GG 103 - Geology of the Hawaiian Islands
Spring 2010 - TR 9:00 - 10:15 AM - CRN 55774 - CR 3
University of Hawaii Leeward CC

Instructor: Michael Lane
Office: MS 102
Phone Number: LCC - 455-0502; Mobile - 782-6530
Email Address:
Course Web Site: Lani Aina Kai -
Office Hours:
Monday 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Tuesday 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Wednesday 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Thursday 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Friday 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Textbooks: Volcanoes in the Sea, MacDonald, G., Abbott, A. and Peterson, F., Second edition, 1983
Roadside Geology of Hawaii, Hazlett, R. and Hyndman, D., 1996
15 Reading Discussions (2.0 pts each) 30.0 pts  
15 Math Problems (0.5 pts each) 7.5 pts  
Class Participation 8.0 pts  
Class Presentation 3.0 pts  
7 Quizzes (5.5 pts each) 38.5 pts  
Final Exam 13 pts  
Total 100.0 pts  
Optional Assignments:
Media Topics (0.5 pts each)    
Lecture Reports (2.5 pts each)    
Fieldtrip Reports (3 pts each)    
Course Description: Hawaiian geology and geologic processes: origin of Hawaiian Islands, volcanism, rocks and minerals, geomorphology, stream processes, coastal geology, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis, groundwater, and geological and environmental hazards. Fieldtrips arranged.
Grading Policies

Grades are earned based on the number of points accumulated by completing assignments and examinations. Students must earn at least 60 points to pass this course. If students have trouble completing the assignments, or preparing for or taking tests, they should contact the instructor for advice. The instructor will assist students in selecting the appropriate mechanisms to help them successfully earn credit for this course.

Late work is not accepted.

The reading discussions, in-class problems, presentations, quizzes, and the final exam are mandatory assignments and should not be missed. The presentation and up to two missed quizzes can be made up; whereas, the other mandatory assignments cannot be made up. The points for missed reading discussions and in-class problems will be added to the next quiz. For example, if a reading discussion is missed during a particular quiz period, the next quiz will be worth 9.5 points instead of 7.5 points. This way students have an opportunity to make up the points for missed assignments.

The points for most of the optional assignments – the media topics, lecture reports, and fieldtrip reports - will substitute for quiz points. For example, if a student completes a media topic (0.5 points) and a fieldtrip report (3.0 points) during a particular quiz period, the next quiz will be worth 4.0 points instead of 7.5 points.

Grading Scale: A - 100% => 90%
B - 89% => 80%
C - 79% => 70%
D - 69% => 60%
F - 59% => 0%
Readings Discussions:

The reading discussions are exercises for reading comprehension, the verbalization of information, and peer teaching.

To receive credit (2.0 points) for these exercises, students will 1) read the assigned material, 2) write an answer to each of the questions, 3) hand in a copy of their answers at the beginning of the class period the day the assignment is due, and 4) participate in the group discussion. Reading discussions cannot be made up.

The questions for each reading discussion assignment are posted on the Reading Discussions page.

On the day the assignment is due (see syllabus), the instructor will divide the class into groups of three students, where each group member is assigned a task. The leader ensures that all of the questions are answered satisfactorily and that the group stays on task in order to complete the exercise in the time provided. The recorder writes the names of the group members on a sheet paper and, for each question, writes whether the group agreed or disagreed on an answer. The recorder’s sheet will help the instructor determine if certain reading discussion questions should be reviewed during lecture. The encourager ensures that all group members participate in the discussion. If a student is not participating, the encourager will ask the student about that student's responses to the reading discussion questions.

The recorder’s answer sheet is handed in at the end of the exercise.

Math Problems:

In-class math problems are a mechanism designed to encourage students to routinely use math to understand natural processes.

Each week, students will answer a math problem in class that is related to a topic covered during a recent lecture. The questions will require students to demonstrate mathematical or graphical skills. Each question is worth 0.5 points. An example of each problem will be posted on the Math Problems page prior to the in-class exercise. To receive full credit for a problem, students must write the values for each problem, show the calculations, and write the appropriate units in the answer.

Class Presentations:

The class presentation is an exercise for reading comprehension, information organization and presentation, oral skills, and peer teaching.

Each student will give a concise three-minute presentation to their class. Starting around the fourth week of the semester, one student will give a presentation each day, generally near the middle of the class period. The topic of a presentation will be assigned by the instructor and will cover a geological topic. The material for the presentations will come from the course text.

In the third week of the semester, the instructor will post a list of student names and the dates of their presentations. Two weeks before their presentation date, students can meet with the instructor to determine if the instructor has any graphics from the text that might be appropriate for their presentation.

To see the requirements of the class presentation, go to the Class Presentation page. The presentations are worth 3.0 pts.

Class Participation:

By routinely attending class and participating in class discussions students hone critical thinking skills while speaking (using oral skills) and listening (using auditory skills) to other discussion participants.

Class participation consist of two parts: class attendance (4 pts) and participation in class discussions (4 pts). Students earn four points for attending at least 15 weeks of class periods. In other words, students can miss one week of classes (three periods for the MWF classes and two periods for the TR classes) and still earn all attendance points.

Students also earn four points by participating in class discussions at least once during each two-week quiz period. Students participate in class discussions by adding value to a discussion, e.g. asking pertinent questions about the topic under discussion or questions that expand the discussion, or answering questions posed by the instructor or other students. Students that do not voluntarily participate will be called on by the instructor.


Exam preparation requires students to practice study skills and link information from a variety of lectures and exercises. Written and short answer questions are used in exams so that students become more proficient at writing and critical thinking.

Quizzes consist of one written question and 15 short-answer questions. The first seven questions are from the lecture notes and in-class math problems. The next eight questions are from the reading discussion assignments for that quiz period (Four questions from each reading discussion assignment). The topics for these questions, as well as the potential written questions, will be posted on the Exam Topics page approximately one week before each quiz. Each quiz is worth 5.5 points.

Makeup Quizzes:

Makeup quizzes consist of two written questions and a math problem.

The first question is selected from the same list of potential written quiz questions used for the quiz that was missed. The second written question covers material from one of the two reading discussions for the quiz that was missed. To prepare for the second written question, study both reading discussions for the missed quiz and be prepared to write about any of the topics covered in either assignment. The math problem will be similar to one of the two math problems for the quiz that was missed. To see the list of potential written questions, the three reading discussions, and examples of the math problems, see the Exam Topics page.

Makeup quizzes are worth 5.5 points and must be made up within two weeks of the date of the missed quiz. Students can makeup up to two quizzes during the semesters.

Final Exam: The final exam has two parts. The format of the first part is the same as a quiz, 15 short answer questions and one written question. This part covers information from the last two weeks of the semester. The second part consists of a selection of written questions and math problems taken from the previous semester quizzes. Students will answer 2-4 written questions and 3-5 math questions from the seven semester quizzes. The list of potential questions will be posted after the seventh quiz.
Media Topics:

Media topics are optional exercises that encourage students to read local media for earth science articles and to relate classroom topics to local issues that affect their lives.

During each of the eight two-week quiz periods noted in the syllabus, students can select an article from a local newspaper or magazine about a subject that is related to a topic discussed in class.

To receive full credit for each media topic (0.5 points) students must 1) provide a brief summery of the article (one or two sentences) and 2) use at least five points (facts or processes) learned in class when illustrating a relationship between a classroom topic and the media article. A copy of the media article must be handed in along with the media topic. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Media topics cannot be turned in late.

Additional information is given on the Media Topic Information page and an example of a satisfactory media topic is given on the Media Topics Example page.

Lecture Reports:

Lecture reports are optional exercises in listening comprehension, critical thinking, and writing.

Four times a semester students can write a lecture report after attending a designated lecture or listening to a designated podcast. Lecture reports cover what the student learned from the lecture. The report should be 1-2 pages long, double-space, have 1-1.5” margins, and use a 12-point font.

The dates and locations of the lectures and a list of podcasts will be announced in class and posted on the course Web site. Note that the number of possible lectures varies from semester to semester.

A lecture report is graded on the how well the subjects learned from the lecture are described and organized. Grading is in increments of 0.5 points, up to a maximum of 2.5 points. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Lecture reports cannot be turned in late.

Fieldtrip Report:

Fieldtrip reports are optional exercises that enable students to observe natural and scientific processes and use critical thinking to write about what they learned on the fieldtrip.

Four times a semester students can participate in an oceanography fieldtrip and write a fieldtrip report. Fieldtrip reports cover what the student observed on the fieldtrip. The report should be 2-3 pages long, double-space, have 1-1.5” margins, and use a 12-point font.

The dates and locations of the fieldtrips will be announced in class and posted on the course Web site.

A fieldtrip report is graded on the how well the phenomena observed on the fieldtrip are described and the material organized. Grading is in increments of 0.5 points, up to a maximum of 3.0 points. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Fieldtrip reports cannot be turned in late.


To successfully complete the course, students should attend class regularly, participate in class discussions, check the course Web site regularly for information, and satisfactorily complete the mandatory assignments and exams. If students need help, they should contact the instructor. Students are expected follow the Board of Regents’ policy of academic dishonesty as stated on p. 171 of the current LCC catalog.

Students should participate in classroom activities, pay attend during lecture, refrain from conversation that interferes with the learning of others, and respect the rights and dignity of fellow students. Discrimination based on gender, race, ethnic heritage, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of GG 103, a student will be able to

  • discuss the formation of the Hawaiian Islands
  • describe the evolution of the Hawaiian Islands
  • describe the geomorphology of the Hawaiian Islands
  • read and interpret maps
Spring 2009 GG 103 Schedule
Date Lecture Topic Chapter Readings Discussion Media Topic Report
January 12 Hawaii 18      
  14 Hot Spots 18      
  19 Formation of the Hawaiian Islands 18 Hot Spots    
  21 Atoll Formation 18   1st  
  26 Origin of the Hawaiian Islands 18 Hawaiian Minerals and Igneous Rocks    
  28 Quiz 1        
February 2 Silicate Minerals 4 Tephra: Pyroclastic Material    
  4 Igneous Rocks 4   2nd 1st
  9 Lava 2 Volcanic Hazards    
  11 Quiz 2        
  16 Hawaiian Volcanoes 2, 7 Collapse    
  18 Eruptions 2, 7   3rd  
  23 Intrusive Rocks 5 Bowen's Reaction Series    
  25 Quiz 3        
March 2 Extrusive Rocks 5 Intrusive Bodies    
  4 Life Stages: Shield-Building Stage 6   4th 2nd
  9 Life Stages: Rejuvenated Stage 6 Rejuvenated Stage    
  11 Quiz 4        
  16 Ages of the Islands 16 Relative Age Dating    
  18 Weathering 8   5th  
  23 Spring Break        
  25 Spring Break        
  30 Hydrological Cycle 10 Rock Weathering and Soils    
April 1 Quiz 5        
  6 Valley Formation 10 Earthquakes    
  8 Earthquakes 17   6th 3rd
  13 Tsunamis 17 Sedimentary Rocks    
  15 Quiz 6        
  20 Groundwater 11 Groundwater    
  22 Basal Groundwater 11   7th  
  27 Coastal Geology 14 Coastal Geology    
  29 Quiz 7        
May 4 Beaches 14 Beach Loss 8th 4th
Final Exam 9:00 - 11:00 AM