INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOLOGY - CRASH-TEST DUMMY
[NOTE TO FACULTY: This syllabus mock-up is intended to provide guidance to instructors of GEOL100 Introduction to Physical Geology. It represents the consensus of faculty who frequently teach the course, as of 2009. We expect it to allow considerable freedom for faculty to adapt their sections to their preferences and strengths while providing for consistency among sections and continuity over time.
COLOR CODE: Syllabus elements that are not expected to vary are in black. Logistical elements specific to each section are in fuchsia. Elements requiring specification by the instructor are in red.]
Office Hours: Like you would even consider attending
Description: A general survey of the rocks and minerals composing the earth, its surface features and the agents that form them, and the dynamic forces of plate tectonics.
CORE: This class fulfills a CORE Physical Lab Science Course requirement (PL) ONLY when taken concurrently with GEOL 110, Physical Geology Laboratory.
Labs: GEOL110 is a separate course, and attendance and grading policies are strictly up to your TA. Note: Labs begin during the week of XXXX.
Final grades: Your final letter grade will be based on the following elements:
Appeal of grades: Policies regarding timely appeal of grades are determined at the instructor's discretion. In this as in all college courses, you should retained all graded items until proper grades have been recorded on your transcript.
- Mandatory mid-term exams: (25%) A minimum of two mid-term exams are administered. Exam format to be at instructor's discretion. Regardless of whether exams are given in lecture or on-line, each mid-term will have a lecture session dedicated to it. Thus, students would have a day off from lecture on the day when they were expected to take the exam.
- Discretionary assignments: (25%) One quarter of course credit takes the form of quizzes and/or homework assignments in some combination to be determined at the instructor's discretion.
- Discretionary credit: (25%) One quarter of course credit takes the form either of a third mid-term, or of quizzes and/or homework assignments in some combination to be determined at the instructor's discretion.
[Note to faculty: the aim of discretionary credit is to accommodate a course structure emphasizing either mid-term exams or homework and quizzes. The intention is that, in an actual syllabus, one would not separate out "discretionary credit" as a separate item, but instead incorporate it appropriately into either discretionary assignments or mid-term exams. E.G.: One might give three mid-terms making up 50% of total points, or make discretionary assignments of homework, papers, or quizzes making up 50% of total points. ]
- Final exam: (25%) A cumulative final exam is given during the final period. Exam format to be at instructor's discretion. [Note to faculty: The grade on the final may not be dropped from the ultimate course grade calculation.]
- Dropping of scores: The lowest mid-term exam score will automatically be dropped. At the instructor's discretion, the score for discretionary assignments/quizzes, equalling 25% of the course grade, may be dropped in place of the lowest mid-term score, if it is lower than the lowest mid-term exam score.
- Field Trip:There will be an optional field trip to Great Falls of the Potomac National Park on May 2, 2009. To participate you must reserve a place and pay a small fee (amount to be determined - probably around $15.00). Additional details will be provided. Extra credit with value up to 5% of total semester points can be awarded to participants. [Note to faculty: Although students are encouraged to participate in the field trip if possible, alternate extra credit activities (E.G. self-guided museum tours, reaction papers, etc.) of equal credit value should be available for students who, for legitimate reasons, can't attend the field trip.]
- Additional extra credit: Extra credit of 1% of the semester grade will be added to the final scores of all students in sections achieving greater than 70% rate of response to the university's on-line course evaluations. If the response rate exceeds 2%, and additional 1% of extra credit will be awarded to all students.
Grade calculation: With diligent work it is possible for each student to attain an A in this class. Grading will be based on points gained from the examinations and assignments listed above. Scores on exams and assignments will be curved so that the class median is made equal to a 75. Letter grades will be assigned based on the following scale. Standard rounding will be used, with final scores rounded to the nearest integer percentage, such that a 69.4 would be a D+ and a 69.5 a C-:
- Prerequisite knowledge: GEOL 100 is an introductory course without college prerequisites, however it is expected that students will possess the standard knowledge expected of a high school graduate, including proficient comprehension of written and spoken English, basic algebra and chemistry, and general knowledge of world geography.
- Attendance: Attendance is not taken, however the course is structured with the assumption that you will attend lectures. Exams will be based on lecture material and reading assignments. Posted web notes are intended as a synopsis of lecture material only. If you miss a lecture you must get full notes from a colleague.
|100-97% = A+ ||96-94% = A ||93-90% = A-
|89-87% = B+ ||86-84% = B ||83-80% = B-
|79-77% = C+ ||76-74% = C ||73-70% = C-
|69-67% = D+ ||66-64% = D ||63-60% = D-
|<60% = F
- Absences: Exams are given once. There are no specially scheduled or make-up exams. Absences from exams will not be excused except for those causes approved by University policy (see p. 33-34 of the UMCP Undergraduate Catalog 2006/2007). Only those students excused for these causes will be eligible for a make-up exam. Missed exams must be made up within one week of your return to class. Scheduling issues pertaining to the final absolutely must be resolved in advance. If campus is closed due to an emergency or inclement weather on the day of an exam, the exam will be rescheduled. Quizzes and other in-class activities will absolutely not be rescheduled.
- Academic Accommodations: If you have a documented disability, you should contact Disability Support Services 0126 Shoemaker Hall. 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. The rules for eligibility and the types of accommodations a student may request can be reviewed on the DSS web site.
- Religious Observances: The University System of Maryland policy provides that students should not be penalized because of observances of their religious beliefs, students shall be given an opportunity, whenever feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignment that is missed due to individual participation in religious observances. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any intended absences for religious observances in advance. Notice should be provided as soon as possible but no later than the end of the schedule adjustment period. Faculty should further remind students that prior notification is especially important in connection with final exams, since failure to reschedule a final exam before the conclusion of the final examination period may result in loss of credits during the semester. The problem is especially likely to arise when final exams are scheduled on Saturdays.
- Dishonesty: The Student Honor Council observes that, "The University of Maryland, College Park 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. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/whatis.html."
Thus, in GEOL100, work submitted under your name must be exclusively your own. Any evidence of dishonesty on any graded assignment will result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct, whereupon your life will become very interesting, indeed. Have a nice day.
- Course Evaluations: CourseEvalUM will be open for students to complete their evaluations
for Fall 2008 courses between Tuesday, April 28, and Wednesday, May 13. Students can go
directly to the website to complete their evaluations,
beginning April 28. You will be alerted about these dates and provided more information closer
to that time, and students will be alerted via their official University e-mail account.
Students who complete evaluations for all of their courses in the previous semester (excluding
summer), can access the posted results via Testudo's CourseEvalUM Reporting link for any course
on campus that has at least a 70% response rate. You can find more information, including
periodic updates, at the IRPA course evaluation website.
The expectation is that all students will complete these. This is YOUR chance to anonymously
evaluate this class: please use this opportunity!
- Copyright: © 2009 Your name here as to this syllabus and all lectures. Students are prohibited from copying and selling course materials, from selling lecture notes, and from being paid to take lecture notes without the express written permission of the faculty teaching this course.
Lecture topics: [Here I list what I consider to be the primary subject areas grouped into plausible lectures.
- The scientific method.
- The Solar System; Origins of Solar System, Earth, and Moon, differentiation of Earth.
- Geologic time
- Evidence for and theory of plate tectonics
- Synopsis of Chemistry
- Mineral properties and types
- Rocks, rock types and the rock cycle
- Igneous rocks
- Weathering and soils
- Sedimentary rocks
- Metamorphic rocks
- Structural Geology
- Conventions of topographic and geologic maps
- Earthquake hazards
- Seismology and the study of Earth's interior
- Mass wasting
- The hydrologic cycle and stream processes
- Coastal processes: Waves and tides
- Ocean processes below wave base
- Global climate: atmospheric and oceanic circulation
- Deserts and eolian processes
- Glaciers and periglacial processes
- Ice ages and global climate change
- Mineral resources
- Energy resources
Ancillary topics: These have been variously been addressed by different GEOL100 instructors.
- Rock assemblages and ancient plate boundaries.
- North America: Geologic provinces and synopsis of history
- Life history in 50 minutes
- Intro to Paleontology: fossilization, and the utility of the fossil record.