Lectures - MWF at 9AM in Bolin 100
Lab Sessions scheduled various times/rooms on MTWTh in Bolin Hall.
Lab-based introductory course to Physical Geology. Rocks, minerals, surface, and internal earth processes are covered in both lab and lecture. Additional topics such as Plate Tectonics, the Earth's internal structure, the Age of the Earth are also covered. selected special topics are also included including economic geology, climate change, and Earth system science. This course is foundational to more advanced courses in geology. In addition to its obvious focus on Physical Geology, the course also stresses basic aspects of the physical and biological sciences.
Attend lectures! Come prepared for lectures by reading the textbook and any additional assigned readings in advance. Use online tools for study/review. Lectures highlight essential topics and vocabulary; textbook and online 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. All lecture exams are cumulative; all prior material, topics, text and assigned readings will be included on exams. Attendance will be taken periodically during lecture. Excessive unexcused absences (more than three) may result in a student be dropped from the course. Attendance will be recorded on an irregular, random basis throughout the semester. Plan to spend at least four hours per week on textbook or other assigned readings.
Active participation in all lab sessions is required. Completion of all lab assignments on time is expected. Lab attendance is mandatory. If you are going to miss a lab you must email Dr. Meddaugh and your lab instructor (TA) in advance. You may make up a missed lab by making suitable arrangement with your lab instructor (TA) and Dr. Meddaugh. The exact procedure for doing this will be discussed during the first lab meeting. Labs must be made up within one week or a lab exercise completion grade penalty will be imposed (10% for one week past due; 20% for two weeks past due). After two weeks, a missed lab may not be made up. Any missed lab will receive a lab completion grade of zero for that specific lab. The overall lab completion grade will be a composite average of all assigned labs, lab quizzes, your participation, and attendance. Lab exams 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. Excessive unexcused absences from lab (more than three) may result in a student be dropped from the course. Labs may require additional time beyond the weekly two hour lab session. Bolin geology labs (115, 117) are generally open much of the week and evenings.
Total Lecture = 60% of final grade. Exam 1 = 15% of final grade; Lecture Exam 2 = 20% of final grade; Final Exam = 25% of final grade. Exams may be made up only if (1) you have a written excuse as to why you missed the exam and (2) you notified Dr. Meddaugh (and lab TA if appropriate as well; see below) in advance that you would miss the exam. A missed exam must be made up within two weeks. Obviously, there may be extreme circumstances as to why prior notice was not given. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Note – oversleeping is not an acceptable reason! All lecture exams are cumulative and may include material from the lab sections.
Total Lab grade = 35% of final grade. Lab Exam 1 (Rock and Mineral Identification) = 10% of final grade. Lab Final (comprehensive) = 10% of final grade. A missed lab exam must be made up within two weeks. As for lecture exams, prior notice to both Dr. Meddaugh and your lab TA must be given should you miss an exam. . Lab attendance, exercise completion, homework assignments, and quiz completion composite grade = 15% of final grade. Important note – If you miss more than three lab sessions you will likely be dropped from the course.
Research paper - Grade = 5% of final grade. More information of the research paper will be available during the first lab meeting. Papers must be between 1500 and 2000 words (about 3-5 pages of text based on 11-pt or 12-pt font; word count per MSWord’s word count tool) and be no longer than ten total pages including illustrations and title page. Papers must contain a summary of no more than 250 words (included in overall word count), at least three primary, peer-reviewed references (note that most web pages including Wikipedia are not peer-reviewed), and be structured as follows: (1) Title page with title and author; (2) Summary; (3) Introduction (background and rationale for paper topic choice); (4) Discussion (basically what you learned and want to share with your colleagues as a result of your research including why you chose the particular topic); (5) Conclusion (highlight or restatement of most important learning’s from your perspective); and (6) references including at least three peer reviewed references. Figures and/or tables (with captions) may be included within text or at end of paper. Format – MS Word; paper copy and electronic copy to be submitted. Detailed format instructions will be provided during Week 2 or via D2L. Papers will be graded on content and format. Format is important so please follow instructions given above. All papers must include a sentence or paragraph discussing why you chose the particular topic.
The Research Paper is due as per the syllabus schedule. Papers submitted up to one week late will be docked one letter grade per week (e.g. 10 points; thus a paper that would have received a 85% grade if submitted on time will receive a final grade of 75% if submitted one week late or 65% if submitted two weeks late). Research papers may not be submitted more than two weeks late! Papers must be submitted in printed and electronic form (MS Word). Paper grade determined based on format compliance (up to 60% of paper grade; see previous paragraph for details) and content/logical reasoning (up to 40% of paper grade).
Limited extra credit opportunities will be available on an irregular and random basis through the first 14 weeks during the lecture portion of the course. Each individual opportunity will be worth up to one extra credit point. Generally, these opportunities will involve a short written response to a question or problem posed during the lecture. (Therefore, bring paper and pen/pencil to lecture!). Note, however, that the question posed during lecture may be based on a talk presented outside of class time by a visiting lecturer on campus or other media opportunity. There is no makeup for extra credit! There will be no extra credit opportunities during lab sessions. You may earn up to 4 points of your final grade via the extra credit opportunities. There will be six to eight total extra credit opportunities during the semester. Each extra credit opportunity is worth a maximum of 1 point towards your final grade up to the maximum allowed of 4 total points.
Final Letter Grade Definitions
A = >90%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69% F = <60%
Final letter grades will be based on rounding composite course grade to the nearest integer.
See Grading Standards Tab for information on research paper submission requirements.
See Grading Standards Tab for information.
See Grading Standards tab for additional information regarding attendence requirements for lecture and lab. Excessive absences from either may result in a student being dropped from the course by the instructor. More than three laboratory session absences will likley result in a student being dropped form the course by the instructor, particularly if the absences were not reported to Dr. Meddaugh and the appropriate lab TA prior to the absences.
Students are expected to fully and completely abide by the University Honor Creed. Attendance at all Lectures and Lab Sessions is expected. If you cannot attend a lecture please send notify Dr. Meddaugh by email. If you cannot attend a lab session, please notify Dr. Meddaugh by email and arrange to make up a missed lab section as noted above (grade penalties may apply; see above). Students with three or more unexcused lecture and/or lab absences may be dropped from the course. Note - All electronic devices must be switched off (or remain unused in silent mode) during lectures and labs unless permission for their use is obtained in advance.