Historical Geology


  2. A. Course Title: Historical Geology
    B. Course Number: GE 124 - 10306
    C. Semester: Spring 2019
    D. Days/Time: Online
    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: Virtual

    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)

    Lab Kit from NMJC bookstore (Contents: Mineral test kit, sedimentary rock collection, Intro. mineral collection, Intro. Fossil collection)

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

    Access to a personal computer (PC) or laptop with user rights to install required online Canvas plug-ins (e.g. Respondus Browser, Adobe Reader, Flash, & Java). Canvas does not totally support Smart phones, iPads or tablets. A PC or laptop will be needed to submit the majority of coursework. (NOTE: Non-local students are also required to have available a computer with a webcam, microphone, and appropriate Internet bandwidth to use Respondus Monitor for submission of the proctored final exam. There is a $10 administrative fee for the semester.)


    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

    Chapter Exams (averaged) 20%
    Class Assignments 15%
    Lab Assignments 15%
    Rock/Mineral Practical 10%
    Fossil ID Practical 10%
    Final Exam 30%

    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.
    Exams are open for one week. Technical difficulties are not a valid excuse to extend time or add attempts, so do not leave to the last minute in the event you need seek assistance from the Canvas help desk.

    Class Assignments (15%)
    You will have a reading assignment each week. You will also have a set of questions to accompany the reading due each week.
    In addition to reading assignments and questions you will have the following assignments assigned on the first day of class and will be due throughout the semester. Check your CANVAS shell for specific due dates and times.
    Discussion Board Posting “How does geology affect our everyday lives?” Due Feb. 5th
    Critique: 3 page minimum critique of a research based journal article will be required during the semester. You will be required to submit a copy of the article in advance for approval (assignment will not be accepted without a copy of the article). 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 a 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.

    Critical Thinking (Problem/Solution) Assignment: Due March 23rd

    Late assignments: For every day that your assignment is late, 20 percentage points will be deducted from your assignment grade.

    Lab Assignments (15%):
    There will be one lab assigned each week. You should use all supplemental material provided by your instructor to assist you in completing these labs (i.e. videos, power points, and notes). Read all instructions provided in the manual and on CANVAS before attempting any lab. Some labs will require additional materials to complete and most can be found in any home, however, you should always check the materials list on the front page of each lab in advance of attempting labs to determine if you have all necessary items, or need to collect the items.

    Rock/Mineral Practical (10%):
    You will take a sedimentary rock and mineral identification exam that is proctored in NMJC testing center or through Respondus Monitor System. You may take this exam in the NMJC testing center, starting in first week of March or make request to your instructor for Respondus Monitor System. You have until March 16th to complete this practical exam.

    Fossil I.D. Practical (10% each):
    You will take a fossil identification exam that is proctored. You may take this exam in the NMJC testing center, starting in the second to last week of April or request Respondus Monitor system form instructor. You have until April 27th to complete this practical exam. However, it is highly recommend students take this before finals week. Review sheet can be found in the learning modules in Canvas.

    Final exam (30%):
    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 exam these will serve as your review for the final exam. So please be sure you are preparing these for all 4 chapter exams. This will be a proctored exam in the NMJC testing center or with Respondus Monitor System. You will use the NMJC testing center if within driving distance. If you are not within driving distance you may use Respondus Monitor system.

    Comprehensive Proctored Final Exam:
    Local students (within driving distance of NMJC) may use NMJC's testing center, which is free. It is located in the Ben Alexander Student Union Building. According to Testing Center policies, students must show proper picture ID and electronic devices are not allowed in the testing area. Standard operating hours are 8:00 am - 7:00 pm Monday - Thursday; Friday 8 am-5:00pm; Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm however, it is strongly recommended that students confirm time of operation as they are subject to change. Students must arrive at least 1 hour before closing time. Appointments are strongly recommended but not required.

    Non-local students are required to use Respondus Monitor, which is an extension of Respondus Lockdown Browser. It requires a computer with webcam, microphone and appropriate Internet bandwidth. An ID is required along with an environmental check to ensure testing integrity is maintained. There is a $10 administrative fee for the semester. A practice quiz within Canvas is available to assist you in the set-up.

    The instructor will respond to student e-mail within 24 hours on week days up to 12 (noon) on Fridays and within 48 hours on weekends. Grades for the course will be posted by the end of the day on Fridays of each week. With the exception of Problem/Solution and Critique assignments.

    Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
    Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.

    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.


    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.


    Student Requirements
    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.

    Check first-time login page for instructions at

    Canvas Assistance

    You must have access, on a regular basis, to a computer that supports the Canvas minimum specifications and has an active connection to the Internet. See the minimum computer specification requirements at

  11. 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 and Participation Expectations
    It is expected that you regularly log into class at least three times weekly and check your Canvas mail to ensure you have not missed any changes/updates. Students are expected to complete discussions/quizzes/tests/ assignments before deadlines expire.

    Canvas Help
    If you experience difficulty with Canvas you may reach the Canvas Helpdesk at, or by calling the 24 hour helpdesk phone at (575) 399-2199.

    The professor is responsible for monitoring and evaluating student conduct and student behavior within the Canvas course. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to log into 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 and dropped for the semester. For comprehensive information on the common rules of netiquette and other online issues, please review the NMJC Online Student Handbook.

    Online Learning Environment
    By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.

    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.

    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
    The instructor has the right to drop any student who has failed to log on to Canvas for two weeks or more, but it is not guaranteed that the instructor will drop you. 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. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an “F” in the course. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Tentative Lecture Schedule

    1 Module Zero assignments Chapter 1-2 Evolving Earth/Earth Materials
    “How does geology affect our everydaty lives?” Discussion Board Posting Due Feb. 5th
    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 23rd (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 17th)

    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 6-8 Exam will close on May 8th at 1PM

    Tentative Lab Schedule

    1 Exercise One: Metaphors of geologic time
    2 Exercise Two: Minerals
    3 Exercise Four: Topographic Maps
    4 Exercise Five: Relative age & unconformities
    5 Sed. Rock/Mineral Practical exam
    6 Exercise Three: Sedimentary rocks
    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) exam
    14 Exercise Twelve: Natural Selection