GEOS 110: Earth and the Environment

GEOS 110: Earth and the Environment
MWF 10:20-11:20, Julian 222 • Thursday 1:40-3:30, Julian 222 (lab)
Professor: Dr. Tim Cope
Office: 210 Julian • Phone: 658-6443 • email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Wednesday 1:00-4:00 pm or by appointment
Course Text: Essentials of Geology (4th Edition) by S. Marshak.
Lab Materials: There is a $15 lab fee that covers lab materials for the class. This fee will be assessed to your student
account after the adjustment period.
This course is an overview of what we know about the Earth and how we know it. The content of the course is largely
geology (the study of the Earth), which also involves aspects of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. By the end
of this class, you should be able to more objectively evaluate issues involving science and public policy, understand how
geologic processes and hazards affect the world around you, and gain a better appreciation for how human civilization is
dependent upon (or at the mercy of) the environment. My hope is that every non-science student will finish the semester
with a better understanding of how scientific inquiry works. The class is designed to give you knowledge in lecture
sessions (50% of grade, including exams) and experience in the laboratory (50% of grade, including exams).
The lecture component of this course will be conducted largely using PowerPoint. My PowerPoint presentations are
available on Moodle ( for your use as a study aid. If you so desire, you may print these out (4 or 6 to
a page works best) and bring them to my lectures to take notes on (but NOT as a substitute for good notes). Please note
that there are animations included with my lectures that may not work in Moodle. I reserve the right to make changes to
the PowerPoint presentations up to the morning of the lecture.
Lecture exams will cover material covered in lecture AND in the reading. It is therefore important to keep up with both, as
some topics may be emphasized more in lecture than in the book, or vice versa. You are required to know everything in
both. If there is material that you are confused about in the book that I have not gone over in lecture, feel free to ask me
for clarification. In addition, you are encouraged to ASK QUESTIONS about anything you do not understand during
It is your responsibility to attend every lecture session. If you miss a class, get the notes from someone that you trust. I
strongly advise you to miss as few sessions as possible. There tends to be a strong positive correlation between grades and
attendance in this course. Excessive unexcused absences may result in the student being dropped from the course (note the
attendance policy in the Academic Handbook).
Ideas and theories from the book/lecture will be applied during lab exercises and associated homework. In addition to lab
assignments, there will be two quizzes and a lab final to specifically test the information covered in the labs.
The natural world is the geoscientist’s laboratory. We will utilize this “laboratory” during several field trips, the dates of
which are indicated on the attached schedule. Please dress accordingly!! Field trips will be rescheduled only due to
extreme weather. Lab exercises are due the day of the lab unless otherwise noted.
I will also be assigning several short homeworks during the semester. These may be problem sets, short writing
assignments, or data mining exercises.
Turn in all labs and homeworks. Failure to turn in two or more lab exercises/homeworks will result in an “F” for the
course regardless of performance in other parts of the course.
There will be two one-hour, in-class examinations and a 3-hour final exam. Dates for these exams are noted on the
attached course schedule. Exceptions will be made only for documented emergencies. The final exam will be given on the
date shown and will be comprehensive (including lab content). The final exam must be taken at this date and time; no
exceptions can be made.
Grades will be based on your performance according to the following. There is no curve.
One-hour exams (2):
Final Exam (Cumulative):
Lab assignments/Homeworks:
Lab Quizzes (2):
Lab Final:
Grading scale:
‘Q’ Certification:
In order to obtain a Q for this course, you must:
1) Average 75% on the combined lab assignments, homeworks, and lab quizzes; AND
2) Receive a course grade of C- (70%) or better.
It is your responsibility to approach me with any problems you may be having in the class. If you are not doing as well as
you had hoped or expected, or if there are extenuating circumstances that are affecting your performance in this course,
PLEASE talk to me about it.
Information for students with disabilities:
DePauw University is committed to providing equal access to academic programs and university administered activities
with reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and
Amendments (ADAAA).
Any student who feels she or he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability or learning challenge is
encouraged to contact Pamela Roberts, Coordinator of Student Disability Services for further information on how to
receive accommodations and support. Student Disability Services is located at 101 E. Seminary St., 765-658-6267.
Academic dishonesty:
Any act that places a student in unfair advantage with respect to the rest of the class will be treated according to the
University policies outlined in the Student Handbook.
Earth and the Environment Schedule
Field trip dates may be revised depending on weather. The dates of exams and quizzes are subject to change only with
unanimous consent of the class. Please bring your laptops to every lab session (except field trips, when you should bring a
notebook and pencil).
Week of Lecture Topic
Lab Schedule
Chapter 1;
Interlude D
Mineral identification
Feb 3-7 Plate tectonics
Chapter 2
Mineral identification
Feb 10-14 Plate tectonics
Chapter 2
LAB QUIZ 1 (Minerals)
Feb 17-21 Minerals and rock groups
Chapter 3;
Interludes A & C
Rock identification
Feb 24-28 Igneous processes and rocks
Chapter 4
Rock identification
Jan 27-31 Introduction; Earth interior
Mar 3-7 Volcanoes and volcanic hazards
Chapter 5
Assessing climate change
Mar 10-14 Sedimentary processes and rocks
Chapter 6,
Interlude B
LAB QUIZ 2 (Rocks)
Mar 17-21 Metamorphic processes and rocks
Chapter 7
Measuring the Earth with a GPS
Mar 31-Apr4 Earthquakes, faults and folds
Apr 7-11 Geologic time
Chapters 8 & 9
Topographic and Geologic Maps
Chapter 10,
Interlude E
Apr 14-18 Geologic resources
Chapter 12
Big Walnut Creek streamflow
*Field Trip Lab* (1-4 pm)
Apr 21-25 Rivers and floods
Chapter 14,
Interlude F
Big Walnut Creek (cont’d)
Chapter 16
Shades State Park
*Field Trip Lab* (1-4 pm)
Chapter 18
LAB FINAL EXAM (cumulative)
Apr 28-May 2 Groundwater
May 5-8 Glaciers and Climate
FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, May 13, 8:30-11:30 am