GLG 115 Environmental Geology

Office Hours

My name is Rob Kuhlman. My office is 321 in the Science Center; hours are 7:30 - 8:00 AM MWF; 12:15--2:15, M&W; and 7:30 - 2:00, T . Other times can be scheduled by mutual arrangement. My phone number is 215-641-6456; the science dept. office number is 641-6445. I urge you to come visit or call to discuss concerns about our course. I can also be reached by email.


Two texts: The Control of Nature, John McPhee, and Geology and the Environment, 2nd ed., Pipkin & Trent. If the cost poses a severe liability, purchase a 50% share in a copy with another student or plan to read the reserve copies in the library on a regular basis. Readings from the texts will play a critical role in developing fundamental concepts and in providing case histories, so you must have access to the texts. In addition, the texts will be supplemented by lots of handouts and/or assigned reserve readings in the library. Reading assignments and study questions will be distributed at the beginning of each exam unit. In conclusion, there is much reading associated with this course and an expectation on my part that it will get done in a timely fashion.


We will be doing a significant amount of lab investigation and analysis; however, lab will be intimately integrated with the “lecture” component of the course -- there will rarely be a designated lab session as such. There is no “lab grade” to be weighed in final grade determination.

Field Trips

There will be two all day-long Saturday field trips; one is to the Delaware coast and the other is to the upstate coal regions. Both trips leave campus quite early in the morning. The dates for these trips are: October 13 to the coast and November 10 upstate; begin now to consider whatever adjustments in family and/or job situations that you would need to make to enable you to attend. In addition, several in-class trips will be taken to nearby localities. I expect that we will be presented with inhospitable surroundings and/or rotten weather; dig up your long underwear, grubby clothes, and old sneakers or boots.


I plan to schedule three take-home open book exams this semester. Each of them will be worth 100 points. They will require the integration of all of our course resources: class notes, field trip data and discussions, the two texts and supplementary readings, and the occasional video.


Your grade will be based upon the numerical average of your three exams. There are no “extra credit” options. The standard grading system (90-100 = A; 80-89 = B, etc.) will be used. All grades, including the “W”, will be administered in accordance with policy indicated on p. 20 of the 2000-2002 catalog. Auditing a course is a decision which is made at the beginning of the semester, not the end; I won’t consider audit requests beyond the end of September.


Roll is not kept; it is your responsibility to acquire material which is considered during classtime. There is a direct correlation between those students who come to class prepared (both academically and emotionally) and those who do well on exams.


The College’s snow number is 320 (day) and 2320 (evening); if you don’t hear the number on KYW, use your own discretion. A two hour delayed opening means that school begins at 10:10 with our class.

Readings and Field Trip Info