Geology 104: Earth Science (3 Units)

Fall 2011

Instructor: Kevin Marty

IVC Office Hours:  W-5:15-6:15 pm; Th-3:15-4:15 pm; F-3:15-4:15 pm; Room 2776, new science building.

email-    Office Phone: 760-355-5761

Fall 2011 Geology 104 course #: 60022

Class Text BookThe Good Earth Introduction to Earth Science, 2nd edition, David McConnell (and others); ISBN: 978-0-07-336936-5

"You need your book right away"

Course Description: This introductory earth and space science course covers basic principles from the fields of geology, astronomy, oceanography and meteorology.  Minerals and rocks, natural processes acting at the Earth’s surface and within the Earth, plate tectonics, geologic time and dating, composition and motions of the Earth, the solar system, phases of the moon, origin and life cycles of stars, galaxies, water movements, ocean floor, weather and climate, along with other related topics, will be studied. 

Course Objective: By the end of this course, students will gain a better understanding and appreciation of their physical environment and the knowledge of how the Earth’s systems (hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and geosphere) work and interact.  Students will also gain an understanding of the planets.   

Note: you will need to bring a 100 question (50 on each side) SCANTRON for each test...thank you! 

Week: 2011


Lecture Coverage/Assignments

Test Dates/Assignment due dates

 Sept 2 introduction; objectives; go over syllabus

Assign: Read Chapter 1; I will hand out Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 (not due for two weeks); please NOTE: you will need to print out the remaining assignments and bring them to class with you (after Assignments 1 and 2).

Assign: Read Chapter 1 (Introduction to Earth Science)

Assignment 1 (due in two weeks)

Sept 9

Discuss Chapter 1: Introduction to Earth Science (PowerPoint)

Video: Mystery of the Megaflood

Assign: Read Chapter 2; Please bring Assignment 1 and 2 to class this week

Assignment 2 (due in one week)

Quiz 1 (click for link to study guide)

GROUP ASSIGNMENTS THIS WEEK: for regular classwork and Presentations.

Ad campaign and Commercial Project: Real Estate of the Solar System. Students develop an advertising campaign, including a commercial, to sell property (or a house) to the public.  The property, or house, is located on another planet or moon in our Solar System (so you will need to investigate several factors about the planet or moon so a potential buyer knows the natural/environmental conditions).  The ad campaign and commercial are presented in class (Due in THREE WEEKS)

animation: Layered Earth

Sept 16

Discuss Chapter 2: Earth in Space (PowerPoint)

Assign: Read Chapter 3; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 3 to class this week

Assignment 3 (due in one week)

*Due: Assignment 1

*Due: Assignment 2

Quiz 2 (click for link to study guide)

Virtual Field Trips:

Astronomy Live    Orbital Fluctuations , The Sun  , Google Moon Planetary Photojournal Virtual Space Tour    Virtual Museum of the History of the Telescope

Sept 23

Discuss Chapter 3: Near-Earth Objects (PowerPoint)

Assign: Read Chapter 4; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 4 to class this week


Assignment 4 (due in one week)

*Due: Assignment 3

Quiz 3 (click for link to study guide)

animations: Birth of the Moon     Solar System Formation Virtual Field Trips: The Surface of Mars Mercury Google Mars The Wetumpka Impact Structure

Sept 30

Discuss Chapter 4 (Plate Tectonics)

Assign: Read Chapter 5; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 5 to class this week


Assignment 5 (due in one week)

*Due: Group presentations: Real Estate of the Solar System

Click here for grading requirements

Quiz 4 (click for link to study guide)

*Due: Assignment 4

animations: Pangea Breakup, 2, Subduction Zone, Plate Boundary,  Ocean Ocean, Ocean Continental, Continental Continental, Fault Zones, Divergent Plate Boundary, Tectonic System, Plate Boundaries

October 7 Discuss Chapter 5 (Earthquakes)


Assign: Read Chapter 6; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 6 to class this week

Assignment 6 (due in one week)

*Due: Assignment 5

Quiz 5 (click for link to study guide)

We will finish presentations today (from last week) if needed

Tsunami, Locating an Earthquake, S wave P wave, Body Waves

October 14 Discuss Chapter 6 (Volcanoes and Other Mountains)

Assign: Read Chapter 7; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 7 to class this week

Assignment 7 (due in two weeks)

*Due: Assignment 6  

Quiz 6 (click for link to study guide)

Hot Spot Volcanic Chain

October 21 NEW ADDITION: Quiz Study Guide and Sample Question (click here)

Test review before giving test mid-term; no lecture this week

**Mid-Term Test over Chapters 1-6 (assignments 1-6)**

Click here for example test question

(No quiz this week)


October 28 Discuss: Chapter 7 (Rocks and Minerals)

Assign: Read Chapter 8; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 8 to class this week

Assignment 8 (due in one week)

Quiz 7 (click for link to study guide)

*Due: Assignment 7

November 4

Discuss:  Chapter 8 (Geologic Time)

Assign: Read Chapter 13; Print out and bring Assignment 9 (linked below) to class this week (Note: this covers chapter 13)

Assignment 9 (covering Chapter 13; due in two weeks)


*Due: Assignment 8

Quiz 8 (click for link to study guide)

November 11 (holiday-no class) Discuss: Chapter 13 (Oceans and Coastlines) 

Assign: Read Chapter 14; Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 10 to class this week (Note: this covers chapter 14)

Assignment 10 (covering Chapter 14; due in one week)

*Due: Assignment 9 (Chapter 13)

Quiz 9 (ch 13) (click for link to study guide)

Atolls, Tides, More Tides, Orbital (wave) Motion, Deep Ocean Circulation, Shallow Wave Motion


November 18 Discuss: Chapter 14 (The Atmosphere)

Assign: Read Chapter 15;Print out (linked below) and bring Assignment 11 to class this week (Note: this covers chapter 15)

Assignment 11 (covering Chapter 15; due in two weeks)


*Due: Assignment 10 (Chapter 14)

Quiz 10 (ch 14) (click for link to study guide)

General Circulation, Pressure versus Temp, Reason for the Seasons


November 25 (holiday-no class) no class no class
December 2 Discuss: Chapter 15 (Weather Systems)

Recently Added: Quiz 7-12 Study Guide

Assignment 12 (Climate Change; due next week): NOTE-this assignment not from textbook but from backgrounders linked to syllabus below.

*Due: Assignment 11 (Chapter 15)

Quiz 11 (ch 15) (click for link to study guide)

Warm Front, Cold Front, Occluded Front, Thunderstorm

December 9

Finish Lecture from previous week, REVIEW for FINAL TEST

*Due: Climate Change Assignment (from backgrounders)

*No quiz this week


Dec 16 (finals) **FINAL TEST over Chapters 7, 8 and 13-15 and assigned backgrounders (assignments 7-12)** **FINAL TEST over Chapters 7, 8 and 13-15 and assigned backgrounders (assignments 7-12)**


Below are links for further explanation on methods, concepts, etc., that may help you with the material in this class; links to Backgrounders and the climate change assignment.

The Scientific Method additional reference Key Concepts and Terms, "The Good Earth" , all chapters Concept Maps, Venn Diagrams and Rubrics
Backgrounders: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, Backgrounders: #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17  

Please Note: Not all chapters in the text book are assigned and not all chapters (that are assigned) will be covered in their entirety; furthermore, as the class progresses, assignments may be altered.  There may be reading or written assignments to replace or supplement the text material or to learn about current events (so it is important to show up to class; you are responsible for knowing any changes made that will be announced during class hours.  If you miss a class, please find out from me or a classmate if any changes were made, including new assignments or a change in due dates, etc).

I want to emphasize, it is important to show up to class and do your own work (even while working with others) and ask questions if you do not understand any concepts.

Assignments and Notebooks: the assignments are assigned each week (see syllabus table for due dates) over approximately 12 chapters (assignments are linked to the syllabus table above).  There will be time to work on the assignments in class as a group exercise (but don't wait to begin your assignments on the day they are due; class time is to complete questions you need help with; also, i may collect and evaluate assignments at the beginning of class periods)...I will provide the first two Assignments, but after the first two PLEASE PRINT OUT AND BRING THE ASSIGNMENT TO BE WORKED ON TO CLASS WITH YOU EACH WEEK...You should keep your assignments in a notebook and bring it to class every period.  I may collect and evaluate your homework during any given week.  I will, at the very least, check your homework as acceptable or unacceptable on a weekly basis and this overall work will count for 10% of your grade.  These are your study guides for the Mid-term and Final tests (along with the quizzes), so you will want to complete and understand (and ask questions if you don't) the concepts presented in your assignments.    

The questions on the assignments must be provided with your answers, and your answers must be HANDWRITTEN (and make sure I can read your writing, so write as neatly as you can).   

It would be best to print out the assignments with adequate space to provide your handwritten answers; again, the assignments are linked to the syllabus table above...Keep your assignments organized!

One last note, there are extra credit questions available in your assignments: if you do an extra credit question, you must turn those in during the week that the assignment is evaluated!  It is your responsibility to turn these in (on a weekly basis when the assignment is due) to get credit for these questions.

Note (one more time!): Please keep your assignments updated and bring them to lecture period every week.  Do not begin these assignments during the class period they are due (or you will lose credit which could drop your overall score down one grade). 

Tests/Quizzes: Two tests (a Midterm and non-comprehensive Final) will be given during the semester (see syllabus table for test dates).  You will be tested over material from your textbook that we will cover in class (and many of the questions will be directly related to your assignments and quizzes, discussed above).  PowerPoints for the lectures are available by clicking on the chapter links in the syllabus table.  If you read the chapters and complete your assignments on time and ask questions on concepts you don't understand, you should do well on the tests.   It is important to do the assignments on your own (you can work with others, but don't copy their work) in order to understand the material.  Their are also weekly quizzes scheduled.  The quizzes are related to the material being covered that week.  Study guide "links" on the syllabus table will contain information from the book, but narrowed down to help you with the quizzes (in other words, study this material (at the least) to answer the questions on the quizzes).  You may also find some of the quiz questions on your mid term and final tests.

The Mid-term and Final will consist of approximately 75-85 (100 points) questions (mostly multiple choice with some short answer/diagrams/etc., as found in your homework)...many of your homework questions (which are not multiple choice) will be presented in multiple choice format...please do not just memorize your homework answers: strive to understand the concepts since the test questions will cover similar material but changed to evaluate your understanding of the subject.

Group Work: you will be assigned to a group during the first week of the semester; this will be your study group (for in-class work on assignments).  Groups will consist of 4 people (no more!).  You will also complete one group project/presentation together (over real estate of the Solar System).  There may be a second group assignment, over climate change, due at the end of the semester (TBD).  

All work will be weighted equally (e.g., assignments, tests, other homework).  There are approximately 430 total points possible in this course: 250 points from tests, quizzes and posts (~60% of your grade); 80 points from two group projects (~20% of your grade); 50 points from weekly assignments that are kept in your notebook (~10% of your grade); and 50 points from miscellaneous assignments including video reviews, etc (~10 % of your grade). Therefore, I will add up your total points and determine where you are percentage-wise to the total points possible.  The grading scale is as follows: 100-95%=A; 94-90=A-; 89-86%=B+; 85-82=B; 81-78=B-; 77-74=C; 73-70=C; 69-66=C-; 65-62%=D+; 61-58%=D; and 57-54=D-.

Field Trips: there will be one optional (extra credit) field trip…we will work out the details of this trip in class.

Attendance: Regular class attendance is important for students to accomplish the work necessary to successfully complete this course.  You are responsible for all material presented in class even if you miss for a legitimate reason (e.g., illness, family emergency, etc.).  Please notify me in advance if you cannot attend, and arrange to get class notes from another student.  In-class assignments, as well as scheduled quizzes, labs and field trips cannot be made up if missed (except by legitimate reasons, which are few).  With this being said, students are expected to attend every class session. Any student who misses the first class will be dropped. Students may be dropped at instructor discretion if they miss more than a week of class hours continuously.

Cell Phones: use not allowed while you are in the classroom.  If an emergency comes up, please step out of the room to use your cell phone (and not disrupt the class).  If you use your cell phone for any reason in the classroom during class hours you will be asked to leave the room (and not come back that day).

Computers: Computer use not allowed during lectures.  Computer use is allowed in the classroom when you are working in groups or during breaks, etc., but not while the lecture is going on.

Cheating and Plagiarism:   SDSU expects honesty and integrity from all students. A student found to have cheated on any assignment or plagiarized will receive a zero for the assignment.  A second occurrence of cheating or plagiarism may result in dismissal from class.

Disabled Students:  Please let me know if you have a disability and need special arrangements in class.






















Syllabus ends here...below if leftover material not applicable to your class......................................

climate change Group ASSIGNMENT; Click Here NOTE: this assignment still being worked on

Research Paper Guidelines:

Through various chapters you have learned about Earth's processes such as plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that are driven by Earth's internal heat (and gravity is also involved as an energy source)...we also discussed impacts with space objects as an energy source that fuels Earth's processes (very significant when Earth formed); and you have learned about Earth's processes such as weather systems, climate and oceanography that are driven by an external source (the Sun). 

For this assignment, I would like you to research a natural disaster of the past (fueled by Earth's internal processes, space objects or by the Sun) and submit a (not less than 3 page; double spaced) investigative paper on this disaster.  Keep in mind, a geological phenomenon is not a natural disaster unless it affects people.

Your paper must cover the following aspects of the natural disaster you investigated:

1. Discuss in detail the geologic process(es) that caused the event (I want to know what you have learned about formation or cause of geologic events that can result in natural disasters; so if you pick a disaster related to a volcano, discuss how this particular volcano formed, why it is so explosive, etc.).  Also, discuss what the major natural or geologic hazards (a bridge falling on someone is not a natural hazard) were associated with your disaster (such as high winds, pyroclastic flows, etc.).

2. How were people affected by this disaster?  Discuss in detail how people were affected and if it changed civilization of that time period.  Bring up anything that interests you about the disaster's affect on people (myths, etc).

3. Is there a chance of this same type of disaster occurring in the same area?  Why or why not?  Have we learned from the past?  Have measures been taken to prepare for future natural hazards in the same area?

NOTE: you cannot do this investigative paper on Hurricane Katrina, Krakatoa, or the Tsunami of 2004!  I have too many papers on this already (and I don't want you to just use the videos viewed for this class)!  Thank you...

You must submit your references and use at least three references for your paper.  You must also submit one hand drawn diagram (e.g., table, chart, etc.) or your own photograph as an attachment to your research paper (make sure to reference or describe the attachment in the main body of your paper and provide a caption for the attachment; and keep in mind this does not count as one of the 3 pages required for your write up).  DO NOT copy and paste information from a website as your own (that is illegal and is plagiarism) must submit the write up in your own words!  If you do quote something directly, put it in quotations and cite your will not get credit if you do not follow these guidelines....finally, DO NOT use Wikipedia as a reference!  You will be marked down for this, especially if you use this as a main source...ONE MORE TIME, keep in mind the 3 pages required for this paper does not include your reference page and any diagrams you submit (those are submitted as attachments).  

When you put together your paper, please use three subheadings titled 1. Geologic Processes; 2. How people were affected; and 3. Future outlook.   The grade for this paper will be weighted as follows: 15 points possible for your section on geologic processes; 10 points possible for your section on how people were affected; and 5 points possible for your section on future outlook (for a total of 30 points possible).  




Katrina Assignment     Hurricane Morphology    Climate Change

Discuss: Chapter 16 (Earth's Climate Systems) Assignment 12 (covering Chapter's 16 and 17;due in two weeks)

Discuss: Chapter 17 (Global Climate)

Activity (click here) will cover concepts from  Chapter 2 (Minerals) and Chapter 3  (Rocks)/and Chapter 5   (Geologic Resources)

PLEASE NOTE: choose between Geologic Resources, and Volcanoes : Earthquake Monitoring Click Here; first plot due in two weeks.

Silicate Structure  Assign: mostly online Oceanography Assignment

Three Rock Specimens *Due: Earthquake Monitoring Plot and Volcano Plot (one of each) due now here is your assignment (click here) due no later then final's week.

: Geologic Resources,  or  National Park Tour or Volcanoes

OLW09110 CH1

Discuss: Chapter 11 (Streams and Floods)Assignment 9 (due in one week)***

letter grade            participation-30%                     accuracy-30 %  completeness-25% spelling/grammar-5 % organization-10 %
A range show up, participate excellent to good excellent to good excellent to good excellent to good
(30-25 points)          
B range show up, participate good good good good
(24-19 points)          
C range not showing up or   participating regularly fair fair fair fair
(18-13 points)          
D range not showing up or   participating poor poor poor poor
(12-7 points)          

 ...a definition for scoring terms is as follows (scores are based on comparison to other student's work in your class):

    Excellent: superior (accurate, good reasoning, complete, few spelling/grammar errors, well-organized)   

    Good: above average (accurate to mostly accurate, complete to mostly complete, mostly well-organized, some        spelling/grammar errors)

    Fair: average (mostly to somewhat accurate, mostly to somewhat complete, mostly well-organized, some spelling/grammar errors)

    Poor: below average (inaccurate, incomplete, needs better organization, many spelling/grammar errors)

...a breakdown of the points associated with each grade level is provided below:

Grade Points:                                                                                                                                                                      

A+ = 30-29 points

A = 28-27 points
A- = 26-25 points
B+ = 24-23 points
B = 22-21 points
B- = 20-19 points
C+ = 18-17 points
C = 16-15 points
C- = 14-13 points
D+ = 12-11 points
D = 10-9 points
D- = 8-7 points
F = <7 points

email list:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

st helens yellowstone

click here for in class assignment (question 11 chapter 5 eq rubric)


Climate Change Assignment; Click Here