Physical Geology Lab > Generic Syllabus


The Syllabus below provides information about the Lab Manual, Grades, Required Work Categories. Sequence of Topics, and Students who enroll in the course will have access to more specific details, e.g., an expanded description of lab activities, "Due Dates" for written work, and lab "practical" exams by accessing the College's Blackboard web site. It is assumed that you will prepare for each class by reviewing the relevant material both in the lecture/online course text by Plummer, et. al., and your laboratory manual.


Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology (12th Edition). (2005). Zumberge, Rutford, and Carter. McGraw-Hill. This item is required.

A standard pencil with erasure, a basic set of colored pencils, and a pair of scissors are required. In addition, you may wish to acquire a magnifier, ruler, calculator, and/or . . . Come to class first before purchasing these items.

It is expected that you will use the PSC 105 text, publisher's web site, or similar reference resources for explanatory information. The laboratory manual has a web site . . . not yet available. I will update the URL within Blackboard and provide additional reference sites. All assigned activities have been selected to relate to "Course Outcomes".



Your final grade will be determined by adding the points earned in the categories listed below and assigning a letter grade based upon where the total falls within the following ranges of scores:

360 - 400 = A
320 - 359 = B
280 - 319 = C
240 - 279 = D
Below 240 = F


Work Categories:

  1. Identification of Minerals & Rocks - 100 Points Possible. By completing the assigned work, you will earn 20 points for each of five exercises.

  2. Rock & Mineral Exam - 100 Points Possible. You will be given 10 mineral/rock samples to identify. You may use both your laboratory manual and text for book as reference.

  3. Laboratory Exercises - 100 Points Possible. I will provide a list of exercises from your Manual that you are required to complete. It is expected that much of the work will be done outside of class. This set of exercises will be due at the beginning of class at the lab final. Your work will be graded on the bases of neatness and quality of answers.

  4. Map Interpretation Exam - 100 Points Possible. You may only use a calculator, piece of string, and a ruler.


Tentative Sequence of Topics:

    • Observing & Measuring Earth Materials & Processes
    • Plate Tectonics & the Origin of Magma
    • Mineral Identification
    • Igneous Rocks & Volcanic Hazards
    • Sedimentary Rocks, Processes, & Environments
    • Metamorhphic Rocks Processes, & Resources
    • Rock-Forming Processes and the Rock Cycle
    • Dating of Rocks, Fossils, & Geologic Events
    • Topographic Maps & Aerial Photographs
    • Geologic Structures, Maps, & Block Diagrams
    • Stream Processes, Landscapes, Mass Wastage, & Flood Hazards
    • Groundwater Processes, Resources, & Risks
    • Glacial Processes, Landforms, & Indicators of Climate Change
    • Dryland Landforms, Hazards, & Risks
    • Coastal Processes, Landforms, Hazards, & Risks
    • Earthquake Hazards & Human Risks