Chicago's Environmental Geology
Earth Science 109W, Fall 2010
students! Interested in doing paid research next summer?
Check out the USDA-funded TIERRA project.
It's a 10-week, two days/week, summer paid research and mentoring
experience designed for NEIU students just like you!
The outline below will be adjusted daily. Check frequently
Assignments, click the link at left.
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 weekly as the semester progresses.
(Click the date for a list of daily learning objectives!)
Class meeting time: Friday, 10:00 a.m.-1:20 pm
SEP 3 Welcome to NEIU! What is FYE?
What are environmental geology and the Muddy Waters course?
Teamwork, getting to know each other, and the NEIU climbing wall.
Making field observations. Water quality and measuring field
parameters. The Noel Levitz College Student Inventory.
is due by September 8!
Field work: North Branch of the Chicago River,
CPB: Collecting representative samples. Measuring
Keeping scientific records.
Teamwork and the NEIU climbing wall.
Fall Into Fun week starts tomorrow!
Reading assignment: Read this before coming to class today.
Keeping scientific records. Intro to surveying techniques.
Analysis: Colorimetry. Dress for laboratory work and outdoor work today! A reading
assignment is due; click "Reading Assignments" at left for more
The waters of Gompers Park.
samples. Field analysis of Gompers Samples. Bring the
NEIU Catalog to class with you. Dress for
outdoor work today!
Planning your future:
Planning (Bob Binkowski). The Confluence:
Collect Samples. Lab analysis of Gompers Samples.
successful reviewing. Dress for outdoor work today!
OCT 8 Bring the
NEIU Catalog to class with you, if you haven't yet turned it in!
River Park samples. Drinking water standards.
Stream discharge. Discharge
READ: What is it
I'm supposed to do anyhow? (CSS Chapter 5)
Dress for outdoor work
Calculating stream discharge. Stream flow directions, urban
Dress for outdoor work today!
Lake Michigan. Soils--grain size and permeability. Intro to group
projects. READ: Rehearsal and
review Strategies (CSS Chapter 12)
watershed, water budget. The
urban water cycle. Sampling ground water. Planning your future: what is beyond NEIU?
Last day to drop a course.
The urban hydrologic cycle,
continued. Career Planning
(guest speaker from the USEPA). "Field Trip" to the Student Center
for Science Engagement (upstairs!) Gradient, canals, locks, and
NOV 26 Thanksgiving Holiday--no class
Groundwater Analysis/measurements. Work on Group
Projects. READ: Active Learning (CSS Chapter 2). Strategies for successful
essays and objective exams (CSS Chapter 16 & 17).
DEC 10 Group Presentations. Write a letter
to a Muddy Waters student. FYE course evaluations. Sewage
10:00 a.m.-1:20 pm
Sewage Treatment: A
trip to the Stickney plant!
Bring these to every class session.
Strategies", by Sherrie L. Nist-Olejnik and
Jodi Patrick Holschuh, custom edition for NEIU, Pearson Custom Publishing, 2010.
Additional readings: Some
readings will be provided in class or via Blackboard; you must check
this online syllabus to stay updated.
field notebook, pen/pencil,
text, and any handouts or homework papers you might need.
Appropriate attire for the day's activities.
Grading and Evaluation
Attendance at all class sessions is required.
Attendance is part of the course grade. The NEIU policy on class
attendance (see the NEIU Catalog) applies to this course.
In accordance with university policy, less than 75% attendance will
automatically result in a failure for the semester, regardless of your
grade for assignments.
If you absolutely must miss a class, please notify
the instructors in advance, if possible, or as soon thereafter as you
can. To learn what you missed, first check the web page,
and then get notes from at least two classmates.
All course requirements must be completed to pass the
The final date to drop any Fall 2010
course, per University policy, is
Students are expected to check e-mail and the course
website at least every other day to watch for course announcements
NEIU policy on
academic misconduct will be strictly enforced. A
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.
A large part of this course involves
working in small groups. A positive group dynamic depends
on your positive attitude and acceptance of diversity: other group
members will have diverse opinions, individual backgrounds, and work
styles. The ability to work well with others is an important skill
necessary in virtually all careers and in daily life. Whether or
not you have previously been exposed to group work, in this class you
will have the chance to build and enhance these skills--and have some
fun along the way!
Students are expected to participate in
On some days, you will be asked to complete anonymous "minute papers",
ungraded quiz-type questions, concept maps, or survey 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
Attendance and participation:
Assignments (all homework, reports,
field notebooks, and in-class assignments):
* The grading scale is as follows: A 100-90%; B 89-80%; C 79-70%; D 69-60%; F
homework assignments will not be accepted
unless there is an approved reason for missing
* 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.
Flexibility: The schedule of activities will change several times per week as the
semester evolves. Check this page frequently for updates!
completion of this course, you will have demonstrated the ability to do
w work effectively as a team
member to research environmental geology issues of a specific area, in
particular with respect to the scientific investigation of soil and
water, interpreted in the context of Chicago regional geology.
apply a scientific method for geologic field and data interpretation,
utilizing time management strategies, critical reading and analysis, and
written/oral presentation skills in the synthesis and interpretation of
Toward this final goal, successful completion of course elements will
enable you to:
Compile an organized record of data and supporting information from
various sources (field and laboratory experiences, class presentations,
readings, and research), optimized for your individual learning style.
Distinguish changes to the landscape effected by stream, lake, and
coastal processes; critically analyze patterns of change in soil and
bodies of water to predict continuing/ future changes from these forces.
Evaluate the impact of geologic factors on human activities (including
water and waste management, storm water and sewage treatment/control,
construction, etc.) in Chicago, and the effect of human activities on
analyzed parameters of water quality and soil characteristics.
Apply strategies to maximize achievement of your short-term and
long-term academic goals through self-knowledge, successful navigation
of the university environment, and effective planning.
|Chicago's vital bodies
of water--Lake Michigan, Chicago River, and others--interact with the
urban landscape and the soils and rocks of the ground beneath us. These
interactions influence environmental issues in our everyday lives,
"What happens when water goes down the drain?" and
certain areas flood after it rains?" Explore these questions in
the context of Chicago's geology, to evaluate the critical interactions
affecting soil and water contamination, flooding, and our drinking
water. Laboratory analysis of water and soil, collected on local field
trips, will clear the
"muddy water" about how environmental geology
impacts your neighborhood. ESCI 109W meets the
NEIU General Education requirement of a laboratory Natural Science
is supported by the National Science Foundation program
Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences
Department of Earth Science
| Northeastern Illinois University
Copyright 2010 Laura L. Sanders. Last updated
December 10, 2010.
Dr. Ken Voglesonger
Dr. Laura Sanders
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