Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

(ESCI 111)



Instructor:         Dr. R. S. Pearson

Office:              1401, Alumni Hall

Phone:              650-2090 /  e-mail :

Office Hours:  Tues./Thurs. 9:00-11:00

                        ** By Appointment **


Course Description

In this course, you will be introduced to the fields of geology and physical geography.  This course will focus on the processes that have shaped (and are continuing to shape) the planet on which we live.  In particular, we will explore topics that include the solar system, geologic time, rocks and minerals, erosion and deposition processes, and plate tectonics.     

Textbook and Other Materials

The textbook to be used for this course is as follows:

Hamblin, W.K. and E.H Christiansen,  1998.  Earth’s Dynamic Systems.  Prentice Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ: 8th Edition,  pp. 740.

Reading of the text is extremely important for the preparation of class.  It will aid in your understanding of the material presented and give you the opportunity to identify any questions you may have.  The textbook will also be invaluable as a reference for key terms and concepts. Tests will come from notes given in class and the text.

During the semester, several self-tutorial exercises will be assigned.  This will include (at a minimum) a series on rocks and minerals.  These tutorials are located in the Self Instruction Lab in the basement of the Library.  In support of the self-tutorial exercises, I will often be available before class for any questions that may arise, or to review the exercises with you if necessary.


Attendance for ESC 111 is required.  I will do my part to make class educational, challenging, and fun.  I would appreciate you doing your part by attending class on a regular basis.  Attendance will be taken on a regular basis.  Following five (unexcused) absences, a letter grade will be dropped for each additional absence. Examinations will be based primarily on required readings and materials that I cover in class.  The class materials come from a variety of sources and go beyond the information covered in the text.


The grade you earn for this course will be based upon two exams, four quizzes, and the final exam.  The weighting of each of these is as follows:

1.      Exam #1                 100 pts.

2.      Exam #2                 100 pts.

3.      Quizes / Ex.            100 pts.

4.      Comp Final            150 pts.

      Total                      450 pts.



The final exam is comprehensive in nature.  Five quizzes will be given, however, the lowest of these five will be dropped.  Typically, a prior notice will be given for each quiz or test, however, unannounced quizzes are not out of the question.  Periodically, a one or two point bonus may be given during class.  The grading scale is as follows:


        A       90 -100%       ( 405 to 450 points)

        B       80 - 90%        ( 360 to 405 points)

        C       70 - 80%        ( 315 to 360 points)

        D       60 - 70%        ( 270 to 315 points)

        F       Below 60%    (      0 to 270 points)


Tentative Topics Covered in ESCI 111




The Planet Earth

Chap. 1

Geologic Systems

Chap. 2

Structure of Rock Bodies

Chap. 7

Geologic Time

Chap. 8

The Atmosphere-Ocean System

Chap. 9

Exam #1



Chap. 3

Igneous Rocks

Chap. 4

Sedimentary Rocks

Chap. 5

Metamorphic Rocks

Chap. 6


Chap. 10

Slope Systems

Exam #2

Chap. 11


River Systems

Chap. 12

Groundwater Systems

Chap. 13

Glacial Systems

Chap. 14

Shoreline Systems

Chap. 15

Eolian Systems

Chap. 16

Semester Review


Final Exam  -- The Final is Comprehensive!!!!!





General Policies

·        Exams that are missed and excused will be given only on the assigned makeup day, Friday, the last day of finals, at 8:00 AM in Alumni Hall, Room 1316.  Makeup Exams will be essay.  Makeup Quizzes will not be given.

·        If a class is canceled due to poor weather, the scheduled material for that class (i.e., an exam) will be covered during the next class meeting.

·        Academic dishonesty is a very serious offense and will not be tolerated in this class