Fall 2023 Course Syllabus
Course: GEOL-1303 (Section: 3C, CRN: 92799)
Physical Geology
LSCPA Logo Image
Instructor Information
Instructor Karen Stelly
Email stellyks@lamarpa.edu
Phone (409) 984-6341
Office Educational I - Room: 133
Office Hours None
Additional Contact Information
Course Information
Description Introduction to the study of the materials and processes that have modified and shaped the surface and interior of Earth over time. These processes are described by theories based on experimental data and geologic data gathered from field observations.
Required Textbooks Textbook Purchasing Statement: A student attending Lamar State College Port Arthur is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from the college-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

Essentials of Geology, 7th ed. Stephen Marshak ISBN 9780393882728
Additional Materials/Resources None
Corequisites/Prerequisites None
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course you will learn to:
  • Describe how the scientific method has led to our current understanding of Earth’s structure and processes.
  • Interpret the origin and distribution of minerals, rocks and geologic resources.
  • Describe the theory of plate tectonics and its relationship to the formation and distribution of Earth’s crustal features.
  • Quantify the rates of physical and chemical processes acting on Earth and how these processes fit into the context of geologic time.
  • Communicate how surface processes are driven by interactions among Earth’s systems (e.g., the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere).
  • Identify and describe the internal structure and dynamics of Earth.
  • Describe the interaction of humans with Earth (e.g., resource development or hazard assessment).
Core Objectives
* Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and/or visual communication.
* Critical Thinking Skills: Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.
* Empirical and Quantitative Skills: Students will demonstrate applications of scientific and mathematical concepts.
Lecture Topics Outline Test 1:
Prelude: And Just What Is Geology?
Chapter 1: The Earth In Context
Chapter 2: The Way Earth Works: Plate tectonics
Chapter 3: Patterns In Nature: Minerals
Interlude A: Rock Groups
Chapter 4: Up from the Inferno: Magma and Igneous Rocks
Chapter 5: The Wrath of Vulcan: Volcanic Eruptions
Test 2:
Interlude B: A Surface Veneer: Sediments and soils
Chapter 6: Pages of Earth’s Past: Sedimentary rocks
Chapter 7: Metamorphism: A Process of Change
Interlude C: Pages of Earth’s Past: Sedimentary rocks
Chapter 8: A Violent Pulse: Earthquakes
Interlude D: Earth’s Interior Revisited: Insights from Geophysics
Chapter 9: Crags, Cracks, and Crumples: Geologic Structures and Mountain Building
Test 3:
Interlude E: Memories of the Past: Fossils and Evolution
Chapter 10: Deep time: How Old is Old?
Chapter 12: Riches In Rocks: Energy and Mineral Resources
Interlude F: An Introduction to Landscapes and the Hydrologic Cycle
Chapter 13: Unsafe Ground: Landslides and other Mass Movements
Test 4:
Chapter 14: Streams and Floods: The Geology of Running Water
Chapter 15: Restless Realm: Oceans and Coasts
Chapter 16: A Hidden Reserve: Groundwater
Chapter 17: Dry Regions: The Geology of Deserts
Chapter 18: Amazing Ice: Glaciers and Ice Ages
Chapter 19: Global change in the Earth System
Final Exam:
Major Assignments Schedule Assignment 1 Due Sept 3
Test 1 Due Sept 17

Assignment 2 Due Oct 8
Test 2 Due Oct 15

Assignment 3 Due Oct 29
Test 3 Due Nov 5

Assignment 4 Due Nov 19
Test 4 Due Nov 26

Final Exam Due Dec 3
Final Exam Date December 3, 2023 - 12:0 AM   Through  December 3, 2023 - 11:59 PM
Grading Scale Lecture Grades:
There will be 4 short tests (50 questions, 100 points), the final exam will be comprehensive (100 questions, 200 points). Discussions are 40 points each, and 4 assignments 50 points each. Lecture is 75% of grade, lab is other 25%.  
Assignments 200 (50 points each)
Test 1             100 (2 points each of 50 questions)
Test 2            100
Test 3            100
Test 4            100
Final exam    200 (2 points each of 100 questions)
Total             800

Determination of
Final Grade
The grading scale for Lecture is as follows:
800-720 points – A (100-90%)
719-640 points – B (89-80%)
639-560 points – C (79-70%)
559-480 points – D (69-60%)
479 and lower – F (59% or lower)

Course Policies
Instructor Policies I will not discuss your grades over the phone or by email. If you want to discuss your grades, you must contact the Corrections Education dept.
Attendance Policy Complete all work.
Additional Information None
Institutional Policies
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus email and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA campus web portal. You can also access your grades, transcripts, academic advisors, degree progress, and other services through MyLSCPA.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSCPA policies (Academic Dishonesty section in the Student Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the the Office for Disability Services Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition directly to their local health department. Students should also contact their course faculty to report their quarantine status. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings when directly exposed to COVID 19 in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
Facility Policies No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSCPA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect As per Texas law and LSCPA policy, all LSCPA employees, including faculty, are required to report allegations or disclosures of child abuse or neglect to the designated authorities, which may include a local or state law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. For more information about mandatory reporting requirements, see LSCPA's Policy and Procedure Manual.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct LSCPA is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that is free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct. All LSCPA employees, including faculty, have the responsibility to report disclosures of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault (including rape and acquaintance rape), domestic violence, dating violence, relationship violence, or stalking, to LSCPA's Title IX Coordinator, whose role is to coordinate the college's response to sexual misconduct. For more information about Title IX protections, faculty reporting responsibilities, options for confidential reporting, and the resources available for support visit LSCPA's Title IX website.
Clery Act Crime Reporting For more information about the Clery Act and crime reporting, see the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report and the Campus Security website.

Grievance / Complaint / Concern If you have a grievance, complaint, or concern about this course that has not been resolved through discussion with the Instructor, please consult the Department Chair.
Department Information
General Education and Developmental Studies
Chair:Steven Zani
Phone:(409) 984-6431