Geology 315

Generic Syllabus
(Colgate students, please see updated syllabus on Blackboard)

Instructor: Dr. Constance M. Soja
Office: Ho 342-343; x 7200
Office hours: 9:30-10:15 am  MWF
Lectures: 10:20-11:10  MWF
Laboratory: 1:20-4 pm W
Textbooks: Prothero, D.R. 2004. Bringing Fossils to Life. 2nd ed.

(optional): Boardman, R.S., Cheetham, A.H., and
Rowell, A.J. (eds.) 1987.
Fossil Invertebrates.
Blackwell Scientific Publications, 713 p.


click here for
Lectures, Exams, and
Reading Assignments
  click here for
Lab Schedule



Grade Assessment - Lecture

    Colgate now has a fractional course credit system. That means for lecture+lab courses in geology, you'll be earning 1.25 course credits. Grades must now be submitted for both the lecture and lab parts of these courses (these will show up as separate line items on your transcript), and students must satisfactorily pass both the lecture and lab to earn course credit.

In the lecture part of the course, the final grade will be determined from the cumulative score you earn on one homework assignment, ESE (ecological services exposé), two exams, one oral presentation, completion of a field trip report, laboratory component (see below), and participation. Class attendance and participation in lecture, classroom discussions, lab, and the field trip will also count in the student's favor. Points will be awarded as follows:

Homework Assignment  20 points
ESE  10 points
Midterm Exam 100 points
Laboratory Component 200 points
Oral presentation  50 points
Field Trip  20 points
Final Exam (self scheduled) 150 points
Participation  50 points
Total 600 points possible

Grade Assessment - Lab

    In the laboratory part of the course, the final grade will be determined from the cumulative score you earn on 13 lab reports and 2 lab quizzes. Notice that the grade you earn in the lab will be computed as part of your overall lecture grade. In the past, students have tended to do very well in the lab (but could do better on the lab quizzes). On average, points earned in the lab have had a neutral impact or, more commonly, pulled up the final lecture component grade by 1-10%. Points in the lab will be awarded as follows:

Lab exercises  130 points
Lab quizzes  70 points
Total 200 points possible

Class Attendance/Participation
    Students are expected to attend class regularly and to participate in classroom and lab discussions. During the semester, those who miss more than a couple of classes (sick days), are late for class or lab, or are inattentive and nonparticipatory (e.g., sleepy) in class or lab will receive a poor evaluation for participation, which will have a negative impact on their overall course grade (see above). Please note that to avoid disruption, students should be on time for class and lab.
Make-up Exam Policy
    No make-up exams will be given for a student absent from the Midterm unless extraordinary circumstances (serious illness or family emergency; both must be confirmed by Class Dean) are involved. If you cannot be present for the exam, you must notify me beforehand--either by contacting me directly or by leaving a message at ext. 7200. It is your responsibility to make arrangements with me to take a make-up exam, which must be scheduled within two lectures of the original exam date. No make-up exams will be given for the Final Exam (Colgate policy).

"Dancing to the Fossil Record" by Ray Troll
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updated 8/07

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