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Semester: Fall, 2014 Section: 14855
Class Meets: MWF 9:00-10:00 AM Location: Room SEC 103

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer N. Lytwyn Office: Room 227D, S&R-1 Bldg
Department Phone: 713/743-3399 E-Mail:
Office Hours: MW 1:30-2:30 PM or e-mail for an appointment.

Course Schedule

Dates Topics Reading Assignments
Aug. 25, 27,
1_Introduction Chpt. 1
Sept. 3, 5, 8 2_Solar Energy and Seasons Chpt. 2
Sept. 10 2_Earths Atmosphere Chpt. 2
Sept. 12, 15 3_Atmospheric Energy and Global Temp. Chpt. 3 #1 in Module 3
Due Sept. 15
Sept. 17 Exam 1 (Chapters 1, 2, 3 & lecture notes)
Sept. 19, 22,
4_Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation Chpt. 4 #2 in Module 4:
Due Sept. 25
Sept. 26, 29
Oct. 1
5_Atmospheric Water and Weather Chpt. 5 #3, #4 in Module
5: Due Oct. 6
Oct. 1 Group sign-up should be complete
Oct. 3 6_Water Resources Chpt. 6
Oct. 6, 8 7_Climate Systems and Climate Change Chpt. 7
Oct. 10 Exam 2 (Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 & lecture notes)
Oct. 13, 15 8a_Earths Internal Energy and Structure Chpt. 8 #5 in Module 8:
Due Oct. 17
Oct. 17, 20 8b_ Plate Tectonics Chpt. 8 #6 in Module 8:
Due Nov. 3
Oct. 22 8c_Minerals Chpt. 8
Oct. 24, 27 8d_Rocks Chpt. 8
Oct. 29, 31
Nov. 3
9_Tectonics, Earthquakes and Volcanoes Chpt. 9
Nov. 5, 7 10_Weathering, Karst Landscapes, Mass Mov. Chpts. 10, 11
Nov. 10 Exam 3 (Chapters 8, 9, 10 & lecture notes)
Nov. 12, 14 12_The Oceans and Coastal Systems Chpt. 12 #7, #8 in Module
12: Due Dec. 1
Nov. 17, 19,
13_Glacial and Periglacial Landscapes Chpt. 13
Nov. 23 Extra Credit Group Projects due
Nov. 24 14_The Geography of Soils Chpt. 14
Dec. 1, 3 15_Ecosystem Essentials Chpt. 15
Dates Topics Reading Assignments
Dec. 5 16_Terrestrial Biomes Chpt. 16
Dec. 8
9:00 am
Make-up Exams 1-3 at Geoscience Learning

Dec. 15
9:00 am
Exam 4 (Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 &
lecture notes)

Class Materials and Resources

Text: Elemental Geosystems, 7
Edition, by Robert W. Christopherson, published by Pearson
Prentice Hall (2013).

Blackboard Learn: Class materials, communication tools, and other information are available
online on Blackboard Learn via AccessUH at First-time users
of Blackboard need to get their user name and initial password by following the posted
instructions at this website. Once you access this course in Blackboard, you will find the
syllabus and other important information posted in the Welcome folder.

Reading, Lecture Slides, Self Tests and Assignments: The reading assignments for each week
are listed in the course schedule of this syllabus. Follow this schedule closely in order to be
prepared for upcoming exams. Additional resources such as lecture slides and self tests for each
chapter are provided in Blackboard within the Learning Modules folder. Open this folder to
view the individual modules. Module numbers correspond to chapter numbers in the textbook.
Notice that each module, when opened, contains lecture slides and self test for that chapter. I
recommend that you print and bring the lecture slides and/or laptop to class and add your own
notes during lectures. The self tests are for your benefit as practice for upcoming exams, so the
scores will not be recorded and have no effect on your grade. Take the self tests as many times
as you like. Links to assignments are also posted in the appropriate modules. See Assignments
below for further information.

Geoscience Learning Center: The Geoscience Learning Center is a facility on campus that
provides assistance, tutoring, and study materials for students of the Earth and Atmospheric
Sciences. See the information posted for the GLC in the Welcome folder for location and hours
of operation. The teaching assistants at the Learning Center are there to help you better
understand the course materials. They will help you with any questions or problems you may
have regarding the course. I encourage you to take advantage of this resource. There are also
additional resources available at the Learning Center such as videos, textbooks, rock and mineral
samples, and interactive computer resources that will help you better understand the topics we
will cover. The GLC website can be accessed at

Exams, Assignments, and Extra Credit

Exams: There will be four (4) regular exams, each worth 25% of your grade. Exam dates are
listed in the course schedule. Bring #2 pencils and an eraser to the exam. Also bring a photo
ID. I will provide the scantrons. Your exam grades will be posted on Blackboard and can be
viewed in the My Grades tool located on the left menu of the Course Content page. Zero
points will be assigned for missed exams.

Make-up Exams: If you miss Exam 1, 2, or 3, you can make it up at the Geoscience Learning
Center on the day and time set aside for make-up exams as indicated in the course schedule.
Make-up exams are only for those who missed an exam. You cannot retake an exam. If you
missed more than one exam, you will need to provide documentation proving that the second
missed exam was for a legitimate reason beyond your control.

Assignments (Optional) Can Replace Lowest Score for Exams 1-3: Assignments and due
dates are listed on the course schedule and available on Blackboard Learn via links in the
Learning Modules (see schedule). These assignments are optional but can be used to replace
the lowest exam score for Exams 1-3. Note that the assignments will NOT replace a missed
exam. Print and complete the assignment but do not turn it in. Instead, answer the accompanying
questions that are posted separately in the same module as the assignment. After submitting your
answers, your score will be displayed and recorded in My Grades. YOU ARE ALLOWED
WILL BE RECORDED. Note that you will not be given the correct answers, only your score,
after submitting your answers. If your score is low, go over the assignment again and revise if
necessary before submitting your answers a second time. Your average score for all the
completed assignments can be used to replace your lowest exam score for Exams 1-3 if the
average is higher than any of the three exam scores. Note that the average will be based on the
total number of assignments (8) available, not just the ones that you completed. It is therefore
important to complete all the assignments. If all three exam scores are higher than the average
for assignments, then none will be replaced. NOTE THAT THE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT

Extra Credit Group Project (Optional): The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
encourages team work in courses offered by state universities. In order to comply with this
recommendation, extra credit will be awarded to those participating in group projects.
Participation in a group project is optional. If you are interested in being part of a group project,
then read the accompanying document Instructions For Group Project. Members of successful
projects with have their final course average (average of the four exams) increased by three
percent. See the instructions for more information.

Final Grade: Your final grade will be based on the average of four exams in addition to any
extra credit earned from the Group Project. The grading scale is as follows: 90-100 (A), 80-89
(B), 70-79 (C), 60-69 (D), <60 (F). Letter grades include pluses and minuses.


My office location, office hours, and UH e-mail are noted at the top of this syllabus. We can
also schedule an appointment via e-mail if you wish. We will mostly communicate in class and
through Blackboard. Become familiar with the Messages tool located on the menu bar to the left
of the Course Content page. Note that the Course Content page also includes a Chat Room
for real-time communication. You can use the Chat Room for online study groups.

Dropping the Course

Wednesday, September 10, is the last day to drop a course without receiving a grade. Friday,
October 31, is the last day to drop the course and receive a W. Keep in mind that the university
does not allow instructors to assign a W after the deadline. It is your responsibility to drop the
course if you so choose. If you simply stop coming to class, do not assume that you will be
dropped from the course or will automatically receive a grade of W. If you do not formally drop
the course, then I will continue to carry you on the rolls and assign a grade based on your scores
at the end of the semester.

Beginning in Fall semester 2007, all students (current, transfer, and first time in college students)
are permitted a total of six Ws (withdrawals), whether student or instructor initiated. Ws may be
used at any time during their college career to drop a course up through the last day to drop a
course or withdraw from all courses. When these six Ws have been used, the student must
complete all subsequent courses.

ADA Guidelines

Whenever possible, and in accordance with 504/ADA guidelines, the University of Houston will
attempt to provide reasonable academic accommodations to students who request and require
them. Please call 713-743-5400 for more assistance.

Academic Honesty

Please review the UH policy on academic honesty at