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Cutting Edge > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Introduction to Geologic Field Methods

Introduction to Geologic Field Methods

Author Profile
Selby Cull
,
selby@levee.wustl.edu

Washington University in St. Louis
a
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs
.

Summary

This course is designed to give students repeated practice in field mapping methods - for students in areas without huge exposures of great outcrops (e.g., Missouri). Every class meeting, the students will be asked to map a set of mock outcrops: rocks placed around the classroom to simulate a field site. These short exercises will build progressively through the semester, adding more and more challenging concepts and requirements. Lectures will present new concepts through the lens of that day's mini-mapping assignment. Reading assignments will provide perspective on both the skills needed to do these mini-mapping assignments, and on the field areas on which these assignments are modeled.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Course Type: Entry Level:Earth Science
Course Size:

15-30

Course Context:

This is an introductory field methods class for Geoscience majors.

Course Goals:

  1. Students will be able to make field observations and use those observations to construct geologic maps, cross-sections, and stratigraphic columns.
  2. Students will be able to use field observations to interpret the geologic history of the field area and to integrate it with regional and global geology.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Every class meeting, the students will be asked to map a set of mock outcrops: rocks placed around the classroom to simulate a field site. These short exercises will build progressively through the semester, adding more and more challenging concepts and requirements. Lectures will present new concepts through the lens of that day's mini-mapping assignment. Reading assignments will provide perspective on both the skills needed to do these mini-mapping assignments, and on the field areas on which these assignments are modeled.

Skills Goals

Mapping skills: compass use, walking contacts, outcrop descriptions, etc.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Every class period, students will practice these skills in the in-class mini-mapping exercises

Assessment

Each mini-mapping assignment will have a grading rubric, which the students will receive before they begin the assignment. The rubric will be added to throughout the semester. At the beginning of the semester, the requirements will be simple and basic; as the semester progresses, I will add more and more requirements to the rubric.

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