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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Geology - GEOL

Physical Geology GEOL-1403

  • Fall 2013

  • Section SECTION_302 CRN-10742

  • 4 Credits

  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013

  • Modified 08/30/2013

Meeting Times

Monday, Wednesday, 7:45 AM to 10:25 AM, G215

Contact Information

Instructor: Mr. Stephen Babalola

Office: Bookstore Building, G234
Phone: (979) 209-8826

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.


Textbook: Earth, An Introduction to Physical 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

Course Requirements

All sections of this course regardless of location or modality will include:

  1. A minimum of three major exams
  2. Comprehensive final exam


The following are required components of a student's final grade.

  1. Major Exams: Three or four major exams covering the lecture material, evenly distributed  
  2. Laboratory: May be included on major exams or the instructor may give quizzes covering lab  
  3. Minor Exams/Quizzes/Homework: Given at the discretion of the instructor. 
  4. Additional Reports or Projects: Given at the discretion of the instructor. 
  5. Final Exam: A comprehensive final exam covering the entire course representing 20% of the final course grade is required of all instructors.



Lecture and Lab Exams; Students are expected to take these exams at their scheduled time. If a student misses an Exam because of any emergency situation, he or she must notify me by email or phone (979) 209-8826 within 2 days, and provide written proof of the nature of emergency upon return to class. Otherwise, student 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. 

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. The Comprehensive Final Exam is all multiple choice, 100 questions and it is worth 200 points. 

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 one on-line Quiz, and about 16 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 

Extra Credit Project: The project should be on any geology-related topic of your choice. It includes a type-written paper; double spaced, 11-12 font size, 4-6 pages long with a list of works cited; and the presentation of your project; 5-10 minutes allowed.  Depending on the quality of the project, you could earn a maximum of 25 bonus points. Please note that writing and presenting lecture material from the Text Book is NOT acceptable for extra credit.

Point Distribution:

Grading Item


Point Scale

Lecture Exams (4); 100 points each


900 - 1000 points = A

Lab Exams (2); 100 points each


800 - 899 points = B

Quizzes averaged to


700 - 799 points = C

Lab Assignments averaged to


600 - 699 points = D

Comprehensive Final Exam


Below 600 points = F

Project and Presentation (Optional)

25 bonus


Total Class Points: 




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/shemust 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 arrange may be able to 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,

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 a special 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;

Your initial password is your student ID number






Section 302

September 23, 2013

Lecture Exam 1

October 9

Lecture Exam 2

October 14

Lab Mid Term

November 4

Lecture Exam 3

November 25

Lecture Exam 4

December 2

Lab Final

December 4

Project Presentation

Dec 11 at 7:45 am

Final Exam


















Lecture Topic


Lab Topic



Chap 1 – An Introduction to Geology

Chap 1, pg. 2 – 17

The Rock Cycle


Chap 1 cont./ Chap 2 -Matter &Minerals

pg. 18-33, 38-43

Mineral Properties 



No Class – Holiday




Chap 2 cont

Chap 2, pg. 44-57

Mineral Identification



Chap 3 – Igneous Rocks

Chap 3, pg. 64-86

Mineral Identification


Chap 4 – Volcanoes

Chap 4, pg. 92-108

Igneous Rocks Lab



Chapter 4 cont.

Chap 4, pg. 109-120

Igneous Rocks Lab


Chap 5 – Weathering & Soils

Chap 5, pg. 124 – 144 

 Weathering Lab



EXAM 1 (Chap 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Chap 6 – Sed. Rocks

Chap 6, pg. 150 – 155

Sedimentary Rocks Lab


Chap 6 (cont.)

Chap 6, pg. 156 – 171

Sedimentary Rocks Lab



 Chap 7 – Metamorphic Rocks

Chap 7, pg. 178-193    

 Metamorphic Rocks Lab


Chap 8 – Mass Wasting

Chap 8, pg .198-212

Mass Wasting Video



Chap 9 – Running Water

Chap 9, pg. 216- 235

Stream Gradient & Sinuosity


EXAM 2 (Chap 5, 6, 7 & 8)


 Rocks & Minerals Lab Rev.



Chap 9 (cont.)




Chap 10 - Groundwater

Chap 10, pg 240-254

Stream Processes and Landforms



Chap 10 (cont.)

Chap 11 –   Glaciers & Glaciation

Chap 10 pg. 255-258

Chap 11, pg. 262-273

Groundwater Lab


Chap 11 (cont.)

Chap 11, pg. 274-283

Glacier Landforms



Chapter 12 –  Deserts and Wind

Chap 12, pg 288-303

Desert Landforms


Chapter 15 – Plate Tectonics

Chap 15, pg.362-377

Topographic Maps



EXAM 3 (Chap 9, 10, 11 & 12)

Chap 15 (cont)

Chap15, pg. 378-389

Topographic Maps


Chap 14 – Earthquakes & Earth Interior

Chap 14, pg. 336-347

Earthquake Lab



Chapter 14 – cont

Chap 14, pg. 348-358 

Tsunami Video


Chapter 17 –

Crustal Deformation & Mountain Building

Chap 17, pg. 416-433

Structural Map & Block Diagrams


Last Day to Drop with a “Q”


Last Day to Drop with a “Q”



Chap 18 – Geologic Time

Chap 18, pg. 438-458  

Relative Dating Lab


Chapter 13 - Shorelines

Chap 13, pg 308-331

Coastal Processes & Landforms



EXAM 4 (Chap 14, 15, 17 & 18)

Chap 20 –.Global Climate Change

Chap 20, pg. 494-520

Review for Lab Final Exam











Presentation of Project


Presentation of Project



Review for Final Exam


Review for Final Exam


FINAL EXAM … 7:45 – 9:45 am