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6.3: Discussion 3- Current Events in Geology

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    Discussion 3

    Current Events in Geology

    Tall weathered rock formations peppered amongst vegetation with a hill behind
    Figure 1. Pinnacles, or Hoodoos, of Massai Point, Chiricahua National Monument. The monument is located approximately 36 miles (58 km) southeast of Willcox, Arizona. Geologists believe that it preserves the remains of an immense volcanic eruption that shook the region some 27 million years ago. The thick white-hot ash spewed forth from the nearby Turkey Creek Caldera, cooled and hardened into rhyolite tuff, laying down almost two thousand feet of dark volcanic ash and pumice, highly siliceous in nature, which eventually eroded into the natural features visible that we see at the monument today.


    For this discussion, topics are very flexible, and can cover anything in geology or a related field, including hydrology or water resources, environmental or climate science, paleontology, planetary geology, etc. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about topics in geology that interest YOU, and to see that many interesting things relating to geology are currently making headlines in the news. You are also helping your instructor to become aware of what is going on and to learn new things, your efforts are appreciated. Looking forward to reading what you find!

    For this discussion, you will write an intial post and reply to at least TWO of your classmates’ posts. Follow the guidelines for each posting below:

    Basic Guidelines for Initial Post

    (20 points, required)

    Click on “Start a New Thread”. You need to include all of the following in your own thread:

    1. Find a geology or geology-related article that is dated no earlier than 3 days before the discussion first opened (for example, if the discussion opens on March 10, then you would need to find an article dated March 7 or after).
    2. Initial post must be made before 3 days (72 hours) before the discussion closes.
    3. Start a New Thread in the discussion, and put the full title of your article in the “enter a subject” line. Do not just leave it blank. It is very important that other students can see the title without entering your thread, so that it is easy for them to search for what they find most interesting.
    4. In your post, please include the following information:
      • What is the title of your article? On what date (day/month/year) was it published online?
      • What is the full URL of your web-based source? (copy the whole web address; we must be able to visit the site and read the full article)
      • Why did you find this particular article interesting? In other words, what caught your attention, thus leading you to choose to share it?
      • In your own words, write a brief summary of what happened or was learned. In other words, what significant finding is being reported? (your answer must be at least five complete and meaningful sentences long, and MUST be in your own words; you will not get credit for sentences that you just copy/paste from the article!)

    Basic Guidelines for Replies to Students

    (10 points, required)

    1. You are free to make replies to students with regard to either
      1. your own article you may have posted for extra credit, or
      2. another student’s article.
    2. Each reply must contain 6 or 7 meaningful sentences directly related to article content. Phrases like “that is a great article!” and “I really liked your summary” do not count as meaningful content. However, these are still encouraging phrases in support of your peers so please feel free to include them in your post.
    3. You must reply to at least 2 other students. (3, or more, for extra credit.)
    4. If your replies are too short, you will need to make more than 2 replies to reach your full sentence count for the discussion (2 replies x 6 or 7 sentences each = 12-14 sentences required in each discussion).
    5. Do not wait until the last day of the discussion to make your replies. You only receive credit for one reply (up to 10 points max) on the last day.
    6. Reply early and often, and earning your full discussion points will be easy!

    Extra Credit

    (5 points, optional)

    Make a third reply (or more!) to a student following the guidelines above.

    Learning Outcomes

    As a result of your participation in the discussion, you will become more aware of current events and news articles relating to topics in geology (i.e. become a more informed citizen). You will have some freedom in customizing this course to pursue your own interests in geology, including things not covered in the content of this course, by finding news articles on topics that relate to you.

    Grading Rubric

    Initial Post

    20 points: Initial post met length and content requirements

    15 points: Initial post needs minor improvements in length and content

    10 points: Initial post needs major improvements in length or content

    5 points: Initial post was made but with very little effort

    0 points: Initial post was not made

    Reply posts (each)

    5 points: Reply was thoughtful, relevant, and met length requirements.

    4 points: Reply needs minor improvements in relevancy and/or length.

    2.5 points: Reply needs major improvements in relevancy and/or length.

    1 points: Reply was made but with very little effort.

    0 points: Reply was not made.

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