Vince/ PhysGeoLab/ Geo1405-LabSyllabus-Spring18.html

Students working together on a lab activity.

Students working together on a lab activity.

Tentative Lab Syllabus: Geology 1405 The Dynamic Earth

We reserve the right to revise this syllabus as necessary throughout the semester. Notice of revision will generally be given via email broadcast to registered students in the course.
Revised 13 January 2018

Important note: This syllabus is not a contract.

The lab homepage is

The laboratory teachers for this course are

All email communication to your teachers concerning this course should originate from your Baylor email account.

Purpose Of This Lab

The laboratory portion of this course provides us with an opportunity to engage in active learning, and to get a close-up look at minerals, rocks, fossils, maps, and other materials that are important to the study of physical geology. This course overall is an attempt to explore and summarize the best scientific understanding of Earth's ~4.6 billion year age, evolution, composition, and major dynamic systems, as that understanding exists in the geoscience community based on published peer-reviewed scientific literature. We want you to become literate with respect to the Earth sciences (

Your goal should be mastery of the material that you are asked to learn in this course. This will take 1-2 hours of work for every lab meeting. If you are not willing to devote that amount of time to this course, you will not learn the material and, hence, there is little point in your taking this course. You need to commit to doing good work and learning the course material.

Required Book

Lab-section text: Cronin [editor], 2017, AGI/NAGT Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology 11th edition: Pearson, 426 p.

You MUST PRINT your name LEGIBLY on the inside cover of your lab book.

About Lab

Approximate Lab Schedule

DatesTopicPre-lab ReadingItems You Must Bring to Lab*
Jan 9-11No Labs The First WeekRead ahead
Jan 16-18Plate tectonics (cancelled)Lab 2, p. 37-54red or orange pencil
Jan 23-25MineralsLab 3, p. 69-96cleavage goniometer cut from GeoTools sheet 1
(back of lab book), optional magnifying lens
Jan 30-Feb 1Igneous rockLab 5, p. 123-138optional magnifying lens
Feb 6-8Sedimentary rockLab 6, p. 149-168optional magnifying lens
Feb 13-15Metamorphic rockLab 7, p. 185-196optional magnifying lens
Feb 20-22Mineral & Rock QuizLabs 3 & 5-7optional magnifying lens
Feb 27-Mar 1Dating rocks, geologic timeLab 8, p. 207-220black or blue pen
Mar 13-15Topo mapsLab 9, p. 231-252protractor, colored pencils, black or blue pen
Mar 20-22Earth structuresLab 10, p. 265-280colored pencils, scissors, optional magnifying lens
Mar 27-29EarthquakesLab 16, p. 409-416drafting compass**
Apr 3-5StreamsLab 11, p. 293-306colored pencils, piece of string or
thread about 30 cm (12 inches) long
Apr 10-12GroundwaterLab 12, p. 325-336colored pencils
Apr 17-19No Labs due to DiadelosoTake an afternoon nap
April 24-26GlaciersLab 13, p. 347-374

* These items are in addition to your lab book, a pencil, a ruler with a metric scale (cm, mm), and an inexpensive scientific calculator (e.g., Texas Instruments TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator, or Casio FX-260SOLAR11 Scientific Calculator — both available at big-box stores for ~$10 or less) or a sufficiently charged smartphone with a calculator app.

** A drafting compass is a device for drawing circles.

Other Important Information


The lab grade is based on the quality of your work on laboratory activities, beginning/end-of-lab and midterm quizzes, and any homework that might be assigned. The lab grade is reported to the faculty member who teaches your lecture section as a percentage score out of a possible 100% perfect score. The lab grade comprises 25% of the total course grade, and the lecture part of the course supplies the remaining 75% of the grade.

Academic Integrity

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

In the spirit of being a good steward of university resources, you must be careful not to damage or abuse samples, maps, models, reserve materials, or other resources provided for your use in this course.

For answers to frequently asked questions about geology and science, go to

Students Needing Academic Accommodations

Any student needing academic accommodations as documented through the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA) should inform their lecture teacher and lab instructor 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 the Dynamic Earth laboratory are not unlimited, and do not include taking quizzes or exams at an OALA-administered site outside of the Geosciences Department.

Issues Related to Title IX

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

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

For an overview of Title IX, read the description available from at

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