North Seattle Community College                                                           Spring 2008

 

Geology 101: Physical Geology

Course meeting times:       MW, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

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

 

Text: The Essential Earth by Thomas H. Jordan and John Grotzinger, 1st edition

 

Other required materials:

• Clipboard (for field trips)

• Four-function 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.

 

At about mid-quarter, you will be asked to join one of two “tracks”. The “environmental track” will concentrate on the evolution of landforms due to surface processes (e.g., rivers, glaciers, etc.). The “history of life track” will focus on the fossil record and the record of changes in the earth’s environment over time (e.g., climate change). The completion of one of the two tracks is required for completion of the course.

 

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. It is helpful but not critical to have had experience with wikis.

 

Instructor: Tracy Furutani                                      Office: IB 2328B

Phone: 528-4509                                                       Office hours: MW, 5:00 – 6:00

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

website: http://faculty.northseattle.edu/tfurutani/

 

Grading:        Group project 1                                            30

                        Group project 2                                            70

                        Poster abstract, 10 pts.                                10

                        Poster project, 40 pts.                                  40

                        Field trip report, 50 pts.                              50

                        Labs, best 10 of 11 at 20 pts. each              200

                        Midterm exam                                              100

                        Final exam                                                     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, the other at the end of the quarter. Because this course is a “hybrid” course, the hours you aren’t spending in the classroom that are counted as part of the course load should be spent doing these projects. To this end, I will set up a wiki space for each group at the site http://nsccgel101.wetpaint.com/, and you will be turning in a final report, which will be your wiki document and/or an oral summation to the class. Your group members will all receive the same grade; there will be further handouts on these projects.

 

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 require the use of several websites, and so these can (and should) be done at home.

 

Homework: The textbook has “exercises” at the end of each chapter. These questions are not only a good review of the chapter, but they make dandy exam questions (hint).

 

Tests: There will be one two hour midterm exam; the format is short answer and essay questions. They are based on the questions asked in the labs, as well as the exercise questions in the textbook. 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 final score is greater than your midterm exam score, then that will be substituted for the midterm score. This means that there will be no make-up midterms, since the “0” on the missed midterm exam can be replaced by the final exam score. Exams are open-book, 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, based on the track you are on. 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. There will be a handout on this project.

 

Field trip report: The best teacher is the planet itself. There are two field trips outside of scheduled class time: one will be Saturday, May 3, the other will be Sunday, May 4. The destinations and goals will be different. You are required to go on one 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. I encourage you to go on both trips (the second trip’s assignment will count as extra credit).

 

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, I will drop the lowest lab score. For this reason, I will not offer makeup labs. In addition, attendance at the field trips is necessary; please let me know as soon as possible if those dates are unworkable.

 

Cell phones, beepers, pagers: These devices are disruptive in the classroom.

Turn it off during class. A first violation will result in a warning. A second violation of this policy will result in dismissal from the course.

 

Dates to remember:

            Last day to drop course                                          May 23

            Last day of GEL 101 instruction                             June 9

            Final                                                                           June 11, 6 p.m.

Tentative calendar: the chapter numbers refer to chapters in the Jordan and Grotzinger textbook. This is a provisional calendar and topics/dates are subject to change. The lab topics/ sequence is also subject to change. Check the website for the most up-to-date calendar.

 

March 31

Introduction

Lab 1: Reading maps

April 1

 

2

Chapters 1 and 2

3

4

7

Chapter 3: Plate Tectonics

Lab 2: Plate tectonics

8

 

 

9

Chapter 3: Plate Tectonics

10

11

14

Chapter 4: Minerals and rocks

Lab 3: Minerals

15

 

 

16

Chapter 4: Minerals and rocks

Lab 4: Volcanoes

17

18

21 Group project 1 presentations

Chapter 5: Igneous processes

22

 

 

23

Chapter 5: Igneous processes

24

25

28

Chapter 6: Sedimentary processes

Lab 5: Sed and met rocks

29

 

 

30

Chapter 6: Sedimentary processes

May 1

2

Field trips

5

Chapter 7: Metamorphic processes

Sample midterm exam

6

 

 

7

Chapter 7: Metamorphic processes

 

Structure photos from Me-Kwa-Mooks Park

Scene

Attitude

Structure

Reconstruction

8

9

12

Midterm Exam (Ch. 1 – 6)

Chapter 8: Geologic time

 

Lab 6: Geologic time

13

 

 

14

Chapter 8: Geologic time

15

16

19

Chapter 7: Structural geology

 

Lab 7: Structural geology

20

 

 

21

Earthquakes

 

Lab 8: Earthquakes

22

23

26

Memorial Day

27

 

 

28 Poster presentation

 

Env track: Rivers and floods

 

HOL track: Depositional environments and transgressions/regressions

29

30

June 2

Env track: Groundwater and resource extraction

 

HOL track: North American correlative sequences

3

 

 

4 Field trip report due

 

Env track: Glaciers and climate change

 

HOL track: Vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology

5

6

9 Group project 2

 

10

11

Final, 6 p.m.

 

12

 

13