Historical Geology


  2. A. Course Title: Historical Geology
    B. Course Number: GE 124 - 10049
    C. Semester: Spring 2019
    D. Days/Time: T Th 11:00:00 AM - 12:15:00 PM
    E. Credit Hours: 4
    F. Instructor: Neu, Roene
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 217
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2813
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 7:30:00 AM-8:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-10:30:00 AM (MST);
    Tuesday: 7:30:00 AM-8:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-10:30:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 7:30:00 AM-8:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-10:30:00 AM (MST);
    Thursday: 7:30:00 AM-8:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-10:30:00 AM (MST);
    *Additional office hours can be made by appointment. *All emails sent via the Canvas Inbox will be answered within 24 hours, Monday thru Friday at 5 pm. Within 48 hours weekends.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s):
    M. Corequisite(s): GE 124L
    N. Class Location: HH230

    This course will include a chronological study of the history and development of life on earth. Topics will include the formation of the oceans and atmospheres, fossils, and evolution of dinosaurs, and animal life. Concurrent enrollment in GE124L (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.


    This is an introductory geology course that will fulfill the requirements for laboratory science. It is transferable to most other colleges and universities. The course will consist of 3 credit hours of lecture and 1 credit hour of lab.



    Text: Historical Geology, 8th edition, by Wicander and Monroe ISBN: 9781305119567

    Lab manual: Historical Geology Lab Manual, 1st edition, by Roene E. M. Neu, published by NMJC. (New copies only, used copies will not be permitted in the lab)

    Calculator (Scientific), colored pencils, protractor, ruler in centimeters.


    Dictionary of Geologic Terms: 3rd edition ISBN: 978-0305181013

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    Attendance 5%
    Chapter Exams (averaged) 20%
    Class Assignments 15%
    Lab Assignments 15%
    Rock/Mineral Practical 10%
    Fossil Practical 10%
    Final Exam 25%

    Attendance (5%): This is taken in lecture at 11 am. This course will be covering a great deal of material at a rather quick pace and your presence is absolutely essential to your success. You will lose points for being late to class, as well as late back from scheduled breaks. You will also lose points for being a disruption to the class. I expect you to conduct yourselves in a manner conducive with being a college level student. Any behavior that is disruptive or disrespectful to your fellow students or instructor may result in loss of attendance points and/or result in you being asked to leave the class for the rest of the day. Partaking in activities not related to the class will result in a zero (for example: texting or doing work unrelated to class).
    Chapter Exams (20%): You will be given four chapter exams. Look at your schedule for the exact chapters covered. Expect them to be mostly short answer, matching, fill in the blank and multiple choose. There will be no make-ups for these exams, no matter what. To make-up for any problems personal and technology wise, your lowest exam will be dropped. That means if you miss an exam, it will be your low score and will be the one dropped.
    Review sheets for each exam are posted in the learning modules in Canvas. It is recommended you prepare yourself a study sheet from these for each exam.
    If you are participating in a school event you are to notify your instructor prior to leaving for the event to make alternative arrangements prior to your departure.
    Class Assignments (15%):
    This will include anything other than the exams. It will also include the problem/solution (Critical Thinking) & critiques.
    o “How does geology affect our everyday lives?” Discussion Board Posting Due Jan. 30th
    o Critique: 3 page minimum critique of a research based journal article will be required during the semester. You will be required to submit the critique along with a copy of the article in advance for approval by your instructor (assignment will not be accepted without a copy of the article submitted in advance). The article must also be a research based journal article to be accepted. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated on this paper. Plagiarism will result in a grade of zero on the paper. It is your responsibility as a student to be familiar with what would be viewed as plagiarism. At the end of the syllabus you will find additional information about plagiarism and where to find additional information about plagiarism. If you are having difficulties finding an journal article contact your instructor immediately for assistance. You will find a grading rubric and guidelines for the critique on the Canvas modules page. If you have never done a critique the guidelines will walk you through the assignment step by step and you may contact your instructor for additional assistance.
    o Critical Thinking (Problem/Solution) Assignment
    Late assignments: For every day that your assignment is late, 20 percentage points will be deducted from your assignment grade.

    Lab Assignments (15%):
    o Labs: There will be no make-ups for labs due to the length of the labs. It is your responsibility to know when your lab meets and be there on time. If students are more than 10 minutes late they may not be permitted to participate in that days lab. There will be one virtual lab offered at the end of the semester as an opportunity to regain points for one missed lab. Students are required to read labs prior to attending lab. Graded quizzes may be given at the start of lab as a check that students have read the assignment.

    Rock/Mineral Practical (10%):
    You will take a sedimentary rock and mineral identification exam in lab. Review sheet can be found in the learning modules in Canvas.

    Fossil I.D. Practical (10% each):
    You will take a fossil identification exam in lab. Review sheet can be found in the learning modules in Canvas.

    Final exam (25%):
    You will have a final exam that will be comprehensive. The 4 chapter exam review sheets found in Canvas will be the review for the final exam. If you have prepared your review sheets for each chapter exam you will be ready with a review for the final when it comes around. Check the course outline for the exact date and time of your final.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's broad range of science courses provides students with an opportunity to achieve their academic goals by fostering higher order thinking skills, basic academic success skills, discipline-specific knowledge and skills, and scientific and academic values.

    The course content of Historical Geology (GE 124) supports NMJC’s mission which is “promoting success through learning” by encouraging students to accomplish the following:

    1. Describe the process of scientific inquiry.
    2. Solve problems scientifically.
    3. Communicate scientific information.
    4. Apply quantitative analysis to scientific problems.
    5. Apply scientific thinking to real world problems.


    At the completion of this course the student should be able to:

    Lecture Student Learning Outcomes
    1. List the major principles of stratigraphy and biostratigraphy and discuss their significance.
    2. Recognize or explain how sedimentary rocks can be used to interpret ancient environments.
    3. Recognize or explain how plate tectonics has affected the distribution of life, climate, and sea level.
    4. Describe the process of Darwinian evolution.
    5. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of biodiversity.
    6. Recognize and explain taphonomy and the biases inherent in the fossil record.
    7. Discuss the major mass extinctions recorded by fossil evidence including potential causes and organisms affected.
    8. Compare relative versus absolute time and explain how geologists determine the ages of rocks, fossils, and the Earth.
    9. Discuss the development of the geologic time scale.
    10. Recognize or explain the history of life on Earth during major time periods and describe major biological innovations through time.
    11. Recognize or explain the physical geologic evolution of Earth over time.

    Laboratory Student Learning Outcomes
    1. Explain or discuss geologic time and how the geologic time scale was developed.
    2. Recognize or explain how geologic time is measured.
    3. Describe and use the basic principles of stratigraphy and explain how stratigraphy can be used to interpret sedimentary environments.
    4. Describe and use the basics of paleontology and how fossils can be used to interpret ancient sedimentary environments.
    5. Identify fossils in hand samples and explain how organisms are preserved in the fossil record.
    6. Identify, explain, or interpret geologic structures on geologic maps.
    7. Reconstruct the history of geologic events using geologic maps and cross-sections.
    8. Construct cross-sections, fence diagrams, and isopach maps from stratigraphic sections and thickness data.

  10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 1.This class utilizes Canvas software to enhance this course. A link to the Canvas log on page can be found on the NMJC home page at Click on the "Canvas" link to log on to your Canvas courses. For students, your logon id is your student ID. Your password is your birthday: MMDDYY. You should submit your assignments in .doc (Microsoft Word) (If this is not available .rtf (rich text)). To read graded assignments (for example your critique), you will need to download Windows Journal Viewer, which is available for free on Microsoft website, and the quickest way to get the program is to search for Windows Journal Viewer from Journal Viewer is available on computers in NMJC labs. 2. NMJC English classes use plagiarism prevention software. Plagiarism is a form of theft and a violation of intellectual property rights. According to, plagiarism includes turning in a paper that you did not write, taking significant portions of your essay from a source without giving credit, altering the wording while retaining the ideas of an un-credited source (paraphrasing), using multiple sources to create a ˇ§patchworkˇ¨ paper without giving credit, and using or turning in an assignment done for another course without the permission of both instructors. also states that plagiarism occurs when quotations are not enclosed in quotation marks, quotations and paraphrases are not cited, citations for quotations and paraphrases are incomplete or inaccurate, and citations are used correctly for a source in one place that is used elsewhere without citation. Your papers will be analyzed for plagiarism by after you have submitted them to Canvas.

    PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:  Please use appropriate, professional language, grammar and structure in your emails.  I will do the same.  Do not send an email that looks and reads as though it were composed as a text message.


    NMJC Communication Standard:

    ü  No text language (For example do not use i, BTW, LOL, IDK…)

    ü  Correct spelling and proper capitalization

    ü  Complete sentences (Start a sentence with a capital letter and end it with a period.)

    ü  Logical organization



    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2019. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Tentative Lecture Schedule

    1 Chapter 1-2 Evolving Earth/Earth Materials
    “How does geology affect our everydaty lives?” Discussion Board Posting Due Jan. 30th
    2 Chapter 3 Plate Tectonics
    3 Chapter 4 Geologic Time
    4 Chapter 5 Rocks, Fossils, and Time
    Chapter Exam 1 (Ch. 1-4)

    5 Chapter 6 Sedimentary Rocks
    6 Chapter 7 Evolution
    7 Chapter 8 Precambrian
    8 Chapter 9 Precambrian
    Chapter Exam 2 (Ch. 5-8)

    Critical Thinking Assignment March 8th (Critical Thinking/Communication/Self & Community)

    9 Chapter 10 Early Paleozoic
    10 Chapter 11 Late Paleozoic
    11 Chapter 12-13 Paleozoic Life
    12 Chapter 14 Mesozoic History
    Chapter Exam 3 (Ch. 9-13)

    ----- Spring Break----------March 25-29---
    Critique (April 13th)

    13 Chapter 15 Life Mesozoic
    14 Chapter 16-17 Cenozoic Geologic History
    15 Chapter 18 Cenozoic Life
    Chapter Exam 4 (Ch. 14-18)

    16 Chapter 19 Primate and Human Evolution

    Final Exam Comprehensive May 6th @ 12 (noon), in HH230

    Tentative Lab Schedule

    1 Exercise One: Metaphors of geologic time
    2 Exercise Two: Minerals
    3 Exercise Three: Sedimentary rocks
    4 Exercise Four: Topographic Maps
    5 Sed. Rock/Mineral Practical exam
    6 Exercise Five: Relative age & unconformities
    7 Exercise Six: Absolute age
    8 Exercise Seven: Geologic maps and structure
    9 Exercise Eight: Stratigraphic facies and physical correlation
    10 Exercise Nine: Trace fossils, fossilization, fossil assemblages
    11 Exercise Ten: Fossil Identification
    12 Exercise Eleven: Evidence of Evolution
    13 Fossils identification (ID) practical exam
    14 Exercise Twelve: Natural Selection