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Igneous contact at Salisbury Crags in Scotland, where James Hutton correctly interpreted the relationship between the igneous rock (dolerite) and the sedimentary rock. This area of the crags is called Hutton's Section. Photo by Vince Cronin.
The introductory course in structural geology introduces novice geoscientists to information that is essential to the professional practice of geology and geophysics, whether in academic research or as applied to meet societal need for resources, hazard recognition/mitigation, safe development of buildings and other infrastructure, or public planning/policy. This is an introduction to structural geology, in the same sense that what you see of an iceberg above water is an introduction to the entire iceberg.
I expect every novice geoscientist to work toward mastery of the material in this course. That involves learning to understand and use geoscience terminology correctly, developing skills (making concept sketches, coding with a computer app like Excel or MatLab or Mathematica or..., being comfortable with basic counting statistics, embracing the assessment of uncertainty, contouring, making cross sections, finding references online, making structural contour maps, interpreting geologic maps, understanding basic GPS positioning technology, use of a Brunton compass, achieving clear written communication, etc.), and building background knowledge about how geological materials deform.
I expect every student in my course to treat every other student and me with respect, to be courteous, and to have an unwavering commitment to the truth. I expect geoscientists to act with integrity in their professional/scientific lives and interpersonal interactions.
Learning the material in this course is your responsibility alone. Through this webpage and its linked/referenced resources, you have plenty of opportunity to access good information about structural geology and related areas of geophysics and engineering. My job is simply to facilitate your learning.
In early December, the work you have done in this course will be evaluated and a letter grade assigned that reflects the quality of that work. Your work will be considered as a portfolio.
Among the criteria that will be relevant to that grade decision are the following:
1. Did you attend every lecture and lab session?
2. Did you submit every homework and assignment complete and on time?
3. Was the work you submitted of high quality, both in terms of content and quality of presentation? For example, was your writing/printing clear and carefully done, or did it appear that you had written your submission while holding a dull pencil using the toes on your left foot as you were trying to avoid the swarm of angry fire ants that you had just stepped on? Clear and careful work is not only a necessity for someone else to understand your process and answers, but it is also a sign of respect.
4. Did you meet expectations for academic, scientific, and personal integrity as manifested in the context of this course?
Some students who are not committed to learning and self development tend to view grades as entitlements, and so they assume they deserve a grade of "A" simply by attending class, smiling at their teacher's occasional attempts at humor, and not causing any trouble. Actually, that qualifies a student for a grade of "F", although perhaps with a notation that they seem to be a nice person.
Earning a passing grade in this core course in structural geology requires your effort. You will need to spend a couple of hours in study for every hour you spend in class, and you will need to master the terminology with a sufficient understanding of the full meaning of each structural-geology term. If you are unwilling to devote that time to the course, you will not do well and will waste your time and money.
A "C" is not an uncommon grade in this course, and a "B" is a good grade. Relatively few grades of "A-" have been assigned by Professor Cronin over the past 3 decades of teaching this course, and the rarely-given grade of "A" means that he believes that the student has mastered the course material.
Students are afforded the opportunity to provide a self-assessment prior to the assigning of a course grade.
The lecture section of the course meets MWF from 11:15 till 12:05 PM. The lab section meets Tuesdays from 2:00 till 4:45 PM. Do not schedule anything else to conflict with these times.
Professor Cronin will be out of town (and hence there will be no course meetings) on the following days this semester:
— Tuesday, August 22
— Wednesday, September 15 through Friday, September 17, for the AEG meeting in Colorado Springs
— Monday, September 25 through Thursday, September 28, for the IRIS E&O Committee meeting in Washington, D.C.
— Monday, October 23 through Friday, October 27, for the GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle
— Sunday, December 10 through Friday, December 15, for the AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans
The last day of this course will be Friday, December 8, by which time all assignments must have been submitted. There is no final exam in this course, because Professor Cronin will be away during the University-scheduled day/time for that exam.
In general, we will devote the lecture meetings to material covered in the online textbook, taken in the order presented beginning with chapter 1. Lab topics are not yet scheduled. The first lab meeting will be August 29.
The online textbook we will study during this course is by Ben van der Pluijm and Steve Marshak, Processes in Structural Geology and Tectonics (psgt.earth.lsa.umich.edu)
We will occasionally use material from Rick Allmendinger's lab book, Modern Structural Practice (www.geo.cornell.edu/geology/faculty/RWA/structure-lab-manual/)
To download the following Mathematica notebooks, either press CONTROL and click on the link (if you are smart enough to be using a Macintosh microcomputer) or right-click (if you still have to press CONTROL ALT DELETE to start your sad little Windows machine). Either way, you will need to have a copy of the Mathematica language loaded and ready to go on your computer in order to run these notebooks.
To run the following file, you will need to have a copy of the CDF Player from Wolfram: https://www.wolfram.com/cdf-player/
I have high academic expectations for you in my course.
If you find yourself struggling academically, you should consider seeking assistance through the Paul L. Foster Success Center in Sid Richardson (www.baylor.edu/successcenter/).
While I am here to facilitate your learning, responsibility for your learning is yours alone. You will need to commit yourself to taking the time necessary to study and to take care of your mental and physical health by getting enough sleep, exercise, and good food every day. There are many distractions at a university, but it is your responsibility to fulfill your most important responsibility — to learn.
Academic integrity refers to the "integral" quality of the search for knowledge that a student undertakes. The work a student produces, therefore, ought to be wholly his or hers; it should result completely from the student's own efforts. A student will be guilty of violating academic integrity if he/she...
(a) knowingly represents work of others as his/her own,
(b) uses or obtains unauthorized assistance in the execution of any academic work, including possessing or using a stolen copy of one of Professor Cronin's exams, or
(c) gives fraudulent assistance to another student.
After McGlynn, A.P., 2001
Plagiarism or any form of cheating involves a breach of student-teacher trust. This means that any work submitted under your name is expected to be your own, neither composed by anyone else as a whole or in part, nor handed over to another person for complete or partial revision. Be sure to document all ideas that are not your own. Instances of plagiarism or any other act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Honor Council and may result in failure of the course. Not understanding plagiarism is not an excuse. As a Baylor student, I expect you to be intimately familiar with the Honor Code — www.baylor.edu/honorcode/
In the spirit of being a good steward of university resources, you must be careful not to abuse samples, maps, models, reserve materials, or other resources provided for your use in this course.
Any student needing academic accommodations as documented through the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA) should inform me immediately at the beginning of the semester. Required documentation and information regarding accommodations is available at the Paul L. Foster Success Center, 1st floor on the East Wing of Sid Richardson, (254) 710-3605. Accommodations available in this course are not unlimited, and do not include taking quizzes or exams at an OALA-administered site outside of the Geosciences Department.
Veterans and active duty military personnel are welcomed and encouraged to communicate, in advance if possible, any special circumstances that might impact their participation in this course, such as an upcoming deployment, drill requirements, or disability accommodations. Contact the VETS Program Office with any questions at (254) 710-7264.
Baylor University asserts that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities, and it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. If you or someone you know would like help related to an experience involving sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, or retaliation for reporting one of these type of prohibited conduct, please contact the Title IX Office at (254) 710-8454 or report online at www.baylor.edu/titleix.
The Title IX Coordinator for Baylor University is Kristan Tucker. The Title IX office understands the sensitive nature of these situations and can provide information about available on- and off-campus resources, such as counseling and psychological services, medical treatment, academic support, university housing, and other forms of assistance that may be available. Staff members at the office can also explain your rights and procedural options if you contact the Title IX Office. You will not be required to share your experience.
If you or someone you know feels unsafe or may be in imminent danger, please call the Baylor Police Department (254-710-2222) or Waco Police Department (9-1-1) immediately. For more information on the Title IX Office, the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence policy, reporting, and resources available, please visit www.baylor.edu/titleix.
For an overview of Title IX, read the description available from Wikipedia.org at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_IX
If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a rape or other serious assault that might have left physical evidence, go (or encourage the other to go) to a hospital emergency room where the evidence can be collected/documented by a trained professional. Go as soon after the assault has occurred as possible, and do not change clothes or wash any part of your body until after the evidence is collected. It is my understanding that this confidential process does not commit anyone to reporting or filing charges in the incident, but it does preserve the evidence and hence preserves your/their ability to pursue legal courses of action in the future. If the evidence is not collected, the possibility that the assailant will be brought to justice is greatly reduced if not completely eliminated.
Assault victims should seek the assistance of a professional counselor who has been trained to help assault victims, and who is sufficiently credentialed so that a victim/client's communication with them is legally recognized as confidential. This professional service must be rendered by a trained and credentialed professional, and is not a service that your friends, family, pastor, minister, lawyer, academic advisor, department head, favorite teacher, dorm RA, or other informal (untrained, uncredentialed) counselors are able to provide. Professional counseling will be necessary to begin the psychological healing process.
Baylor University has reportedly asserted its belief through papers filed with the court that "Universities do not owe a legal duty to protect students from harm from fellow students" (Waco Tribune-Herald, 8 January 2017, "BU moves to dismiss 4th Title IX suit" by Phillip Ericksen).
To develop your background knowledge of the issue of sexual violence on college campuses, I recommend that you begin by reading Jon Krakauer's 2015 book Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town (Doubleday, 384 pp., ISBN 0385538731)
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All of the original content of this website is © 2017 by Vincent S. Cronin