ESCI 121
Fall 2012
Section 05

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 (Prentice Hall).  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:  1:15-2:55 pm)
(Class meeting time:  1:15-2:55 pm)
AUG 28  Introduction to the study of Earth Science.  Introduction to this course.  Maps. AUG 30  Topographic maps.  Homework #1 is due by 2:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31--that's tomorrow!
SEP 4   Topographic maps, continued.  World map due (Homework #2) Density and Earth materials.  SEP 6  Rock deformation and Earth's internal structure.  Geotectonics: a jigsaw exercise to find large-scale patterns in Earth's surface.   
SEP 11  Geotectonics: finding patterns in geotectonic data.  Continental and oceanic crust.  Density. SEP 13  Geotectonics.  Lithosphere and asthenosphere.  Plate boundaries. 
SEP 18  Plate boundaries, continued.  Rocks and minerals.  Mineral properties and investigation tools.  Mineral properties and classification.  Using a mineral key.  SEP 20  Quiz #1.  Get the review sheet here!
SEP 25  More mineral properties.  Using a mineral identification key.  SEP 27  Minerals, continued.  Rock Your State in-class work.
OCT  2   Minerals practice quiz.  Rock Your State in-class work, cont'd.  Bring a laptop and textbook!      OCT   4   Rock Your State in-class work, cont'd.  Bring a laptop and textbook!  
OCT 9  Igneous rocks and silicate minerals.  Sediments and sedimentary rocks. OCT 11   No class.  (Dr. Sanders will be at the SACNAS Conference in Seattle.) 
OCT 16  Metamorphic rocks.   OCT 18  Quiz #2.  Get the review sheet here!
OCT 23   The Rock Cycle, and putting it all together.  How do they fit into the big picture of global geotectonics?  Intro to Rock Your State Points of Interest project.  OCT 25  Latitude and longitude.  Earthquakes: focus, epicenter.  Creating earthquake maps using the USGS earthquake information site. 
OCT 30  Rock Your State Points of Interest: Poster Presentations!  Earthquakes:  measuring earthquakes, finding epicenters and magnitude.  Using Virtual Earthquake.  NOV 1   Earthquakes, continued:  measuring earthquakes, finding epicenters and magnitude.  Using Virtual Earthquake. 
NOV  6  Earthquake maps in living color!  NOV 8  Quiz #3.  Get the review sheet here! NOV 9 Last day to drop a course.
NOV 13  Weather, climate, weather variables, atmospheric structure, weather maps.  NOV 15  Weather:  Air pressure, air density.  Highs and Lows. 
NOV 20  Humidity, Clouds, Precipitation. NOV 22  Thanksgiving.  No class. 
NOV 27  Fronts, atmospheric circulation, and air masses. NOV 29  Stationary and occluded fronts.  Analyzing weather maps. 
DEC   4 Weather Walk.   DEC  6   The jet stream.  Complete the Weather Walk.  Course evaluations.
DEC 11  Quiz #4.  Note the unusual time!  2:00-3:50 pm.  Get the review sheet here!  Please check right away for conflicts with your other scheduled exams, and contact me before Sept 20 if you find a conflict.  Grades are due at midnight on Dec 17.   

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 4:00-5:00 pm; 7:20-8:20 pm
                      Wednesday 10:50-11:50 a.m
                      Friday 12:30-1:30 pm 
                      or by appointment.

Evaluation and Grading
Assignments Individual and team assignments, both in-class and homework.  Missed or late assignments are subject to the policy described in this syllabus. 52%
In-Class Participation To earn In-Class Participation points, students are expected to participate actively in class activities in a manner that shows respect for other class members and demonstrates effort.  Points also may be awarded for responses to Quick Quizzes (short quizzes meant to test conceptual understanding or specific lab skills). 16%
Quizzes Quizzes will include hands-on lab-based questions and/or conceptual questions. 32%

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.

w In the case of group assignments, all students in the group are responsible for contributing to the final product.

w  Individual participation in group assignments will in some cases be evaluated by team members using a Team Citizenship Evaluation form.

In-class assignments cannot be made up.

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 weatwher 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 2012 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated December 3, 2012.