- Instructor: William Hirt
- Office: SCI 217 (7-217)
- Office hours:MTh 2:00-3:15 PM, TF 11:00-12:15 AM, and F 12:30-1:45 PM
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Phone: 530·938·5255
- Section Number (CRN): 7021
- Meeting times: online
- Meeting place: online
- Units: 3.0
- Degree applicability: UC, CSU, and COS
Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Environmental Geology (GEOL 1110) depends on a student's preparation, participation and the format of the course.
- Preparation: ENGL 1001 (College Composition) and MATH 0850 or 0851 (Elementary Algebra or Beginning Algebra I) are prerequisites for this course. Students who have successfully completed these prerequisites succeed in ESS courses like GEOL 1110 at a rate (68%) more than twice that of students who have not (32%). If you have not successfully completed ENGL 1001 and MATH 0850 or 0851 you must do so before you enroll in GEOL 1110.
- Participation: Students who participate in their Geology classes at least 85% of the time (as measured by attendance and the submission of assignments) succeed at a much higher rate (82%) than do students enrolled in the class as a whole (57%).
- Format: Students who enroll in online ESS courses are significantly less likely to complete them (57%) than are students who enroll in face-to-face or lab courses (70 and 72%, respectively). If you are a student who learns best by hands-on experience or in a group setting you are encouraged to take a lab or face-to-face class rather than an online class if possible.
- Textbook (required): Introduction to Environmental Geology, 5th ed. by Edward Keller (ISBN: 9780321727510)
- Online software (required): Hazard City: Assignments in Applied Geology, 5th ed. by King, Carpenter, and Wilson (ISBN 978-0-321-97034-3)
Upon successful completion of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- Describe how selected geologic issues can be understood in the context of the five fundamental environmental principles of: population growth, sustainability, Earth's behavior as a system, the occurrence of hazardous Earth processes, and the application of scientific knowledge and values.
- Contrast the geologic processes that occur at different types of plate boundaries and hotspots and describe how these processes produce the unique rock assemblages found in each setting.
- Describe the causes and characteristics of common geologic hazards—such as volcanism, seismicity and flooding—and outline the constraints they place on human activities as well as strategies for coping with or mitigating them.
- Describe the formation, distribution and limits of common geologic resources—such as water, minerals and fossil fuels—and infer the consequences of humanity continuing its current patterns of resource use.
- Summarize the major changes—including climate change—that are occurring on Earth as a result of the waste and pollution generated by human activities and evaluate the pros and cons of the different strategies that have been proposed to deal with these changes.
- 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.
Fall 2015 course schedule
|15-Aug—22-Aug||Orientation||websites||discussion board post|
|22-Aug—29-Aug||Fundamental concepts in environmental geology||1; aD||Rb-Sr Isochron|
|29-Aug—5-Sep||Earth's internal structure and plate tectonics||2||plate boundary characteristics|
|5-Sep—12-Sep||Earth materials: rocks and minerals||3; aA, B||earth materials & relative dating|
|12-Sep—19-Sep||Natural hazards||5||earthquake damage|
|19-Sep—26-Sep||Earthquakes and tsunamis||6, 7||Earthquake!|
|26-Sep—3-Oct||Volcanoes and volcanic hazards||8||volcanic hazards|
|3-Oct—10-Oct||Rivers and flooding||9||River Discharge|
|10-Oct—17-Oct||Landslides and mass movements||10||landslide hazards|
|17-Oct—24-Oct||Coastal processes||11||outline of article|
|24-Oct—31-Oct||Water resources||13||snowpack monitoring|
|31-Oct—7-Nov||Water pollution||14||groundwater contamination|
|7-Nov—14-Nov||Mineral resources: ore formation and mining||15||abstract of article|
|14-Nov—21-Nov||Fossil fuels and alternative energy resources||16||coal property evaluation|
|21-Nov—28-Nov||Soil formation and erosion||17||landfill siting|
|28-Nov—5-Dec||Global climate change||18||revised abstract|
|5-Dec—12-Dec||Air pollution and waste management||19||tsunamis and storm surges|
Grades will be based on total scores for:
- 17 weekly quizzes (170 total points);
- 14 weekly exercises (135 total points);
- 3 writing assignments (40 total points);
- 1 comprehensive final exam (55 points).
There will not be any 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 6-10 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 more than four unexcused "absences" (fails to submit more than four assignments on time without notifying the instructor) the instructor will drop the student from the class. A student may withdraw before the end of fourteenth week (18-Nov-2016) 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.
Students have the right to request reasonable accommodations to college requirements, services, facilities, or programs if their documented disability imposes an educational limitation or impedes access to requirements, services, facilities, or programs. A student with a disability who would like to utilize accommodations is responsible for requesting necessary accommodations by identifying himself/herself to their instructor or the Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) office located in Eddy Hall 101 (Building 94) on the Weed campus. The DSPS office phone number is 530-938-5297 and applications for services are also available on the website at http://www.siskiyous.edu/dsps/documents/application.pdf . Students who consult or request assistance from DSPS regarding specific accommodations will be required to meet timelines and procedural requirements established by the DSPS office.
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 fail to turn 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 open the assignment in Etudes and, instead, contact me within 24 hours of the original deadline. 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 within 24 hours of the original deadline and I will arrange to extend the submission period for one or two days. Such assignments will be penalized 1 point 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 does his or her writing assignments. If I find evidence that any students are not living up to this code of academic integrity (for example, because they submit identical or nearly identical writing assignments) I reserve the right to assign them a score of zero on the assignment or assignments in question.