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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Geology - GEOL

Physical Geology GEOL-1403

  • Spring 2014
  • Section SECTION_307 CRN-21052
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/13/2014 to 05/06/2014
  • Modified 01/09/2014

Meeting Times


  • Monday, Wednesday, 4:15 PM to 5:30 PM, room G215


  • Monday, Wednesday, 5:40 PM to 6:55 PM, room G215

Contact Information

Instructor:  Dr. Irina GOLL

Office: r. G-245

Office Hours: TR 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.; F 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. or by appointment

Tel: (979) 209-8828                               

E-mail [email protected]


General principles of physical geology. An introduction to the origin, composition, structure and dynamics of planet Earth. Topics are explored within the general context of plate tectonic theory and include: minerals and rocks, weathering and erosion, geological time, earthquakes and volcanoes, mountain building, oceans, landforms and natural resources. Laboratory work involves the practical application of geological principles such a rock and mineral identification, geological and topographic map interpretation, and geological data analysis. Three class hours and three laboratory hours per week. Credit: Four semester hours.


Prerequisites: Exemption or passing score on reading section of THEA or alternative test or completion of READ 306 with a grade of C or higher.

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


  1. Examine and analyze rock and mineral specimens and their occurrence and determine their context within the rock cycle.
  2. Comprehend plate tectonic theory and evaluate its significance to geology. Relate the nature of EarthÂ’s internal structure and tectonics to geological phenomena (e.g., volcanoes, earthquakes, deformational structures, etc.).
  3. Understand geologic time and the rock record, including formation of Earth and Solar System. Be able to apply principles of relative and numerical dating.
  4. Recognize the role of surficial processes (water, wind, ice and gravity) and identify resulting landforms; identification and interpretation of landforms based on topographic maps.
  5. Relate geology to human affairs; assess geohazard risk (earthquake, volcanoes, floods), and natural resources.


 Textbook: Essentials of Geology 11th Edition, with Mastering Essentials of Geology, 2012, Lutgens,Tarbuck, and Tasa. Pearson Publishing.

Lab Manual: AGI/NAGT Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology 9th Edition, 2011, Busch (Ed.), Pearson Publishing

Supplemental Data and Information:

                         Open Geology-aid Lab – every Friday, G215 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm,

                        Online visual materials & quizzes from

Other materials: are provided by Blinn College.

Lecture Notes & Lab assignments: are posted on e-Campus Go to -

Course Requirements

This course has both a lecture and lab components of which participation is required, this include reading the assigned material before coming to class. Good reading habits and reading comprehension skills are important to doing well in this course.

The student should do each of the following:

1. Read the assigned chapters in the textbook

2. Participate in class discussions / reviews

3. Complete assigned outside reading material

4. View audiovisual materials on selected topics

5. Complete the exams on the assigned dates; the exams may include questions of different formats: multiple choice, visual, true – false, word analysis etc.

6. Download & print out all Lab Assignments from e-campus

7. Read and comprehend each exercise assigned in the Laboratory Manual before coming to class.

8. Successfully complete each laboratory exercise in class.

9. Learn to use and/or analyze geological material and maps as needed to complete the laboratory exercise.


This class has 4 lecture exams, 2 lab exams, 1 final exam, 20 Lab quizzes, 25 Lab exercises, and 1 to 2 reading assignments. Course grade is based on a total of 1000 class points. Breakdown of the point distribution and grading scheme is shown below. 

Lecture Exams

4 exams x 100   points

400 points

Lab Exams

2 exams x 100   points

200 points

Final Exam

1 exam x 200 points

200 points

Lab Exercises

25 lab days x 4   points

100 points

Lab Quizzes

20 quizzes x 5   points

100 points



1000 points for the   semester

Final Grade:  The following point totals will ensure the final grade as listed.

900-1000  points = A

800-899    points = B

700-799    points = C

600-699    points = D

below 600 points = F

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

Cellular telephones and beepers/pagers must be disengaged while the student is in the Blinn College Library or any classroom/lab, unless otherwise instructed. Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Please, bring Advantage Scantron and a #2 pencil for each EXAM (except for Lab Exam #2 – NO Scantrons).

The Lab Exams are practical “hands-on” exams. They will be administered at the Blinn College Campus class rooms and can NOT be taken at the Learning Center.

If you cannot take the Lecture Exams at Blinn College Campus together with your class (see Make-ups paragraph) contact your instructor, so that other arrangements can be made at the Learning Center.

Students have to read the recommended chapters from the text-book and lab work reference materials before coming to class.

Lab Work: Lab Manual must be brought for every lab work. Most lab exercises must be completed during the lab period and turned in at the end of the period. Lab Assignments that has not been completed within one week will be accepted for half credit.  Periodic quizzes will cover recent topics and assigned readings from the lecture and the laboratory.  A grade of zero will be recorded for missed quizzes and lab work. No make-up is offered for missed quizzes and lab assignments.

Make-ups: There will be no make-up exams, except for the cases listed below

A. hospitalized before or the day of exam;

B. got into a car accident the day of exam;

C. death in the family;

D. absence due to one of the forms of excused absence officially designated by Blinn College;

A document (doctor’s note from the hospital, photocopy of police report, obituary etc) must be presented to the Instructor to justify the make up of an exam.

How attendance will be implemented in my class:

Attendance will be taken in each lecture and lab class. A lecture sign-in sheet will be posted during the first 20 min of lecture and a lab sign-out sheet will be posted for students to sign upon completion of the lab work; it is the student's responsibility to sign each time! You must be present from the start of the class to the end in order to receive credit for the day. If you must miss a class meeting please contact me in advance (by e-mail or in person) and make arrangements to get the information that is to be covered. In some cases prior arrangements may be made to attend another lab or lecture section but this must be cleared with me in advance.

Attendance Policy Reminder:  Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence.  For classes that meet twice a week during the semester two absences counts as one week's absence.  Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.


Course Content

Week #






Lecture Topic


(Lab # is given as listed in Lab Manual)


Laboratory   Topic

1    Jan. 13

      Jan. 15



Intro to Geology

Third Planet



Scales &   processes;      

Rock Cycle  (video & quiz )

2    Jan. 20

      Jan. 22


15, 2


Plate Tectonics, Mineral   Properties




Mineral properties

3    Jan. 27


      Jan. 29

15, 2



Plate Tectonics, Matter   & Minerals


Silicates &   Nonsilicates

4 & 3B



Plate Tectonics;   Identification of Minerals

Silicates & Nonsilicates

4    Feb. 3

      Feb. 5



Igneous Rocks




Igneous Rocks

Igneous Rocks (unknown)

5    Feb.   10

      Feb. 12



Lecture Exam I

Sedimentary Rocks



Weathering & Soil

Weathering & Soil

6    Feb. 17


      Feb. 19




Sedimentary structures   & environments






Sedimentary Rocks


Sedimentary Rocks

7    Feb. 24


      Feb. 26





no lecture,    Lab Exam I

7A and 7B


No lab

Metamorphic Rocks

Review for Lab Exam I

Exam: Minerals & Rocks

8    Mar. 3

      Mar. 5


Geologic Time

Lecture Exam II



Dating of Rocks&   Fossils

“America’s Gold” & quiz

9    Mar. 10

      Mar. 12





10  Mar. 17

      Mar. 19

17 A

14 A

Crustal Deformation




Geologic Structures


11   Mar. 24

       Mar.   26     

14 B


Earth’s Interior

Ocean Floor


9 (intro)

“Earth Interior” & quiz

Topo   Maps

12   Mar. 31

       Apr. 2

17 B


Mountain building

Mass Wasting

9 (A & B)

9 (C & D) 

Topo   Maps

Topo Maps

13  Apr.   7

      Apr. 9



Lecture Exam III

Running Water



Lab Quiz


14  Apr. 14

      Apr. 16








Glacier processes

15  Apr. 21

      Apr. 23









16  Apr.   28

      Apr. 30


Lecture Exam IV

no lecture,  Lab Exam II


Review for Lab Exam II

       May 2, Friday, FINAL  Exam at 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.,  room G-215