and Geology Capstone Program


FALL, 2015

Wednesday 4-6 P.M.  Rm PLS 1111

COURSE DIRECTOR: Dr. Philip A. Candela, Rm. 2112 Geology Bldg.

For questions, e-mail Dr. Candela, at:

OFFICE HOURS: by appointment or WED 2-3:30 PM; best to email me if you want to talk.


{393 topics listed first; 394 topics follow, in italics}

Sept 2: Orientation- Selecting and Refining a Project; getting started.   DISCUSSION OF GRADING POLICY (v.i.). Please also see notice of Grants/Awards (v.i.). 394 students should be sure to consult the new syllabus for important dates. First presentation for both 393 and 394, in front of the full department, is five (5) weeks and two (2) days from today.  For 393 and 394: Note - Rough Draft of your paper is due ten (10) WEEKS and two (2) days from today.  Your final paper is due in exactly twelve (12) WEEKS.

Sept 9: Scientific Method I, including how it applies to the senior thesis. Review “Writing Guide for the Senior Thesis”, which is in Canvas, for the next class.

Sept 16: English Skills: Written and Spoken English (see notes in Canvas). 393: PROJECT DESCRIPTION DUE by email to me. Please put PROJECT DESCRIPTION in the subject line, and your name and 393 in the file name.

Sept 23: Preparing a Presentation 393: PROJECT APPROVAL SHEETS due (submit in paper form: place in my mailbox, or give to me in class).

MON Oct 5: Not a class; PROJECT PARAGRAPH + OUTLINE DUE (electronic, to Todd).    For 393:A hard copy of your Outline must be signed by your advisor, and placed in my mailbox by the due date of the electronic version. This is an indication of the advisor’s approval of your Outline!     394: Written Progress Report (electronic: 500 word minimum (not including name, title, and other heading information) updated abstract indicating your progress to date - electronic, to Todd).  

Oct 7: No class – work on your presentation

 FRIDAY, October 9, 2015 **Oral Presentation of Topic for 393   **Oral Progress Report for 394 (1P.M., in JMZ 0220)

Oct 14: No class (Geology 445 field Trip to SI)

Oct 21: Discussion of Research Progress; Preparing the Final Paper and Final Presentation THIS IS FOR BOTH 393 and 394!     

Special Note: You are now 23 days away from submitting your rough draft. At this point, you should be in conversations with your advisor about preparing your rough DRAFTS.  Note that I indicated plural: drafts - writing your rough drafts must be a cooperative and iterative process, involving your effort and advice from your advisor(s).      

Oct 28: Scientific Method II, or topic to be announced (394 students: check with me to see if you need to attend)…   

NOV 4: no class, work on your rough draft

FRI NOV 13 NOONROUGH DRAFTS DUE: send an electronic version to me by email. Ask your advisor(s) for their preference. You must deliver your rough draft to your advisor(s).    393 and 394 

THURS Nov 19 Rough Drafts Returned to Student From Advisor(s) 393 and 394 (Please make arrangements for when you will get the rough draft back from the appropriate parties).  I will send you my corrections and comments sometime (probably late) post meridiem.                               

WED Nov 25 NOON       Final Proposal Due (electronic + paper copy)       Final Report Due (electronic (to Todd) + paper).

(Electronic copies must be sent to Todd Karwoski); Paper Copy is to be placed in a box in the Geology Bldg mailroom: one high-quality paper copy of your final paper with photos, color where needed, bound ,with a cover*).

Nov 26 Thanksgiving

FRI, Dec 11   **Oral Presentation of 393 Proposal         **Oral Presentation of Thesis for 394 (1 P.M. JMZ 0220).                  

NOTE: Double Spaced Rough Drafts and Single Spaced Final Project Reports are due at NOON. ALL other files/papers required for 393 and 394 are due by 4:00 P.M. on the date specified. These deadlines are hard deadlines). 

 Suggested Alternate Writing Guide: Irvine, T.N., Rumble, Douglas, and Irvine, L.M., 1992, A writing guide for petrological (and other geological) manuscripts: Journal of Petrology, p. 1- 46.

*Any of these binding types are acceptable (you are not required to use this company; this is an example):


ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: The University of Maryland has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. See . Students are prohibited from cheating on exams, plagiarizing papers, having another person write their paper, submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without authorization, buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents, and forging signatures.

Please place this as an appendix in your 393 and 394 final papers, and sign it in the paper copy of the 394 Thesis paper:

"I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance or plagiarized on this assignment."



ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS: If any 393-394 students have a documented disability that may affect their work in Geology 393, 393H, 394, or 394H, they should discuss this with Dr. Candela by no later than the second week class. You should contact Disability Support Services. Each semester students with documented disabilities should apply to DSS for accommodation request forms which you can provide to your professors as proof of your eligibility for accommodations.

Course Organization:

One meeting per week, unless otherwise noted.  Students are expected to meet weekly with their main research advisor, and maintain communication with me and their advisor on at least a weekly basis.    You can email me 24/7. I will get back to as soon as I can.

Grading (More detail is on Canvas): The rough draft of your 393 or 394 paper will account for 20% of the final course grade, the final paper will account for 50%, and the final presentation will account for 30%. Note however, that failure to make either of the two required presentations without an approved excuse (e.g., a medical excuse backed by a formal medical document), or failure to submit the final paper on time, can result in failure of the course.  The grade for the rough draft will be based on the rough draft rubric, which is on Canvas.

Course Evaluations: CourseEvalUM will be open for students to complete their evaluations for the Fall semester. Students can go directly to the website to complete their evaluations.  



Computing guide for Senior Thesis work



MON –before your first talk: (talk to Todd ( about his availability, and for his preferred method of file transfer)

Project Paragraph+Outlines or Progress Reports (for 393 and 394, respectively): Supply file to Todd Karwoski by the date and time specified (vide supra); you can copy me, but you must be sure that Todd gets it directly from you).

Week of  both FRI presentations

PowerPoint Files for Oral Presentations must be delivered, by a method to be determined by you and Todd, to Todd Karwoski by 4PM THURS, or 9-11 AM FRI, OR AT ANOTHER TIME, AS INDICATED BY TODD. It is your responsibility to be sure that he receives the .ppt or other appropriate file, and that it is in working order.


           * Electronic copies of Final Papers (393, 394) are due in Word format; they will be converted to .pdf file format by Todd.  Please do not leave blank pages in your presentation, and please single space the document; wrap text around figures. Please have a separate title page. (e-mail the file if appropriate, or present a disk to Todd, or follow Todd’s instructions if he presents you with an alternative). Check syllabus and the 393/4 Guide for hard copy requirements. 


A limited number of small grants may be available on a competitive basis to Geology 393 students, contingent upon the availability of funds.  Interested students must submit an application on or before the due date of their final report for GEOL 393. The application will consist of one paragraph describing the project to be undertaken and an estimated budget for applicable expenses, comprising any out-of-pocket expenses related to the successful completion of the senior thesis.  Examples include all fieldwork related expenses (fuel, camping fees, tolls, etc.), sample preparation costs (e.g., thin sections), personal equipment (field notebooks, etc.) and thesis preparation costs.  Normally, one Senior Thesis Prize may be awarded each semester.