Field Methods

Course Details

Course Number
GEOS 3824
Section Number
GEOS 3824
Fall 2014
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

M: 3:00-4:50 + six weekend field trips

Dr. Jonathan D. Price (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

The course is a formal introduction to field identification, geological mapping, cross-section construction, and stratigraphic measurement conducted in the region (north Texas, southern Oklahoma).  This course will provide additional preparation for and enhancement of skills utilized in GEOS 3836 (Field Geology – summer course), as well as foster important problem-solving proficiencies.  The class introduces students to orienteering and collecting field observations on lithology, stratigraphy, and structural attitudes.  Students will analyze data, and prepare geologic maps and cross sections. Students will evaluate and compare settings within the region.


Students will learn:

1.  traditional field skills (e.g., outcrop analysis, use of a pocket transit, orienteering, geologic mapping)

2.  modern assessment tools (e.g., satellite imaging, g.p.s., digital relief models, and geophysical data)

3.  preparation methods for field reports, cross sections, and mapping

4.  scaling and representation of geologic phenomena

5.  the nature and origin of geologic features in the region

Course Expectations

Field projects and reports: ~80% [Includes geologic maps, cross sections, exercises, and  homework.]

Class participation: ~20% [includes field notebook, attendance, class discussions, Q&A]

Grading Standards

The class uses a simple (non-progressive) grading structure:

In terms of credit percentage: 90-100: A, 80-89: B, 70-79 C, 60-69 D.  Accumulated scores below 60 result in an F.

Submission Format Policy

Assignments will largely require that materials be submitted by hand to the professor by the prescribed deadline. Some assignments may require D2L submission..

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

This course relies heavily on timely submissions for equally timely feedback. Student projects will be outlined well in advance of their due date, giving students ample time for construction of the submitted work. The project assignments will build on each other with the aim to strengthen field skills over the duration of the semester. Late work circumvents this possess, and will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

This class has a highly-constrained format and requires perfect attendance to receive all of its attributes. Any absence needs to be on an emergency basis only.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at