Geology 155 Syllabus

Spring 2013

Last updated: March 31, 2013

Instructor: Steve Macias


Office Hours:  M 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; T 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Th by appointment

Course Objective: Geology 155 is a study of the main geologic hazards that affect society by causing economic damage and loss of life.  Upon successful completion of the course, a student will understand the hazards associated with earthquakes, tsunami, volcanism, floods, mass movement, and coastal areas.  Case studies are used as examples, allowing students to recognize which geologic hazards are most common in various regions throughout the world.  Also, students will learn what steps can be taken to minimize potential risks from these hazards.

Student Workload and Course Structure:  Students should expect to spend about 20 hours per week on class work.  This includes time spent reading from the text and time spent online.  Course work will be poste0d on a weekly basis on Mondays at 12:00 a.m. in the Lessons/Assignments area on ANGEL.  Students should check this area every Monday to see what the assignments will be for the upcoming week and the due dates for those assignments.  Students should have Internet access to complete the course.

Course Communication:  General questions about course content and assignments should be posted on the in the General Discussion Board which is located in the Communicate/Discussion Forums area.  This is very helpful because many students often have the same question about an assignment or topic and it can then be answered once on the General Discussion Board instead of numerous times over e-mail.  Your instructor will attempt to answer questions from the Discussion Board within 48 hours unless otherwise noted.  You are must check the General Discussion Board frequently to keep abreast of course questions and student comments.  This should be at least every other day.

Microsoft PowerPoint and Word:  Access to Microsoft PowerPoint and/or Microsoft Word (or some other word processing program) is necessary to complete assignments for the course.  It is not necessary that students be experts using this software, though they should be able to edit Word documents and/or create new PowerPoint slides that include images and text.  This is fairly simple if you have any background using Microsoft products.

E-mail and Course Mail:  If you have questions you do not wish to address to the entire class, feel free to contact me via Course Mail or e-mail.  I will attempt to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours unless otherwise noted. 

Credit: Geology 155 is a 5.0 credit Natural Science class that DOES NOT fulfill a Natural Science Laboratory requirement.

Text: Natural Disasters, 6th edition, 2008, Abbott, P. L.

Grades: Final course grades will be based on the percentage of points scored by the student throughout the quarter.  The formula for final grades is as follows: 

     Grade = [final percentage - 0.55] * 10  

     (example:  an 88% would be [0.88 - 0.55] * 10 = 3.3 )

Student Accommodations:  Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability
  should contact the Office of Access Services in HSS 204, or call 475-7540 for information or an appointment.

Missed Assignments: No make-up exams or assignments will be given without prior approval.  Unexcused exam absences and
 assignments are recorded as zeros.

Reserve Clause: The instructor reserves the right to modify the course requirements, assignments, topics, grading
 procedures, and other related policies as circumstances may dictate.

Starting Dates
Reading from Text
Exam Due Dates
Monday, April 1
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Tuesday, April 9
Monday, April 8
Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Tuesday, April 16
Monday, April 15
Earthquakes and Tsunami
Chapters 4 and 5
Chapters 4 and 5
Friday, April 26
Monday, April 22
Historical Earthquakes
Chapters 6 and 7
Chapters 6 and 7
Friday, May 3
Monday, April 29
Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics
Chapter 8
Chapter 8
Tuesday, May 7
Monday, May 6
Historical Volcanic Eruptions
Chapter 9
Chapter 9
Tuesday, May 14
Monday, May 13
Mass Movement
Chapter 10
Chapter 10
Tuesday, May 21
Monday, May 20
Hurricanes and the Coastline
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Tuesday, May 28
Monday, May 27
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Tuesday, June 4
Monday, June 3 (ends Monday, June 10)
Current Geologic Hazards
Comprehensive Final Exam
Monday, June 10