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FIU GLY 3782 - Syllabus

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GLY 3782 Geology Excursion (1-3 credits) GLY 5786 Advanced Field Excursion (1-3 credits) Spring 2008 Meeting Time Mondays & Wednesdays 12:00 – 12:50 pm Meeting Place 432 PC - Building (Primera Casa) Instructor Michael Gross PC 319-A ([email protected]) Course Texts 1. Sharp, R.P. and Glazner, A.F., 1997, Geology underfoot in Death Valley and Owens Valley: Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula MT, 321 p. ISBN 0-87842-362-1 2. Miller, M.B. and Wright, L.A., 2004, Geology of Death Valley National Park, 2nd edition: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa, 123 p. ISBN 0-7575-0950-9. 3. various research articles to be announced Course Content This course is an introduction to the geology and geologic history of Death Valley National Park, California. Although the primary activity of the class will be a week long, spring break field trip to Death Valley and the surrounding area, the instructor will present several lectures on background material before the trip. Lecture topics will include, but are not limited to: tectonics of the Basin and Range province, processes of extensional faulting, Cenozoic volcanism in the western U.S., Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic history of the western U.S., geomorphology, hydrogeology in arid climates, mining / economic geology in and around Death Valley, stratigraphy and sedimentology of Paleozoic and Cenozoic rocks in and around Death Valley, and evaporites. The Field Trip The highlight of the course is the 7 day field trip to Death Valley, California. Students will enjoy the spectacular views, wide variety of rock types and evidence for past and present tectonic activity. The field trip will be a combination of “geo-tourism” and field exercises, where students will gain experience in map reading, using a geologic compass, measuring a stratigraphic section and structural interpretation. The department will cover some costs of the field trip, including vehicle rentals and park entrance fees. Students will be responsible for airfare (Miami – Las Vegas roundtrip), food and lodging. FIU students and faculty hiking through tilted Proterozoic sedimentary rocks in Mosaic Canyon. FIU students and faculty investigating Tertiary volcanic rocks near Shoshone, California.The field trip is tentatively scheduled for March 12 – March 20, i.e., we will depart Miami on the Wednesday before spring break, and will return to Miami on the Thursday of spring break. Grading Course grades will be determined from student performance in the three areas described below. Class and Field Trip Participation (30% of course grade): Students are expected to attend and actively participate in the course lectures. Field trips are exceptional learning experiences, in part because they provide opportunities for greater collaboration with fellow students and instructors. Students will be assessed on their involvement in group discussion and lecture, both in the classroom and on the trip, as well as in their contribution to the logistical arrangements prior to and during the field trip. Field Notebook (30% of course grade): Each student will keep a field notebook during the trip. The notebook will be your record of observations and interpretations you make, as well as your place for taking notes on discussions that take place on the outcrop or in the car. Instructors will collect and grade these notebooks after the trip. Term Paper (40% of course grade): Upon returning from the trip, students will research and write a technical paper that is no longer than 10 pages of text. The topic of the paper must be related to the region of Death Valley, or to geologic processes and features that were seen during the field trip. The paper should be a summary of published literature on the chosen topic and must include at least ten references, none of which may be a web site. Details of the format of the paper will be provided at a later date. Note about class meetings: Due to the focused amount of time spent in the field, we will meet two times per week (Mondays and Wednesdays) for most of the


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