North Seattle Community College                                                           Fall 2008

 

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: The Essential Earth by Jordan and Grotzinger, first edition

 

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.

 

Instructor: Tracy Furutani                                      Office: IB 2328B

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

e-mail: tfurutan@northseattle.edu                                    Course coordinator: John Figge

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

 

Grading:        Group projects, 2 at 25 pts. each                                       50

                        Geology notebook (chapter-end questions)                   50

                        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 exams, 3 at 50 points each, best 2                     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, the other at the end of the quarter. These are multi-day projects 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.

 

Geology notebook: For each chapter of assigned reading in the book, there are three questions from the back of the chapter to be answered. Your answers to these questions are due with the midterm exam that covers those chapters. You may collaborate with others on these questions, though you are expected to turn in your own set of answers.

 

Chapter 3      # 5, 6, 7

Chapter 4      #13, 14, 18

Chapter 5      #7, 17, 20

Chapter 6      #8, 10, 12

Chapter 7      #1, 6, 7

Chapter 8      #1, 3, 6

Chapter 9      #4, 8, 10

Chapter 10    #4, 8, 10

Chapter 11    #7, 8, 9

Chapter 12    #6, 11, 12

Chapter 13    #4, 7, 13

Chapter 14    #2, 11, 17

 

Tests: There will be three thirty-minute midterm exams; the format is short answer and essay questions. They are based on the questions asked in the labs, as well as the chapter-end questions. The midterm 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. Since the lowest midterm score is dropped, there will be no make-up midterms. All 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. There will be a further handout on these assignments.

 

Field trip report: The best teacher is the planet itself. There is one field trip outside of scheduled class time: Saturday, October 4. We will meet in the classroom at  8 a.m. and return about 6 p.m. Your lab fee has paid for the vans that we will be using, though you may use your own vehicle if you wish. 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 (a clipboard is handy here). Link to a sample module (warning: the sample module does not contain three stops, which yours should).

 

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. A quiz or 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 quizzes. 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 14

            Last day of instruction                                            December 5

            Final                                                                           December 9, 1 p.m.

 

The chapter references are for readings assigned in Jordan and Grotzinger text, first edition. The topics may vary some from the readings.

 

September 22

Chapters 1 & 2

Introduction; reading maps

Group Pr. 1 starts

Lab 1

23

24

Chapter 3

Plate tectonics

 

Lab 2

25

 

26

Chapter 3

Plate tectonics

Group Pr. 1 presentations

29

Chapter 4

Minerals

 

Lab 3

30

October 1

Chapter 4

Minerals

2

 

3 Chapter 5

Igneous rocks and volcanism

(4th - field trip 8 a.m.)

6

Chapter 5

Ig. rx & volcanoes

Lab 4

7

8

Chapter 5

Ig. rx & volcanoes

9

 

10 

Chapter 6

Sedimentary rocks

Lab 5

13 Midterm 1

Chapter 6

Sedimentary rocks

14

15

Chapter 6

Sedimentary rocks

16

 

17

Chapter 7

Metamorphic rocks

20

Chapter 7

Metamorphic rocks

21

22

Chapter 7

Structural geology field trip

 

Lab 6 part one

23

24

Chapter 8

Dating methods (relative)

 

Lab 6 part two

 

Field trip report due

27

Chapter 8

Dating methods (relative)

 

Lab 7

28

29

Chapter 8

Dating methods (absolute)

30

 

31 

Chapter 9

History of the Earth

November 3

Chapter 9

History of Earth

 

Lab 8

 

Sample exam 2

4

5

Chapter 10

Climate change

6

 

7 Midterm 2

Chapter 10

Glaciation

10

Chapter 11

Groundwater

Lab 9

11

Vet.

Day

12
Chapter 11

Groundwater

13

 

14 

Chapter 12

Streams

17

Chapter 12

Streams

Poster abstract due

Sample exam 3

18

19 Midterm 3

Chapter 12

Coastal processes

 

Lab 10

20

 

21

Chapter 13

Earthquakes

Poster presentation

24

Chapter 13

Earthquakes

25

26

Chapter 13

Earthquakes

27

Thank

28

sgiving

December 1

Chapter 14

Resource extraction

Group Project 2 starts: Berkeley Grant Proposal Game

2

3

Chapter 14

Human impact

 

4

 

5

Group Project 2 ends

8

9

Final, 1 p.m.

10

 

11

 

12