GEOLOGY 1121k Sections A, B, C, D, and E – Fall 2013

Principles of Physical Geology

Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences

Valdosta State University


Dr. Donald M. Thieme

Office Phone:









Office Hours:

10:00 – 11:00 AM, T, R, F

You can also schedule an appointment at a convenient time.

I have an “open door” policy for walk-ins, knock on my door!

Class Location:   JH-2211 (Jennett Hall, room 2211)

Class Times:        TR 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Lecture GA:          

Lab Location:     1203 Bailey Science or 1042 Nevins Hall     

Lab Times: 







Section A


8:00 AM to 9:50 AM


1203 Bailey Science


Section B


10:00 AM to 11:50 AM


1203 Bailey Science


Section C


1:00 PM to 2:50 PM

Mr. Tyre

1203 Bailey Science


Section D


3:00 PM to 4:50 PM

Mr. Tyre

1203 Bailey Science


Section E


8:00 AM to 9:50 AM

Dr. Fonji

1042 Nevins Hall








Lab Instructor Contact Information (name, sections taught, office location, office phone number, & email):


Mr. Richard Tyre

(lab sections C & E)


Dr. Simon Fonji

(lab section E)










229-333-7030 (office)


229-333-7312 (office)









Textbook:             Exploring Geology, 3rd ed. by Reynolds and others (you’ll also need a subscription to McGraw-Hill Connect)

                                Note: many students choose to not purchase a textbook.  Those students usually get a “C”, “D,” or “F” in the class.  If your goal in this class is a “B” or “A” you must purchase a textbook. 

Online services:  Students must purchase a subscription to McGraw-Hill Connect (use the following link):


Lab Manual:       Physical Geology Lab Manual GEOL 1121K , 2nd ed. Groszos and others

                                (Every student should have a lab book!  Please bring your lab manual and textbook to every lab.)

Other Supplies:   Colored pencils are mandatory for tests and exams.  Please bring pencils, pens, and a calculator to lab. 


Grading Policies:

Your grade in this class will be determined as follows:


Letter grades will be assigned as follows:


3 exams (100 points each)       

300 points



1000 – 900 points




Weekly BlazeVIEW quizzes (10 best)

150 points



899 – 800 points




Weekly McGraw-Hill “Connect” assignments (10 best)

150 points



799 – 700 points




TopHat Classroom Responses

50 points



699 – 600 points




Lab grade (see below)  

200 points



599-0 points




Final Exam (cumulative)

150 points







Field trip (I give 25 points extra credit for 1 trip)

? points







Total = 1000 points







Notes on Grading:

1.    Lab participation is mandatory for ALL students!  It is nearly impossible to earn a “B” or higher in the lecture course if you do not participate in the lab.

2.    I will give weekly online BlazeVIEW quizzes derived from your weekly readings.  I will drop your 5 lowest assignment scores.  The remaining scores will be averaged to determine your assignment grade.

3.    Weekly BlazeVIEW quizzes are a combination of question styles including: multiple-choice, true-false, and matching

4.    I will give weekly online McGraw-Hill “Connect” assignments derived from your weekly readings.  I will drop your 5 lowest assignment scores.  The remaining scores will be averaged to determine your assignment grade.

5.    I will be using TopHat in class to ask questions which you can answer using either a laptop computer, tablet, or cell phone. You will earn a maximum of 5 points of credit each week from TopHat responses.

6.    Tests and exams use a concept sketch format; concept sketches will be explained in more detail in class.

7.    I do not allow make-up test/exams unless you provide documentation that proves that forces beyond your control prevented you from taking the test/exam.  You MUST inform me of your absence BEFORE a test/exam (via email).

8.    You must email me before an exam if you expect to miss the exam and wish to request a make-up exam.  Phone calls, text messages, or in-person request are not acceptable.  Specifically, if you do not send an email you will not get a make-up.

9.     THERE ARE NO DROPPED TESTS/EXAMS!  There are a total of 4 tests/exams (3 tests and 1 final exam = 4 tests/exam) all four are used to determine your final grade.  YOU MUST TAKE EVERY TEST AND THE FINAL EXAM!

10. I reserve the right to “curve” class grades as I deem appropriate.

11. I do not allow “extra credit” unless I offer it to the entire class. (Please don’t ask!)

12. Please do not ask for any special consideration concerning your final grade.  Specifically, I will not, under any circumstances, give any student any special consideration on any assignment, on any test, on the final exam, or on your final grade.  PLEASE DO NOT ASK!


Weekly BlazeVIEW Quiz Information: You will be required to complete weekly online quizzes derived from your weekly readings.  Your scores will be averaged to determine your quiz grade for the class.  I will drop your five lowest quiz scores.  The quizzes are open book and you are encouraged to work on the quiz with other students.  Keep in mind that every student needs to log onto BlazeVIEW to complete their own quiz (located in the “Quizzes” area of BlazeVIEW).   After 10 quizzes you need to go to the bottom of the page and select “All” and then press the green arrow, this will advance you to the remaining assignments.  Questions and responses are randomly sorted so your assignment may be different from other students’ assignments.  Note that it is nearly impossible to earn an “A” in this course if you do not complete the quizzes.  Quizzes will be posted each week on Saturday at 4:00 AM and they will close the following week on Friday at 9:00 PM.  This schedule basically follows the weekly BlazeVIEW maintenance schedule – you must finish your assignment by 9:00 PM on Friday!  There are NO make-ups allowed for the weekly quizzes.  You should plan your schedule so that you finish the weekly quizzes prior to the closing date.  Don’t wait until Friday to do the quiz!  If you wait until the last minute and you have any problems with BlazeVIEW you won’t have time to complete the quiz.  Problems with BlazeVIEW are not considered a valid reason for missing a quiz.  University events that are scheduled on Friday are not valid excuses for missing a quiz.  You should take the quiz earlier in the week if you have events scheduled later in the week.  NOTE:  You will need the textbook to complete the weekly quizzes!


Weekly McGraw-Hill Connect Assignment:  There will be a weekly online assignment using the McGraw-Hill “Connect” online instructional tool.  Each assignment is worth 15 points.  I drop your 5 lowest scores.  There will be a total of 15 assignments.  There are 10 assignments after your 5 drops so the 10 assignments are worth a total of 150 points.  The assignments are open book and you are encouraged to work on the assignment with other students.  Assignments will be posted each week on Saturday at 4:00 AM and they will close the following week on Friday at 9:00 PM (note that this is the same schedule as the BlazeVIEW assessments).  To access the Connect web site for this class use the following link: McGraw-Hill charges students for their subscription to “Connect”.  Please note that “Connect” is accessed separately from BlazeVIEW.  Any problems that you encounter using Connect must be resolved directly through McGraw-Hill.  The telephone number for the McGraw-Hill Connect technical support line is: 800-331-5094.  McGraw-Hill has total control of Connect, I cannot help you with any technical problems.  Do not use the free trial subscription, any work completed via that method is saved into a different name and will not count towards your final grade.


TopHat Classroom Responses:       In every class lecture starting from Day 1 you will be able to respond to simple questions which I post using TopHat. You will earn earn some points simply for responding with additional points earned for correct responses based upon what you will be hearing in lecture as well as reading in your textbook. The TopHat Code for GEOL 1121 is 212200. Before the first lecture on Tuesday, August 13th, I will be sending the code as well as information on how to access TopHat using either a laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone.


Test Information:  There will be 3 tests during the semester. The tests are worth 100 points each.  There are NO dropped tests so you must take every test.  The test dates shown below are tentative.  Tests will consist of several concept drawings.   I will explain concept drawings to the class prior to the first test.  I advise you to bring several different colors of writing instruments to class on test days (colored pencils work best).  Please note that there will be at least four different test versions for every test so the people next to you will not have the same test as you.  Students tell me that it takes 16-20 hours to prepare for these “concept diagram” tests so give yourself plenty of time to study!  NOTE:  You will need the textbook to study for the tests and final exam!


Final Exam Information: The final exam will be a cumulative concept sketch test.   Fifty (50) points will come from questions that were used in the first three tests.  The remaining 100 points on the final will come from new material covered in class since the last exam. The final exam is not optional.  All students are required to take the final.  Students who do not take the final will receive “0” (zero) points for the final exam.  NOTE:  You will need the textbook to study for the final exam!  The final exam will be Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 2:45 PM to 4:45 PM in JH-2211 (regular lecture room).  I cannot change the final time so make sure your end of the semester plans include the final exam.  Specifically, do not make plans to leave for home until after you take this final exam, I will not let you take it early!


Field Trip Information: We will take three field trips to various locations in Georgia and Florida.  The purpose of these trips is to examine natural outcrops of rocks and minerals and to learn more about the geology of Georgia and surrounding states.  Two of the three trips will be 3-days and 2-nights in length.  The third trip is a single day trip.   On the weekend trips, we will leave Valdosta early on Friday afternoon and return late Sunday evening.  We will camp Friday and Saturday nights.  The single day trip will leave early Sunday morning and return late the same evening.  The department will cover fuel costs for university vehicles, camping fees, and any park entrance fees.  Students must pay for their meals, snacks and incidentals.  Please note that state regulations prohibit the use of state funds for student vehicles (i.e., we can’t pay for your gas).  Space is limited, so some students may not be able to attend a weekend fieldtrip.   I will provide more details later.  I give up to 25 extra credit points to students who attend a trip.  A few students may be able to attend more than one trip; I will award those students up to 5 points for each additional trip.  Students are expected to help with all camp activities, including: set-up, breaking camp, cooking, cleaning, and collecting fire-wood.  Additionally, all students are required to help unload and clean the vans at the end of the trip.  Students who do not help with these tasks will not receive extra credit for the trip.  Don’t go on a trip unless you are willing to help.  Violating any rule on the field trip will result in the forfeit of all extra credit (ex., bringing or consuming alcohol, refusing to participate at stops, refusing to help clean-up or work in camp…)


Tentative Field Trip Schedule



Field Trip Capacity

9/27 to 9/29

North Georgia (camp at Carters Lake)

30 students

10/25 to 10/26

West Georgia (camp at West Point Lake)

30 students

11/16 or 11/17

North Florida day trip (no camping)

No capacity limit


Attendance Policy:  Attendance in this class is mandatory, failure to maintain regular attendance may result in a failing grade!  Please read the VSU absence policy on page 77 of the 2013-2014 VSU Undergraduate Catalog.  Briefly, the policy states that a student can be assigned a failing grade for missing more than 20% of the scheduled class meetings during a semester.  In GEOL-1121, that would be six (6) class meetings or three (3) lab meetings.  Be aware that we reserve the right to invoke this clause in both class and lab.   Note that any student who misses more than 6 of the 30 scheduled lectures (TR, 12:30 – 1:45) will receive an “F” in the class, NO EXCEPTIONS.  The only excused absences are for official VSU University sponsored events and absences related to service in the U.S. military (see p. 87 of the 2012-2013 VSU Undergraduate Catalog).  Excuses from the VSU Dean of Students office are only accepted if they involve a university sponsored event and are approved by the appropriate academic officer.  All other absences are counted as unexcused (sickness, traveling, car problems, family events….).  Excused University-sponsored events include things like athletic activities, music or drama events, debate events, and attendance at professional meetings.  Points will be allocated for attendance and for participation using the TopHat classroom response system. Our class GA is responsible for tabulating these points and resolving all attendance issues.  You should speak directly to him when you have a question.  I will not respond to emails concerning missed or tardy classes.  You must come to my office to discuss these in person.  NOTE: The door to the classroom will be locked approximately 5-10 minutes into the class.  Once the doors have been locked there is no admittance or re-admittance to the classroom.  Please note: I have found that students with good attendance generally earn the highest grades.  With that in mind, I strongly recommend you attend every possible class meeting.  Students will have assigned seating and attendance will be taken daily both by the GA and through the TopHat classroom response system (see below).


BlazeVIEW Comments, Policies, and Procedures:

1.       All students must have access to BlazeVIEW; portions of this class will be delivered exclusively through BlazeVIEW.

2.       I literally cannot reopen a BlazeVIEW quiz or dropbox assignment once it has closed.  Don’t even bother asking. Unfortunately, any problems that you have with BlazeVIEW are your problem, not my problem.  I know this sounds rude, but it is the only workable policy.

3.       Beginning with fall semester, 2013, BlazeVIEW will be using “Desire2Learn (D2L)” software, replacing the previous “WebCT/Vista” software. The VSU IT staff and the faculty are expecting this to solve many problems which previously occurred with both university and student-owned computers.  In addition to the VSU IT HELP desk (229-333-help), the University System of Georgia now has a D2L Help Center (1-855-772-0423) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Use these to resolve your problems.

4.       The previous BlazeVIEW did not work well with wireless routers, a problem which may or may not be fixed under D2L.  If you do your work at home on a wireless connection you should double check to make sure your assessment was saved and submitted. 

5.       Don’t wait until Friday to do your assignment and don’t forget that BlazeVIEW shuts down at 10:00 PM every Friday!

6.       I will not activate or use the BlazeVIEW email system.  This class will use regular VSU email only.

7.       Note that 10 assignments are loaded on the assessment page at a time.  You need to advance to the next page to access assessments 11 through 15.

8.       Always contact BlazeVIEW help as soon as you encounter a problem!  Don’t contact me until after you have explained the problem to BlazeVIEW support, followed their recommendations, called them back, and fully resolved the problem.

9.       BlazeVIEW homepage:

10.    D2L Help Center (1-855-772-0423). VSU IT Help (229-333-help)

11.    Make sure you visit the BlazeVIEW student page and view all links:

  1. If you decide to use your own computer to complete the weekly assignments please review the system and software requirements at the D2L Help Center webpage here.



Class Schedule: Below is a tentative class schedule.  At times, we may be slightly ahead of, or slightly behind this schedule.   


Tentative Weekly Class Schedule


Week of

Chapter reading assignments

Tests (week of)



Chapter 1 (Nature of Geology), Chapter 2 (Investigating Geologic Questions)




Chapter 3 (Plate Tectonics)




Chapter 4 (Earth Materials)




Chapter 5 (Igneous Environments)




Chapter 6 (Volcanoes and Volcanic Hazards)

Test 1 (tentative)



Chapter 7 (Sedimentary Environments)




Chapter 8 (Deformation and Metamorphism)




Chapter 9 (Geologic Time)




Chapter 10 (The Seafloor and Continental Margins)

Test 2 (tentative)



Chapter 11 (Mountains, Basins, & Continents)




Chapter 12 (Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior)




Chapter 14 (Shorelines, Glaciers, and Changing Sea Levels)

Test 3 (tentative)



Chapter 15 (Weathering, Soil, and Unstable Slopes)




Chapter 16 (Rivers and Streams)




Chapter 17 (Water Resources)




Thanksgiving Holiday



Final Exam: Thurday, December 5, 2013 from 2:45 PM to 4:45 PM in JH-2211

Final Exam

NOTE: Test dates are tentative; the actual test date will be announced in class at a later date.


Lab Grading: The 200-point lab portion of your GEOL-1121 lecture grade will be determined as follows:



1 mandatory 2-week lab (40 pts.)   

40 points



8 “weekly” lab assignments (20 points each)               

160 points



Extra credit points for completing supplementary assignments    

? points



Total =  

+200 points


Notes on lab grading:

1.       Lab participation is mandatory for ALL students!  It is nearly impossible to earn a “B” or higher in the lecture course if you do not participate in the lab.

2.       The 200 lab points comprise 20% of your final grade for this class.

3.       A few of the labs have supplementary assignments; students who complete these supplementary assignments will receive nominal extra credit for their efforts.

4.       We do not allow make-up labs unless you provide documentation that proves that legitimate forces beyond your control prevented you from taking the test.

5.       There are a total of 12 lab assignments.  I will use your 10 best lab assignments to determine your final lab grade.  Please note that lab #3 is a 2-week lab that counts as 2 labs.

6.       Students who complete and submit ALL 11 of the lab assignments will be rewarded with 10 extra points added to their lab grade.  You must submit the Excel graph in lab 10 to earn the 10 extra points (the graph has to be correct as well).

7.       You must take lab #3 (both weeks). It is mandatory and counts as 2 labs (40 points)!

8.       We do two labs (6&7) the week of March 4!


There is no Mid-term Exam or Final Exam for the Lab: There will be no mid-term exam or final exam given in the lab. 


Make-up Lab:  We will offer a make-up lab the last week of classes for the students who missed a lab because of documented medical reasons or other legitimate reasons.  Try to avoid this option because the make-up lab is long and time-consuming.


Lab Partners:  You will work with a lab partner on most, but not all lab assignments.  Try to keep the same lab partner for the entire semester.  We expect your lab assignments to be a team effort.  Specifically, both lab partners should contribute equally to the lab.  Most lab groups will consist of 2 people, but we may also have several 3-person groups.  It is OK for groups at the same table to share ideas and discuss lab problems.  We consider this normal and we think it facilitates the learning process.  However, discussions between two tables are generally regarded as cheating! 


Lab Fees: Failure to pay your lab fees will result in a grade of “0” (zero) for lab.  Lab fees are paid by the student directly to the University Bursary.   It is not our responsibility to notify you if you fail to pay your lab fees.  You must confirm this yourself!

Tentative Schedule of Lab Activities

Week /Lab#








No labs!






No labs!






Topographic maps I (end)


Chapter 1




Topographic maps II (end)


Chapter 2




Mineral properties and Mineral identification

(2 weeks long) (end)

Mandatory 2-week lab worth 40 points!

Chapter 3






Igneous rocks  (end)


Chapter 4




Sediments & sedimentary processes  (end)


Chapter 5


6 & 7


Sedimentary rocks (end) & Metamorphic rocks (end)

2 LABS!!!!!

Chapters 6/7




Stream Discharge Data Collection (later)

Outside, dress appropriately

Chapter 9




Stream Discharge Calculations (end)


Chapter 9




Soils or Hydrogeology (end)


Chapters 8&11




Weathering rates (later)

Outside, dress appropriately

Chapter 10




Structural geology  (end)


Chapter 12




Make-up lab (Absolute Age)

Take-home lab

Chapter 13




Thanksgiving Holiday, no labs






Final Exam Week, no labs

1.    The mineral properties/mineral identification lab (lab 3, weeks 5 & 6) lasts two weeks and counts as two labs (40 pts)!

2.    Two labs will be turned in during Week 9 (labs 6 & 7) so that week will be worth 40 points.  Don’t miss lab this week!

3.    Labs 8 and 10 include outdoor activities, please dress appropriately.

4.    (end) indicates a lab assignment will be due at the end of this lab. (labs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 & 11)

5.    (later) indicates a lab assignment will be due on date specified.(labs 8, 9, & 10 are due as announced in lab)



Email and Text Messaging Guidelines:  Some students tend to abuse their email and text messaging privileges and that means a set of rules and guidelines must be established to insure efficient use of email in the class.  I can easily spend two or more hours every day dealing with email from this class alone.  I just don’t have that much spare time so I have to set some guidelines.

1.       I will send out class-wide emails on a regular basis.  Read these emails before you reply, more than likely the answer to your question is contained in the email.  I will not respond to questions that are already answered in the class-wide emails.

2.       All emails and text messages should be formatted in a professional manner.  That means a proper salutation, a grammatically correct body, and a signature that includes your name and contact information.  I will not respond to emails or texts that do not comply with these rules. 

3.       I have a title, use it!  Address your emails and texts to me as Dr. Thieme.  You are in college now so you need to start acting like a professional.

4.       Do not send multiple emails or texts.  I will not respond to them.  Send me a single email or text that includes all of your questions worded in a logical and grammatically correct format.

5.       I will respond to your email or text within 48 hours.  Don’t expect an immediate response! 

6.       If I don’t respond to your email or text it probably means you violated one of these rules.  Check your email or text, edit it to bring it into compliance, and then resend it.  Then I’ll respond.

7.       If your email or text requires a long explanation on my part I will probably tell you to come to my office in person and I will answer your questions directly (face to face meetings are much more efficient).

8.       Don’t rant at me or get rude with me in an email or text; I’ll penalize you 25 points for each instance.  I’ll send you an email to inform you of your penalty and I’ll forward your email or text to my Department Head and Dean.

9.       People who abuse their email or text messaging privileges will be penalized 10 points for each instance.  I’ll send you an email to inform you of your penalty.


Withdrawal Policy: VSU has a new course withdrawal policy as of fall 2010.   Students are now limited to a total of 5 drops with a grade of “W” during their undergraduate work.  Make sure you are aware of this policy and understand the consequences before you decide to drop this class.  (Please see the 2013-2014 VSU Undergraduate Catalog for more details, pp. 77.)


Grades of Incomplete (“I”):  VSU has a relatively new policy concerning grades of incomplete.  Basically, I cannot award an “I”.  You must apply for an “I” through the department head of the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences as well as the VSU registrar.  This must be done prior to the end of the semester.  The procedure may take several days so don’t wait until finals week.  Do this as soon as you realize that you cannot complete the class.  Be aware that you must have a very good reason for seeking an “I”.  A heavy course load is not considered a valid reason.  It is best to keep me informed of your progress through this process.  I will do whatever I can to assist all students who have a legitimate argument for a grade of “I”.  (See p. 79 of the 2013-2014 VSU Undergraduate Catalog.)


Most class documents are available for download on the VSU BlazeVIEW web site:  Various class documents such as this syllabus, class notes, and study guides will be stored on the VSU BlazeVIEW web site.  Use your VSU email ID and password to access this site.  BlazeVIEW is a web-based application that is accessed via the VSU homepage at .  You can download these class-related documents from any web-capable computer, tablet, or cell phone.


University and Department Policies: Please read the following carefully and also review the most recent versions of all VSU polices posted at:

·         The Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences Department at Valdosta State University adheres to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) in prohibiting discrimination against any qualified person with a disability.  Students with disabilities who are experiencing barriers in this course may contact the Access Office for assistance in determining and implementing reasonable accommodations. The Access Office is located in Farber Hall. The phone numbers are 229-245-2498 (V), 229-375-5871 (VP) and 229-219-1348 (TTY). For more information, please visit or email:

·         The Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences adheres to the academic honesty policies and procedures of Valdosta State University and requires all students enrolled in departmental courses to honor the same (see this policy at: 

·         Cheating and/or plagiarism may result in a failing grade on an assignment/quiz/test or for the entire course in extreme situations.  Students who violate these procedures will be reported to the Academic Dean as outlined in the academic honesty policies and procedures.  Please refer to the Student Handbook, Code of Ethics, for a complete explanation of the Valdosta State University Student Ethic Code. 

·         The Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at Valdosta State University does not tolerate sexual harassment.  Please refer to Valdosta State University’s official policy on sexual harassment found at the following web location: for additional information.


Class Policies:  Please read the following carefully:

·      The inappropriate use of cell phones in classrooms is becoming a serious problem at VSU.  Please do not answer your cell phone while in class or leave the class to answer your cell phone.   You will only be permitted to use your cell phone to respond using TopHat or to access BlazeVIEW and Connect.  I will ask students to stow their phones if they use their cell phone inappropriately.  If they refuse, I will ask a second time.  If they refuse a second time I will call VSU University Police and request the student be removed from my class for causing a disturbance.  Disruptive students who are removed from class by VSU University Police will lose 1000 points and fail the class.

·      The inappropriate use of computers (laptops, notebooks, netbooks, smart phones, and tablet computers) in classrooms is a serious problem.  You will only be permitted to use your tablet or laptop computer to respond using TopHat or to access BlazeVIEW and Connect.  I will ask students to stow their computers if they violate this rule.  If they refuse, I will ask a second time.  If they refuse a second time I will call VSU University Police and request the student be removed from my class for causing a disturbance.  Disruptive students who are removed from class by VSU University Police will lose 1000 points and fail the class.

·      Please respect your classmates!  Please refrain from any disruptive behavior during class.  Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to: talking on a cell phone, cheating on tests/exams, talking in class, arriving after class starts or leaving before class ends, as well as any non-class related activity such as studying for an exam or surfing the web.  I will ask students to make appropriate corrections to their behavior if they violate this rule.  If they refuse, I will ask a second time.  If they refuse a second time I will call VSU University Police and request the student be removed from my class for causing a disturbance.  Disruptive students who are removed from class by VSU University Police will lose 1000 points and fail the class.

·      Please be aware that students who leave the classroom after the door has been locked will not be allowed to reenter the class.    No one will be allowed to enter or reenter the classroom once the door has been locked.  Emergency phone calls are an exception, but you must inform me of these calls prior to class. 

·      Please note that beverages and/or food items are not allowed in JH-2211.


Course Description copied from the 2013-2014 VSU Undergraduate Catalog:

GEOL 1121K Principles of Physical Geology                                                                                                        3-2-4

Pre- or corequisite: MATH 1101 or higher. An introduction to the physical processes responsible for the formation and ever-continuing modification of our Earth. Topics covered include the structure of the Earth and plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes, formation of minerals and the rock.


Course Objective:

Course Overview:  This course is a partial introduction to the science of geology.  Geologists generally group geology into two broad sub-disciplines: physical geology and historical geology.   This class will cover physical geology.  Topics in physical geology include earth materials and resources, geologic processes, geologic hazards, and geologic time.  We will cover additional topics if time permits.  Special emphasis will be given to the theory of plate tectonics, and how this theory helps us understand our planet.   Additionally, the theory of plate tectonics will be used to demonstrate how scientists use science to solve problems.  Ultimately, the goal of this course is to help students understand our planet, and how humans interact with our planet.


Specific examples of course objectives and/or outcomes:

·      Students will be able to describe the significance of and be able to identify hand samples of important minerals and rocks

·      Students will be able to describe and explain the basic principles of the theory of plate tectonics

·      Students will be able to describe and explain important aspects of and relationships between the three major groups of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic)

·      Students will be able to describe and explain a range of common geohazards including volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods

·      Students will be able to describe and explain various earth landforms such as volcanic mountains and streams valleys

·      Students will be able to describe and explain important concepts of geologic time including unconformities, relative and absolute dating, and the geologic time scale


Selected Educational Outcomes for Geoscience Classes in the VSU Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences:

The following are selected general course outcomes for the geoscience program as established by the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at Valdosta State University (as shown in the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog).   This class will directly address outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4 below (see comments in italics after each outcome). 

1.    Students will demonstrate understanding of the physical universe and the nature of science, and they will use scientific method and/or mathematical concepts and reasoning to solve problems

2.    To provide a working knowledge of the basic research tools in physical and cultural geography, environmental research, and in digital cartography (this will be addressed in the lab portion of this class)

3.    To provide the knowledge required to evaluate and interpret environmental data, address and analyze regional environmental questions and synthesize and recommend solutions to a range of environmental problems (this will be partially addressed in the lecture portion of the class)

4.    To provide the analytical and technical skills necessary for geographical research including; spatial and temporal analysis, digital and conventional mapping, and analysis and interpretation of data (This will be partially addressed in lab)

5.    To provide a range of computer-based spatial analysis skills using Geographic Information Science (GIS) and other techniques for digital mapping, data manipulation and analysis, and applications issues (this outcome will not be addressed)


VSU General Education Outcomes:

The following are VSU general education outcomes as defined by the General Education Council.   This class will address, in part, items 1, 2, 5, and 7 below. 

1.    Students will demonstrate understanding of the society of the United States and its ideals. 

2.    Students will demonstrate cross-cultural perspectives and knowledge of other societies. 

3.    Students will use computer and information technology when appropriate.  

4.    Students will express themselves clearly, logically, and precisely in writing and in speaking, and they will demonstrate competence in reading and listening.  

5.    Students will demonstrate knowledge of scientific and mathematical principles and proficiency in laboratory practices.   

6.    Students will demonstrate knowledge of diverse cultural heritages in the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences.  

7.    Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze, to evaluate, and to make inferences from oral, written, and visual materials.   

8.    Students will demonstrate knowledge of principles of ethics and their employment in the analysis and resolution of moral problems.