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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - GLY6311

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Current Status: -
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):

  1. Department and Contact Information

    Tracking Number Date & Time Submitted
    5142 2014-11-08
    Department College Budget Account Number
    Geology AS 1230000000
    Contact Person Phone Email
    Jeffrey Ryan 46492

  2. Course Information

    Prefix Number Full Title
    GLY 6311 Properties of Earth Materials

    Is the course title variable? N
    Is a permit required for registration? Y
    Are the credit hours variable? N
    Is this course repeatable? N
    If repeatable, how many times? 0

    Credit Hours Section Type Grading Option
    3 L - Laboratory R - Regular
    Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum)
    Properties of Earth Mateirals
    Course Online? Percentage Online
    C - Face-to-face (0% online) 0



    Course Description

    Physical and chemical characteristics of geological materials and methods of analysis (petrography, microscopy, x-ray and electron beam analysis, elemental and isotopic geochemistry). For graduate students with no/limited geologic backgrounds.

  3. Justification

    A. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course.

    Replacing Selected Topics with Permanent number; already listed in program

    B. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service?

    Graduate Students seeking the Ph.D. and even the M.S. in Geology may enter the program with Bachelors/Masters degrees in non-Geology disciplines, and as such lack background in basic geological materials study and analysis that is commonly obtained as part of several undergraduate Geology courses and undergraduate Geology research experiences. This is also commonly true for graduate students entering programs focused on Archaeology and Civil Engineering, Marine Sciences, and even in some cases Public Health. This course targets those students to provide them a graduate-level immersive examination of geological materials and our methods for studying them, tailored to their specific research needs.

    This course has been offered as a GLY 6739 selected topics course for over a decade now, and has been taken by graduate students in Geology, ESP, Civil/Environmental Engineering, and Anthropology over the years. As there are never more than a couple students each semester in need of this course, we plan to offer it as a piggy-back, permit-only offering with our undergraduate GLY 3311C course, which the School of Geosciences is currently offering each semester.

    The permit-only offering is necessary both to manage overall enrollment between GLY 3311C and this course (both are laboratory intensive and are thus taught in Geosciences laboratory spaces with limited room caps), and to ensure that the students enrolling have a discussion with the instructor about their needs for the course, so the second half of the offering can be structured around a project in support of their thesis or dissertation research.

    We do not anticipate a large number of students taking this course in any given term (the maximum has been 4/year over the past decade), but we typically have ~2 students each year in Geosciences who need it, and were the course in the catalog with its own number it would become more visible and accessible to students outside of Geosciences.

    C. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times?

    Yes, 3 or more times

    D. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.)

    Ph.D. in Geology, with a focus on geological materials analysis (Petrology, Geochemistry)

  4. Other Course Information

    A. Objectives

    This course targets graduate students in USF MS and Ph.D. programs (in Geology/ESP-Geography, Engineering, Anthropology +/- other programs) who require background and expertise in geological materials and their study and analysis to complete their thesis/dissertation research, but who by virtue of their academic backgrounds have had no exposure to these approaches, which are typically offered as parts of several different Geology undergraduate courses. The course provides an intensive exposure to the physical and chemical characteristics of geological materials (primarily minerals and rocks, but also human-derived products (ceramics, alloys) and instruction in materials characterization tailored to the specific research needs of individual students.

    50% of this course runs in tandem with GLY 3311C, the course in the USF Geology undergraduate program which focuses on geological materials analysis - for this reason the course scheduling will align with the scheduling of GLY 3311C, which is offered each semester. The other half of the course focuses on an extended project in which the student pursues advanced characterization of natural or derived materials, as appropriate to their thesis/dissertation research needs.

    B. Learning Outcomes

    When students complete this course, they will:

    --Be able to recognize and identify common geological materials (minerals and rocks) using physical testing protocols.

    --Know an expanded menu of common minerals based on visual observations (hand sample or microscopy) and other cues

    --Understand the origins and relationships among common types of rocks in natural environments

    --Be able to conduct common instrument-based tests of geological materials toward characterizing their composition, structure, or physical characteristics

    --Be able to conduct advanced testing of that subset of geological materials relevant to their graduate research needs and correctly interpret their results.

    C. Major Topics


    --Identification via basic and advanced physical properties (hardness, luster/color, cleavage, streak, magnetism, fluorescence, etc.)

    --Identification via crystallographic characteristics

    --Identification via optical properties

    --Identification via X-ray diffraction analysis.

    --Microbeam methodologies for mineral and rock analysis (Electron microprobe and Scanning Electron microscopy)

    --Advanced training in mineral/rock and/or materials analysis (as per student needs)

    D. Textbooks

    • Dyar, Gunter and Tasa: Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy [Available via the Mineralogical Society of America at reduced student rates: required]

    • Ehlers – The Interpretation of Geological Phase Diagrams [out of print custom published; recommended]

    • Dietrich and Skinner: Rocks and Rock Minerals [Recommended]

    E. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases

    Varies with student research interests and needs. Typically instrument usage time on a microprobe or SEM (between $20-$40/hr), or per-sample charges for ICP-OES or ICP-MS ($10-$40/sample, depending on procedure).

    F. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy

    1) Laboratory activities: Completing 10-12 relevant in-class lab activities, where students learn how to use the tools used to study geologic materials. (15% of the grade)

    2) Mineral Identification quizzes: (ie., successfully completing 8 of the 10 mineral quizzes. (10% of grade)

    3) Midterm Project on Mineral identification: (25% of the grade).

    4) Term Project: Applying the tools learned in class to a problem relevant to the student's thesis or dissertation research, due at the time of the scheduled exam (50% of the grade)

    --Grading Policy - 10 point scale (90-100: A; 80-89: B; 70-79: C)

    G. Assignments, Exams and Tests

    --No exams - two projects (see Student Expectations and Grading Policy)

    --Lab assignments are drawn from the menu of assignments used in GLY 3311C, as per the needs of the student.

    H. Attendance Policy

    Course Attendance Policy - As this is a laboratory-based, hands-on course, regular attendance is required. Class materials are not readily available after hours, nor is access to instrumentation. Students MUST discuss non-emergency absences with the instructor beforehand to make arrangements to complete any work missed.

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

    I. Policy on Make-up Work

    Class materials are not readily available after hours, nor is access to research instrumentation. Students MUST discuss non-emergency absences with the instructor beforehand to make arrangements to complete any work missed. Make-up work after the end of the course will only be permitted in the case of external forcing functions (i.e., instrumentation failure and/or unavailability) or an excused medical reason.

    J. Program This Course Supports

    Ph.D. and MS in Geology; Ph.D. in ESP-Geography; MS in ESP

  5. Course Concurrence Information

    Masters and Ph.D. in Anthropology; Masters and Ph.D. in Civil/Environmental Engineering; Masters in Public Health (this is based on past students who have taken this course as a GLY Selected Topics)

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or