Watersheds: Connecting the Mountains to the Sea
Fire and Ice, Rain and Rocks: The Geology of a Watershed

July 1 & 2 (MT), 2–3:50 pm  NSC 101; Lecture/Field Trip, Friday July 6:  8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Instructor: Pat Pringle                    Office:   è NSC 318f 

E-Mail: ppringle   @centralia.edu           Phone: 360.736.9391   x550

Please do not call my office number unless you plan to leave a message if you don’t reach me!

Centralia Earth Sciences web: http://www.centralia.edu/academics/earthscience/index.html


See the class web page for the *class schedule* and reading assignments. This page will be updated throughout the course, so please check it regularly. Assignments, misc. resources, and occasionally pdfs of lectures will be available.


No text is required, but you are highly encouraged to seek out some of the many available library and web resources.

Also helpful: a hand lens and small field notebook (available in the bookstore)

Additionally, you will probably find a basic calculator and simple ruler useful on the field trip.

Helpful links:

Link to an online Physical Geography textbook by Michael Ritter   (Assignment: read Chap. 18, the Fluvial System @ “contents” link)

Link to the introductory Geoscience Virtual Textbook

Link to The Georoots Etymological Dictionary of Geology by Matt Horrigan

Grading Policy:  Your final grade for Fire and Ice, Rain and Rocks: Shaping the Nisqually River

is based on the lab report and your active participation in the class:

Grade assessment: see Grading scale to find out the point and letter grade equivalents for percentage scores on tests.

Web site: Extra information for this course and many web links are accessbible via the class web page listed above in this syllabus.


·         Late assignments: For you own sake, hand in your assignment on time. Assignments turned in late will lose 50% credit per day.

·         All multipage assignments must be stapled with the students name on each page; trim perforation “frizzies” off the edge of pages.

·         Typed assignments: Please follow guidelines given for each typed assignment.  This generally includes 10 or 12 point font, preferably Times or Arial, margins 1 - 1.25 inches, black ink, white, unbleached or reused paper, with no report covers. 

·         Evaluation of written assignments and essay questions: I will use rubrics (grading guidelines) such as those noted on http://www.centralia.ctc.edu/depts/English/rubric.html (short rubric) or a more detailed one at:  http://trc.ucdavis.edu/TRC/ta/tatips/rubrics.pdf  in order to evaluate the quality of any written assignments and essay questions. A great way to get a better grade is to look at the guidelines shown in the rubrics for assessing good writing and then make sure your written products


After our classroom introduction to rivers and the geologic processes and history of the Nisqually River, we conduct investigations of the Nisqually River from its mouth at the Nisqually Delta to its source at the Nisqually Glacier in an all-day field trip. During the field trip you will be given problems to solve. These lab assignments will be graded on a point basis. If you are signed for for all 5 modules of the Watersheds class, your grade will be turned in to the class organizer and averaged with your grade in all the other modules.

For field trips, bring a lunch, water, and appropriate clothing for a variety of outdoor conditions. You will need to bring some footwear that does not have slick soles and rain gear or an umbrella. You should bring something to write on and write with on the trips.


The overall goals of the exercises and content of this class follow Centralia Colleges general education learning themes (noted on http://www.centralia.ctc.edu/main/learnthe.shtml) and distribution outcomes (noted on http://www.centralia.ctc.edu/Depts/Assessment/DistributionOutcomes_05.shtml), particularly those for the Natural Sciences and quantitative skills.


I take attendance during the first week or so of class; if you don't show up you may be dropped to give your place to someone on the waiting list.  While attendance is not required, skipping classes won’t help you become a successful student. In fact, ALL class members benefit from fellow students’ consistent attendance and thoughtful questions and comments. Those who make a habit of skipping classes typically struggle to bring home the good grades.  If you do miss a lecture, you don't need to inform me.  Plan to get notes or special instructions from one of your classmates.  Do not rely on lecture outlines that may be posted on the web page because the cadence of each class differs.

This is a demanding course with a lot of material covered in a short period of time.  Regular class attendance is essential to ensure adequate mastery of the material.  If, due to credit load, work schedule, family requirements or health reasons, you will be unable to attend regularly, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!  From time to time, pop quizzes will be given at the beginning of class, so please be on time—if you are absent for a pop quiz, you will miss the quiz.

Be respectful of everyone in class. Many people, including me, have chemical sensitivities, so please refrain from wearing excessive perfume, cologne, or hairspray.

If you need to talk with me about your grade, please do not do this before, during, or after class. Please make an appointment with me or visit during my office hours, which are posted on the door of my office and on the “class links” web page.

I want you to do well in this class!  Forming a study group and quizzing one another on class material can be very helpful.  I will be available during my office hours if you have questions or concerns.  If, however, you should get into academic difficulty, know that it is your responsibility to keep track of drop dates and other deadlines.


·         Please be courteous to your classmates as well as your instructor and avoid activities disruptive to the learning environment. 

·         No side conversations during lecture class!  Even if you whisper, even if you sit in the back, even during a video, talking bothers other people in class. 

·         Be punctual.  If you must arrive late or leave early, let me know in advance and sit near the door. 

·         Please turn your cell phone off! Text messaging and use of earphones in class is rude.

·         NOTE: If a student is disruptive to the learning environment, they will be given a verbal warning. Further disruptions of the class will be followed by a written warning, and will likely be asked to leave. Students who continue to be disruptive in class will referred to Vice President of Academic Affairs

Special Needs Statement

Students with disabilities may contact the Director, Center for Disability Services to determine their eligibility for reasonable accommodation.  The director's office is located with the Counseling Center in the Student Services Building.


Copyright Notice

Materials used in connection with this course may be subject to copyright protection under Title 17 of the United States Code.


Equal Opportunity Statement

It is the policy of Centralia College to assure equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age (over 40), religion, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran.


Centralia College does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. Designated Title II, VI, VII, IX, Section 504, ADA compliance officer: Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, Hanson Hall Room 101, Centralia College, 600 Centralia College Blvd, Centralia WA 98531-4099, 360.736.9391, extension 285.


Extended Absence

Should a contagious illness, such as the H1N1 virus, necessitate an extended absence from class, please contact your instructor as soon as possible to make arrangements to complete, if possible, the coursework you miss.

Reviewed By:                             


Revised 07/01/2012