Department of Earth Science |Northeastern Illinois University

CHICAGO ROCKS!  Geology in the City
ESCI 109
Section 03
Fall 2008

Schedule of Activities

Evaluation and Grading Policies Homework

Instructor and Peer Mentor Contact Information:

Instructor: Dr. Laura L. Sanders  Peer mentor: Melina Rodriguez  
E-Mail: L-Sanders (at)
Phone: 773/442-6051  
Office Hours: Tuesday 1:30-2:50 pm; Tuesday 7:20-9:45 pm; Thursday 1:30-2:45 pm, and by appointment.  
officially S-225H--but first, look for me within the Earth Science Department area, from S-130 through S-114                   

Dr. Sanders at the Hoover Dam, Arizona/Nevada
E-Mail: kyria.aqui [at]
Phone: (773)442-4284
ffice Hours: Tuesday 3:00-6:00 pm; Wednesday 9:00-10:00 am and 1:00-3:00 pm; Thursday:4:00-6:00 pm, and by appointment.
Office: Room E043 (across from the Health Services Office)  

Class meeting times: 12:15-1:30 pm, Tuesday and Thursday:
Course Website:

Required Texts and Materials

1) Chrzastowski, M.  2005.  Chicagoland: Geology and the Making of a Metropolis. Field excursion for the 2005 annual meeting Association of American State Geologists, June 15, 2005.  Illinois State Geologic Survey, OFS 2005-9.  A CD containing this document will be loaned to you; you are responsible for printing out the document in color and bringing it to class with you on a daily basis.

2) A Chicago-area street map.  This may be purchased from a drug store, bookstore, auto club, or many other sites.  You must have one within one week of the semester's start; bring it to class with you every day.

3) Northeastern Illinois University First-Year Experience (a custom-published collection of readings).


* This outline may be adjusted daily as the semester proceeds.  Please check back frequently for updates.  
*  Reading assignments should be completed before coming to class on the day listed.
* Assignment due dates listed here are approximate; for more information check the homework page.

* To see a list of each day's learning objectives, click the date.  Links will be added as the semester progresses.

AUG 26  Welcome to NEIU!  College makes the difference. AUG 28  Rocks and diversity.  Representing landscapes.
E-08 Kickoff Rally--Right after class!
SEP   2  Rock your world: Earth materials.  Carved in stone: taking notes. SEP 4  Map your world: tools of the geologist.
SEP   9  Campus geology. SEP 11  Getting to know your campus: an FYE scavenger hunt!
SEP 16  Geologic materials, methods, and maps. SEP 18  Academic planning.
SEP 23 Weather or not: Earth materials and weathering.  Get started on Homework #4! SEP 25  Rocks from around the world--in NEIU's back yard.  The Bohemian National Cemetery.  MEET AT THE CEMETERY!
SEP 30 Exam #1.  Get the review sheet here!
It's Green Week!
OCT   2  Teamwork skills and the NEIU Rock Climbing Wall.  It's still Green Week! 
OCT   7  Topographic maps, continued.  Homework #3 is due. OCT   9  The real dirt on Chicago. 
OCT 14  Miles of concrete...: where did our roads and buildings come from?  Intro to the research project and teams.  OCT 16  A mile of ice...and tons of gravel: The glacial imprint on Chicago. 
OCT 21  The Moraine Mosaic.  OCT 23  Planning Your Future. 
OCT 28  Planning your future, contd.  The moraine mosaic, continued.  Why is Chicago so flat?  Measuring slope.  Slope, relief, and the glacial legacy. OCT 30  Keeping water in its place?  Field trip to the Gompers Park Wetland: Solving an Urban Problem with Nature.  MEET AT THE PARK!  (Pulaski and Foster; meet in Pulaski parking lot)
NOV  4  Exam #2.  Get the review sheet here! NOV  6  Print another pocket planner!  Photo1  Photo2  Photo3 Team building and communication.
NOV 11  Finishing the Moraine Mosaic.  NOV 13 The Moraine Mosaic:  What does it mean?  Glacial Chicago.
NOV 18  Glacial Chicago, contd.  Geologic research and critical thinking. NOV 20  Humans and Chicago's geology. 
NOV 25  Chicago's waterfall.  Does the Chicago River flow backwards?  Chicago's streams and watersheds.  NOV 27  Thanksgiving Holiday; no class. 
DEC   2  Chicago's streams and watersheds, cont'd.  DEC  4  Putting together the story of Chicago's geologic past.Chicago Rocks!  And so does your college career.  Individual Geologic Research due.  Poster drafts due.

DEC 9  Exam #3.  10:00-11:50 pm  Note the unusual time!  Please check right away to see if this conflicts with any other of your scheduled exams, and contact the instructor before September 2 if you find a conflict.  Get the review sheet here!


Course Goals:

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

1.Correlate specific types of earth materials, including regional bedrock and surficial deposits, and resources used in Chicago, to their geologic origins (environments and major geologic forces involved).
2. Analyze the impact of past glacial processes on the geologic deposits and landscape of Chicago, through interpretation of map and field evidence; analyze map evidence to interpret basic topographic, geologic, and hydrologic features and processes of Chicago.
3. Interpret changes to the landscape effected by stream, lake, and coastal processes; predict continuing/ future changes from these forces.
4. Construct the story of Chicago’s geologic history, by correlating information from your own class notes with geologic field and map data.
5. Evaluate the impact of geologic factors on human activities (including water and waste management, storm water and sewage treatment/control, construction, etc.) in Chicago.
6. Apply time management strategies, critical reading and analysis, geologic field interpretation, and writing and presentation skills in researching geologic characteristics of a specific area.
7. Demonstrate additional student outcomes with respect to future planning, academic skills, self-discovery, and transitions, as listed in the Freshman Colloquium Course Matrix.

Course Requirements

w Attendance at all class sessions is expected.  Attendance is part of the course grade. 
w All course requirements must be completed to pass the course. 
w The final date to drop the course, per University policy, is November 7.
w Students are expected to check their e-mail at least every other day to watch for course announcements and updates.
w Students should bring the following to every class meeting: notebook, handouts, pencil and eraser, textbooks, Chicago street map.
w Students are expected to participate in all course assessments.  On some days, you will be asked to complete anonymous "minute papers", ungraded quiz-type questions, concept maps, or survey-type questions.  This information will help me to determine the extent to which the course is meeting its goals.  To provide me with the most information so that I can make the course better, I ask that you give me your most thoughtful, honest feedback-- the more, the better.

Evaluation and Grading Policies

    Attendance and participation:                                                 
    Homework (includes in-class and at-home assignments):     36%         
    Exams (weighted equally):                                                          36%       
    Group Project:                                                                            10%
    Individual Geologic Research:                                               10%

* The grading scale is as follows:  A 100-90%; B 89-80%; C 79-70%; D 69-60%; F 59% and lower.
* Homework assignments will include in-class assignments as well as those done outside of class.
* Late homework assignments will not be accepted
unless there is an approved reason for missing the deadline, and only if I approve the excuse before the assignment is due.
* Make-up exams will be permitted only in a case where there is an approved reason for missing the exam, and only if I approve the excuse before the regularly scheduled exam begins.  Missed exams that are not made up will result in a score of zero for that exam.
* Please note the schedule for the final exam and university policies governing final exams (inside the back cover of the Schedule of Classes.)  No exceptions will be made other than those allowed by this policy.

Academic integrity: 
The NEIU policy on academic misconduct will be strictly enforced.  A site from the University of Indiana explains and gives examples of plagiarism and provides helpful tips on how to avoid it.  Cheating on homework, exams, quizzes, or other course components will result in a score of zero for that assignment or more severe penalties, as described in the NEIU policy.

Flexibility: This outline will change as the semester evolves.  Check this page frequently for updates!

Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

© 2008 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated December 2, 2008.