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Fieldcraft – Outdoor Proficiency (ENVS 206 / Geology 206) Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Otto Muller
Office: SC 231
Office hours: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 9:20 - 10:10 AM

Location: SC 232
Meeting times: Tue, Fri 1:20-3:10 PM

In order to take advantage of favorable weather conditions, we will try to do all outdoor activities whenever good weather permits. Indoor classes (in Science Center 232) will fill in when weather is inclement. Other than that, we will generally follow the order in which they are listed below.

Learning Outcomes:

Outdoor activities will result in:

1. Skill at field note taking and field observation.

2. Familiarity with a Brunton pocket transit.

3. Proficiencey with a Silva compass.

4. Passing acquaintance with other standard surveying equipment.

5. Pace and compass maps of the King Alfred Quad and/or the Harder/Science Center Quad.

6. Facility using consumer grade GPS gadgets

7. Data acquisition in the village of Alfred or town of Alfred Station

Indoor activities will result in:

1. Proficiency in map reading (legend, scale, topography, etc.).

2. Familiarity with projections, geographic and UTM coordinates, etc.

3. Ability to determine appropriate scales for maps covering different sized areas

4. Proficiency in using the Silva to produce maps from pace and compass data.

5. Ability to transfer field data into a computer based map.

6. Acquaintance with using mapping technology to overlay and share field data.

7. Familiarity with using mapping technology to create web based, shareable, maps.

There will be one project (25% of grade) consisting of a pace and compass map of an area of interest and a brief write-up summarizing difficulties encountered, results obtained, and conclusions reached. Projects from the past include hunting areas with deer stands, streams with point sources of pollution, outcrops of Pennsylvanian rocks, and locations of "large trees" on Pine Hill. Although usually done individually, they are occasionally done by teams. Two submissions are required:

1. Proposal, including location, directions to starting point, class days you plan to be in the field and nature of the proposed map. DUE September 23 or before.

2. The map and write-up. DUE 3:20 PM October 14.

Another project (15% of grade) will be a class project. We will construct a map of the "large trees" on the west side of Pine Hill. This will entail navigating by GPS, using consumer grade tablets. The resulting map will be viewed in Google Earth.

The final project (10% of grade) will be another class project developing a map of some feature of interest to AU students in the immediate area. Each student will be assigned an area and will acquire the requested data within that area using consumer grade GPS equipment and class designed data templates. The data will be collected, imported into a GIS, and uploaded to the web.

First Graded Learning Opportunity (15% of grade): September 27

Second Graded Learning Opportunity (15% of grade): October 14

Final Graded Learning Opportunity (20% of grade): December 14, 8:00 AM

This is a practical course, so attendance is important. Two unexcused absences may result in a failing grade for the course. More than one excused absence, or failure to return checked out equipment, may result in a grade of Incomplete, until the work is made up or the equipment returned.

This syllabus represents my plan for the semester as of the first day of the semester. It is subject to change at my discretion. If you desire to see it modified to include additional material, or omit material which you believe has been adequately covered in some other course, please bring this to my attention as soon as possible.

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