Student Scores


Contact Information

Course Logistics

Student Success

Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Astronomy (ASTR 1110) depends on a student's preparation and participation as well as on the format of the course.

Course Materials

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course a student is expected to be able to:

Spring 2016 Course Schedule

Dates Lesson Topic(s) Reading
20-Jan:22-Jan Fundamental concepts; Earth-Sun-Moon relationships 1
25-Jan:29-Jan Gravitation and dynamics of the Solar System 2
1-Feb:5-Feb Nature of light and telescopes 3
8-Feb:10-Feb Blackbodies, spectra and the Doppler effect 4
17-Feb:19-Feb Origin of the Solar System 5
22-Feb:26-Feb Earth and its Moon 6
29-Feb:4-Mar Inner planets: Mercury, Venus and Mars 7
7-Mar:11-Mar Outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune 8
14-Mar:18-Mar Dwarf planets, asteroids and comets 9
21-Mar:25-Mar Structure and activity of the Sun 10
28-Mar:1-Apr Spring Break ---
4-Apr:8-Apr Stars: distances, brightnesses and spectra 11
11-Apr:15-Apr Lives of stars: nebulae, clusters and variable stars 12
18-Apr:22-Apr Deaths of stars: planetary nebulae, neutron stars & black holes 13 & 14
25-Apr:29-Apr Milky Way 15
2-May:6-May Galaxies and galactic clusters 16
9-May:13-May Quasars and active galaxies 17
16-May:20-May Cosmology and the history of the Universe 18
26-May final exam, 1:00-2:50 PM all


Grades will be based on total scores for:

There will be no alternate or "extra credit" assignments. For each writing assignment a student will read an article of their choice from a set of two selected for the class and write an outline, abstract and revised abstract of that article. The final grade will be computed from the total of 250 points and scored as follows: > 90% = A; 80-89+% = B; 70-79+% = C; 60-69+% = D; and <60% = F. The instructor reserves the right to adjust these percentages if such an adjustment is warranted by the class score distribution, but under no circumstances will a student who earns a score of <65% or fails to turn in any of the writing assignments receive a satisfactory (A, B, or C) grade.

A student should expect to spend about 6 hours per week reading, taking notes on the text, and studying for exams. Completion of the homework and writing assignments will also require about an additional 8 hours during the course of the semester.

Attendance, Withdrawal and Incomplete Policies

Regular participation and punctual submission of assignments are required for satisfactory completion of this course. Up to three absences will be excused if the student: (1) notifies the instructor by e-mail or phone, (2) schedules a time to make up the missed work before the next class session he or she attends, and (3) makes up the work as scheduled. If a student incurs six unexcused absences he or she will be dropped from the class. A student may withdraw before 29-Apr-2016 without receiving a grade, and is responsible for notifying the admissions and records office and completing all necessary forms. Arrangements for an incomplete must be made with the instructor, and an "I" will be granted only in the case of an unforeseen personal or family emergency.

Learning Disabilities

Students have the right to request reasonable accommodations to college requirements, services, facilities or programs if their documented disability imposes an educational limitation or impedes access to requirements, services, facilities or programs. If you anticipate the need for reasonable accommodations to meet the requirements of this course, you will need to register with the Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS). If you qualify for services through DSPS, bring (or email) your official notification of your accommodation needs to the instructor as soon as possible. Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) office is located in Eddy Hall (Weed Campus) or we can be reached by calling (530) 938-5297. Students who consult with or request assistance from DSPS regarding specific modifications, accommodations, adjustments, alternate text or use auxiliary aids will be required to meet timelines and procedural requirements established by the DSPS office.

Make-up Policy for Missed Work

Writing assignments, midterm exams and daily clicker questions may be made-up if: (1) prior arrangements have been made with the instructor; and (2) they are completed before the next exam or before graded exercises are returned to the class (as appropriate). The final exam cannot be made up.

Late Assignment Policy

Writing assignments will be penalized 1 point for each class period they are late and will not be accepted after the graded assignments have been returned to the class.

Academic Integrity

Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another as they discuss assignments and prepare for exams. I expect that a student will work independently, however, when he or she takes exams, and writes his or her outlines and abstracts. If I find evidence that any students are not living up to this code of academic integrity (for example, because they submit identical or nearly identical writing assignments) I reserve the right to drop them from the class unless it is after the fourteenth week, in which case the students will receive F grades regardless of accumulated points.