ESCI 121
Fall 2011
Section 06

Course Syllabus

w The outline of topics will be updated several times each week.  Check frequently for changes!  

w Complete the readings before class on the day shown.

w For daily learning objectives, click the date.  Links will be added daily as the semester progresses.

w Text:  No specific textbook is required.  However, each student must have a general geology textbook (or physical geology textbook) published by a scientific or academic publisher in the last 8 years.  One example is Tarbuck and Lutgens, Earth Science, 11th edition (Prentice Hall, 2006).  Other readings will be provided, posted on the web, or posted on the class wiki.

CLASS ACTIVITIES  (Click the date for a list of daily learning objectives!)

(Class meeting time:  5:40-7:20 pm)
(Class meeting time:  5:40-7:20 pm)
AUG 30  Introduction to the study of Earth Science. SEP 1  Using our class wiki.    Weather:  wind directions.  World map due (Homework #1)Homework #2 is due by 2:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2--that's tomorrow!
SEP 6   Geotectonics: a jigsaw exercise to find large-scale patterns in Earth's surface.  Geotectonics research due (Homework #3).   SEP 8  Rock deformation and Earth's internal structure. Complete the jigsaw:  Peer review.  Get ready for Rock Your State!  
SEP 13  Density. Geotectonics: continental and oceanic plates and boundaries.  SEP 15  Geotectonics.  Rocks and minerals.  Mineral properties and investigation tools.  Homework #4 "Rock Your State!" is due.
SEP 20  Mineral properties and classification.  Using a mineral key.  SEP 22  Exam #1. 
SEP 27  More mineral properties.  Using a mineral identification key.  Weather:  Air masses.  SEP 29  Rock Your State in-class work.  Bring a laptop and textbook.
OCT  4   Rock Your State in-class work, cont'd.  Igneous rocks and silicate minerals. OCT   6   Igneous rocks, continued. 
OCT 11  Sediments and sedimentary rocks. OCT 13   Metamorphic rocks. 
OCT 18   Exam #2. OCT 20  The Rock Cycle, and putting it all together.  How do they fit into the big picture of global geotectonics.  Intro to Rock Your State Geologic Point of Interest. 
OCT 25  Maps, latitude and longitude.  Earthquakes: focus, epicenter, and measuring earthquakes.  OCT 27  No class.  (Dr. Sanders will be at the SACNAS Conference in California.)   
NOV  1  Rock Your State Points of Interest.  Creating earthquake maps using the USGS earthquake information site.  NOV  3   Finding the epicenter of an earthquake.  Using Virtual Earthquake.  Latitude and longitude, continued.
NOV  8  Earthquake maps in living color!  NOV 10  Exam #3.  Assignment #7 is due. NOV 11  Last day to drop a course.
NOV 15  See the assignments page for the One-Week Weather Watch assignment.  Reading topographic maps.  NOV 17  Weather:  Highs and Lows.  Topographic maps and streams.
NOV 22  Topo maps and streams, continued.  NOV 24  Thanksgiving.  No class. 
NOV 29  Topographic maps and streams.  One-Week Weather Watch assignment is due today!   DEC  1  Analyzing weather maps.  Clouds, precipitation, and fronts.
DEC   6  Weather:  fronts, pressure, and precipitation.  Weather Walk.   DEC  8  Weather: highs, lows, and forecasting.  Course evaluations.
DEC 13  Exam #4.  Note the unusual time!  6:00-7:50 pm.  Please check right away for conflicts with your other scheduled exams, and contact me before Sept 20 if you find a conflict.  

Instructor:  Dr. Laura L. Sanders (website)
E-Mail (the fastest way to reach me!):     L-Sanders (at) neiu (dot) edu
Voice messages may be left at this number:  773/442-6051

Office:  During office hours and in general, you can find me in S-130/132. 
            Mail may be left for me in the envelope on the door to S-130.

Office Hours: 
Tuesday 12:00-1:00 pm; 7:20-7:50 pm
                      Wednesday 11:00 a.m.-12:00 pm; 2:00-3:00 pm
                      Thursday 12:00-1:00 pm; 7:20-7:50 pm
                      or by appointment.

Evaluation and Grading
Homework (approximately 8 assignments; missed or late assignments are subject to the policy described in this syllabus)  24 %
In-Class Work (missed assignments cannot be made up.  In-class work is generally graded credit/half credit/no credit)    8 %
Four exams (weighted equally, 17% each)  68 % 

Grading Scale:   A 100-90%; B 89-80%; C 79-70%; D 69-60%; F 59% and lower.

w Attendance at all class sessions is expected.  The NEIU policy on class attendance, published in the NEIU catalog, applies to this course.  Frequent in-class assignments will be given, and they cannot be made up. 

w All course requirements must be completed to pass the course. 

w Students should check e-mail at least every two days to watch for course announcements and updates.

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.

w Make-up exams will be permitted only in a case where there is an approved reason for missing the exam, and 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.

w 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.

w The official gradebook will be kept by the instructor.  Please check your scores periodically and let the instructor know of any concerns.

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

w Cell phones should be off or set to silent mode in the classroom.  Do not answer your phone in class; to do so is disruptive.   

w During exams, quizzes, and closed book assignments in class, you may not use any electronic devices, nor may you send or receive any messages.

w Please participate in all course assessments:
anonymous "minute papers", ungraded quiz-type questions, concept maps, or survey-type questions.  This information will help me determine the extent to which the course is meeting its goals.  To provide the most information so that I can improve the course, I ask that you give your most thoughtful, honest feedback--the more, the better.

w 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: This outline will change as the semester evolves.  Check this page frequently for updates!
COURSE DESCRIPTION  (From the NEIU catalog.)
Introduction to Earth Science, 3 cr.  Basic concepts of geology, meteorology, oceanography, and the solar system.  Discussion of topics of current interest in the earth sciences.  Laboratory involves the study of minerals, rocks, maps, and weather instruments. Lecture 2 hours, lab 2 hours.  Course Prerequisite: MATH 102 (Intermediate Algebra).  This course satisfies the General Education Program Natural Science Laboratory requirement.
COURSE GOALS:  Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to
w 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.
Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

Copyright 2011 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated December 8, 2011.