- Instructor: William Hirt
- Office: LS-15
- Office hours: MWF 10:00-10:50 AM, TR 1:00-1:50 PM, and by appointment
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 530·938·5255
- Fax: 530·938·5506
- Meeting times: online
- Meeting place: online
- Units: 3.0
- Degree applicability: UC, CSU, and COS
Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Geology of California (GEOL 20) depends on a student's preparation and participation as well as on the format of the course.
- Preparation: ENGL 1A (College Composition) and MATH 65 (Beginning Algebra) are advisories for this course. Students who have successfully completed these advisories succeed in ESS courses like GEOL 20 at a rate (68%) more than twice that of students who have not (32%). If you have not successfully completed ENGL 1A and MATH 65 you are strongly encouraged to do so before you enroll in GEOL 20.
- Participation: Students who submit at least 90% of their assignments succeed in ESS courses at a much higher rate (72%) than do students who submit fewer assignments (0%).
- Format: Students who complete ESS courses that include a lab succeed at a higher rate (100%) than those who take 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): California Geology, 2nd ed. by Deborah Harden (ISBN: 0-13-100218-X)
- CD-ROM (required): Hazard City: Assignments in Applied Geology, 3rd ed. by King, Carpenter, and Wilson (ISBN 0-13-156682-2)
Upon successful completion of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- Recognize landscapes typical of each of California's geomorphic provinces and explain how these landscapes are related to the unique rock types, mineral deposits, and geologic structures found there;
- Identify those areas of the state where seismic and volcanic activity occur today and explain how this activity is related to California's global tectonic setting;
- Briefly outline California's geologic history and describe how its transition from an ancient rifted margin to an active continental margin is reflected in today's landscape;
- Formulate, solve, and correctly interpret the results of a variety of problems relevant to the introductory earth sciences;
- Determine whether or not a proposed explanation, experimental result, or observation is consistent with a scientific hypothesis for a natural phenomenon and effectively communicate that understanding to others.
Spring 2011 course schedule
|10-Jan:17-Jan||Orientation||websites||discussion board post|
|17-Jan:24-Jan||California's plate tectonic setting||1||plate boundary exercise|
|24-Jan:31-Jan||Rocks and minerals in California||2||topographic map reading|
|31-Jan:7-Feb||Dating and depicting California's geology||3 & 4||Rb-Sr Isochron|
|7-Feb:14-Feb||Volcanism in California||5||volcanic hazard assessment|
|14-Feb:21-Feb||California's deserts||6||groundwater contamination|
|21-Feb:28-Feb||Basin and Range and Mojave provinces||7||outline 1|
|28-Feb:7-Mar||Sierra Nevada||8||snowpack monitoring|
|7-Mar:14-Mar||Klamath Mountains||9||abstract 1|
|14-Mar:21-Mar||Surface and groundwater in California||10||River Discharge|
|21-Mar:28-Mar||Great Valley||11||landfill siting|
|28-Mar:4-Apr||Spring Break—no class||---||---|
|4-Apr:11-Apr||Coast Ranges||12||landslide hazard assessment|
|11-Apr:18-Apr||Earthquakes and seismic hazards in California||13||Earthquake!|
|18-Apr:25-Apr||San Andreas fault system||14||outline 2|
|25-Apr:2-May||California coast||15||shoreline property assessment|
|2-May:9-May||Transverse Ranges and Continental Borderland||16||abstact 2|
|9-May:16-May||Penninsular Ranges and historical overview||17 & 18||flood insurance rate maps|
Grades will be based on total scores for:
- 17 weekly quizzes (170 total points);
- 13 weekly exercises (125 total points);
- 4 writing assignments (60 total points);
- 1 comprehensive final exam (45 points).
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 (25-Apr-2011) 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.
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 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 and contact me before 9:00 AM the next day. I will re-open the missed assignment for a short period (typically two days) and suspend the accompanying 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 before 9:00 AM on the Tuesday immediately after the original due date 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.
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 outlines 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.