Class Scores


Contact information

Course logistics

Student success

Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Geology of the National Parks (GEOL 1120) 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 2012 course schedule


Lesson topic(s)



17-Jan:23-Jan Orientation websites discussion board post
23-Jan:30-Jan Plate tectonics 1:1-20 plate boundaries
30-Jan:6-Feb Geologic time and crustal deformation 2:22-30 Rb/Sr isochron
6-Feb:13-Feb Rocks and minerals 2:30-34 earth materials
13-Feb:20-Feb Earthquakes and volcanoes 2:34-45 Earthquake!
20-Feb:27-Feb Continental rifting 3:49-70 map reading
27-Feb:5-Mar Modern passive margins and coastal processes 4:72-81 shoreline hazards
5-Mar:12-Mar Ancient passive margins and facies changes 4:81-86 relative dating
12-Mar:19-Mar Modern subduction: Cascade and Aleutian arcs 5:89-123 volcanic hazards
19-Mar:26-Mar Ancient subduction zones and alpine glaciation 5:123-125 snowpack monitoring
26-Mar:2-Apr SPRING BREAK --- ---
2-Apr:9-Apr Collisional mountain dynamics and streamflow 6:129-146 river discharge
9-Apr:16-Apr San Andreas Fault and transform boundaries 7:149-164 outline of article
16-Apr:23-Apr Oceanic hotspots: Hawaiian Islands 8:167-190 tsunami/storm surge
23-Apr:30-Apr Continental hotspots: Yellowstone—Snake River Plain 9:193-206 first abstract of article
30-Apr:7-May Undeformed North American craton and groundwater 10:209-228 groundwater contamination
7-May:14-May Deformed North American craton 10:228-236 second abstract of article
14-May:21-May Terrane accretion and landslides 11:239-254 landslide hazards
21-May:24-May final exam all ---


Grades will be based on total scores for:

There will be no alternate or "extra credit" assignments. The final grade will be computed from the 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 distribution of scores in the class, but under no circumstances will a student who earns <65% or fails to submit any of the writing assignments be assigned a "satisfactory" (A, B, or C) grade.

A student should expect to spend about 9 hours per week reading, taking notes on the text, and working on their activities and homework assignments. Preparation of the writing 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. If a student incurs two unexcused "absences" (fails to submit two assignments on time without notifying the instructor) the instructor has the option of dropping the student from the class. If a student incurs four unexcused "absences" the instructor will drop the student from the class. A student may withdraw before the end of fourteenth week (27-Apr-2012) and is responsible for notifying the admissions office and completing all necessary forms. Arrangements for an incomplete contract must be made with the instructor, and an "I" grade will only be issued in the case of an unforeseen personal or family emergency.

Learning Disabilities

If 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, send 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

Although our class schedule will be the same throughout the semester (new assignments will be posted on Monday mornings by 9:00 AM and be due by the following Monday at 9:00 AM) I realize that, occasionally, a student will have unforeseen problems or simply "space out" and miss turning in an assignment in on time. The key to avoiding this problem is to get an early start and complete your assignments well ahead of the Monday due dates. If you do end up missing a deadline, however, do not start the assignment in Etudes (i.e., don't click on it to open it). Instead, contact me as soon as possible within 24 hours of the original deadline (no later than 9:00 AM Tuesday). I will re-open the missed assignment for a short period (typically two days) and suspend the corresponding review for the same period. Each student will be allowed two such "excused" make-ups after which the late assignment policy given below will apply. Because of the tight schedule for turning in final grades, the final exam may not be made up.

Late assignment policy

Except for the excused make-ups mentioned above, late assignments will not be accepted for full credit. If you find yourself having to turn a third or fourth assignment in late you probably should carefully consider whether you have the time or inclination to give this course the attention it requires. Nevertheless, it is better to submit work late than not at all. So, if you are going to be late with a third or fourth assignment contact me no later than 9:00 AM on the Tuesday immediately after the original deadline and I will arrange to extend the submission period for one or two days. Such assignments will be penalized 10% of their original values for each day (or part of a day) they are late.

Academic integrity

Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another as they work on their weekly reading assignments and exercises by posting questions to the discussion board, sending one another private messages, and using the class chat area. I expect that a student will work independently, however, when he or she submits exercise results, takes quizzes and the final exam, 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 identical or nearly identical to another student's) I reserve the right to drop that student from the class unless it is after the fourteenth week, in which case he or she will receive an F grade regardless of accumulated points.