GY111L Syllabus – Physical Geology Laboratory
Dr. David Allison


I. Course


GY 111 Physical Geology Laboratory



II. Catalog Description


(1 Hour credit) Laboratory course for Physical Geology. Corequisite: GY 111.



III. Course Objectives


Identification of common rock forming minerals, and the classification of common Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks. Economic uses of minerals and rocks will be emphasized, as will the occurrence of economically significant minerals and rocks in Alabama.



IV. Course Topics


The following laboratory topics will be covered during the semester:



Introduction to Mineral Physical Properties; Assignment



WEEK 2: 

Economic uses of Minerals; Examination of Specimens




Labor Day Holiday




Examination of Species; Mineral quiz




Exam 1: Mineral Test




Introduction to Igneous Rocks




Fall Break




Examination of specimens; Igneous quiz



WEEK 9: 

Exam 2: Igneous Rock Test



WEEK 10:

Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks; Examination of Specimens



WEEK 11:

Examination of Specimens; Classification; Sedimentary Quiz



WEEK 12:

Exam 3: Sedimentary Rock Test



WEEK 13:

Introduction to Metamorphic Rocks; Classification; Examination of Specimens



WEEK 14:

Examination of Specimens; Metamorphic Quiz



WEEK 15:

Exam 4: Metamorphic Exam



WEEK 16:

Makup exams




V. Text (Required)


LAB: Haywick, D. 1999. Earth Materials: an introductory laboratory manual for students in GY 111. University of South Alabama



VI. Procedures for Assessing Student Performance & Policies




Grade Calculation Percentages:


Assignments: 10%


Mineral Test: 20% 


Igneous Rock Test: 20%


Sedimentary Rock Test: 20%


Metamorphic Rock Test: 20%


Attendance: 10%


Grading: A=90+, B=89-80, C=79-70, D=69-60, F= <60


NOTE: Quizzes are counted as extra credit for the following specimen test. For example, if you make 7 out of 10 points (70%) on the mineral quiz, 7 points on a 100 point scale will be added to the raw score of the following Mineral Test.


Changes in Course Requirements:


Since all classes do not progress at the same rate, the instructor may wish to modify the above requirements or their timing as circumstances dictate. For example, the instructor may wish to change the number and frequency of exams, or the number and sequence of assignments. Students will be given adequate notification of such changes. Although course requirements may be modified, they will still preserve the original course objectives and spirit.




Missed exams\ lateness penalty\attendance:


The reason for producing a syllabus is to give students advanced notice of exams and assignment due dates. Translation: there is no excuse for turning lab assignments in late. As such you will receive an "0" if you do not turn in your lab assignment by the due date. If you have a legitimate excuse for missing an exam (i.e. medical problem), you will be permitted to complete a make-up during the last week of classes provided that you show me a signed certificate from a physician stating that it was impossible for you to make the exam. The make up exam will typically consist of essay questions.


Attendance of course lecture and laboratory meetings is required. Attendance will be taken by the instructor with a seating chart at the beginning of class. If you are late and miss the seating chart roll you will be counted absent. Please sit in the same location after the 1st week of class. I will keep track of your attendance as a percentage of possible days in attendance. For example, if a MWF class meets a total of 45 times, and you missed 8 classes according to the seating chart roll your attendance score will be (45-8)/45*100=82%. I will not take attendance during the 1st week of class. 




Classroom/Laboratory Rules and Etiquette


  1. No active Laptop/Cell phone/Calculator computers are allowed during lectures. Notes are to be taken with pen and paper.
  2. No food is to be consumed during lecture or labs. No disposable drink containers are allowed- liquids must be contained in spill-proof containers.
  3. Door code combinations are to be shared only among current students. Do not give access codes to students not enrolled in the current class.
  4. Department computer resources are to be used only by Earth Science majors for class assignments. Do not give out computer passwords to non-majors.
  5. Do not use the faculty podium computers in classrooms unless specifically cleared by your instructor.
  6. If food/drink is consumed in the classroom during off hours please dispose of the trash in trash cans.
  7. If you remove lab specimens from the classroom please return them to their proper place.




Classroom Disruption


Disruption of lectures or labs will not be tolerated. This includes habitually arriving late for class or disrupting class with cell phones or personal conversations. For more information regarding what constitutes class disruption see:




Honor Policy:


Unless explicitly stated otherwise in course assignments, all assigned work in this course is to be completed by students independently. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating are academic matters; accordingly, no credit will be given for work in which they are involved. In addition, incidents of this nature may be reported to other appropriate authorities for further disciplinary action. (See Student Academic Conduct Policy:




Disability Policy:


If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic accommodations, please notify the instructor/professor and provide certification from Special Student Services. (OSSS is located in Room 270 of the Student Center (460-7212). The USA non-discrimination policy link that includes a disability statement is below:



VII. Instructor for Course & Policies


Instructor: David Allison
Office: Room 344 LSB
Office Hours:



VIII. Bibliography


Grotzinger, J., Jordan, T., Press, F. and  Siever, R.,  2007, Understanding Earth (5th ed.), W.H. Freeman and Co.,  New York, ISBN 0-7167-6682-5






JagSuccess is an early alert' program to give feedback to students having academic difficulties in 100 200 level classes. For the full USA statement on this program refer to the below link:
David Allison Home Page
USA Undergraduate Bulletin
University of South Alabama