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CSPS118G: Earth, Life, and Time Colloquium
CCC1205 Tue, 3:30-5:00
Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Office: Centreville 1216
Campus phone: 54084
Office hours: Tues 8:30 - 11:00 AM or by appointment.
Dr. John W. Merck, Jr.
Office: Centreville 1218
Campus phone: 52808
Office Hours: Wed, 3:00 - 5:00 PM or by appointment.
ELT ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:
Ms. Cynthia Shaw
COURSE ORGANIZATION: One meeting per week (Tuesday, 3:30 - 5:00), four Saturday field trips.
Office: Centreville 1208
Campus phone: TBA
COURSE OBJECTIVES AND PHILOSOPHY: In semester 1 we concentrated on developing basic knowledge of the big issues in Earth and Life Sciences and on familiarizing you with basic digital technologies. Semester two builds upon this foundation with two major emphases:
POLICY ON GRADES: There are six primary components: attendance, discussion participation, field trip participation, quizzes, reaction papers, and committee participation. In addition, considerable extra credit will be offered for participation in ancillary activities.
- Introduction to the practice of a science: Throughout the semester, we will be exploring what it is like to be a practitioner of a geological science by hearing from a series of speakers involved in various phases of the instructors' specialty - Paleontology.
- Group activity committees: Last semester's student committees will be joined by several new groups (see below). All committees are expected to make concrete contributions to ELT, either by developing the ELTM or contributing creatively to ELT's media presence.
- Attendance: (20%) Participation in colloquium meetings and field trips is mandatory, and attendance will be taken. A default grade of A will be given for attendance. Each student may have one unexcused absence from a class or field trip without penalty. After that, their attendance grade will be lowered by one letter grade with each additional unexcused absence. PLEASE NOTE:
- Students observed leaving the colloquium before 4:50 or before it is formally dismissed will be counted absent.
- If you have a legitimate reason for being absent, such as a family emergency or unavoidable academic conflict, we will usually excuse your absence, however you must notify us in a timely fashion. Requests for the excusing of an absence will not be considered after two days from the absence.
- We expect students to adhere to proper academic decorum during colloquia. This means focusing your attention on presentations, refraining from conversations or activities that are not relevant (e.g. reading newspapers, textbooks, etc.), and showing proper respect for student, faculty, and guest presenters. We reserve the right to count you absent from colloquium if you fail to uphold this standard.
- You may not realize it, but we have to pay money for you to go on field trips. If you tell us you are going to go on a field trip, even an optional one, and then fail to show, this will be counted as an unexcused absence.
- Lecture-discussion participation: (10%) Although many colloquium sessions will be dedicated to guest speakers, some will be reserved primarily for discussion of earlier presentations or previously designated material. Students are expected to come prepared to take up the day's topic and to participate fully.
- Field trip participation: (10%) We plan to conduct four field trips. Destination are the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the National Museum of Natural History in DC, and two separate fossil collecting filed sites in Maryland and Virginia. Each student must attend at least one museum trip and one field collecting trip.
- Committee participation: (20%) Students participate one of several groups, each of which will be responsible for an ongoing colloquium topic (e.g. web site development, collections and display management for the ELT Museum). Each group will be expected to produce products that, depending on the group, could range from a set of curated ELTM specimens to write-ups of ELT events for a web newsletter.
- Quizzes: (20%) Four quizzes will be administered during the semester. They may address any information presented in colloquium. We will automatically drop the lowest of the four grades.
- Reaction papers: (20%) Reaction papers are short (3 page) documents critiquing and evaluating academic activities or events. Students are expected to complete reaction papers on any two ELT activities such as guest speaker presentations, colloquium discussions, or field trips.
COMMUNICATION: Because many of our communications will be by e-mail, and several assignments involve the Worldwide Web, all students are expected to maintain e-mail accounts and arrange for access to the internet. Although not a course requirement per se, students should get into the habit of checking their e-mail daily. Failure to do so may cause you to miss crucial course information.
WORK ROOM ACCESS: In reorganizing office space on the first floor of Centreville, CPS has moved its office machines from Centreville 1217 to Centreville 1208. This new workroom is also the office of Ms. Shaw. CPS has kindly made a little space available to us there, as well, enabling us to move in the ELTM collection and a computer workstation. A key is available for checkout from Ms. Shaw.
DISHONESTY: Although you are encouraged to discuss assignments with your colleagues and work together, work submitted under your name must be exclusively your own. Evidence of dishonesty, cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, or plagiarism on even one assignment will be forwarded to the Honor Council for review. (See pp. 44-47 of UMCP 1999-2000 Undergraduate Catalog.) Have a nice day.
COLLOQUIUM AND FIELD TRIP SCHEDULE:
Earth, Life, and Time freshman Spring committees:
- 1-30: Introduction
- 2-6: Drs. Thomas Holtz and John Merck: Paleontological field work
- 2-13: Committee activities
- 2-20 Dr. Sally Shelton - The Land and the Law in field work.
- 2-24 Field trip: the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC.
- 2-27 Seminar I: Land ownership, the law, and paleontological collecting, QUIZ
- 3-3 Field trip: the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.
- 3-6 Committee activities, QUIZ
- 3-13 Steven Jabo - Vertebrate specimen preparation
- 3-27 Dr. David Norman: Interpretation of fossil specimens
- 4-3 Committee activities, QUIZ
- 4-7 Field trip: Paleozoic fossil collecting
- 4-10 Dr. Ralph Chapman: Special analytic techniques
- 4-17 Dr. Michael Brett-Surman - Collections management.
- 4-24 Committee activities QUIZ
- 5-1 Linda Deck: Museum exhibit design
- 5-5 Field trip: Post-Paleozoic fossil collecting
- 5-8 Robert Coontz: Scientific publication.
- 5-15 Seminar II: Disseminating Scientific Results, valediction
Some of last semester's committees were the beginning of ongoing efforts, whereas others were ad hoc committees aimed at specific events. We were so pleased with the performance of the majority of the ELT committees last semester that we've decided to add several more. If you were on an ongoing committee last semester and wish to stay on it, you may do so, though you may also switch.
Continued ongoing committees:
New ongoing committees:
- ELT Museum: Collections managers: This committee will continue maintaining the physical inventory of specimens, accessioning new specimens, and designing and maintaining a specimen data base.
- ELT Museum: Exhibit design: This committee's first product is on display in the Centreville lobby. This semester, the committee will expand our physical presence by gaining access to a second display case somewhere in the Cambridge community center and creating a second ELTM display.
- ELT webmasters: Front end redesign: Last Fall, the ELT webmasters overhauled the ELT website, giving it an attractive and professional new look. this semester, they will be responsible for expanding it to accommodate new web materials that we will be developing.
- ELT webmasters: ELT Museum interface: This committee will continue the work of creating a truly useful web interface for the ELTM collection.
- Social event/guest speaker coordinators. This semester, much of our social life will be centered around our guest speakers. You will be responsible for their comfort and well being:
Also, like in the Fall, prepare one good social events such as movie nights, pizza parties, etc.
- making sure their talks are publicized appropriately
- meeting them and getting them to CCC1000
- Arranging dinners at Adéle's for them after their talks.