Department of Earth Science |Northeastern Illinois University


ESCI 121
Fall 2008
Section 05

Schedule of Activities


Instructor Contact Information:

Dr. Laura L. Sanders             
        Phone:      773/442-6051                       
        E-Mail:     L-Sanders (at)
 Look for me first within the Earth Science Department area, from S-114 through S-130.  Then try S-225H.
        Office Hours:   T 1:30-2:50 pm; T 7:20-9:45 pm; R 1:30-2:45 pm                     
Class meeting times: 3:50-5:30 pm, Tuesday and Thursday:

Course Prerequisite: MATH 102 (Intermediate Algebra)
Course Website:
No single textbook is required.  However, each student should have access to a general geology textbook (or physical geology textbook) published by a scientific publisher in the last 8 years.  One example is Tarbuck and Lutgens, Earth Science, 11th edition (Prentice Hall, 2006).  Other readings will be provided or will be posted on the web. 


* 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  Introduction to the study of Earth Science.  Pre-course assessments.       AUG 28  Earth's internal structure.  Density.  World map due.
SEP   2  Large-scale patterns in Earth's surface.  World map /geotectonics research due.  SEP 4  Geotectonics. 
SEP   9  Geotectonics.  Mineral properties and tools.  Rock Your State due. SEP 11  Mineral properties and classification.  Mineral key due.
SEP 16  Rock key due.  Mineral properties and classification; rocks.    SEP 18  Exam #1.  Get the review sheet here!
SEP 23 Sedimentary minerals and rocks.  SEP 25  Sedimentary Minerals and Rocks, cont'd.
SEP 30 Metamorphic minerals and rocks.  OCT   2  Metamorphic minerals and rocks, cont'd.   
OCT   7  The Rock Cycle.  Get to Know a Volcano! due.  OCT   9  Revisiting "Rock Your State!" and geotectonics.
OCT 14  Exam #2.  Get the review sheet here! OCT 16  Volcanoes.  Maps, latitude and longitude. 
OCT 21  Volcanoes.  OCT 23  Earthquakes.  Earthquake maps in living color! due. 
OCT 28  Measuring earthquakes; finding the epicenter; tsunamis. OCT 30  EQs and Plate Boundaries.
NOV  4  Topographic maps. NOV  6  Exam #3.  Get the review sheet here!
NOV 11  Topographic maps, continued.  Streams.  NOV 13  Topographic maps, continued.  Streams. 
NOV 18  Streams and flooding. NOV 20  Stream patterns.  Stream table.  Ground water model, mapping.   Stream data due.
NOV 25  Analyzing stream graphs. NOV 27  Thanksgiving Holiday; no class. 
DEC   2  Analyzing stream graphs, contd.  Weather: fronts and forecasting.  DEC  4  Geologic time scales.  Presentation due.

DEC 9  Exam  Section 05: 4:00-5:50 pm  Note the unusual time!  Exam #4.  Please check right away to see if this conflicts with any other of your scheduled exams, and contact me before September 2 if you find a conflict. 
Section 06 6:00-7:50 pm
Get the review sheet here!


Course Goals: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to

*   Use real-time data from publicly-accessible scientific monitoring stations to analyze Earth processes.
*   Describe the processes involved in geotectonics and tell how they relate to geologic phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, continental movements, and the development of landscapes.
*   Explain the relationships between atoms, compounds, minerals, and rocks.
*   Use the techniques and tools of mineral and rock identification. 
*   Describe the rock cycle and the processes involved in the cycle.
*   Describe the geologic time scale and explain how relative and absolute age dating are used.
*   Use topographic maps and geologic maps.
*   Describe the hydrologic cycle and the processes involved in the cycle.
*   Use weather maps to predict the weather.

Course Requirements Attendance at all class sessions is expected.  Students who do not attend regularly will not be given the benefit of the doubt in cases of borderline grades and may be downgraded to a lower grade at the instructor's discretion if absences are excessive.  All course requirements must be completed to pass the course.  The final date to drop the course, per University policy, is November 7.

Students are expected to check their e-mail at least every other day to watch for course announcements and updates.

Students should bring the following to every class meeting: notebook, handouts, pencil and eraser.  Also bring your textbook if possible.

Students are expected to participate in all course assessment
s.  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.

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!

Evaluation and Grading
    Homework (includes in-class and at-home assignments):   32%         
    Four exams (weighted equally):                                               68%         

* 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.
Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

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