Geology of the Pacific Northwest, Geology &208 – Syllabus and Schedule

 MTWThF 9-9:50  WSC 101

Lab: Several Thursday labs and a minimum of 2 of 3 arranged fieldtrips (mandatory) *

(See fieldtrip details and policy below)

Instructor: Pat Pringle

E-Mail: ppringle ‘at’

Phone: 360-623-8584

Please do not call my office number unless you are willing to leave a message with your name and phone number!

WEB SEARCH: Earth Sciences Centralia College or

Office hours:    WSC (Natural Science Center) 318F or lab WSC105  See my class schedule

(Or by appointment)  I am usually around most days. PLEASE DO NOT COME TO MY OFFICE WITHIN THE 15 MINUTES PRIOR TO CLASS.

Course short description: Examines the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest, and focuses on geologic processes important to its evolution and to the vitality of its ecosystems. Students use evidence from rocks, landforms, and maps to evaluate the characteristics and spatial relationships of geologic units and to reconstruct the geological history of the region.

Class objectives, learning outcomes, and schedule of class topics 

fieldtrip details

See the class web page and CANVAS for most information. These pages or sites will be updated throughout the course, so please check them regularly. Assignments, misc. resources, and occasionally pdfs of lectures will be mainly be available online via the CANVAS website. All communications will go to student email addresses via the CANVAS web and email system.

Course Materials: The text and lab books below are required reading and are the primary sources of information for lectures, discussions, and exams.  Please bring your books to class. a great new open access Physical Geology book by Steve Earle.

discussions, and exams.  Please bring your books to class and do reading in advance of class.

Course Logistics: This class will use for nearly all communications and submission of assignments. 

**REQUIRED TEXT: Northwest Exposures: A Geologic Story of the Northwest (1995) by David Alt and Donald W. Hyndman. (Mountain Press)

Highly suggested: “Rite in the Rain” field notebook (available at the bookstore) I recommend #351 or similar size field notebook.


Optional texts:The Restless Northwest (2002) by Hill Williams;

Useful learning aids:            Dictionary of Geological Terms, American Geological Institute [can find at used bookstores or online], also:

                        Geology of the Pacific Northwest, Orr and Orr: McGraw Hill

                        any used (and recent) physical geology textbook (used bookstores and friends)ß

                        Annenberg “Earth Revealed” online videos: see Student Resources/videos on Earth Science web

                        Pat Pringle's roadside geology guide to the Mount Rainier area  chapter pdfs downloadable free

                        John Figge's book on the historical geology of Washington and southern BC  downloadable free

Link to an online Physical Geography textbook by Michael Ritter      Link to the introductory Geoscience Virtual Textbook

Annenberg “Earth Revealed” series online videos: see Student Resources videos link in main Centralia Earth Science page

            GRADING POLICY:  Your final grade for Geology of the Northwest is based on the total number of points you accumulate from the following:

LECTURE and FINAL EXAMS (4 total)                                                                 65%

ASSIGNMENTS, QUIZZES, PARTICIPATION, fieldtrips, and LAB WORK             35%

ABOUT TESTS: Tests will include material from lectures and labs. * This component assesses a student’s contributions to the learning environment in the classroom. Disciplinary problems that interrupt or impede the progress of the class will also be assessed as part of this component.  Exams:  There will be no make-up tests except for in extreme cases.  You will need a physicians note and/or provide me with advance notice of a schedule conflict if such a situation arises. Exams will include material from the books, lectures, and videos.

Do your own work.  Suspected cheating, intellectual parasitism, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  Additionally, instances of such will be reported to the Centralia College administration for disciplinary action.

FIELD_TRIPS: This quarter I will lead field trips on Saturday May 6, Sunday May 21st,  and Saturday May 27th. These field trips are the main portion of the lab grade in this class. You are required to attend and write up field reports for each of two all-day field trips. *Under extenuating circumstances you have the option of running one of the two all day field trips on your own, however you are required to show proof that you visited all the sites. In that case you will miss out on the automatic seven-point bonus for attending a scheduled field trip on the dates noted above. NOTE, ALL FIELD WRITE UPS ARE DUE ON THE FIRST MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK FOLLOWING EACH.  Further,  your first field trip report will also have a pre-field trip write up due.

Study guides and other resources

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

Term assignment: There will likely be a Term Assignment required.  Information regarding the assignment will be provided in another handout.  Term Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the due-date assigned for full credit. 

Web site: Information for this course is posted on the class web page listed above in this syllabus. This web page is a work in progress and will change as we go through the class. Look there for this syllabus, copies of selected class handouts, links, reading suggestions, assignments, and additional information. Don’t forget to check out   


                   Information regarding class assignments will be provided during the term.  Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the due-date for full credit.

Late assignments: For you own sake, hand in assignments on time. Assignments turned in late will not get full credit.

All multipage assignments that are unstapled and/or have untrimmed perforation “frizzies” or tears along page edges will be automatically docked one point.

Handwritten assignments:  You will be expected to provide a review of each video shown in class or of the presentations of any guest speakers. I will provide a video review form on the web page. For video reviews and essays on quizzes, please write neatly, and use pencil or blue or black ink only.  Unreadable assignments will be returned for no credit. If possible, please type assignments. Please staple all assignments and write you name on each page as noted above.

Typed assignments: ALL FIELD REPORTS WILL BE TYPED. 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. USE LEFT JUSTIFIED ONLY.

Evaluation of written assignments and essay questions: I will use grading guidelines such as this rubric 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 “measure up”.

                  Quizzes:  I will provide computerized forms for some quizzes.  Bring a #2 pencil with good eraser.  Be sure to thoroughly erase all mistakes and stray pencil marks                             during the quiz.  No corrections will be made for you, nor will any be made after quizzes are graded and returned.


We have two lab modes: in the classroom and field trips. During the field trips and in the lab you will be given problems to solve. These lab assignments will be graded on a point basis. The point value of each lab will be indicated.

For field trips, you need to bring some footwear that does not have slick soles and rain gear or an umbrella. Your feet may get very wet from the wet grass, so you may want to have a change of shoes for after the trip. You should bring something to write on and write with on the trips.


The overall goals of the exercises and content of this class as well as the class learning objectives follow Centralia Colleges general education learning themes (noted on and distribution outcomes (noted on, 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. 

Please avoid side conversations during lecture class!  Let me repeat that: Please avoid 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. 


                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.
            Subsequently you will likely be asked to leave the class. 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 4/2/17