EAS 2600: Earth Processes (Majors/Minors Section)

Fall 2017
Syllabus (PDF version)

Lecture: Lab:
Andrew Newman Amy Williamson
ES&T 2254
ES&T 2112

View taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts en route to the Moon (Dec. 7, 1972).[source: NASA]


When: August 22 - December 14, 2017 Tues., Thurs. 9:30 - 10:45 am (Lecture)
Lab: 3 - 5:45 pm in CULC 357

Where: ES&T L1116

Office Hours: Wednesdays from 1:30 - 3 pm, or by appointment. Email is preferred for quick, short-answer questions, particularly about logistics. However, if you've run into a conceptual block, or would like to discuss a topic in more detail, this is best done during office hours, or by appointment.

Course Objectives: The purpose of this course is to provide you with an understanding of how the Earth works and how it affects you. As an inhabitant of Earth, it is important that you understand the processes that shape the landscape, cause natural hazards, influence climate change, and produce natural resources. Knowledge of how the Earth works can also help you in your daily lives. For example, it is useful to be able to evaluate potential geologic hazards when buying a home, make informed decisions about the use and conservation of natural resources, and better appreciate features you might encounter in the mountains, at the beach, or when visiting a national park.

Required Text:
  • Grotzinger, J. & T. Jordan, Understanding Earth, 6th (or 7th) Ed., Freeman Press, 672 (650) pp., ISBN: 1429219513 (1464138745), 2010 (2014).
    Because the material is largely duplicative between the two versions, students may use either of the above editions of this book. Chapter numbers described in the outline correspond to both versions.
Class Communications: The class webpage (this one) and T-Sqyare are the primary organizational resources for information about the class. Please keep in mind that posted material should not be considered an adequate substitute for attending class and reading the text.
All email associated with this class should be identified with [EAS 2600] as the beginning of the subject line. In addition to putting this in the subject line of your emails to the instructors, please add [EAS 2600] to your email whitelist in order to avoid getting email communications deemed as spam. I will not consider the argument that an important email notification was sent to SPAM as an appropriate excuse.


Your grades will be based on your performance during exams (80%) and labs (20%).

Exams: There will be four (4) exams covering all material presented during the lecture portion of the course, three (3) mid-term exams, and one (1) comprehensive final. The top three (3) scores will be equally weighted to define your lecture portion of your grade. Because of this, there will be absolutely NO make-up exams. If you miss an exam for any reason, that exam will be considered your lowest grade. You cannot miss two exams and reasonably expect to pass this class (this is nearly impossible). Because the final exam will be considerably longer and comprehensive, it would make good sense to take the first three exams, if possible.

Be careful, I draw from old and develop new questions that test your understanding, and not necessarily your memorization. Thus, it is important for you to understand the topics discussed. If you find that you are having difficulties understanding topics, please discuss this with me outside of class, when it arises. Do not expect to do well by cramming just before the exam.

Quizzes: Throughout the course we will administer a number (5-10) of unannounced brief quizzes that will occur at the beginning or end of lecture. These quizzes will all be considered extra credit, with each adding up to a half percentage point to your course grade. Thus you will have the opportunity to improve your final grade by 2.5 to 5%. Quizzes will be based off of material covered in either previous lectures or the book, including the reading material for that days lectures. No other extra credit will be considered.

Labs: All students must sign up for the laboratory section associated with this class, as this is a required portion of the course and represents 20% of your grade. A separate lab syllabus will be handed out during your first lab section. Keep in mind that all lab reports will count toward your course grade, and hence it is not advisable to miss any lab. As well, these labs are designed to help your overall understanding of the course, and should help you perform better during exams.
Labs will include both in-lab activities as well as on-campus, and off-campus trips. While all may occur during the scheduled time, we may offer a longer opportunity on a weekend...stay tuned.

Absences: If for some reason you cannot take an exam, it will be considered your “dropped” exam. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to make up extra credit quizzes. Please remember that in all serious situations (e.g., death in the family, or serious illness) you should go to the Dean of Students as they are there to help you in these cases (here).

Course Grade: Your grades will be based on your performance during exams (80%) and labs (20%).
  • A ≥ 90% > B ≥ 80% > C ≥ 70% > D ≥ 60% > F
  • Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory S ≥ 70% > U


General: It is expected that all students are aware of their individual responsibilities under the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code, which will be strictly adhered to in this class. The complete text of the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code may be found here.

Exams: All information required for exams will be supplied. Reference to texts or other documents during exams is strictly forbidden. The use of electronic devices (e.g. cellular phones, computers etc.) during exams and quizzes is not allowed.

Maintained by: anewmangatech.edu|Updated: Wed Aug 16 16:16:25 EDT 2017