- Instructor: William Hirt
- Office: Science 217 (7-217)
- Office hours: MWF 10:00-10:50 AM, TR 12:30-1:20 PM and by appointment
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 530·938·5255
- Fax: 530·938·5506
- Meeting times: MWF 1:00-1:50 PM and W 2:00-4:50 PM
- Meeting place: Science 216 (7-216)
- Units: 4.0
- Degree applicability: UC, CSU and COS
Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Historical Geology (GEOL 1220) depends on a student's preparation and participation as well as on the format of the course.
- Preparation: ENGL 1001 (College Composition) and MATH 0850 (Elementary Algebra) or MATH 0851 (Beginning Algebra I) are prerequisites for this course. Students who have successfully completed these prerequisites succeed in ESS courses like GEOL 1220 at a rate (68%) more than twice that of students who have not (32%). If you have not yet successfully completed ENGL 1001 and MATH 0850 or 0851 you need to do so before you enroll in GEOL 1220.
- Participation: During the past two years, students who completed this class and submitted at least 90% of their assignments succeeded at a much higher rate (100%) than those who submitted fewer than 90% of their assignments (50%). Similarly, students who attended at least 90% of class sessions succeeded at a higher rate (100%) than did those who attended fewer than 90% of the sessions (86%).
- Format: In the long term, students who complete ESS courses that include a lab succeed at a higher rate (92%) than those who complete either non-lab face-to-face (83%) or online (72%) courses. If you are a student who learns best by hands-on experience or in a group setting you are encouraged to consider taking a lab or face-to-face class.
- Textbook (required): Earth System History, 3rd ed., by Steven M. Stanley (ISBN 1-4292-0520-2)
Upon successful completion of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- Establish the timing of the geologic events that have shaped a region depicted on a geologic map or cross-section by applying relative and absolute dating principles;
- Correctly identify a variety of common rocks and minerals and explain what each indicates about the tectonic or depositional setting in which it was formed;
- Correctly identify a variety of common fossils, describe the place of each in the history of life and explain how, collectively, fossils enable us to assess the roles that natural selection and environmental change have played in shaping life on Earth;
- Apply principle of actualism to infer past environmental conditions using rock characteristics, stable isotope ratios, seawater Ca/Mg ratios and similar measurements;
- Outline major events that have shaped Earth’s history and correctly determine the approximate period depicted by a paleogeographic map during Late Proterozoic or Phanerozoic time;
- Analyze whether an observation, experimental result or proposed explanation is consistent with a scientific hypothesis for a natural phenomenon and effectively communicate this analysis to others.
Spring 2014 Course Schedule
Lab Exercise (chapter)
|8-Jan:17-Jan||Actualism, Relative Dating and Plate Tectonics||1||plate boundary characteristics (1)|
|22-Jan:24-Jan||Modern Environments and Life||4||minerals (2)|
|27-Jan:31-Jan||Sedimentary Depositional Environments||5||igneous and metamorphic rocks (2)|
|3-Feb:5-Feb||Correlation and Dating of the Rock Record||6||sedimentary rocks & structures (2)|
|10-Feb:14-Feb||Evolution and the Fossil Record||7||Hornbrook Fm. field trip|
|19-Feb:21-Feb||Plate Tectonics: Historical & Modern Concepts||8||geologic dating (6)|
|24-Feb:28-Feb||Continental Tectonics and Mountain Belts||9||fossilization and cladograms|
|3-Mar:7-Mar||Geochemical Cycles||10||seafloor spreading|
|10-Mar:14-Mar||Hadean and Archean History||11||geologic maps & cross-sections (9)|
|17-Mar:21-Mar||Proterozoic History||12||facies and isopach maps|
|24-Mar:31-Mar||Spring Break--no classes||---||---|
|2-Apr:4-Apr||Early Paleozoic History||13||invertebrate fossils I (3)|
|7-Apr:11-Apr||Middle Paleozoic Hhistory||14||invertebrate fossils II (3)|
|14-Apr:18-Apr||Late Paleozoic History||15||plant fossils (3)|
|21-Apr:25-Apr||Early Mesozoic History||16||vertebrate fossils (3)|
|28-Apr:2-May||Cretaceous History||17||world paleoclimates|
|5-May:9-May||Paleogene History||18||western U.S. paleoclimates|
|12-May:14-May||Neogene and Holocene History||19 & 20||Sacramento River Canyon field trip|
|19-May||final exam 1:00-2:50 pm||all||---|
Grades will be based on total scores for:
- online study questions (50 points);
- in-class clicker questions (90 points);
- two online assignments (20 points);
- two midterm exams (50 points);
- three writing assignments (40 points);
- a comprehensive final exam (50 points);
- 17 weekly lab reports (scaled to 100 points, one third of the lecture total).
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 and abstract of that article. The final grade will be computed from a total of 400 points, and will be 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 average, 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.
In addition to class time, a student should expect to spend about 6 hours per week reviewing their notes and text and studying for exams. Completion of the writing and online assignments will require about an additional 12 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. 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. Unexcused absences will be tallied in the online gradebook, and a student who incurs eight unexcused absences (including labs) will be dropped from the class. A student may withdraw before 18-Apr-2014 without receiving a grade, and is responsible for notifying the admissions 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 DisabilitiesIf you anticipate the need for reasonable accommodations to meet the requirements of this course you must register with the Disabled Student Services (DSPS). If you qualify for services through DSPS, bring your official notification of your accommodation needs to your instructor as soon as possible. Disabled Student Services is located in Eddy Hall and can be contacted by calling Donna Farris or Linda Rogers at 938-5297.
Make-up Policy for Missed Work
Writing assignments, online exercises, midterm exams, lab reports 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 class period or before graded exercises are returned to the class (as appropriate). Online study questions, field trips and the final exam cannot be made up.
Late Assignment Policy
Writing assignments and online activities 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. Online study questions will be penalized 1 point if they are turned in within 24 hours of the original deadline; after that they will not be accepted.
Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another as they discuss assignments, work on lab activities and prepare for exams. I expect that a student will work independently, however, when he or she takes exams and writes his or her outline and abstracts. If I find evidence that any student is not living up to this code of academic integrity (for example, because he or she submits a writing assignment that is identical or nearly identical to another student's) I reserve the right to drop him or her from the class unless it is after the fourteenth week, in which case the student will receive a grade of F regardless of accumulated points.