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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Sciences • Geology - GEOL

Physical Geology GEOL-1403

  • Spring 2013
  • Section SECTION_303 CRN-20895
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013
  • Modified 01/11/2013

Meeting Times

Monday, Wednesday  10:35 AM to 1:15 PM

Contact Information

Instructor: Mr. Stephen O Babalola

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 7:30 AM to 7:45 AM, G234
  • Monday, Wednesday, 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM, G234


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.


Bryan Campus: 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 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. Beside the scheduled lecture, lab, and final exams; weekly lab assignments, unannounced lecture quizzes, and reading assignments are included as part of the requirements for this course. 

Lab Work:  Lab assignments are done during the lab period and must be completed to receive credit for the lab. The assignments are checked during each Lab session, and credit is awarded upon completion.  The daily lab assignment grades are averaged to 100 points.  Your grade will be jeopardized for absences from Lab sessions.  

Quizzes:There will be at least 15 unannounced in-class Quizzes covering Lecture materials and Reading assignments from the Text Book. Each quiz is worth 10 points and they will be averaged to 100 points. There is no make-up for missed quizzes because I will drop three at the end of the semester.




This class has 4 lecture exams, 2 lab exams, and 1 final exam, at least 15 in class quizzes, 1 online quiz and weekly lab exercises.  Course grade is based on a total of 1000 class points. Breakdown of the point distribution and grading scheme is shown below.


Lecture and Lab Exams; Students are expected to take these exams at their scheduled time. If you miss an Exam because of any emergency situation, you must notify me preferably by email or phone (979) 209-7495 within 2 days, and provide written proof of the nature of emergency upon return to class.  Otherwise, you will lose the opportunity for make-up. An unexcused absence from an Exam will result in a grade of zero.  Make-up exams are given only in cases of an emergency and they will be mostly essay questions. Do not miss a lab exam.  No make-up for lab exams. 

Lab Assignments: Lab assignments are checked during each Lab session, and credit is awarded upon completion. If you missed a lab because of excused absence, you may request a make-up for the lab missed; otherwise you will not receive any class point for the assignment. There is no make up for lab assignments missed due to unexcused absence. The daily lab exercise grades are averaged to 100 points.  Your grade will be jeopardized for absences from Lab sessions.  

Quizzes:  There will be weekly unannounced in-class quizzes covering Lecture materials and Reading assignments. There will also be an eCampus quiz on an assigned reading material. These will be averaged to 100 class points. There is no make-up for missed quizzes because I will drop three at the end of the semester. 

Point Distribution: 

Grading Item



Point Scale

Lecture Exams (4); 100 points each


900 - 1000 pts = A

Lab Exams (2); 100 points each


800 - 899 pts = B

Quizzes averaged to


700 - 799 pts = C

Lab Assignments averaged to


600 - 699 pts = D

Comprehensive Final Exam


Below 600 pts = F




Total Class Points: 



The Lecture and Lab Exams will include a variety of question formats, including multiple-choice, True/False, word analysis and essay questions. All exams are closed book. Exams will be returned in class for students to review usually the following class meeting after it has been taken. No lecture or lab exams grades are dropped.  The Comprehensive Final Exam is all multiple choice, 100 questions.

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

Missed Classes and Exams:

If a student misses a class or exam, he or she must notify me within one working day (24 hours of missing the class) preferably by e-mail (the phone is second option).  A student may petition to have an absence excused if I have been notified of the missed class. An Excused Absence Petition Form will be available on my Ecampus Physical Geology Course site, the form needs to be completed with any official written confirmation (doctor's note, court documents, funeral announcement etc.) attached to the form. If the reason for the missed class or exam is known ahead of time such as a court date or funeral I need to know before the student misses the class; an alternative arrangement may be made at that time.

The Excused Absence Petition Form must have all the information filled; along with a statement why the student missed the class, why it should be excused, and the supporting documents should be attached it must be signed. The form must be given to me, in person, the day they return to class.  (Note: doctor’s appointments should be made at some other time than scheduled exams and during the geology lab times.) I will only accept 1 Excused Absence Petition Form from any individual during the semester

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, [email protected] .

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

Attendance Policy ReminderMissing 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 weeks’ worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.  You must be present from the start of the lab class to the end in order to receive credit for the lab unless an arrangement has been made with me in advance.

Dress: Students should dress in appropriate clothing for the classroom and lab.

Student E-mails:

Each student is provided with a Blinn College E-mail address that must be checked regularly for official Blinn College communications and course information.

Your account is [email protected];

Your initial password is your student ID number





Lecture Topic

Lab Topic



Chap 1 – Intro to Geology

The Rock Cycle


Chap 1 cont./ Chap 3 - Minerals

Mineral Properties 



No Class – Holiday – MLK Day



Chap 3 cont

Mineral Identification



Chap 4 – Igneous Rocks

Mineral Identification


Chap 5 – Volcanoes

Igneous Rocks Lab



Chapter 5 cont.

Igneous Rocks Lab


Chap 6 – Weathering & Soil

 Weathering Lab



EXAM 1 (Chap 1, 3, 4 & 5)

Chap 7 – Sed. Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks Lab


Chap 7 (cont.)

Sedimentary Rocks Lab



Chap 10 – Crustal Deformation

Structural Maps


Chap 8 – Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks Lab



Chap 9 –Geological Time

Geologic Dating Lab


Chap 2 - Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics Lab



EXAM 2 (Chap 6, 7, 8 & 10)

Rocks & Minerals Lab Rev.






SPRING BREAK (March 11 – 15) No Classes



Chap 11 –  Earthquakes

Earthquakes Lab


Chapter 11 (cont.)

Tsunami Video



Chapter 12 – Earth’s Interior

Topographic Map


Chapter 15 – Mass Wasting

Topographic Map



EXAM 3 (Chap 2, 9, 11 & 12)

Chapter 16 – Running Water

Stream Processes and Landforms


Chapter 16 (cont.)

Stream Processes



Chapter 17 – Groundwater 

Groundwater Lab


Chapter 18 – Glaciers

Glacial Landforms



Last Day to Drop with a “Q”

Last Day to Drop with a “Q”



Chap 19 – Deserts & Winds

Desert Landforms


EXAM 4 (Chap 15, 16, 17 & 18)

Coastal waves video



Chap 23 – Energy & Min. Res.

Coastal Processes & Landforms






Presentation of Project

Presentation of Project


Review for Final Exam

Review for Final Exam



FINAL EXAM … 7:45 – 9:45 am