Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology
Bradley Deline, University of West Georgia
Randa Harris, University of West Georgia
Karen Tefend, University of West Georgia
Copyright Year: 2015
ISBN 13: 9781940771366
Publisher: University of North Georgia Press
Conditions of Use
This lab manual is very thorough; the Earth's Interior and Plate Tectonics labs cover the topics from a variety of angles. They introduced the concepts of True and Apparent Polar Wander, which helped reinforce the concepts, however the Plate... read more
This lab manual is very thorough; the Earth's Interior and Plate Tectonics labs cover the topics from a variety of angles. They introduced the concepts of True and Apparent Polar Wander, which helped reinforce the concepts, however the Plate Tectonics lab could have been improved by covering the magnetic striping of the seafloor.
Content is accurate.
The lab manual effectively uses Google Earth to supplement the lab exercises. It also includes a lab on Climate Change, which is very relevant and not standard in older lab manuals.
The text is clear.
The text is consistent throughout.
The labs are each divided into subsections, so it is very easy to assign small parts at a time.
The topics are presented in a clear, logical order.
There were no interface issues.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally offensive or insensitive.
Coverage of topics is good. There is only lip service to the importance of geologic resources (fossil fuels, metals, minerals) to modern society. References to township and range map methods are not addressed. read more
Coverage of topics is good. There is only lip service to the importance of geologic resources (fossil fuels, metals, minerals) to modern society. References to township and range map methods are not addressed.
pg. 3 - the 'Tertiary' Period is an obsolete term. pg. 7 - figure 1.6 has 'intrusion' misspelled. The mineral hardness section needs review and the variability of metal hardnesses needs to be addressed. Also, many carbonates will not effervesce to the same extent, or not at all compared to calcite. The example of crystal form for rhombohedral on page 148 appears to be a cleavage fragment and not a form. This may also be the case for the octahedron. The differences between habit and cleavage are important in a class like this and a manual must explicitly distinguish them.
Dependence on software, even open-source and common software such as Google Earth, may limit the lifetime of exercises such as those found in section 2.6 and so forth. However, utilization of GIS software is a good thing to introduce in a physical geology 100-level course. Also, the use of 'mineral kits' is very specific and collections vary widely across institutions.
Capitalization of geologic terms that are not proper nouns (e.g. mineral names) under certain formats are misleading. A large proportion of first year students still have difficulty with capitalization rules that are not adequately covered by pre-college schooling. The instances of capitalization for effect are also inconsistent (see bold terms pg. 14-15), further adding to the confusion. Some of these erroneously capitalized terms are also not bolded (e.g., 'Noble Gas' on pg. 16).
Inconsistent formatting and editorial oversight across sections.
The text is a very modular manual. It would appear to be easily adapted for the particular interests of different 100-level geology courses.
There are sections, such as Climate Change, or Flooding, that appear to be awkwardly 'shoehorned' into this Physical Geology manual/text. They are important topics to be sure, but not ones necessary for a Physical Geology course and do not fit well with the neighboring content.
Many of the figures are low-resolution and the captions could be better formatted with clear borders and so on.
As covered in under clarity and accuracy, there are numerous grammatical errors and some misspellings. Geological terms capitalized as if they were proper nouns (they are not) is a common type of error in the text.
The case studies of this book focus on the lower 48 US states to the exclusion of other regions that may provide better case studies of the topic discussed. Even in the USA, first-generation American students may appreciate coming across a case study from their region of origin.
Work on improving the 'own work' photos with consistent background, quality lighting, and no fingers caught in the frame. It's a good draft for a free 100-level geology lab manual.
This book introduces geology to readers, and provides laboratory exercises at the end of chapters to assess understanding and comprehension. Relevant topics required in introductory geology laboratory classes were covered. However, the effective... read more
This book introduces geology to readers, and provides laboratory exercises at the end of chapters to assess understanding and comprehension. Relevant topics required in introductory geology laboratory classes were covered. However, the effective utilization of this book can be limited in the absence of a computer and internet access. This text book will be very useful for students majoring in Geology, and too detailed for non-major students. While the key concepts of Earth's material and processes were adequately discussed, their applications in everyday life were not addressed sufficiently.
The book is well written and does not contain obvious inaccuracies to the best of my knowledge.
This book is very relevant for Introduction to Geology Laboratory classes. However, the heavy utilization of Google Earth software for completing exercises can affect its longevity. Examples utilized in the book are mostly local, which is good for students in the United States, but limit its appeal in other parts of the world. Furthermore, the laboratory kit needed to complete exercises can restrict the utilization of the book without access to the specific kit.
This book goes into a lot of details that may not be appealing to non-major students and may be challenging for students without some instructor overview. The quality of illustrations in the book are inconsistent. The font used for numbers are also confusing, distinction between subscripts and some normal numbers are not clear.
Terminologies used in the book are very consistent and conventional. Key terms and learning outcomes are clearly listed in the introduction section of all chapters and clearly highlighted when defined within the text.
The book is generally well arranged into chapters, with logical sequence of sections and sub sections for different topics of discussion.
The book conforms to the outline of most introduction to geology textbooks, with the exception of the chapters on Water and Climate Change. Readers should logically be taken through the basics of rock types and structures before being introduced to Water and Climate Change.
The resolution of most topographic maps included in the book are poor, this can make reading very challenging. Some images used in the book also have very poor resolution, zooming in on the PDF file to get clearer images leads to pixelation. The font style used for numbers is inappropriate as subscripts representation varies from number to number.
The book contains no obvious grammatical error.
I found nothing that is culturally insensitive or offensive in the book.
I suggest the font styles for numbers should be changed in the revision of this book to bring clarity to numbers. It will also be a good idea to include more examples of structures and features other parts of the work to enhance the global appeal of the book.
This book was written to serve as a laboratory manual for an introductory-level physical geology course, focusing on Earth materials (rocks and minerals) and basic Earth processes (volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain formation). The content is very... read more
This book was written to serve as a laboratory manual for an introductory-level physical geology course, focusing on Earth materials (rocks and minerals) and basic Earth processes (volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain formation). The content is very traditional in its coverage and connects to many of the Earth Science Literacy Principles. There is heavy use of topographic maps (scanned into the manual), Google Earth, and student-purchased rock/mineral kits to complete the multiple-choice questions and worksheets. The human connection/dimension is not addressed in the chapters, nor the relevance of why learning this foundation material is important.
The authors pull content from reliable and reputable sources, such as NOAA, USGS, and NSIDC. I do not see errors in how the content is presented.
One of the relevance pieces I examined is the ability to use all of the materials in the PDF file. I noticed that in some areas, the ebook is customized to materials offered/available for purchase for their courses. One example is on page 144, the lab exercise for minerals. The text describes a required kit for students to purchase that is a customized kit pre-prepared. There is a risk for how long these kits can be purchased for the longevity for the identification exercises. The use of KML files and website URLs already need to be updated. I am also surprised to see that the authors do not send students to the websites of geological organizations that have a wealth of databases and supporting multimedia content to support the learning (Section 6.7 is the only place in the Climate section where there is a list of climate change sources outside of the manual).
The text for each laboratory exercise is packed with material and a short amount of space. I do caution that for students having their first introduction to geology, they may not have a full understanding of the content just from reading what is provided here. If this manual is used in conjunction with a lecture/online course that covers the content with more detail and at a slower pace, students should be able to understand and work through the exercises on their own.
The terms are used consistently but are briefly defined in the text. Although most laboratory manuals do not have a glossary, students may get frustrated not knowing the terminology from exercise to exercise, especially if an instructor decides to jump around or skip some of these laboratory sections.
The laboratory manual is divided into logical sections that connect to how a traditional introductory-level geology course/textbook would be structured (one chapter on minerals, one on igneous rocks, one on sedimentary rocks, etc.). There are headings in each section for the practice questions and the actual, graded questions. Some of the practice question sections are quite long with pages of multiple-choice questions for students.
The order of the topics for the laboratory exercises is appropriate for this manual and follows a traditional outline seen in many laboratory manuals.
The book is one PDF file. There are several topographic maps that have been scanned and included in the book that are not at the highest resolution, which could be difficult for students to read, certainly to print off. As USGS topo maps are online, it would be helpful to link to the online database and encourage students to learn how to search and download the maps for themselves. I'm sure the authors were trying to keep all the information self-contained, as URLs can change, such as the one on page 134 (https://sos.noaa.gov/kml/) which is a broken link.
The grammar looks fine in this text.
As this is a laboratory manual that focuses on Earth materials and resources, and does not address societal relevance or connections, there is no cultural relevance to evaluate. As the Earth Science Literacy Principles encourage the human connection to Earth materials and processes, I feel this is a missed opportunity to mention in the manual (not necessarily as a separate exercise, but as a final wrap-up perhaps at the end of each exercise). It would have been good to include geologic examples of features/processes that occur outside of the United States, having the examples more global in their scope.
Instructors that wish to utilize this book should note that although this manual is a cost-saving option to students, the students will still be required to purchase rock & mineral kits to complete the laboratory exercises, as well as have access to a computer where they can download and use Google Earth with pre-existing KML files (not all iPads/tablets allow students to use the full version of Google Earth). Instructors are strongly encouraged to go through and complete each exercise before having students complete each one, then perhaps develop some additional questions for students that are higher order on Bloom's Taxonomic Scale.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Physical Geology
- Chapter 2: Earth's Interior
- Chapter 3: Topographic Maps
- Chapter 4: Plate Tectonics
- Chapter 5: Water
- Chapter 6: Climate Change
- Chapter 7: Matter and Minerals
- Chapter 8: Igneous Rocks
- Chapter 9: Volcanoes
- Chapter 10: Sedimentary Rocks
- Chapter 11: Metamorphic Rocks
- Chapter 12: Crustal DeformatIon
- Chapter 13: Earthquakes
- Chapter 14: PhysIographic Provinces
- Ancillary materials are available by contacting the author or publisher.
About the Book
This textbook is a comprehensive lab manual for the core curriculum Introductory Geosciences classes with both informational content and laboratory exercises. Topics include basic laws and theories in Geology, the Earth's interior and plate tectonics, water and climate change, igneous rocks and volcanoes, and earthquakes.
About the Contributors
Bradley Deline is a professor in paleontology at the University of West Georgia. I specialize in fossil echinoderms, with a particular focus on Ordovician crinoids.
Randa Harris is a geology professor at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA.
Karen Tefend is a Professor in the Geology Department at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA.