Attend lectures! Come prepared for lectures by reading the textbook and any additional assigned readings in advance. Lectures highlight essential topics and vocabulary; textbook and D2L posted resources provide additional details as well as additional topics and review/self test opportunities. It is in your best interest to use these resources. Lecture and final exams will cover lecture content, textbook content, and assigned readings (plus related vocabulary). Lecture notes will be available in D2L. Weekly lecture quizzes will cover the prior week’s material. The lecture final exam is cumulative.
Geology is a lab science. Active participation in all lab sessions is required. The overall lab completion grade will be a composite average of all assigned labs, lab quizzes, your participation, and attendance. Lab quizzes and final exam will focus on lab session topics, exercises, and vocabulary. Periodic “proficiency” quizzes may be given in lab; these will help assess your mastery of the lab material (and indirectly the lecture material as well). Some Lab Book exercises may be assigned as homework.
In this class, the following numerical equivalents for grades are used: A = 100-90% | B = 89-80% | C = 79-70% | D = 69-60% | F = 59-0%.
Lab materials may be submitted in person to your individual lab instructor. The term paper needs to be submitted electronically through the dropbox on D2L.
Late work demands additional time and penalizes the rest of the class. Late materials will only be accepted from excused absences with prior arrangement. If you are aware of a pending absence that will interfere with an assignment due date, please complete and submit the work early.
Attendance for lecture is required. Please show up early and leave only when excused. Attendance will be evaluated by a randomly-distributed sign-in sheet. It is your responsibility to sign-in each day the sheet is available,
You may be dropped from the course for excessive unexcused absences (more than two for summer session).
Lab attendance is also required for completion of this class. If you fail to attend and complete more than 2 laboratory sessions, you will be either be dropped from the class or you will receive a failing grade.
Lab attendance is mandatory and attendance will be taken at each lab session. If you are going to miss a lab you must email Dr. Price and your lab instructor (TA) in advance. You may make up a missed lab by making suitable arrangement with your lab instructor (TA) and/or Dr. Price. The exact procedure for doing this will be discussed during the first lab meeting.
Students that have excessive absences from lab (more than two for summer session) may be dropped from the course.
Illness is a legitimate excused absence. If you have a fever or are exhibiting symptoms you deem contagious:
Physical geology is a favorite core science class amongst college students world-wide. Unlike other introductory science courses that rely heavily on calculations and derivations, introductory geology is largely presented in a phenomenological fashion. Such presentation is broadly accessible, particularly to those who self-identify as mathematically or scientifically disinclined.
This course will labor to present the nature of our planet, its components and processes, as a series of well-defined observations linked by the prevailing theories of our day. The course will also endeavor to show that geology, like the other sciences, is evolving - its practitioners constantly provide new and better observations and concurrently develop new and more encompassing theories on the basis of these observations. And although the course is not particularly mathematical, students will be made aware that modern observations frequently push the limits of physical and chemical techniques, fully utilizing the mathematical rigor needed to make tractable such difficult and multifaceted problems.
Because the class is presented phenomenologically, it requires each student to become familiar with a few dozen rock and mineral specimens and a few hundred descriptive terms unique or limited to geoscience. It also requires each student to explore straightforward analytical concepts in laboratory. This may be labor intensive at times; students should budget their preparations accordingly.
In summary, because we will mostly point to, and not reconstruct or prove, phenomena, observation, and theory, this class is likely to be completed with a somewhat minimal outlay of effort for many. Experience suggests that those students who attend lecture, read the assignments, participate fully in laboratory, and prepare for exams typically earn high marks; those who fail to meet these criteria do not. However, experience also suggests that some will struggle with this class despite a dedicated effort - if you find yourself in this group, please seek additional help and resources as soon as possible.
Lastly, please note that class schedules and other information will be posted using MSU's D2L system. Students will be required to use this system to participate in the class.