GLY2010C-Physical Geology

GLY2010c-Physical Geology- Fall Semester, 2015-4 credit hours

Sections 0563 (M per 8-9 lab), 2345 (T per 6-7 lab) and 2346 (W per 8-9 lab)

Lecture Meets MWF 4thperiod (10:40-11:30) in Wm 202, Lab meets in Wm 141

Instructor Contact: Dr .Matthew Smith, 269 Williamson Hall, 392-2106,

Office hours: MWF per. 5, T per 7, or by appt.

TAs/Lab Instructors:

Mr. Derrick Vaughn ( sections 0563 and 2345), Office:  Wm 267; email :, Office Hours: Th. 1:30-2:30 or by appt.

Emily Rodriguez ( section 2346) , Office: Wm 268; email:, Office Hours: M 12:50-1:55

Course Objectives:

  1. To learn about the processes and events that shape the planet around you, so you can better understand the environment in which you live.
  2. To further your understanding of the process of scientific inquiry as a means to refine critical thinking skills (about all things not just science).

Course Materials:  1. Earth: Portrait of a Planet 4thEd (or 5th ed). by Stephen Marshak, W.W. Norton Pub.   2. Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology by Allan Ludman and Stephen Marshak, W. W. Norton Pub. (2nd or 3rd ed.)

Course Description: The focus of this course is how processes operating within the Earth system shape its surface, control its environment and influence the evolution of systems operating within it. Scheduling for specific lecture topics and reading assignments will be posted on the class website on eLearning/Sakai, and you should check this site frequently for updates or announcements. The lecture course meets 3 times per week and the lab section meets once/week. The lab (which comprises 25% of your overall grade) provides a smaller class-size environment, and it is intended to examine, in detail, a small number of issues that are related to the lecture topic at hand, and to provide an opportunity for you to engage in “hands-on” investigations that will give you experience in applying concepts discussed in class. In some cases these labs will be field based, and for those times you should be sure to dress appropriately for walking about in the field. Hopefully, these experiences will help you to relate the material from the book and lecture class to the real world surrounding you. Tentative topics for these lab sections will be detailed in a schedule posted to the e-Learning/Sakai class website, but the exact schedule will be determined as the class progresses. At times, readings and/or short assignments will be assigned (and should be completed!) prior to lab (or lecture) meetings. E-Learning/Sakai will be used to report your grades and to make class announcements. To use e-Learning/Sakai you must have a GatorLink ID. Your lab-section leaders (TAs) will provide you with a separate syllabus. Course notes will generally be available through E-Learning class site shortly before or after the class meeting. Your mastery of the material will be assessed by three in-class examinations and a final. In-class exams are not cumulative, but the final is cumulative.

Grading: Your semester grade will be determined as follows. The three in class exams will make up at total of 45% of your overall grade. Your lowest exam score counts at half the weighting of your other two exams, with your best two counting 18% each and your low exam counting 9%.  The final exam comprises 25% of your final grade. Attendance and participation in lecture, plus the occasional homework comprise 5% of your grade. Your grade in lab class comprises the remaining 25% of the overall class grade. Letter grades will be assigned as follows: A = 93% or above, A = 90-92%, B+ = 87-89%, B = 83-86%, B = 80-82%, C+ = 77-79%, C = 73-76%, C = 70-72%, D+ = 67-69%, D = 63-66%, D = 60-63%, E = 59% or below.

Attendance and Makeup Policy: Attendance and active participation is highly recommended (and comprises 5 % of your final grade), as some of the material that will be covered is not in the book. You are responsible for all material covered in class. Attendance will be taken periodically and factored into your participation gradeTruly participating in class requires coming to class in both body and mind. You should come to class prepared to learn, which means having read the assigned materials and having briefly reviewed your notes from last time. If you have a preexisting conflict with one of the scheduled exams, an alternative meeting with Dr. Smith must be made at least one week prior to the exam. In case of sudden illness or family emergency, please notify the instructor as soon as possible (within no more than 1 week). Appropriate documentation may be required. No make-ups will be permitted for other, unexcused absences.

Email: ALL email communications MUST be sent from (and will be sent to) your gatorlink accounts , or be sent through the Sakai email tool (note that you can set this to forward to your gatorlink email if you like). This is necessary because of periodic difficulties in sending email to various accounts (hotmail, AOL, etc) from the domain. I try to respond to emails in a timely fashion, however, I do get a lot of email traffic. Accordingly, before sending me a question via email please check the syllabus and class website for the answer to your query. This will help me attend emails quickly. If you do not get a reply in a couple of days, please do not hesitate to resend your email. I will not check email during the evening before or morning of an examination.

University Policy on Accommodating Students with Disabilities: Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Dean of Students Office (is The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. You must submit this documentation prior to submitting assignments or taking the quizzes or exams. Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations.

University Policy on Academic Misconduct:  Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code at

Netiquette: Communication Courtesy:  All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats.  [Describe what is expected and what will occur as a result of improper behavior –


Fall 2015: GLY2010C Tentative Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week Day Date Topic Textbook Reading
1 M 24-Aug Introduction to Course and course objectives Intro/Ch 1
W 26-Aug Origins Ch 1
F 28-Aug Earth Structure Ch 2
2 M 31-Aug Continental Drift and Seafloor Spreading Ch 3
W 2-Sep Seafloor spreading/Intro to Plate Tectonics (PT) Ch 3/4
F 4-Sep More Plate Tectonics Ch 4, HW 1 assigned
3 M 7-Sep Labor Day- No Classes  
W 9-Sep More Plate Tectonics Ch 4
F 11-Sep More Plate Tectonics Ch 4 , HW 1 Due
4 M 14-Sep Minerals Ch 5
W 16-Sep More on minerals Ch 5
F 18-Sep Intro to rocks and the rock cycle Interlude A
5 M 21-Sep TBA-Catchup TBA
W 23-Sep Exam 1 (ch 1-5, Interlude A) CH 1-5, Int. A
F 25-Sep Magma and Igneuous Rocks CH 6
6 M 28-Sep Magma and Igneuous Rocks CH 6
W 30-Sep Inturlude B- Forming sediment Int. B
F 2-Oct Sedimentary rocks and environments Ch 7
7 M 5-Oct Sedimentary rocks and environments Ch 7
W 7-Oct Metamorphic rocks and environments Ch 8
F 9-Oct Metamorphic rocks and environments/Rock Cycle Ch 8/Int C
8 M 12-Oct Volcanism and Volcanoes Ch 9
W 14-Oct Volcanism and Volcanoes Ch 9
F 16-Oct TBA/catchup TBA
9 M 19-Oct Exam 2 (CH 6-9, Int. B-C) CH 6-9, Int B-C
W 21-Oct Earthquakes Ch 10
F 23-Oct Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior Ch 10, Int D
10 M 26-Oct Rock Deformation and Mountain Building Ch 11
W 28-Oct Rock Deformation and Mountain Building Ch 11
F 30-Oct Geologic Time Ch 12, Int. E
11 M 2-Nov Geologic Time Ch 12, Int. E
W 4-Nov Hydrologic Cycle, Streams and Flooding Int. F, CH 17
F 6-Nov Homecoming- No Class  
12 M 9-Nov Streams and Flooding Ch 17
W 11-Nov Veteran’s Day- No class
F 13-Nov Streams and Flooding Ch 17, HW 2 given
13 M 16-Nov TBA/Catchup TBA
W 18-Nov Exam 2 (CH 10-13, 17 Int. D-F) CH 10-13, 17, Int D-F
F 20-Nov Groundwater and Karst CH 19,
14 M 23-Nov Groundwater and Karst CH 19, HW 2 Due
W 25-Nov Thanksgiving Holiday- No Classes  
F 27-Nov Thanksgiving Holiday- No Classes  
15 M 30-Nov Coastlines Ch 18
W 2-Dec Coastlines Ch 18 , HW 3 given
F 4-Dec Global Change TBA
16 M 7-Dec Global Change (Pleistocene Glaciations) Ch 22 (22.1-22.2 and 22.7-22.8)
W 9-Dec Global Change Ch 23, HW 3 Due
F 11-Dec Reading Day- No Classes  
Final Exam: Friday December 18th 10:00-12:00 pm (exam group 18B). Final Exam is cumulative