- Instructor: William Hirt
- Office: Science 217 (7-217)
- Office hours: MWF 10:00-10:50 AM, T 2:o0-2:50 PM, Th 11:00-11:50 AM, and by appointment
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Phone: 530·938·5255
- Lab Phone: 530·938·5157
- Meeting times: MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
- Meeting place: Science 216 (7-216)
- Units: 3.0
- Degree applicability: UC, CSU and COS
Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Oceanography (GEOL 1140) depends on a student's preparation and participation as well as on the format of the course.
- Preparation: ENGL 1001 (College Composition) and MATH 0850 (Elementary Algebra) or MATH 0851 (Beginning Algebra I) are prerequisites for this course. Students who have successfully completed these prerequisites succeed in ESS courses like GEOL 1140 at an average rate (68%) more than twice that of students who have not (32%). If you have not yet successfully completed ENGL 1001 and MATH 0850 or 0851 you will need to do so before you enroll in GEOL 1140.
- Participation: During the past two years, students who completed this class and submitted at least 90% of their assignments succeeded at a much higher rate (77%) than those who submitted fewer than 90% of their assignments (0%). Similarly, students who attended at least 90% of class sessions succeeded at a higher rate (85%) than did those who attended fewer than 90% of the sessions (44%).
- Format: In the long term, students who complete ESS courses that include a lab succeed at a higher rate (92%) than those who complete 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): Investigating Oceanography by Sverdrup and Kudela (ISBN-13: 978-0-07-802291-6)
Upon successful completion of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- Interpret the origins of geologic features found on the seafloor in terms of the plate tectonic and sedimentary processes operating there.
- Describe how structure of water molecule affects key properties of fresh water (density, viscosity, specific heat) and how salts added to the sea modify these properties further.
- Draw a map of major oceanic circulation patterns and describe how they are influenced by differences in seawater temperature and salinity, Earth’s rotation and interactions with the planet’s atmosphere.
- Describe how waves and tides are generated, move through Earth’s oceans, and interact with continental margins to shape coastlines.
- Identify a variety of common marine organisms and explain how their features and distributions adapt them to the physical and biological constraints they live under.
- 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.
Spring 2016 Course Schedule
|20-Jan:22-Jan||Introduction: Earth and its Waters||1|
|25-Jan:29-Jan||Plate Tectonics and the Development of Ocean Basins||2|
|1-Feb:5-Feb||Seafloor Features and Sedimentation||3|
|8-Feb:10-Feb||Physical Properties of Water||4|
|17-Feb:19-Feb||Chemistry of Seawater: Salts, Dissolved Gases, and Nutrients||5|
|29-Feb:4-Mar||Oceanic Structure and Circulation||7|
|7-Mar:11-Mar||Waves: Swells to Tsunamis||8|
|14-Mar:18-Mar||Tides: "Waves" Raised by Sun and Moon||9|
|21-Mar:25-Mar||Land and Sea: Coasts, Beaches, and Estuaries||10|
|28-Mar:1-Apr||Spring Break--no classes||---|
|4-Apr:8-Apr||Oceanic Environments for Life||11|
|11-Apr:15-Apr||Planktonic Communities, Productivity, and Food Webs||12|
|18-Apr:22-Apr||Nektonic Communities: Free Swimmers||13|
|25-Apr:29-Apr||Benthic Communities: Bottom Dwellers||14|
|2-May:6-May||Marine Environmental Issues: Erosion, Pollution, and Wetlands||15|
|9-May:13-May||The Oceans and Climate Change||16|
|16-May:20-May||wrap-up and review||---|
|23-May||final exam, 10:00-11:50 AM||all|
Grades will be based on total scores for:
- online study questions (50 points);
- in-class clicker questions (50 points)
- three homework exercises (30 points);
- two "midterm" exams (60 points);
- three writing assignments (40 points);
- a comprehensive final exam (50 points).
There will be no alternate or "extra credit" assignments. For the writing assignments a student will read an article of their choice from a set of three selected for the class and write an outline, an abstract and a revised abstract of that article. The final grade will be computed from the total of 280 points and 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 class score distribution, but under no circumstances will a student who earns a score of <60% or fails to turn in any element of the writing assignments receive a satisfactory (A, B or C) grade.
A student should expect to spend about 6 hours per week reading, taking notes on the text, and studying for exams. Completion of the homework and writing assignments will also require about 12 hours over 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. Absences will be excused if the student: (1) notifies the instructor by e-mail or phone, (2) schedules a time to make up the missed work before the next class session he or she attends, and (3) makes up the work as scheduled. Unexcused absences will be tallied in the online gradebook, and a student who incurs six unexcused absences will be dropped from the class. A student may withdraw before 29-Apr-2016 without receiving a grade, and is responsible for notifying the admissions and records office and completing all necessary forms. Arrangements for an incomplete must be made with the instructor, and an "I" will be granted only in the case of an unforeseen personal or family emergency.
Learning DisabilitiesStudents 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. If you anticipate the need for reasonable accommodations to meet the requirements of this course, you will need to register with the Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS). If you qualify for services through DSPS, bring (or email) your official notification of your accommodation needs to the instructor as soon as possible. Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) office is located in Eddy Hall (Weed Campus) or we can be reached by calling (530) 938-5297. Students who consult with or request assistance from DSPS regarding specific modifications, accommodations, adjustments, alternate text or use auxiliary aids will be required to meet timelines and procedural requirements established by the DSPS office.
Make-up Policy for Missed Work
In-class clicker questions, homework assignments, midterm exams, and writing assignments may be made-up if: (1) prior arrangements have been made with the instructor; and (2) they are completed by the next class period or before graded exercises are returned to the class (as appropriate). Online study questions and the final exam may not be made up.
Late Assignment Policy
Writing assignments and homework assignments will be penalized 1 point for each class period they are late and will not be accepted after the graded assignments have been returned to the class. Online study questions will be penalized 1 point if they are turned in within 24 hours of the original deadline; after that they will not be accepted.
Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another as they discuss assignments and prepare for exams. I expect that a student will work independently, however, when he or she takes exams 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 that is identical or nearly identical to another student's) I reserve the right to drop him or her from the class unless it is after the fourteenth week, in which case the student will receive a grade of F regardless of accumulated points.