Department of Earth Science          Northeastern Illinois University

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY                                                                      J. Hemzacek homepage 
ESCI 123
                 SUMMER 2013                                                            questions?  send me an email

 When geologic processes affect people's lives

Flooding throughout Chicagoland; click on image for story

in the meantime, check these links for "geology in the news":

Geology News | Earth Science Current Events |

ScienceDaily: Earth Science News

Science Daily
Skeptical Science
Union Concerned Scientists















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   - updated - assignment 5 posted
class session notes - updated for Exam 2
course documents  printable versions    

term project information  -remember to use rubric

announcements   -updated: important
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        doubling

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

      Severe Weather                NOAA severe weather primer 
                 Moore, OK 1         Moore 2           Moore3
                 tornadoes           animation          preparedness guide 
                 lightning              NWS Lightning Safety         survivors

       Floods     National Geographic video          floods and rivers - tutorial

       Hazard, vulnerability, exposure, and risk

            find your flood map!

        Soils and soil fertility

     Outrunning a Landslide - YouTube

     Larger Than Life Landslide - YouTube 

     Water as a resource:
             Where is Earth's water?         groundwater model and terms

             coastal process and erosion           LECZs

   Climate Change and Other "Debates"        

   Other links on climate change:
        CA Office of Planning and Research - Climate Change: Just the Facts 

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


       the greenhouse effect - what is it?

 How a battery works

             the trouble with lithium        other stuff in batteries
             more battery info

  Energy Resources: Nuclear power
             Other resources used to build plants
             The Management of Aging in Nuclear Power Plant Structures
             Lessons from Fukoshima?
             we did not cover, but interesting to note:   Fuel cells

  How clean is the electricity I use? - Power Profiler | US EPA
             --> some of this fuel source is from....
  USGS Mineral Resources Program



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

Last updated 23 June 2013
(c) 2013
J Hemzacek



25 June     You should have received an email from me; there has been a change to the original plan, due to a family emergency for your instructor.
  Assignment 5 has now been posted; the due date has been changed, as has the fact that it will now be submitted via email -- as an attached file.

My apologies for the change of plans.  If I do not see you on Wednesday (there will still be an exam!  But it may be administered by my colleague), have a
wonderful, safe, and environmentally responsible rest of the summer!  Thanks for a great summer session class.
12 June    New assignment is posted; class session note page has been updated
12 June   Changes to course schedule for you to note:   
                      Homework #4 will be due on Monday, 17 June   (will be posted soon)
                      Quiz #2 will be on Wednesday, 19 June
                      Homework #5 will be due on Wednesday, 26 June (same day as final exam)
                 Note that projects will still be due on 24 June; check the project info for all details (being updated shortly) 
4 June    Remember!  We have our first exam on Monday! 
3 June    You now should be able to access the following updates to these course webpages:
                 -- extra credit option: list of films should now be visible
                 -- assignment for this week, to be submitted via email: details available on the "live" syllabus / assignment page
                 -- additional email submission for project:  details available on the assignment page
WELCOME to ESCI 123 in Summer Session IA !
If you have not yet obtained a course text, here is some helpful information:

The recommended text for this course is Environmental Geology by C. Montgomery (McGraw-Hill).  Note that the bookstore likely has the newest, updated 10th edition.  If you have access to an older edition of this same text, it will be perfectly useful for this course, and it will be much more economical; however, I do suggest that you use a text edition not older than 2-3 editions previous (i.e., 7th, 8th, 9th). 

I also will have some textbooks available for short-term check-out in the classroom; more info on the first day of class!

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.  Suggested readings for the course are from the recommended text; to see the table of contents for that book, click here.

** 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 could 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.
PLEASE: see the notes below, regarding sending email to your professor.  :o)

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,
    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?)
    C.  why you chose this particular issue; why it is of particular interest to you.

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 that is 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, 22 May,
before the start of class time.

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

You should regularly check your NEIU email account (this is the primary way that your professors and the university will contact you).   Although email may not be your normal means of communication, it is still the most common form of professional communication.  You want to "put your best foot forward" and present yourself in a professional manner through your email communication.

How to E-Mail your Professors… an example to follow:

Subject: gives some clear idea of the message (e.g., ESCI 109 question/ESCI109 your name/etc)

(Dear/Hi/Hello/Aloha) (Professor Hemzacek/ Prof. Jean/ Ms. H),

In email, unlike text messaging, I capitalize the first letter of all my sentences and I end my all my sentences with a punctuation mark.  Although I should use my NEIU email account for university communication, sometimes using that account is not convenient for me, so I might use another email account.  However, I always make sure that I’m not sending you messages from an address like   No matter which email account I use (and even if my name is part of the email address, I always sign my name at the end of the message and identify myself as a member of this class.  This format - with salutation, body, and signature - is how I will always initiate contact with you.
In a back-and-forth conversation following an initial email, I may drop this formal format, but I will continue to capitalize and punctuate where appropriate so that you can clearly understand my communication.

(Thank you/All the best/Cheers/Sincerely/Aloha/etc),

Your first and last name, course & section number





Project at a Glance:

The term project for this class is an opportunity for you to explore, in more detail, an environmental issue -- with a focus on geologic aspects.  
Your task is to collect appropriate information about your chosen (and approved) issue, and to share your findings by creating an 'informational piece' that fits one of the descriptions below.
Once your topic has been approved (see details below), you will compile information about your chosen topic in a visual format that fits 
one of the following types of perspective:
  • An educational piece, aimed at informing members of the community that is directly affected by the issue or problem.
  • An appeal to politicians or other authority figures, to persuade them to take a stance or to push for desired actions to address the issue/problem.
  • A general informational piece, describing or documenting the issue/problem for the general public.

The format of the project can be any one of the following:

  • An informational brochure: either a simple booklet form or a "tri-fold" format
  • A poster (PowerPoint format; single large slide)
  • A slide show (PowerPoint; multiple slides)
  • A webpage or blog
  • A youtube video
  • Have a different idea?  Check with me!
Your project should include detailed information and appropriate graphics (images, graphs, and/or other figures) about a specific environmental issue.  At minimum, you will provide: a description of the issue or problem; the hazards and risks associated with this issue; the area or region affected by this problem; and (if applicable) a description of current efforts to control or address the problem.  You should focus on the geologic aspects, but of course also acknowledge the human factors that must be considered.

Project Details

Your final project will be submitted via email, as an attached file.  If you wish, you may also submit a "hard copy" (for instance, if you choose a tri-fold brochure format, and want me to see the finished effect more clearly).   You must send the file to me not later than 4pm on the due date,
Monday, 24 June.

When you submit the file via email, make sure to do the following:
       -- ensure that the file is Microsoft (PC) compatible.  That is the kind of computer I have, and I can't give you a grade if I can't open the file!
       -- for any citations that are online, include them as live hyperlinks in your document.   If you don't know how to do this, I can help.
       -- give the file an appropriate name, one that includes your last name at the beginning: 
                 e.g., Lastname_Firstname_Short title   OR Lastname_Title  OR   Lastname_Firstname. 
       -- just to make sure that your project is received on time, you might want to send it more than 30 seconds before the deadline.  :o)
Your instructor is not responsible for any transmission difficulties you might experience, internet gremlins, or other delays.

Required components of the project are: 
  • appropriate graphic elements: relevant photos of the area and/or tables, charts, or other figures that help to illustrate the problem and the associated issues.
  • adequate, appropriate, and clear text that helps to describe and explain the issues -- in your own words!  Use available resources for information, but do not simply cut and paste: that is plagiarism, which will be rewarded with a grade of zero.
  • list of references that you used for the project, in an appropriate citation format.  You may select and use any of the standard citation formats listed below; you may wish to use the format that is most prevalent in your own major discipline. 
    If you do not yet have a major, or are not familiar with the citation standard in that discipline, you can explore the links for each style to make an appropriate selection.
  • creative use of layout: this is meant to be an informative piece that would get the attention of your intended audience!  Have fun with it, and think about how to get people's (including your instructor's!) attention. 
The rubric for this project is available here, and is also linked to the assignments page.
Use the rubric as your guide, and as your checklist, in order to maximize the points that you earn on the project!  It is completely within your control to excel on this course element!
















   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!!







Climate Change

 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

publishing scientific papers; peer review

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

      "Global warming comes from within" - why the earth's core is not to blame
                                                                           and other "skeptic" criticisms
             global warming         LECZ maps

Fact Check: truth about political rhetoric on global warming

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

Climate change myths/ corrections - sea level rise link missing

           How much sea level rise?




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


























banda aceh