Department of Earth Science          Northeastern Illinois University

GEOLOGY, RESOURCES, & ENVIRONMENT                                             J. Hemzacek homepage 
ESCI 123
                 SUMMER 2012                                                            questions?  send me an email

In the news: 
 When geologic processes affect people's lives

      When earthquakes and nuclear power collide:
large magnitude earthquakes in Japan, one year ago in March,
caused great damage, many deaths, and the threat of nuclear disaster.
and TODAY: "Twin Quakes Rock Japan"

Powerful strombolian eruption from Stromboli volcano
Stromboli (Italy) erupting:
which volcanoes are currently erupting?

    environmental problems with Three Gorges Dam (China)
   (AP photo, see report at

This webpage is the primary informational source for this class. 
Resources and detailed information that you will need to succeed
will be provided in class and on this page.

syllabus "live" version - with assignment details 
class session notes 
course documents  printable versions       
assignments    final assignment posted
   class wiki - for term project
announcements  our last class coming up!
extra credit details                                  
resources and other web links:

      "This is an especially good course for you if....".

      Images used in class:  
           World Population Clock        planet earth general info
           population growth1      growth2      animation

        Earth Systems:
   rock cycle      1        2         3          .
              water cycle      1        2      .
              maps:   active volcanoes       world population distribution
                                  depth of earthquakes    

       When the Bay Area Quakes
                   San Francisco general area map                     shake map1 
                                            topo1     topoSan    topo2       relief1       relief                    
                   seismic risk exercise:  Figure 15.2      Figure 15.9      SanFran population
           elastic rebound theory        magnitude           mag & intensity
           isoseis AR M7.7       isoseis CA M7.9        historic world eq    largest world eq

         NOVA | Japan's Killer Quake        tsunami animation
    Japan earthquake facts      New Madrid           Illinois earthquakes1       2
            some earthquake images:

         Hazard, vulnerability, exposure, and risk

         volcanoesvideos:  1- plate tec     2-kilauea     pele    lava lab   3-pompeii   4-pyrocl 
                               5-montserrat    6-pinatubo    7-predicting? NZ      8-ring of fire

              What's erupting?                Volcanic Hazards and Types
              VEI     volcanic risk
                                virtual volcano                           white island     volcano resources
             Colombia-Nevado del Ruiz map       Santa Maria risk ;   eruption history
          Other videos FYI:
                 The East African Rift     rift, part 2      rift, part 3      rift, part 4

           yellowstone pdf

           Iceland:    typical     1news     dramatic video

           US strategic materials 2010          2012               mr maps

           solar panels       wind turbines            batteries1           types
           energy information administration

          oil spills                   alternative fossil fuels    

                   ethanol 1                     ethanol 2

           glacier monitoring program

           From the IPCC report on Climate Change: FAQ's
                 available in html version and
                    pdf version ("high" or "low resolution")
          Milankovitch cycles
          Why Do Human-made Greenhouse Gases Matter When Water Vapor Is the Most
                Potent Greenhouse Gas? From Common Questions about Climate Change
          natural and human forces in climate change
             global warming         LECZ maps

do scientists agree about global warming?    
     Scientific Consensus on Global Warming
     an alternate scenario

publishing scientific papers; peer review

Fact Check: truth about political rhetoric on global warming

"climategate"    and climategate debunked     debunk2
(coverage about climategate debunked was minimal)

         "Global warming comes from within" - why the earth's core is not to blame
                                                                           and other "skeptic" criticisms
Climate change myths/ corrections - sea level rise

           How much sea level rise?

about glaciers


Course Handouts
and Other Important Stuff

printable versions - as given in class:
course syllabus (schedule of topics)
course information (grading, etc.)
tips for success
criteria for homework and rubric for assignments
       and selected work

additional course information:
General Education program goals
extra credit opportunity





some documents are in .pdf form;     
if you do not have Adobe(R) Reader(R),     
click here to download.      

Last updated 20 May 2012
(c) 2012
J Hemzacek



-- projects are due on Wednesday, and must be posted to the wiki not later than 5 pm on that date.
final homework assignment is posted; due on Wednesday in hard copy.  Follow homework criteria!
-- last quiz will be at the end of class on Wednesday.  Final class session notes are posted; but the important thing is that the last quiz will be a reflection on what we have learned. 
13 June  

-- next homework assignment is due Monday; the details, resources, etc., are all posted on the assignment page.
-- next quiz is Monday, also!  Class session notes have been updated.
-- today is the deadline for entering a project topic on the wiki page.  If you have not yet done so, please do, immediately!
    If you are not yet connected to the wiki, see the intro below (30 May) for instructions.  Remember: if you are having any
    difficulties with the wiki, send an email to my NEIU account -- not to the gmail account!!
-- if you are planning to do extra credit, deadline is almost here... see the details!
30 May:  intro to term project;  read this first!
The class Wiki is up and running: ready for you to choose a project topic and read all the project details.

You will need to sign on to the wiki, and check that you have full access to the editing functions.  In order to do that, follow these steps:
If you have any problems accessing the wiki, or with other aspects of this project, send me an email or talk to me after class, and we will sort it out.

1.  If you already have a google account, (for gmail, google docs, google plus photos, etc.) go to step 2.  If you do not have a google account, you first need to create one, as follows: 
Go to; click on "sign in" (top right); then click "sign up" (red button at the top right).  Follow the instructions; then, check your email for a confirmation from google (be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see an email!).  When you receive the confirmation email, follow those instructions to complete the process of creating your account.  Keep track of your password!  Forgetting your password is the number one problem that people have with logging in to the wiki!!!

2.  Send me an email, from the account that is linked to your google account: you can either use the gmail account (one you created in google) OR the account that is "linked" to that account, including your NEIU address --it's your choice.  Make sure that it is an account that you will access!  When you send me the email, use as the subject "ESCI 123 wiki account".  I will add that email address as a collaborator for the google site.   You must send this email to my NEIU email address -- NOT to the gmail account that I created for the wiki!  I do not check that account!!  Please also make sure to identify yourself by name in your email!

3. After I have added your email address as a collaborator for the wiki, you will receive an email notification (from google) that you have been added.  Click on the link in that email: it will take you to the log-in page for google sites.  (If you are using an neiu email account, right-click the link and choose "open in new window".  For some reason, this seems to make a difference!)
If you have not received an email invitation to the wiki, it is because you have not yet sent me an email (see step 2)- you should do this immediately!

4.  The wiki page will appear and, after you have signed in**, you should see a box at the top right with something that looks vaguely like a pencil: when you hover over that button, it will say "edit page".  If the wiki page loads without a sign-in page, scroll to the bottom of the wiki page, and click "sign in" -- at the left of the (small) menu at the bottom.   If you are on the wiki page and are signed in, but still do not see the "edit page", let me know.   **After clicking the link to go to the wiki page, look for your user name at the top right.  If it is not there, you are not yet signed in.  Scroll down: at the bottom of the page, there is a (small!) menu list.  Click on "sign in", and open your google account.  You should now see your user name and the edit box at the top.

5.  Information about the project is on the home page of the wiki.  At the upper left of the home page are links to the other wiki pages, including "topics" - where you will sign up for your project topic.  Please note that if someone else has already signed up for the same topic, you will need to pick something different!

6.  Along the way, if you need help on any aspect, including how to choose a topic, how to create the desired format for your project, or other aspects of your project, I would be happy to consult with you!

7.  When you complete your project, it will be submitted via the wiki: you will upload your completed project to the "Project Documents" page.  Your classmates' projects will be there, too: hopefully you will take a little time to browse the information that they provide! 

A rubric for the final project is available here: use it as your "check list" as you work on your project!

21 May:  Remember -- homework due by start of class on Wednesday, also Quiz 1 on Wednesday!  See class session notes for review.
WELCOME to ESCI 123 in Summer Session IA !
If you have not yet obtained the course text, here are the details:

The text recommended for this course is Environmental Geology, by C. Montgomery (published by McGraw-Hill).   Note that the bookstore will likely carry the newest, updated edition.  If you have access to an older edition of this same text, it will be perfectly useful for this course, and more economical; however, I do suggest that you use a text edition not older than 2 editions previous (i.e., 7th or 8th, instead of 9th). 

Other texts (different authors, publishers) are also available on the subject of Environmental Geology; if you already have one available, please use it, rather than purchasing a new text!  You will, of course, need to select appropriate readings to coincide with the topics we cover.  Note that an Environmental Geology text will cover different topics, and different aspects of similar topics, compared to a 'Physical Geology' text. 
If needed, I can direct you to additional resources on specific topics.

** ONE CAUTION:  Whichever option you choose for a text, make certain that you have it available to you as the session begins.  This summer session is short and we move quickly through topics. 
You do not want to be still waiting, 3 weeks into the session, to receive your text!  You would be at a great disadvantage for assignments as well as the mid-term exam, and your grade would suffer. 


Your first homework will be submitted via email, and must be sent from your NEIU account.  This is so that I can verify that you have access to your account, as this will be my primary means to contact you if necessary.

The assignment should be sent as a file attachment (MS Word format).
The subject of the email should be:  ESCI 123 -- your name
The email must be received in my inbox not later than the start of class on the due date.

1.  Describe one environmental issue/concern that is of particular interest to you. 
The issue may be either a global concern or a local  one (that is, affecting the United States, the Chicago area, or affecting only your neighborhood; etc.). 
    A.  a clear description of the issue or concern, and
    B.  an explanation/comment as to why/how this is an environmental concern -- for instance, in what
         specific way(s) is the environment affected, or potentially affected?)

2. List specific questions that you have regarding this issue --
    List any questions whose answers would help you to become an informed citizen about this issue -- these
    might be questions relating to the politics, economics, social, or any other aspect of the issue... BUT!
    You must include at least one question related to the science of this issue: for example, geologic causes
       or aspects; solutions or ways to approach the issue with science; health or other effects on people, etc.



This assignment is due on
Wednesday, 23 May,
before the start of class time.

It must be submitted via email,
as indicated in the
assignment details.



















   This is an especially good course for you if.....

       You plan to be a teacher                    
            or you want to be a journalist             (... if you will be in a position to inform others)

       You hope to be a politician,
           or a business administrator                 (... you are in a position to make decisions about environmental
             ... or
if you plan to vote                       issues, based on information supplied by others)
You are considering a career in geoscience       (...come see me to sign up as a major!)

Your major is not earth science, but you plan
           to apply your major (any major!) in an environmental career

You simply want to understand better, and not just through the eyes of the media and/or
           special interest groups, about climate change, natural hazards, earth resources, and other important environmental issues

You simply are interested in the earth and the environment...
              after all, it is your home!!









Modern Battery Chemistry     source:
Modern batteries use a variety of chemicals to power their reactions.
chemical reactions in batteries:


Typical battery chemistries include:

Zinc-carbon battery - Also known as a standard carbon battery, zinc-carbon chemistry is used in all inexpensive AA, C and D dry-cell batteries.  The electrodes are zinc and carbon, with an acidic paste between them that serves as the electrolyte.

Alkaline battery - Alkaline chemistry is used in common Duracell and Energizer batteries, the electrodes are zinc and manganese-oxide, with an alkaline electrolyte.

Lithium-iodide battery - Lithium-iodide chemistry is used in pacemakers and hearing aides because of their long life.

Lead-acid battery (rechargeable) - Lead-acid chemistry is used in automobiles, the electrodes are made of lead and lead-oxide with a strong acidic electrolyte.

Nickel-cadmium battery (rechargeable) - The electrodes are nickel-hydroxide and cadmium, with potassium-hydroxide as the electrolyte.

Nickel-metal hydride battery (rechargeable) - This battery replaced nickel-cadmium because it does not suffer from memory effect (of recharging); not common any more, in favor of....

Lithium-ion battery (rechargeable) - With a very good power-to-weight ratio, this battery is used in laptop computers and cell phones.  Contains organic solvents that can cause some issues...and are being replaced by lithium-ion polymer: Lithium Polymer Batteries: A Review

Lithium-ion polymer battery (rechargeable) - Even slimmer than lithium-ion, these wafer-thin batteries are used in cell phones, PDAs, notebook computers, iPads, etc.  

Zinc-air battery - Lightweight "button" battery; removing a "sealing tab" activates the battery.

(Zinc-mercury oxide battery - were often used in hearing-aids; now banned in US) ....

silver oxide battery - replacement for mercury batteries

Silver-zinc battery - This is used in aeronautical applications because the power-to-weight ratio is good.

more information:  US EPA - Battery information
other sites
(some are commercial, but have good information):
Advantages & Limitations of the Lithium-ion Battery - Battery University
                                                  Battery Information Table of Contents, Basic to Advanced
                                                  cell phone batteries
                                                  rechargeable batteries                  battery disposal and recycling



































climate forcings-alternate scenario








source: R.A. Page, et al., US Geological Survey Circular 1079