Dedicated to the teaching of Earth Sciences


Prof. Sean Tvelia Suffolk County Community College




ESC101: 29652

Classroom Policies and Etiquette:

All students must arrive on time and be prepared. Each student is expected to bring a notebook and writing utensil during each lecture and the lab manual only on lab days. It is also advised that students bring a pencil on lab days as there may be many corrections made during the course of the lab.


No texting during class.
Cellphones may not be used as a calculator during lecture exams.
Cellphones may not be visible or audible during quizzes or exams.
Calculators may not be shared during exams.
Laptop may be used for note taking purposes (although handwritten notes are proven to be more effective for learning)

Student Absences & Lateness:

Students are expected to arrive on time!- Lateness not only distracts me but it also distracts those students who arrived on time. Late students will not receive extra time for quizzes or exams.

Students are expected to attend every class session for which they are registered. On day when absences can not be avoided students are responsible for all that transpires in class whether or not they are in attendance. The College defines excessive absence or lateness as more than two class meetings during the semester. Excessive absence or lateness may lead to failure in a course.
Absences, excused or not, from either the lecture or the laboratory period cannot be made up.

Laboratory attendance:

If a student is absent or even 10 minutes late to lab and therefore misses the pre-lab presentation given by the instructor that includes safety precautions, the student will not be allowed to work in the lab and this will result in a grade of zero for that lab. There is NO make-up for a missed lab.

*Students who are not absent all semester from the laboratory period will have their LOWEST laboratory report grade dropped from the tabulation of their laboratory grade.*

Student Code of Conduct:

Cheating of any form will not be tolerated. Anyone caught cheating on an exam, quiz, or lab report will receive a zero on that assignment and the procedures set forth by the college will be followed. Please see the Student Code of Conduct at: http://www3.sunysuffolk.edu/forms/Policies_9.pdf

Withdrawal Policy

You must have passing grades in both lecture and laboratory to pass the course. You may withdraw from the course up to mid-term and receive a "W". If you withdraw after mid-term, you will receive a "W" if you are passing at the time of withdrawal and an "F" if you are failing. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the course; if you stop attending classes without officially withdrawing, you will be given a non-negotiable F.

Academic Requirements

Homework (10%)

All homework in this class will be completed online in the MasteringGeology.com site. These assignments must be completed by the posted time as recorded on the assignments page of the course website and as shown on the mastering geology calendar.

Once you are registered on the Mastering Geology website you will need to enroll in my course with the following course ID: Tvelia2015.

All assignments can be found on the Mastering Geology website and will also be listed on the assignments link on ThisOldEarth.net.

Your first assignment is due no later than 5:00pm February

This course will also utilize the learning catalytics module within the mastering geology website. This features comes with your e-book or can be purchased separately and allows students to answer questions posed during the lecture and receive immediate feedback. This system can be accessed on your personal laptop, tablet, or smartphone. If needed laptops may be borrowed during class time.


Laboratory Assignments (10%)

Students are expected to read the laboratory assignment prior to the start of the lab period. All scheduled lab assignments will be listed in the lecture description available through the course website (ThisOldEarth.net).

Students are required to work in groups during lab; however, copying from the text or another student's answers to lab questions is not acceptable and may result in a zero for the assignment for all parties involved.

At the end of each lab period students are expected to turn in that day's assignment, unless otherwise specified. Labs will be graded individually and handed back within one week.

At the end of the term the lowest individual lab grade will be dropped.

Lecture Exams (60%)

Exams will begin at the start of class and last the entire duration of the lecture portion (1hr 15min). There are no make-up exams. Exams may be rescheduled at least one week in advance for a valid and excused absence- a vacation during the regular scheduled semester is not a valid reason.

Final Exam

The final exam is a cumulative. The score achieved on this exam will replace any other lecture exam score of lower value.

Lab Practicals (20%)

There will be two lab practicals scheduled during the semester. The purpose of these practicals is to assess your ability to perform specific laboratory skills and concepts practiced during the weekly lab period. It is for this reason that, while group work is expected during individual lab exercises, you must understand and be capable of performing those practiced lab techniques individually.


Copied or plagiarized work is unacceptable in a college or professional environment. Copied or plagiarized work may result in failure in the course and further disciplinary action.

Grading Practices



Lab Assignments (10)


Lab Practicals (2)


Homework (10)


Lecture Exams (5)


The final grade you receive in this class will be a direct result of the amount of time you put into learning the material and how well you do on graded assignments.

Your assignments will be weighted in the final course grade as shown in the table to the right.

Your final course grade will then be based on the following grading scale:

Your final course grade will then be based on the following grading scale:









100% - 90%

89.9% - 85%

84.9% - 80%

79.9% - 75%

74.9% - 70%

69.9% - 65%

64.9% - 60%

< 60%

Resources for Successful Completion of this course:

Office Hours & Contact info:

I am available outside of class during my regularly scheduled office hours (listed below). No appointment is necessary but you should come prepared to speak about specific topics.

If you are off campus I can be reached via email at tvelias@sunysuffolk.edu or through the form mail located on my website www.thisoldearth.net. Please allow at least 24hrs for a response.

I can also be reached in my office by phone at 451-4303.

Student Learning Center

The Physical Science Learning Center is located on the basement level in room 16. This facility is open to all; has numerous computer stations; and is staffed by tutors and faculty there to assist you if you ask—You just have to ask…

Course Website:

You will be able to located the course schedule, lecture presentations, assignments, and other course docs and material from this website.

Disability Support Services:

If you have any kind of learning disability that may impact your course work, please read the documents from the following link http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/Students/Disability.asp.

Students who need special services or accommodations must submit written proof of their disability to their home campus office so that appropriate arrangements can be made before the start of classes. Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services.

Course Resources:

Drop box

Class Schedule


Course Policies

Exam Review