GEOL 1030 – Introduction to Earth Science

Dr. Warner Cribb
KOM 322A
Office Hours:  MW 10:00 - 12:00, TR 12:00 - 1:30
or by appointment

SPRING 2012 COURSE SCHEDULE/ASSIGNMENTS - Be sure to check this schedule at least once per week.

Course Learning Outcomes:

After successful completion of this course, students will achieve the following learning outcomes:

1. Identify and describe common rock-forming minerals
Identify and describe common igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and their formation
Use seismic data to locate an earthquake epicenter and determine its magnitude
Use seismic data to identify and describe the structure of Earth’s interior
Identify and describe plate tectonic processes and their effects on Earth’s internal and external characteristics
Describe how magmas form, major volcanic eruptions and landforms, commonly erupted volcanic products, and intrusive landforms
Use basic principles of relative and radiometric dating to reconstruct a region’s geologic history
Describe the geologic time scale, how our physical world assumed its present form, and how Earth’s inhabitants changed through time.
Describe the major physiographic features, chemical characteristics, and surface processes of the oceans
Describe the composition, structure and heating of the atmosphere
Describe the formation of clouds, precipitation, weather patterns, storms, air pressure and wind.

 Required Text

Earth Science, E.J. Tarbuck and F.K. Lutgens, Prentice Hall, 13th edition /2012, ISBN 9780321767271

Important! All students must purchase a copy of the text which includes an access code to the online course support site, Mastering Geology. These texts are sold in shrink-wrap in the MTSU bookstore. Texts that are not shrink-wrapped DO NOT contain a Mastering Geology access code.

All students with used copies of the text, or previous editions, are required to purchase a Mastering Geology  access code ($42.90).

An electronic version of the course text which includes access to Mastering Geology may be purchased together for $78.00 through Mastering Geology ( Access to the text expires at the end of the semester and, of course, the electronic text cannot be sold back to the bookstore.

In addition to an access code, you will need the following Matering Geology course ID in order to complete course assignments: GEOL1030CRIBB1. You may also need the MTSU postal zip code: 37132.

Laboratory Requirement (GEOL 1031)

All students registered for GEOL 1030 are required to register for the laboratory component of the course, GEOL 1031. The only exception to this rule is for students who have previously passed GEOL 1031, but not GEOL 1030.  Your lab instructor will tell you what supplies and whether the lab manual are required for the lab.

Attendance and Class Expectations:

All students are expected to attend every class period and complete all course assignments. Class attendance is taken on an unannounced basis. I am required to report students who stop attending class to the MTSU Records Office as 'no longer attending' on university Unofficial Withdrawal Rosters.

Any student who thinks he/she is sick is asked not to come to class to avoid passing the illness to others in the campus community. All assignments/notes/powerpoint presentationss, etc are posted online to allow students who miss class due to illness to catch up. You may also use the D2L discussion board and D2L chat room to communicate with classmates or the instructor about material you miss in class. The missed test policy is explained below under 'Missed Test and Course Withdrawal Policy.'

All students are expected to:

1) Check the course schedule
before each class. (All assignments, lecture outlines, test information, etc. are  always  posted on the course schedule.)
2) Read the posted text assignments and print out posted lecture notes/study questions.
3) Bring posted lecture notes to class and complete all assigned homework and study questions prior to each test.


4 tests  = 15% each
Mastering Geology and other homework assignments = 40%

All test dates are posted on the course schedule and D2L homepage. All Mastering Geology homework dates are listed on the home page.

Late homework assignments are not accepted.

Test #4 is given during the final exam period, but is not a cumulative final exam.

The lowest test grade is not dropped.

Extra credit assignments may be offered to the entire class. Individual student extra credit assignments are not offered.

The class average on each test is curved upward to 75%, if necessary.  The class average is calculated using grades of all students in all GEOL 1030 sections taught by the instructor who take each test. Students who do not take a test and therefore receive a grade of 0% are not included in calculation of the class average.

Letter grade assignment:

90 – 100% = A; 85 – 89% = B+; 80 – 84% = B; 75 – 79% = C+; 70 – 74% = C; 65 – 69% = D+; 60 – 64% = D; < 60% = F

Separate grades are posted for GEOL 1030 (lecture, 3 credit hours) and GEOL 1031 (lab, 1 credit hour). Lab grades are not included in the calculation of final grades for this course.

Missed Test and Course Withdrawal Policy

Make-up tests are not given, unless absence is due to participation in a university-approved athletic or academic event. Students who will miss a test for either of these reasons must personally notify the instructor in writing at least two weeks prior to the regularly test date in order to schedule a make-up date and time.

All students are required to take all tests. In the case that a student misses a mid-semester test due to serious illness or family emergency, that grade may be calculated as the average of remaining four completed  test grades. Students who miss a mid-semester test due to either serious illness or a family emergency must notify the instructor within 24 hours of the test date and provide valid written documentation of the illness and/or emergency (doctor's note, obituary, etc.). It is solely the discretion of the instructor as to whether the grade will be calculated as the average of the remaining four test grades. Alternatively, a 0% will be assigned for the missed test.

Any student who does not take more than one test for any reason(s) will receive an automatic F for the course.

A grade of W cannot be given after the ‘last day to withdraw’ as published on the MTSU academic calendar, unless the student is withdrawing from all classes in which he/she is registered through the University Withdrawal Office.

Test Format

Many test questions (75 - 100 multiple choice/short answer per test) are taken or modified from Mastering Geology homework questions, posted lecture note study questions,  online D2L quizzes, and GEODe CD-ROM self-study quizzes.

Homework and class exercises may be assigned as a partial test requirements.

Copies of old tests are available for study in the instructor's office.

Students must take tests in class at designated times unless prior arrangements are made with the professor.

Students must abide by all MTSU policies regarding academic integrity. Students must complete all tests without assistance from any other person, written notes or electronic device. All tests are ‘closed book’.

Eligible students may take tests through scheduled appointments at the Office of Disabled Student Services.