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CSPS118G: Earth, Life, and Time Colloquium
Spring 2001
CCC1205 Tue, 3:30-5:00



COURSE ORGANIZATION: One meeting per week (Tuesday, 3:30 - 5:00), four Saturday field trips.

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.

  1. 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:
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


Earth, Life, and Time freshman Spring committees:

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: