Planet Earth: A Study of the Physical Geology of our Home Planet

Texts: Earth Science (10th ed.), Tarbuck and Lutgens
Study Guide and Notes for Physical Geology, Pitman
Week Schedule of Topics and Assignments Reading Quiz/Test
1 Introduction to the Earth Sciences
Origin and evolution of the planets
Inside the Earth
Introduction Quiz 1
2-3 Minerals: Building Blocks of Rocks
Atomic Structure of Matter
Chemical and Physical Structure of Minerals
Identification and Description of Minerals
Lab: Minerals
ch. 1 Quiz 2
4-5 Rocks: Records of Geologic Processes
The Rock Cycle
Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Earth’s Natural Resources
Lab: Mineral/Rock Identification
ch. 2 Quiz 3
6 Maps and Mapping
Map Projections, Location, and Scales
Topography, contours, and relief
Lab: Quadrangle Maps
  Quiz 4
7 The Rock Record and Geologic Time
Relative Dating
Radiometric Dating
Lab: Sequence of Events
ch. 10  
8 Weathering, Soil, Mass Wasting ch. 3 Quiz 5
9 Water: Above and Below the Surface
Hydrologic Cycle
Rivers and streams
Lab: Groundwater
Lab: Rivers
ch. 4 Quiz 6
10 Glaciers: The Work of Ice
Formation and Movement
The Glacial Landscape
Ice Ages
ch. 5
(pp. 129-149)
Quiz 7
11 Wind: Desert Formation and Environment ch. 5
(pp. 149-162)
12-13 Plate Tectonics:
Controversial Hypothesis to Respectable Theory
Pangaea and Continental Drift
Plate Boundaries
  • Types of Plate Boundaries
  • Rate of Movement
  • The Driving Mechanism of Plate Tectonics
Lab: Plate Tectonics
ch. 7 Quiz 8
14 Mountain Building and the Deformation of the Continental Crust
Folds, Faults, and Joints
ch. 9  
15-16 Volcanism
Internal Heat
Release of Magma and Volcanic Deposits
Global Pattern and Types of Volcanoes
ch. 8  
17-18 Earthquakes
Movement from Stress beneath the Earth’s Surface
Wave Motion, Location and Measurement
Earthquake Destructiveness
Lab: Earthquakes
ch. 6 TEST 3

Planet Earth: Guidelines & Expectations

Study Guide and Notes for Physical Geology

We are partners in learning. During this course, you will have the opportunity to discover things about the origin and evolution of Earth that should amaze and fascinate you. I will make every effort to present this material in an interesting, informative, and provocative way. However, attending class and paying attention will probably not be all you need to do to achieve success here. I expect you to study at least 1 hour each day (7-10 hours/week), outside of class, so you may fully understand and assimilate this material. You need to make this effort.

Come to class on time. Students are expected to be in their assigned seat at the tone that marks the beginning of the period. Three or more unexcused tardies will result in disciplinary action. Each student is expected to exhibit appropriate classroom behavior. Disruptions and annoyances that interfere with students’ ability to learn will not be tolerated. The use of cell phones or other electronic devices will not be permitted during class.

Be prepared each day with your text (if requested), notebook, pen or pencil, calculator, and an active mind. Please don’t ask to borrow a pen, pencil, calculator, or mind.

If you miss a day, you miss a lot. It will be your responsibility to make up all work due to absence. Immediately upon your return to class, you should make an appointment with me to discuss what you have missed. Failure to do so may result in no credit (grade of 0) awarded for the assignments missed. Be sure to contact a responsible classmate to obtain notes you missed during your absence.

Assignments need to be completed on time. Work handed in late (except for absences noted above) will be marked down 50% for the first day late and will not be accepted beyond that time (grade of 0). You will be given sufficient time to complete your assignments. Many of these assignments require several days to complete. Do not wait until the night before the due date to attempt to complete your work.

Your submitted assignments must be just that...yours. Cheating, including plagiarism, will not be tolerated. Penalties for this type of infraction will be severe, up to and including an F in the course.

Grading Procedure: Students receive their grade based upon the total number of points earned from the following assessments:

Tests and quizzes: 40% Grading scale: A 93-100 A- 90-92
Laboratory exercises and observations: 40%   B+ 88-89 B 82-87 B- 80-81
Class activities (i.e. projects, reports, homework): 20%   C+ 78-79 C 72-77 C- 70-71
  D+ 68-69 D 62-67 D- 60-61
            F < 60

This is an elective course. I am assuming you are here because you want to learn about the origin and evolution of our home planet. To do well, your work needs to be completed on time and be a reflection of your best efforts.

Please also take a moment to read this letter from the National Commission on Excellence in Education.