GY510 Concepts in Earth Science F16

11665 Section 001 WWW 3 semester hours

Instructor: Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
Office: 205 Martin Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
by Blackboard IM or e-mail or WWW by appointment in the virtual classroom or AOL IM
E-mail addresses: and
Telephone: (256) 782-8063 [please, contact me by e-mail]

Course Description: Selected topics in earth science such as atmosphere systems and processes, climatology, landform development, soils and biogeography. See instructor for specific topics(s) each term. (May be used in the general science and social science teaching fields with a major in secondary education.) TOPIC: Earth Science for Education and Safety.

Texts: Tarbuck. Edward J.; Lutgens, Frederick K.; Tasa, Dennis, Earth Science Prentice Hall, 13th edition, 2012, 978-0-321-68850-7 M. H. Hill, Lab Manual for Robert E. Gabler, James F. Petersen, L. Michael Trapasso, and Dorothy Sack's Physical Geography 10th ed., Belmont, CA: Thomson-Brooks/Cole. 978-1-111-57226-6

Denecke, Edward J., Jr., Let's Review Earth Science: The Physical Setting Barrons's Educational Series, 4th Hauppauge, NY: Barron's, 2012, 978-0-7641-4718-0

Other resources: A web cam and MS Office 2007 (or newer) are required. If you have not discovered the reference capabilities of this software, you need to do so. File exchanges will be in .pptx and .docx formats using Turabian format as defined by Microsoft. Write discussion board posts in Word and then copy and paste them into Blackboard.

Learning Outcomes: The student will be able to:
1. Define basic terminology in the earth sciences.
2. Describe the processes and forces acting at the earth's surface.
3. Discuss how earth processes and forces impact humans living on earth.
4. Discuss how the environment of the earth has changed through time.
5. Apply the concepts of earth science to their lives and livelihood.

Note: All materials presented in this class are done so with educational goals in mind and are not intended to cause distress of any nature. Please be aware that controversial materials, theories, exhibits, etc. will be presented in this class. If you are unwilling or unable to view these presentations in the educational light in which they are presented, then you need to reconsider your enrollment in this class.

Class homepage: The class homepage will be at and linked to Dr. Hill's homepage at This syllabus will also be linked to the class homepage.

Mandatory Assignments: All students will be required to complete a required post-test. This is limited to one attempt. Failure to complete this assignment will reduce the final examination grade.

Grading: Weekly review questions will count for 664 points; bonus points are awarded for exceptional contributions. The final exam will count for 336 points. Exceptional work and additional questions and activities will provide bonus point opportunities. Scores exceeding 100% are applied. Grading will be based on a total of 1000 points with A = 900 to 1000, B = 899.9 to 800, C = 799.9 to 700, F = 0 to 699.9. All work is submitted through Blackboard. Late assignments may not receive credit.

Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty is defined to include any form of cheating or plagiarism. A discussion of the topic is set forth in the student handbook. Working and studying with classmates are beneficial and to be encouraged. Copying work is not to be confused with comparing work and discussing similarities and differences. You are responsible for both understanding answers submitted and the completion of the materials. The material in this course is important not just for your grade but also for your future profession.

Citation of Sources: All sources for all assignments and posts must be properly credited. Work containing copyright violation or plagiarism will be rejected. Use Turabian format AS DEFINED by Microsoft Word 2007(+) for the documentation format. Entering the requested information correctly into the software with the Turabian setting will automatically generate the correctly formated information. Emphasis will be on entering the required information as indicated by MS Word 2007(+).

Weekly Review Questions: Weekly review questions ask that you discuss the topics that are central to the weekly theme. Document your work when individual sources are referenced, but the discussion should be derived from your compiled knowledge of the topics and written in your own words. If it is wrong and undocumented, penalties will be incurred. Documented errors offer some protection, except, when correct information is presented by the course materials. Most students in this class are either education majors or other professionals who will need to be able to understand and to talk professionally about these topics. Thus, the essays focus on being able to explain key concepts to document your understanding of these issues. Keep in mind that the purpose of these questions is to build your knowledge about the topics. Rote copying of content does not promote retention. Use these assignments as preparation for your graduate comprehensive examination where without resources you will need to explain the important fundamental concepts of the topic.

Final examination: The final examination will contain multiple choice questions on lecture and laboratory content. It may be taken three times and the highest officially recorded score will count. This exam is timed and open book. Keep in mind, however, that your graduate comprehensive exam is closed book.

Reading Assignments: Use the attached schedule to read the chapters in the text and work through the materials as indicated. Chapters are not followed sequentially.

Lab Work and Class Goals As a graduate seminar, it should be assumed that the students are here to study and to digest the course content for their future professional strengths. Although we will emphasize teaching and education and not everyone in the class is an education major, all jobs involve some education. This is particularly true in EM or in GIS, fields working with and for the public. Thus, understanding the material and exploring how to get others to better understand it will constitute an important skill set. As a graduate seminar, this course has a lot of reading and hands on requirements. The content itself is nothing more that of a good solid freshman introductory course, however, the emphasis here is really on your ability to use, apply, and discuss that content. A seminar is about discussion, and in that we are not meeting in the classroom, you must respond in Blackboard. That may be time consuming and tedious, but it is the nature of a real graduate seminar. Consider what you write as an aid to helping you study for your comprehensive examinations. What will you want to remember? What will you and your classmates need to know and to understand? The laboratory work is part of the content. What you take away from this class will clearly reflect what you put into it. It is a grand buffet, and while you won't consume all of the calories, we can share the richness of the offerings and enjoy the conversations.

Graduate Comprehensive Examination: For those graduate students who will be taking comprehensive examinations in order to complete their degree programs, sample comprehensive examination questions are posted in Blackboard. You are advised to archive all course materials, including these questions and the discussion boards in order to enable yourself to prepare as your "comps" approach. The Blackboard course will likely no longer be available. The time to begin your preparation is as you start the course.

Blackboard IM: You are expected to install Blackboard IM and be able to use the full functionality.

Class membership: Class members are expected to answer and ask questions, be involved in activities, and to facilitate an educational academic atmosphere. Proper attitude and behavior are expected. At all times presence should facilitate a smooth flow of intellectual ideas, knowledge, and intelligent discussion. Failure to contribute or promote this important goal will risk grade penalties.

E-mail contacts: Blackboard uses GEM (JSU e-mail system) for all contacts. If this is not your primary e-mail, place a forward on that account, and test it to be sure that it is functional.

Making Contact: When e-mailing the professor, provide detailed information. Identify yourself, the course, the level, and the specific assignment. This will facilitate a more rapid and accurate response.

Notice: This syllabus is in no way binding. All information is subject to change. Any changes made by the instructor will be announced to the class through emails or posting to the Announcements area.

Disabilities: According to Public Law 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Jacksonville State University will provide reasonable access and appropriate accommodations for otherwise qualified disabled students. If you need such access or accommodations, please consult with Disability Support Services and your professor immediately. Where extended testing sessions are allocated, if additional time is needed, e-mail the professor. Allow for e-mail response time prior to deadlines. By clicking on the ! or grade, both student and faculty can view these reports and verify completion within the appropriate time limits.

Questions or problems: Please contact the professor. Asking questions is an extremely important part of the learning process. Expect that I will ask you questions to ascertain what you understand so I can begin the answer from that point.

Class Schedule: Use the outline provided to complete the assigned readings and assignments BEFORE the designated dates.

GY510 Concepts in Earth Science Syllabus* F16

August 23-29 1 Introduction 1 1, Sci. Method, & 3 v-x, 729-766
August 30-Sept. 5 2 Earth and Space 21, 22, 23, 24, pg. 467-472 6 ch 1-9
Sept. 6-12 3 Rocks and Minerals 2, 3 17 14, 15
Sept. 13-19 4 Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes 7, 8, 9 4, 5, and 18 16, 18
Sept. 20-26 5 Geologic Structures 10 19 17
Sept. 27-Oct. 3 6 Earth Materials and History 11, 12 Fossils 10, 13
Oct. 4-10 7 Weathering, Soil, and Mass Wasting (midterm) 4 16, 20 19
Oct. 11-17 8 Fluvial Processes and Ground Water 5 21, 22 12
Oct. 18-24 9 Glaciers, Deserts, and Wind 6 23, 24 20
Oct. 25-31 10 Oceans and Coastlines 13, 14, 15 25 21
Nov. 1-7 11 Atmosphere 16, 17 7, 8, and 9 11, 22
Nov. 8-14 12 Weather Systems 18, 19 10 and 11 23
Nov. 15-28 13 Climate and Climate Change 20 12 24, 729-766

*Any major changes to this schedule will be announced. No grades will be posted or available from the professor by telephone. All grades are final at 11:55 p.m. Central Time (time at JSU) on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.