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GEOL 3200: Earth Materials

Fall 2015 Syllabus

T TH 1:30 2:50 pm, E137 Howe Russell Building

Instructor: Dr. Yanxia Ma

Office location: E209 Howe-Russell
Office phone #: 578-2801
Office hours: Thursday 3:00 3:30 pm
Teaching Assistant (TA): Andrew Webb
Office location: E340D Howe-Russell
Office hours: Monday 10-11am
Correspondence Policy:
For questions regarding the course schedule, grading, expectations, etc., first review the syllabus for the requested
Emails regarding questions that can be answered by revisiting the information provided in the syllabus
will be ignored.
LSU student privacy policy prohibits discussion of individual grades via email; an office visit is required.
Contact your TA to schedule a review of your exam(s).
Questions regarding course content or concepts should be directed (first) to the TA.
Unresolved course content questions and all other queries should be directed to Dr. Ma.
Remember to always include your course number and section in the subject line of all email correspondences
(GEOL3200). Otherwise emails might be ignored.
Proper addressed emails will be replied within 48 hours. No responses are guaranteed during off-work hours.

Course Objective: To understand the geologic behavior, occurrence and origin of minerals, rocks, and fluids comprising
the upper portion of the Earth and applied to the stratigraphic record.
Suggested textbooks:
Earth Materials, a Pearson Custom Library publication. ISBN: 978-1-269-23042-1.
*Note: This is a book with chapters that are compiled from excerpts from texts on mineralogy, optical mineralogy,
petrology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy.
Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 5th edition by Sam Boggs, Jr.
Structural Geology,
Note on course credit and expected workload: LSU policy grants one semester hour of credit for every hour of
(weekly) meeting time for lecture courses meeting for three hours or less per week. As a general rule, students are
expected to spend two to three hours per credit working outside of class. Work outside of this class will consist of prelecture reading, homework, and examination preparation.
Attendance/In-class quizzes and homework: Attendance is not explicitly required. However, 10% of the total course
grade is based on in-class quizzes. If you miss class, you are assuming the responsibility obtaining lecture notes and
otherwise compensating for what you have missed.
Each quiz will be worth 1 point. NO makeup is allowed no matter what excuse you have. However, there will

be 12 in-class quizzes given throughout the whole semester, among which 2 activities with your lowest scores
will be dropped off at the end of this semester. Questions regarding content from in-class quizzes may appear on the

W Policy: Students may drop courses through the sixth class day without receiving a grade of W. A W grade will
be entered on a students record for any course dropped between the sixth class day and the final date for resigning from
the University and/or dropping courses. September 4th is the final date for dropping a course without receiving a grade of
Disability: Louisiana State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with
disabilities. Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments under the Americans with
Disabilities Act is required to register with the Disability Services (DS). The Office of Disability is located in 115
Johnston Hall (phone: 225-578-5919). To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DS
forms and meet with me at the beginning of the semester. All discussions will remain confidential. See PS-26.
Academic Integrity: LSU Academic Misconduct Violations: Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to,
cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, and any act designed to give an unfair academic advantage to
the student. Incidences of academic dishonesty will be dealt with in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
Classroom Policies and Expectations: The use of cell phones for calling, texting, or other purposes is NOT permitted.
Turn off all ringers before class begins. Videotaping and lecture recording are NOT allowed during class, except with
instructors permission. Talking, walking around and other behavior which may disturb your classmates are prohibited.
You are expected to treat your fellow classmates and me courteously and politely. I will treat you courteously and
politely. We will follow the LSU Code of Student Conduct.
Louisiana State University is an interactive community in which students, faculty, and staff together strive to pursue truth,
advance learning, and uphold the highest standards of performance in an academic and social environment. It is a
community that fosters individual development and the creation of bonds that transcend the time spent within its gates.
To demonstrate my pride in LSU, as a member of its community, I will:
1) Accept responsibility for my actions;
2) Hold myself and others to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity;
3) Practice justice, equality, and compassion in human relations;
4) Respect the environment and the rights and property of others and the University;
5) Contribute positively to the life of the campus and surrounding community;
6) And use my LSU experience to be an active citizen in an international and interdependent world.
The continued success of LSU depends on the faithful commitment by each community member to these, our basic
principles. By continuing in this class, you are accepting these statements as your own and will respect and follow the
LSU Code of Student Conduct.
Examinations: Three exams will be provided, and all of them will be paper-based tests.
Exam 1: Exam 1 is scheduled in classroom on Sep 15,Tuesday.
Exam 2: Exam 2 is scheduled in classroom on Oct 20, Tuesday.
Final Exam: The final exam is scheduled on December 8 from 3 to 5 pm at E137 HR.
NO textbook, note, Ipad, phone, computer and other electrical devices are allowed during any examination. If
you miss an exam - regardless of the reason you must have the proper documentation and must be approved by the
instructor to make-up the test (see PS-22). Any other excuse besides PS-22 is not accepted.

Exam makeup Policies: Makeup for exam is available ONLY if student inform instructor his/her absence
ahead of time, as well as has valid excuse. In order to make up work appropriate documentation of an approved
absence must be provided. Validity of an excused absence(s) will require proper documentation according to
LSU PS-22:
1. Illness
2. Serious family emergency
3. Special curricular requirements such as judging trips or field trips
4. Court-imposed legal obligations such as subpoenas or jury duty
5. Military obligations

6. Serious weather conditions

7. Religious observances. See the interfaith calendar website ( for an
updated calendar of holidays and primary holy days of the various religions. Faculty members are
expected to be sensitive to the different religious traditions represented in the LSU community, and to
assist students in making up examinations or other assigned work that may be missed due to absences
required by religious observances.
8. Participation in varsity athletic competitions or university musical events
Grading: Exam 1 and 2 will be worth 20 and 25 points, respectively. The final exam will be worth 40 points (40% of the
overall grade) will be given. In-class activity and quiz will be worth 10 points for total (10% of the overall grade), and
homework will be worth 5 points for total (5% of the overall grade)). NO extra credit is available.
Exam 1:
Exam 2:
Final Exam:
In-class Activities/homework

20 points
25 points
40 points
5 points
10 points
100 points


Letter grades will be assigned from the final numerical score according to the scale below:


97 pts
93 pts
90 pts
87 pts
83 pts
80 pts
77 pts
73 pts
70 pts
67 pts
63 pts
60 pts
< 60 pts


Lecture Schedule: The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the class and schedule during the semester as
necessary for the smooth functioning of the course. The following schedule is tentative and provides a cursory overview
of the topics to be covered. Changes to the schedule should be expected.



Lecture Topic(s)
Elements & Mineral
Minerals Crystallization,
Classification, and ID
Sedimentary Minerals
Sedimentary Rocks
Sediment transport
Exam 1 (9/15)
Sediment transport
Sediment Texture
Sedimentary Rocks: Structure
Sedimentary Rocks: Structure
Sedimentary Rocks:
Siliciclastic, Carbonate
Other Sediment Rocks
Exam 2 (10/20)
No Class Th: Fall holiday
Depositional Environments

















Sequence, Magnetic, Bio Stratigraphy







Structural Geology



Final Exam (12/08, Tu.) 3:00 - 5:00pm

Earth Material, Ch1
Earth Material, Ch2-3
Earth Material, Ch9
Principles of Sed & Stra
Ch 1-2
Principles of Sed & Stra
Ch 1-2
Principles of Sed & Stra
Ch 3-4
Ch 3-4
Ch 5
Ch 5
Ch 6
Ch 7

Ch 8-11
Ch 12 ,13
Ch 14, 15

Structural Geology
Structural Geology
No Class Th: Happy Thanksgiving!