 

Assignment 7

 

20

21

Poster presentation

22

Thanks-giving

23

26

Groundwater

 

Lab 9

27

28

Petroleum resources

29

 

30

Field trip to Pacific Science Center

 

Assignment 8

December 3 Glaciers

 

4

5

Coastal processes

Group Pr. 2 starts

6

 

7

Group Project 2: Berkeley Grant Game

10

11

12

Final, 1:00 p.m.

13

 

14