GEO 3891 -- New Course

Mon Dec 1 12:35:16 2008

Approvals Received:
on 11-25-08
by Kathy Ohler
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > Catalog
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1103 - Spring 2010
Course: GEO 3891
Institution: UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: UGRD
College: TIOT - Institute of Technology
Department: 11130 - Geology & Geophysics
Course Title Short: Field Methods
Course Title Long: Field Methods
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
1.0 to 1.0 credit(s)
Methods in geologic field mapping.
CCE Catalog
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Grading Basis: A-F only
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
Contact Hours:
1.0 hours per week
Years most
frequently offered:
Every academic year
Term(s) most
frequently offered:
Component 1: LEC (no final exam)
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
1.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
1.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Repetition not allowed.
for Catalog:
<no text provided>
No course equivalencies
No required consent
(course-based or
No prerequisites
Editor Comments: <no text provided>
Proposal Changes: New course requirement for majors
History Information: <no text provided>
Sponsor Name:
David Fox
Sponsor E-mail Address:
Liberal Education
this course fulfills:
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University's entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

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Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.

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Writing Intensive
Propose this course
as Writing Intensive
Question 1: What types of writing (e.g., reading essay, formal lab reports, journaling) are likely to be assigned? Include the page total for each writing assignment. Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback by the instructor or the graduate TA.

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Question 2: How does assigning a significant amount of writing serve the purpose of this course?

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Question 3: What types of instruction will students receive on the writing aspect of the assignments?

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Question 4: How will the students' grades depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the overall grade will be dependent on the quality and level of the students' writing compared with the course content?

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Question 5: If graduate students or peer tutors will be assisting in this course, what role will they play in regard to teaching writing?

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Question 6: How will the assistants be trained and supervised?

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Question 7: Write up a sample assignment handout here for a paper that students will revise and resubmit after receiving feedback on the initial draft.

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Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus: For new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed, please provide a syllabus that includes the following information: course goals and description; format;structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (text, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated. The University "Syllabi Policy" can be found here

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" found here. Course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification. This course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

(Please limit text to about 12 pages. Text copied and pasted from other sources will not retain formatting and special characters might not copy properly.)

Geo 3891: Field Methods
section 002        Wed 2:30-3:20
section 003        Wed 3:35-4:25
105 Pillsbury    1 cr

David Fox        2C Pillsbury Hall
office hours: open door policy and by appointment

The course is intended to prepare you primarily for Geo 3911 (Introductory Field Geology), but all of the topics will be applicable to Geo 4911 (Advanced Field Geology) and we will have one exercise that is directly related to techniques and material in Geo 4971 (Hydrogeology Field Course).  At the conclusion of this course, you will have learned essentially all of the techniques we will use this summer during Geo 3911 and will only need to continue practicing them in the field.  The sequence of topics for each week is below.

Class schedule
Date        Topic
23 Jan        Intro, equipment, plans for summer, other field courses
30 Jan        Topographic maps
6 Feb        Topographic maps
13 Feb        Field relations, folds and faults
20 Feb        Field relations, folds and faults
27 Feb        Brunton compass, strike and dip, bearings
5 Mar        Making geological maps, start long term map exercise
12 Mar        Stereonets
19 Mar        Spring break (New Zealand or Peru?)
26 Mar        Global Positioning System, formations assigned
2 Apr        Measuring groundwater flow with three point problems
9 Apr        Stratigraphic columns
16 Apr        Cross sections
23 Apr        Rock identification/description
30 Apr        Field description of rocks along Mississippi River
7 May        test

Grades will be based on a combination of completion of work, effort, accuracy, attitude, and the final test.  The expectation is that you will turn in all of the assignments, complete them entirely, and do so in a way that demonstrates you put effort into understanding the assignment and completing it accurately.  Accuracy and correctness of your work will improve your grade proportionately.  Failure to turn in or complete assignments in a way that demonstrates your effort and seriousness will reduce your grade proportionately.  Meeting the expectations of the course will result in a letter grade of B.

We will have two longer-term projects over the course of the semester.  One will begin 7 March and will consist of a mock geological mapping exercise with new data available each week for you to collect and add to your map.  This exercise will combine what you have learned about rock identification, topographic maps, measuring strike and dip, and making geological maps.  The second long term project is to develop a complete report on the geology of one of the 11 primary mapping units that we will use this summer in Montana.  Details of this assignment, which will be library based, will be discussed on 26 March, the first meeting after spring break.

We will also have a final test on the last day of class (7 May) that will cover all of the skills learned over the semester.

Assignment        Points
Field equipment for class (see handout)        5
Topographic map exercise        10
Folds and faults worksheet        10
Brunton compass/GPS exercise        20
Three point problems        10
Stereonet exercise        10
Stratigraphic column        10
Cross section exercises        10
Formation reports        10
Rock identification worksheet        10
Long term mapping exercise        15
Final test        30

Geo 3911: Preliminary schedule
Leave Pillsbury Hall:        7:30 AM, 9 June
Return Pillsbury Hall:        6:00 PM, 2 July

Van drivers are required to complete a 2-hour driver training session before driving a 15-passenger van.  Training sessions take place at Fleet Services, 901 29th Avenue SE, on the second Wednesday of each month from 3-5 p.m.  Class size is limited.  Contact Renee Shepherd to register for training: or 612-625-1083.  More info here:

Van drivers are also required to take the defensive driving course, also at Fleet Services on the dates below. Contact Renee Shepherd to register for training: or 612-625-1083.  More info here:

I can give you a departmental accounting number to cover the course fee for driver training.