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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Geology - GEOL

Physical Geology GEOL-1403

  • Spring 2013 Full Term 2013

  • Section SECTION_311 CRN-21198

  • 4 Credits

  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013

  • Modified 01/09/2013

Meeting Times

Lecture and Lab

     Tuesday and Thursday     10:35 AM to 1:15PM, G215

Contact Information

Kathy Dubbs
Office: Bookstore Bld, G245 
Office Hours: Tuesday / Thursday 1:30-4:00 pm 
Telephone (Office): 979 209-7646
E-mail: ecampus email or


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: Earth, An Introduction to Physical Geology 10th Edition, 2010, Tarbuck, Lutgens, and Tasa. Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle, New Jersey, 07458.

Lab Manual: AGI/NAGT Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology 9th Edition, 2011, Busch (Ed.), Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle, New Jersey, 07458. 

Course Packet for lab work: available at the Copy Center

Course Requirements

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

Lab Work:  Lab assignments are done during the lab period and must be completed during this time.  Students are required to have read over the assigned lab before coming to lab. 

Quizzes: A quiz will be given at the end of each lab period.  At least 4 quiz grades will be dropped.  There are no make-ups for missed quizzes.

Reading Assignments:  Students are responsible for reading chapters in the textbook which are covered in this class.  (see class schedule).


This class has 4 lecture exams, 3 lab exams, 1 final exam, 24 lab quizzes. Course grade is based on a total of 900 class points. Breakdown of the point distribution and grading scheme is shown below.

Lecture Exams:  There will be 4 lecture exams and a comprehensive final exam. The Lecture Exams, and Final Exam will include a variety of question formats, including multiple-choice, fill in the blank, short answer and essay questions. All exams are closed book.

Lab Exams:  There will be 3 lab exams. The lab exams will include a variety of question formats including multiple-choice, practical analysis of lab specimens, solving mathematical problems and applying skills learned in lab.

Lab Quizzes: Lab quizzes will occur at the end of each lab session. You must turn in one clean, unfolded scantron sheet on which to take these quizzes.  I will keep these and provide them to you when quizzes occur. 

Lecture Exams, 4@100 points each

400 points

Lab Exams, 1st  and 2nd  @50 points each, 3rd @ 100 points

200 points

Lab Quizzes (best 20 – 5 points each)

100 points

Comprehensive Final Exam

200 points


900 points

 Final Grade
A = 810 - 900 points (90%-100%)
B = 720-809 points (80%-89%)
C = 630 - 719 points (70%-79%)
D = 540 - 629 points (60%-69%)
F = < 540 points (< 60%)

Missed Classes and Exams:
Make-ups: If a Lecture Exam is missed a make-up test will be allowed ONLY IF an acceptable excuse for missing the exam is presented to me at the first class attended after the missed exam; otherwise you will receive a zero for the exam.  I will only allow this for ONE of the four major exams. Make-up exams may be different than the exam taken by the class and will be available at the Learning Center for 1 week after you return to class after the missed exam. If you miss the exam and fail to complete the make-up exam at the Learning Center within 1 week, you will receive a zero for the exam.

If a Lab Test is missed you must discuss the situation with me ASAP and arrange to make up the test or you will receive a zero for the lab test.

There are no make-ups offered for missed lab quizzes. I drop a certain number of these items in calculating the final grade to account for this. You are still responsible for learning any missed material.

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

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  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

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

Problem Resolution. If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241, .

Eating and Drinking. Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.


Physical Geology, Spring 2013




Jan. 15

Jan. 17

Intro. to Geology (Ch.1)

Intro. to Geology (Ch.1)

Rock Cycle

Mineral Properties

Jan. 22

Jan. 24

Minerals (Ch.3)

Minerals (Ch.3)

Mineral Identification

Mineral Identification and Review

Jan. 29

Feb. 31

Lab Exam 1 Minerals

Igneous rocks (Ch.4)

Lab Exam 1 Minerals

Igneous Rocks

Feb. 5

Feb. 7

Volcanoes (Ch. 5)


Igneous Rocks

Volcanoes Video

Feb. 12

Feb. 14

Weathering and Soil (Ch.6)

Sedimentary Rocks (Ch.7)

Weathering & Sediments

Sedimentary Rocks

Feb. 19

Feb. 21

Depositional Environments (Ch. 7)

Metamorphic Rocks (Ch. 8)

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks and Review

Feb. 26

Feb. 28

Lab Exam 2 Igneous rocks-mm rocks

Geologic Time (Ch. 9)

Lab Exam 2 Igneous rocks-mm rocks

Relative and Absolute Dating

Mar. 5

Mar. 7

Crustal Deformation (Ch. 10)

EXAM 2 (includes labs: dating & structures)

Geologic Structures and Maps

Earthquake Video

Mar. 12

Mar. 14



Mar. 19

Mar. 21

Earthquakes (Ch.11)

Earth’s Interior (Ch.12) Plate Tectonics (Ch. 2)


Plate Tectonics

Mar. 26

Mar. 28

Plate Tectonics (Ch. 2, 13,14)

Mass Wasting (Ch. 15)

Topographic Maps I

Topographic Maps II

Apr. 2

Apr. 4

EXAM 3 (includes labs: EQ & plate tect.)

Running water (Ch. 16)

Tsunami Video


Apr. 9

Apr. 11

Groundwater (Ch. 17)

Glaciers (Ch. 18)



Apr. 16

Apr. 18

Deserts (Ch. 19)



Shorelines Video

Apr. 23

Apr. 25

Shorelines (Ch. 20)

Lab Exam 3 Topo Maps - Shorelines


Lab Exam 3 Topo Maps - Shorelines

Apr. 30


Energy and Mineral Resources (Ch. 23)

Final Exam Review


FINAL EXAM Thursday, May 2nd   10:15-12:15