ESCI 102: Evolution of the Earth
Fall 2005, Rice University

Instructors: Brandon Dugan Carrie Masiello
  713-348-5088 713-348-5234
  326 Geological Labs 206A Geological Labs

Teaching Assistant

Stephen Woods

Class: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00-9:50 AM, 105 Geological Labs
Office Hours: By appointment
Text: Historical Geology, Fourth Edition, Reed Wicander and James S. Monroe
Grading: Participation (20%)
  Class projects (45%)
  Mid-term exam (15%)
  Final exam (20%)

Attendance and Participation
Class attendance is mandatory. Participation in classroom exercises and discussions will constitute a significant portion of the course grade (20%). Submission of a daily summary (three questions) reflecting the lecture material is part of the participation grade. Daily summary questions will be used to develop review sessions and selected questions will be included on the mid-term and final exams.

All excused absences (e.g., events for student athletes) must be reported to the instructors at least 1 week in advance. Excused absences can be made up by arrangement with the instructors. Unexcused absences will be handled on individual case bases; contact the instructors for more information.

Class Projects:
Homework and written essays will make up 45% of the course grade. All assignments will be handed out in class with an assigned due date. Assignments are due at the beginning of lecture on the due date. Late assignments will not be tolerated. The use of the CAIN center for essay assignments is encouraged.

A mid-term exam and a comprehensive final exam are included in the course. The mid-term (15% of course grade) will be a 50 minute in-class exam. The final examination (20% of course grade) will be a 50 minute in-class exam.

Extra Credit:
Various opportunities to earn extra credit will be provided during the semester. Extra credit tasks will not replace other assignments, but will be additional points added to an individual's class projects. An increase of approximately 5% will be made available in extra credit options.

Class Goals
The course provides an understanding of the evolution of Earth through time and emphasizes how Earth's history is important to our lives. The goals will be achieved through reading assignments, written assignments, take-home essays, and active classroom discussions. Students will develop critical thinking skills and apply them to scientific problems. We hope to strengthen oral and written presentation skills with a series of writing exercises.

Class Rules
It is expected that all students will be alert and attentive during lectures and activities. Cellular telephones and similar devices must be turned off during the class period. Reading of newspapers and other non-class related material will not be tolerated during class. No tobacco use will be permitted during any course activities.

Special Accommodations
Any student with a disability that requires special accommodations for this course is encouraged to contact the instructors. In addition to meeting with the instructors, these students should contact Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.

Class Outline

Lecture Date Topic
1 Wednesday, Jan. 12 Introductions and event card activity [BD]
2 Friday, Jan. 14 Dynamic and evolving Earth (Ch. 1) [BD]
  Monday, Jan. 17 No Class - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
3 Wednesday, Jan. 19 Dynamic and evolving Earth (Ch. 3) [BD]
4 Friday, Jan. 21 Plate tectonics (Ch. 3) [CM] [PDF]
5 Monday, Jan. 24 Plate tectonics activity [BD]
6 Wednesday, Jan. 26 Rocks and minerals (Ch. 2) [BD]
7 Friday, Jan. 28 Rocks and minerals (Ch. 2) [BD]
8 Monday, Jan. 31 Geologic time (Ch. 4) [BD]
9 Wednesday, Feb. 2 Geologic time (Ch. 4) [BD]
Assignment #1 distributed
10 Friday, Feb. 4 Review current articles [BD]
Paper #1 Assigned
11 Monday, Feb. 7 Collaborative paper planning [BD/CM]
Rocks, fossils, and time (Ch. 5) [BD]
12 Wednesday, Feb. 9 Rocks, fossils, and time (Ch. 5) [BD]
Assignment #1 due
13 Friday, Feb. 11 Sedimentary rocks (Ch. 6) [BD]
Paper #1 due
14 Monday, Feb. 14 Sedimentary rocks (Ch. 6) [BD]
Assignment 1.5 distributed
15 Wednesday, Feb. 16 Evolution (Ch. 7) [CM]
16 Friday, Feb. 18 Evolution (Ch. 7) [CM]
Reading assignment/Class Discussion
Assignment 1.5 Due
17 Monday, Feb. 21 Precambrian history: Hadean and Archean (Ch. 8) [BD]
Assignment #2 distributed
18 Wednesday, Feb. 23 Precambrian history: Hadean and Archean (Ch. 8) [BD]
Evolution Activity
19 Friday, Feb. 25 Precambrian history: Proterozoic (Ch. 9) [BD]
20 Monday, Feb. 28 Precambrian history: Proterozoic (Ch. 9) [BD]
Assignment #2 due
21 Wednesday, Mar. 2 Review [BD]
Paper #2 assigned
22 Friday, Mar. 4
Monday, Mar. 7
Wednesday, Mar. 9
Friday, Mar. 11
Midterm exam
No Class - Spring Break
No Class - Spring Break
No Class - Spring Break
23 Monday, Mar. 14 Early Paleozoic history (Ch. 10) [CM]
24 Wednesday, Mar. 16 Early/Late Paleozoic history (Chs. 10, 11) [CM]
25 Friday, Mar. 18 Late Paleozoic history (Ch. 11) [CM]
Paper 2 due
26 Monday, Mar. 21 Paleozoic life: Invertebrates (Ch. 12) [CM]
27 Wednesday, Mar. 23 Paleozoic life: Vertebrates and plants (Ch. 13) [CM]
28 Friday, Mar. 25 Paleozoic life: Vertebrates and plants (Ch. 13) [CM]
29 Monday, Mar. 28 Mesozoic history (Ch. 14) [CM]
Assignment 3 distributed
30 Wednesday, Mar. 30 Mesozoic history (Ch. 14) [CM]
Paper 3 assigned
31 Friday, Apr. 1 Mesozoic life (Ch. 15) [CM]
32 Monday, Apr. 4 Mesozoic life (Ch. 15) [CM]
33 Wednesday, Apr. 6 Review current articles [CM]
Paper 3, polished draft due
  Friday, April 8 No Class - Spring Recess
34 Monday, Apr. 11 Cenozoic history: Tertiary (Ch. 16)
35 Wednesday, Apr. 13 Cenozoic history: Quaternary (Ch. 17)
36 Friday, Apr. 15 Cenozoic life (Ch. 18)
37 Monday, Apr. 18 Cenozoic life (Ch. 18)
Paper 3, final draft due
38 Wednesday, Apr. 20 Primate and human evolution (Ch. 19)
Paper 4 assigned
39 Friday, Apr. 22 Primate and human evolution (Ch. 19)
Collaborative paper planning
40 Monday, Apr. 25 Discussion and presentations
41 Wednesday, Apr. 27 Review, event card activity
Paper 4 due
42 Friday, Apr. 29 Final exam