Syllabus

Course Outcomes

The purpose of this course is to give you a greater appreciation of the earth by introducing you to its geological history. Careful study and digestion of concepts presented in Historical Geology will provide a conceptual foundation for all of your later geology courses. Geology 103 is divided into two natural parts: Part I (lessons 1–9) is an introduction to the basic geological principles that enable us to decipher the rock and fossil record. Part II (lessons 10–16) is a “role call of the ages” in the sense that we will study the earth's history (interactive changes in physical and biological world) from the beginning of the universe to the present. Some of the topics which will be discussed include the following: theories pertaining to the origin of the earth; the concept of geologic time as a scale that informs all geological processes; the origin of life and its subsequent development over the last three billion years; the nature, geological ranges, and habits of important fossil groups; changes in the position and appearance of the North American continent resulting from plate tectonic interactions; the waxing and waning of Pleistocene ice sheets and their profound effect upon the globe; and the appearance of Homo sapiens sapiens.

Fundamentals
Demonstrate understanding of the fundamentals of uniformitarianism and the scientific methods for determining the relative and absolute ages of the earth's materials and events.

Sedimentary Rock Record
Demonstrate a basic understanding of the origin and historical significance of sedimentary rocks. Be able to identify common clastic and non-clastic sedimentary rock types in hand sample and on outcrop. Be able to determine the depositional environment from rock type and outcrop pattern. Understand the age and significance of Sloss' depositional sequences.

The Record of Life
Be able to recognize the nature and mode of fossil preservation. Be able to identify the major invertebrate fossil groups and signify the environmental significance of each. Use fossils to recognize the age of sedimentary strata.

Descent with Modification
Demonstrate a basic knowledge of organic evolution including the key concepts of natural selection and its role in producing the fossil record. Be able to explain the evidence that led Darwin to the theory of natural selection as well as post-Darwinian discoveries.

Ecological Evolution
Understand that modern Earth is a product of the coevolution of the biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere over 4.6 billion years of earth history. Demonstrate knowledge of key biological, depositional, tectonic, and climatic events in the context of the geological timescale.

Geological Maps
Be able to decipher the geological history of an area from a geological map.

Communicating Science
Demonstrate mastery of a scientific concept and ability to convey that concept to a body of peers using PowerPoint and/or other professional means.

Prerequisites

No prerequisites

Course Materials

Levin, Harold L. and David T. King, The Earth Through Time. 11th edition. Somerset, NJ: John Wiley, & Sons, Inc., 2017.

This book was selected for the course because it is well written and copiously illustrated. The illustrations and photographs are the best in any current historical geology textbook. Examine the figures and photographs carefully as you read; they are excellent visual summaries of the major concepts presented in the text, and they will help you visualize the geological and paleontological patterns that form the basis of historical interpretation.

Assignments

Self-Checks

In each lesson you will find Self-Checks. These do not count towards your final grade, and you can take them as many times as you would like. They will help prepare you for your lesson quizzes and exams.

Quizzes

This course contains sixteen lesson quizzes that correspond to the concepts and content that accompanies each of the lessons. They consist of true/false, multiple-choice, and matching questions.

Exams

This course contains a midcourse exam and a final exam. The exams consist of multiple-choice and true/false questions. The questions will be silmilar to those found in the lesson quizzes. The final exam will be comprehensive.

Grading

Graded Element Percent of Final Grade
Lesson Quizzes
(16 total)
40%
Midcourse Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%
Grading Scale
A 100–95%
A− 94–90%
B+ 89–87%
B 86–83%
B− 82–80%
C+ 79–77%
C 76–73%
C− 72–70%
D+ 69–66%
D 65–63%
D− 62–58%
E (fail) <57%

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

Assignments

16 computer-graded quizzes. Quizzes may be resumbitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.

Exams

There is a Mid-Course Exam and a Final for this course.  They are proctored. You may retake them once for a fee. You must pass the final exam with at least a 60% in order to pass the course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514
USA

BYU Copyright Notice for TEACH ACT

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy.

Copyright notice for specific, individual copies
All copies are intended for non-commercial, educational purposes in connection with this registered course and only for students enrolled in this course. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws.