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Lab Description
There will be four labs during the semester, with 4 sections available for each (dates and times specified on the syllabus). The general purpose of the labs is to provide opportunities for smaller groups to engage in more active and hands-on learning about some important geological tools and materials.

The first lab deals with basic mineral and rock classification and identification. There will be many other opportunities to practice mineral and rock identification in the succeeding labs and field trips.

The second lab deals with topographic maps - how to "read" the information they contain about the shape of the land's surface, the likely rock types and structures underlying the surface, and the processess which have shaped the present landforms.

The third lab involves exercises designed to help one better understand and visualize plate motions and plate boundaries using both globes and maps.

The fourth lab is an introduction to interpreting geologic maps, which provides good practice in 3D visualization of the geological units and structures that we have been studying in class and have seen on the field trips.

Toward the end of the semester, there will be a completely optional "lab" (nothing to be turned in and graded!), for however many people want to come, at which Karen and Jan will discuss the nature of basic research in the geological sciences, using as examples their own research. There will probably be just two sections for this "lab"; times will be announced later.

Lab times and attendance
There are four lab sections from which to choose. Once you have chosen a section, you are obliged to stay in that section. Attendance will be taken. If you have a conflict, please meet with us in advance and we will try to accommodate you in a different section for that one time. Makeup labs are inconvenient for all involved and are not likely to be as complete a learning experience as the regularly scheduled sections. All labs will be held in MacMillan Hall 101.

Working Together
We encourage you to work together on lab assignments, and hope that you will be able to learn from one another. This does not mean that it is acceptable to copy another person's lab or homework (and we will know). All answers should reflect an individual understanding of the material.

Due dates
Homework is due as specified in the syllabus. Labs are due at the end of each lab period.

Handing in and Returning assignments
Homework assignments are to be handed in at the beginning of the class period on the day they are due. Labs are to be handed in at the end of each lab session. Late assignments should be handed in directly to Jan, Karen, or one of the TA's. Corrected homework and labs will be returned at the end of class (in MacMillan Hall 115). Any that are not picked up will be kept by the TA's and will available from them. We will do our best to return the graded assignments within a week after they are due.

Grading and Lateness
Homework and lab assignments that are handed in late will be penalized 10% of the score per late day (ouch!). We can be accommodating if there are special circumstances, but we must be notified in advance of reasons why you cannot make the deadline.
Despite our diligent efforts to be fair and consistent with grading, some mistakes are inevitable. If you think that something has been graded incorrectly, please come see us during our office hours. Please do not quibble over a point or two. This will generally have a negligible impact on your overall grade at the end of the semester.

Neatness and Legibility
Please write legibly, or print if necessary. We are geologists, not translators. If we are having a problem reading someoneís writing, we will let you know and will expect that it be resolved by the next assignment. If you force us to guess at what is written, you may be disappointed with our conclusions.

Drop-in Sessions
Professors or TAs will be available in Geo/Chem 029 each day to answer any questions you might have about the course, or about other matters. We encourage you to stop by and get acquainted, and ask questions about textbook or lecture material, or work there with other students on homework questions with the guidance of a TA or professor. The times are: Mon 3-4, Tues 7-8, Weds 2-3, Thurs 2:30-3:30, Fri 2-3. In addition, you can reach any of us easily by email, and make an individual appointment if you like. In general you should direct questions about the text and lecture to Jan or Karen, questions about the labs to one of the TAs, and questions about the homeworks to anyone of us.

S/NC & Course Performance Reports
Students taking the S/NC option for this course may wish to have a written evaluation of their progress, called a Course Performance Report (CPR).  Jan or Karen would be happy to fill these out, but you should make your request for a CPR by mid-semester.

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