Photo Credit:  Mike Gustafson
Northeastern Illinois University
Department of Earth Science


Required Texts
w CSS:  "College Success Strategies", by Sherrie L. Nist-Olejnik and Jodi Patrick Holschuh, custom edition for NEIU, Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009.

w ISGS:  "Chicagoland: Geology and the Making of a Metropolis", by Michael Chrzastowski.  Field excursion for the 2005 annual meeting of the Association of American State Geologists, June 15, 2005.  Illinois State Geologic Survey, OFS 2005-9.  This document is not available at the bookstore; more information will be provided in class.

w Web:  Some web readings will be assigned; details will be provided as needed.
Required Materials:  Bring these to every class session. Thornton Quarry and Interstate 94 (Illinois State Geological Survey photo)
Interstate 94 spans part of the Thornton Quarry south of Chicago
Illinois State Geological Survey
  w  Chicago-area street map: You will need a commercially-printed street map of Chicago.  It should show the entire city of Chicago, and at least some of the surrounding suburbs.  Chicago-area street maps can be found at grocery stores, drug stores, bookstores, auto clubs, and many other sites.  You will be asked to hand in your map as a homework assignment. 

w  NEIU planner (calendar)

w  Your notebook, pen/pencil, and texts, as well as any handouts or homework papers you might need.


Chicago Rocks! students study NEIU campus rocks.

w The outline below will be adjusted daily.  Check frequently for updates!  

Reading assignments are from "College Success Strategies" (CSS) unless otherwise noted.  Complete readings before class on the day shown.

The homework page gives other assignments.

Field trips are required class activities.  You must be present and dressed appropriately for the weather.

For daily learning objectives, click the date.  Links will be added as the semester progresses.
Week Tuesday Thursday
1 JAN 12  Welcome to NEIU!  What is geology?  What is FYE?  What is Earth Science 109?    JAN 14  Re-Thinking Resources.  CSS:  Chapter 1.  Bring your planner.  An assignment is due today!
2 JAN 19  One science, many approaches--appreciating a diversity of ideas.  Rock your world: Earth materials.  CSS:  Chapter 6.  Read the web page found at this link; also click links and read the "Related Pages".  Bring a rock to class with you today!   JAN 21  The whole Earth rocks!  What geologic processes are responsible?  Set up your planner.  Carved in stone: keeping scientific records.  CSS:  Chapters 9-10.  An assignment is due today!  Wear shoes that can get wet and muddy!
3 JAN 26 Keeping scientific records, continued.  CSS:  Chapter 3.  An assignment is due today!  JAN 28  Map your world: tools of the geologist.  CSS: Chapters 11 and 15.  Two assignments are due today!  Wear warm clothes; we'll be out on the grass again!
4 FEB   2  Geologic processes, continued.  FEB 4  Planning your future: making an academic plan.  Chicago weather and weathering: when rocks go to pieces.  CSS:  Chapter 5.  Strategies for successful reviewing.  Bring the NEIU Catalog to class with you! 
5 FEB  9  Topographic maps, continued.  Strategies for successful test-taking.  CSS:  Chapters 16 and 17.  Teamwork and goal-setting.  FEB  11  Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Teamwork ChallengesMeet at the gym today!  See the course home page, and click "Announcements" for details! 
6 FEB 16  Exam #1.  A review sheet is posted here! FEB 18  Maps, maps, maps! 
7 FEB 23  "As the worm turns," part I.  Correlating maps.  CSS:  Chapter 12.  FEB 25  "As the worm (slug?) turns," part 2.  Putting together the pieces: intro to the term project and teams.  CSS:  Chapter 8.  An assignment is due today! 
8 MAR  2  Making much of maps:  Putting the information together.  CSS: Chapter 2.  An assignment is due today! MAR  4  A mile of ice...and tons of gravel:  The glacial imprint on Chicago.  An assignment is due today!
9 MAR  9  A Landscape Mosaic of Chicagoland.  What's inside a hill: Geology of landforms.  MAR  11  Slope, relief, and the glacial legacy. 
10 MAR 16  Glacial Chicago and the sluiceway.  Using the USGS Map Locator MAR 18  Geological observations in the field.  Rocks from around the world--in NEIU's back yard. 
12 MAR  30  The glacial sluiceway.  Planning your future: what is beyond NEIU?  APR  1  Exam #2.  A review sheet is posted here! APR  2  Last day to drop a course.
13 APR  6  The lake plain and the Zion beach-ridge plain.  CSS:  Chapter 7.  An assignment is due today! APR  8  What's a watershed?  Intermorainal areas.  Geologic research and critical thinking.  Team planning.  What's a watershed?  CSS:  Chapter 7.
14 APR  13  Field Trip!  (weather permitting): The Bohemian National Cemetery.    APR 15  The Zion Beach-Ridge Plain.  Intermorainal areas and streams.
15 APR 20  Measuring stream gradient from topo maps.  Stream gradients.  Chicago's waterfall. APR 22  Field trip!  Watch the Announcements page for more info.  The Gompers Park Wetland: Solving an Urban Problem with Nature.  An assignment is due today!
16 APR 27  The story of Chicago's geology.  An assignment is due today!  APR 29  Piecing together our geologic past.  Course evaluations.

MAY 4  Section 01 only:  Team projects due; final exercise.   8:00-9:50 a.m.  Note the unusual time!  Please check right away to see if this conflicts with any other of your scheduled exams, and contact the instructors before January 18 if you find a conflict.  No class--this is Exam Week!  Check the class schedule to see if you might have an exam this day in one of your other classes. 

 A review sheet is posted here!

Section 02 only:  Because this is exam week, you do not have class today!

MAY  6  Section 02 only:  Team projects due; final exercise.  10:00-11:50 a.m.  Note the unusual time!  Please check right away to see if this conflicts with any other of your scheduled exams, and contact the instructors before January 18 if you find a conflict.  No class--this is Exam Week!  Check the class schedule to see if you might have an exam this day in one of your other classes.

A review sheet is posted here!
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 April 2.
w Students are expected to check their e-mail and the course website at least every other day to watch for course announcements and updates.
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 the instructors determine the extent to which the course is meeting its goals.  To help make the course better, please give your most thoughtful, honest feedback--the more, the better.

Evaluation and Grading Policies

    Attendance and participation:                                                        10
    Assignments (includes in-class assignments and homework):             40%         
    Exams (two, equally weighted)                                                      30%
    Final Exercise
    Group Project:                                                                                10%

* The grading scale is as follows:  A 100-90%; B 89-80%; C 79-70%; D 69-60%; F 59% and lower.
* Late homework assignments will not be accepted
unless there is an approved reason for missing the deadline.
* Make-up exams will be permitted only in a case where there is an approved reason for missing the exam.  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 Indiana University  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: The schedule of activities will change several times per week as the semester evolves.  Check this page frequently for updates!

The web address (URL) for this page is

Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

Copyright 2010 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated May 2, 2010.