Vince/ PhysGeoLab/Geo1405Lab-Fall2021.html

Spanish Peaks, Colorado, as viewed in late spring from the north, looking south.

Spanish Peaks, Colorado, as viewed in late spring from the north, looking south. Photo by Vince Cronin.

Home page for the Physical Geology Lab (Geo 1405 The Dynamic Earth)

This page is revised frequently throughout the semester. Reload this page in your browser every time you visit this page to be certain that you are reading the most current course information.


About This Course

This course is a university-level introductory laboratory science course.

Purpose Of This Course

This course 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.

This course will be conducted face-to-face at Baylor University's Waco campus.

The laboratory is designed as "flipped" learning experiences. Students are expected to study the assigned texts and work through the assigned laboratory activities before coming to thel ab meetings. Lab meetings are for completing assigned work that each student has already begun. It is the teacher's responsibility to organize work that a student is assigned to do, and to provide guidance and assistance upon request. Student learning occurs primarily through working through the assignments.

How To Contact Your Graduate Teaching Assistant


Required Laboratory Textbook

You need to have acquired the following textbook and be ready to work with it
before the first laboratory meetings (August 31-September 2).
AGI/NAGT Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology , 12th edition (paper copy ONLY) Print Lab Manual ISBN: 9780135836972

You MUST acquire your very own personal copy of the PAPER VERSION of the Lab Manual 12th edition.

You can acquire the Lab Manual either from the Baylor Bookstore, by ordering it directly from Pearson Higher Education , or through other online book vendors like Amazon

If you need any further clarification of this list of required resources, you can email, text, or call Professor Cronin. His phone number was given in an announcement published through Canvas on August 9, 2020.


Lab Safety Information

  1. Your safety during laboratory sessions in Geo 1405 is your responsibility alone.
  2. You are stongly encouraged to be inoculated with one of the three COVID vaccines that are available at no cost to you on campus and at local pharmacies (e.g., CVS, Walgreen's, HEB). For more information, go to
  3. If you are feeling ill on the day of a lab meeting, (a) do not attend lab while feeling ill, (b) notify your graduate teaching assistant in a timely manner telling them why you are absent, and (c) get tested for COVID and, if appropriate, the flu.
  4. The teachers (a group that includes Dr. Lyndsay DiPietro, Dr. Vince Cronin, Sharon Browning, and the graduate teaching assistants) have the authority to enforce the guidelines and policies that relate to this laboratory course, including requiring non-compliant or non-cooperative students to leave the lab room immediately.
  5. You are required to wear an effective facial mask over your nose and mouth at all times while attending all GEO 1405 lab meetings. This is required of all students and teachers in the GEO 1405 labs, regardless of their vaccine status.
  6. You should maintain a sufficient (~1 meter) physical distance between you and other humans while in lab.
  7. You should wash or disinfect your hands before participating in lab meetings and as necessary during lab. You should disinfect your work area as necessary when you leave it, making sure that it is sufficiently dry so that it does not damage any lab books or lab activity/response sheets.
  8. You are required to take care for the safety needs of your classmates and teachers in connection with all lab meetings and activities.
  9. We will follow the policies and guidelines promulgated by Baylor University and the Geosciences Department in response to the COVID pandemic as the minimum baseline requirements.


Tentative Lab Schedule

The lab schedule is subject to revision. Reload this page in your browser to be certain that you are viewing the most current information.

Dates Lab Manual
Topic and Link
to More Info
Pre-lab Video Assigned
Lab Activities
Aug 24–26 No lab during the first week of class
Aug 31 – Sept 02 Chapter 01 Introduction Activities 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7
Sept 07–09 Chapter 02 Plate Tectonics Activities 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 2.8
Sept 14–16 Chapter 03 Minerals Activities 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5
Sept 21–23 Chapter 05 Igneous Rocks Activities 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 5.8
Sept 28–30 Chapter 06 Sedimentary Rocks Activities 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8
Oct 05–07 Chapter 07 Metamorphic Rocks Activities 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5
Oct 12–14 No Labs or Lab Quizzes This Week. Take an afternoon nap.
Oct 19–21 Chapter 08 Geologic Time Activities 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5
Oct 26–28 Chapter 09 Topo Maps Activities 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6
Nov 02–04 Chapter 11 Earthquakes Activities 11.1 (parts C, D, and E ONLY), 11.2,
11.3, 11.4, and 11.5
Nov 09–11 Chapter 12 Streams Activities 12.1, 12.3, 12.5, 12.7
Nov 16–18 Chapter 13 Groundwater Activities 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.6
Nov 22–26 No lectures this week — Thanksgiving Break
Nov 30 – Dec 02 Chapter 17 Climate Click HERE Activities 17.1, 17.2, 17.4, 17.5, 17.6

To complete these labs, you will usually need a ruler with a metric scale (cm, mm) and a smartphone with a calculator app or 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). You will always need something you can use to write LEGIBLY and CLEARLY on the lab activity sheets. Some lab activities require that you use colored pencils/pens.


Grades and Grading

The 75% Rule

The Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences has had a rule for many years that a student automatically fails a course in which they are not present for at least 75% of the lecture and lab meetings. This course employs this grading criterion.

In addition to the attendance requirement, a student can only earn a grade above an "F" in this course by completing and submitting (on time) at least 75% of the weekly labs. "Complete" means that 100% of the assigned lab activities are completed and submitted online, with the original student worksheets submitted directly to the graduate teaching assistant, and the end-of-lab quiz is completed online.

About Accessing Your Grades

Grades for the lab part of the course are accessed through the Canvas account for each specific lab section, and are posted by the corresponding graduate teaching assistant.

If you have any questions or comments about this site or its contents, drop an email to the humble webmaster .
All of the original content of this website is © 2021 by Vincent S. Cronin