Intro Geosciences I: Physical Geology  

GEOL 1121 (03), Fall 2010

Lecture: M,W,F  10:00 AM – 10:50PM        TLC 1301

Instructor: Dr. Brad Deline                           E-mail: CourseDen or

Office: Calloway G1-4                                   Office hours: Tuesday 12-5, Wednesday 2-5 & by appointment



Course description


Physical Geology focuses on the materials that compose the earth and the processes that operate within and upon its surface. In this class we will study the composition of the earth, Geologic time, Minerals, Rocks, and geologic processes such as mountain building, volcanoes, landslides, and earthquakes. It is the objective of this class for you to have a base understanding of physical geology and how geology affects your everyday life.


Learning Objectives


1)      Describe the scientific methods used by geologists.

2)      Describe the basic geologic materials.

3)      Use your knowledge of geologic materials to explain geologic processes.

4)      Describe the ways geologic processes affect everyday life and society.


Attendance and expectations:


Class meetings are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00-10:50 in TLC 1301. It has been my experience that the best predictor of a student’s final grade is their attendance, so come to class. There will be either a quiz or assignment due every Friday as well as on many other days. Absences will not excuse you from any course work and there will not be makeup quizzes. I expect assignments to be turned in on their due data, Late work will be extremely penalized (25% per day late).


Required textbook


Tarburk, E. J. and F. K. Lutgens. 2008. Earth: an Introduction to Physical Geology. 9th edition.  Pearson-Prentice Hall, NJ.


Office hours


I have eight hours scheduled each week for office hours. However, you are more than welcome to email me with questions or to set up additional times to meet. Also, feel free to call me when I am on campus at (678-839-4061) or stop by my office (it will be open when I am there).  One side note, I am going to try and keep Thursdays open for research, so keep than in mind when dropping by my office.  I will try to be prompt in my responses to emails, but emailing me the night before/ morning of a quiz or assignment is due will not be to your benefit.    


Quizzes and Exam


Every other week a quiz will be given during class on Friday. These quizzes will be a mixture of multiple choice and short answer. To prepare for these quizzes it is recommended that you read the book, review your class notes, and go through the review questions at the end of the chapters that were covered (these may show up on the quizzes).  There will be a total of 7 quizzes, but your lowest quiz score for the semester will be dropped. The final exam will be cumulative with the majority of questions coming directly from the previous quizzes, therefore, keep and study the quizzes. 


Google Earth Exercises


Each week without a quiz an assignment will be due.  These assignments will be completed using Google Earth. This is a free program that can be downloaded from  This program is an interactive tool in exploring and examining the surface of the earth and geologic processes. It is highly recommended to start these assignments well in advance of the due date.  These assignments will be posted in advance on CourseDen. These assignments can be done on your own or in small groups, but I expect that your answers will be your own and if I am consistently seeing the same wording from students the assignments will not be accepted.


Geology in the News


Many different aspects of geology show up in the news (earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and much more).  During the semester find four news stories relating to the issues discussed in class (from reputable sources, such as,, ect.). Write a short (1 page double spaced) summary of the news article and explain why it is important, which will be turned in when noted below.  Make sure to include where you found the article.       


A note on Plagiarism


I realize it is very tempting and easy to plagiarize assignments.  However, I expect that all assignments will be in your own words and when you paraphrase an article, that article will be cited. As easy as it is to plagiarize, it is just as easy to catch. Any instances of Plagiarism will result in a 0 on the assignment and will be reported to the dean’s office.






Grading policies


Your grade in the class will be computed as followed:


Quizzes (7 total, lowest score dropped)       45%

Google Earth Assignments (7 Total)             30%

Geology in the News (4 total)                       10%

Final Exam                                                     15%    



Lecture Schedule – This schedule is tentative and may change throughout the semester, if so I will let you know and post changes on courseden.





Aug. 13

Class Introduction,  Science, Geology, and Time


Aug. 16

Geologic Time 1

Chapter 9

Aug. 18

Geologic Time 2                                       


Aug. 20

Earth Properties                                       Google Earth Exercise 1 Due

Chapter 12

Aug. 23

Plate Tectonics 1                                                                              

Chapter 2

Aug. 25

Plate Tectonics 2                                        


Aug. 27



Aug. 30


Chapter 3

Sept. 1



Sept. 3

Crystals                                                     Google Earth Exercise 2 Due                                                               


Sept. 6



Sept. 8

Rock Cycle                                      


Sept. 10

QUIZ 2                       


Sept. 13

Igneous Rocks 1

Chapter 4

Sept. 15

Igneous Rocks 2                                           


Sept. 17

Igneous Rocks 3                                        Google Earth Exercise 3 Due                                                                                         


Sept. 20


Chapter 5

Sept. 22

Weathering and Erosion

Chapter 6

Sept. 24



Sept. 27

Sedimentary Rocks 1                                            

Chapter 7

Sept. 29

Sedimentary Rocks 2                                                 


Oct. 1

Sedimentary Rocks 3                               Google Earth Exercise 4 Due                                                                                         


Oct. 4

Metamorphic Rocks 1

Chapter 8

Oct. 6

Metamorphic Rocks 2                                                                    


Oct. 8



Oct. 11

Folds and Faults                                                  

Chapter 10

Oct. 13


Chapter 11

Oct. 15



Oct. 18


Chapter 15

Oct. 20

Landslides +Glaciers                                                  

Chapter 18

Oct. 22

Glaciers                                                      Google Earth Exercise 5 Due


Oct. 25

Water 1                                                     

Chapter 16

Oct. 27

Water 2                                                                                     

Chapter 17

Oct. 29      QUIZ 5

Nov. 1

Extra Credit Video in class


Nov. 3      NO CLASS                      

Nov. 5

Shorelines                                                  Google Earth Exercise 6 Due

Chapter 20

Nov. 8      Shorelines and Winds

Nov. 10


Chapter 19

Nov. 12



Nov. 15    Geologic Resources 1                                                                                Chapter 23

Nov. 17

Geologic Resources 1


Nov. 19    Climate Change                                       Google Earth Exercise 7 Due  

Nov. 22

Climate Change


Nov. 24



Nov. 26



Nov. 29    Review                QUIZ 7                        

Dec. 1

Final Exam