GG 103 - Geology of the Hawaiian Islands
Fall 2014 - TR 10:30 - 11:45 AM - CRN 50773 - CR 3
University of Hawaii Leeward CC

Instructor: Michael Lane
Office: MS 102
Phone Number: Leeward CC - 455-0502; Mobile - 782-6530
Email Address:
Course Web Site: Lani Aina Kai -
Office Hours:
Monday 11:50 AM - 1:00 PM
Tuesday 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Wednesday 11:50 AM - 1:00 PM
Thursday 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Friday 11:50 AM - 1:00 PM
Textbooks: Volcanoes in the Sea, MacDonald, G., Abbott, A. and Peterson, F., Second edition, 1983
(optional) Roadside Geology of Hawaii, Hazlett, R. and Hyndman, D., 1996 (if you can find an out of print copy)
14 Math Problems (1 pt each) 14 pts Solve one math problem after each quiz
Class Participation 4 pts  
Attendance 4 pts  
Geology Field Trip 5 pts  
14 Quizzes (2 pts each) 28 pts Questions from the reading discussions
3 Exams (15 pts each) 45 pts Questions from lecture topics
Total 100 pts  
Optional Assignments:
Media Topics (1.0 pt each)    
Class Presentation (4.0 pts)    
Lecture Reports (4.0 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 points accumulated by completing assignments and examinations. Students must earn at least 60 points to pass this course. If students want help completing the assignments or preparing for exams, they should contact the instructor. 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 geology field trip report, quizzes, and exams are mandatory exercises that should not be missed. The quizzes, math problems, and exams can be made up, whereas, the points for class participation, attendance, and the field trip report cannot.

The points for lecture reports and class presentation will substitute for examination points. For example, if a student completes a lecture report (four points) during a given examination period (four or five weeks), the next exam will be worth 11 points instead of 15 points.

The points for media topics will substitute for quiz points. For example, if a student completes a media topic (1 point) during a given quiz period, the next quiz will be worth one point instead of two points.

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

The reading discussions are reading comprehension exercises that prepare students for quizzes.

The questions for each reading discussion assignment are posted on the Reading Discussions page. Students are required to read the assigned material from the text and respond to the questions prior to a quiz. The quizzes consist of two questions selected randomly from each reading discussion assignment.

Math Problems:

Math problems are a mechanism designed to encourage students to routinely use math to understand natural processes.

Each week students will solve a math problem in class related to a topic covered during a recent lecture. The probems will require students to demonstrate mathematical or graphical skills. Each problem is worth 1.0 point. An example of each problem will be posted on the Math Problems page prior to a quiz. 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.

Students must use dedicated calculators for calculations. Mobile phones and other electronic devices are not permitted.

One math problem is given in association with each quiz.

Class Presentations:

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

Students can opt to give a concise three-minute digital presentation to their class:

  1. Students can select an available topic from the Class Presentation page.
  2. Select a presentation date from the availability list.
  3. Request the topic and presentation date via email to the instructor.
  4. Read the topic material in the text to develop a Keynote or PowerPoint digital presentation.
  5. Give the presentation on the assigned date.

The presentation should consist of at least five slides and contain graphics. A presentation is graded on several criteria: content, clarity, organization, and graphics implementation. The presentation is worth four points.

Class Participation:

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

Students earn four points by participating in class discussions at least once during each two-week 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 who do not participate voluntarily will be called on by the instructor.


Students earn four points for attending at least 15 weeks of class periods. In other words, students can miss two class periods during the semester and still earn all the attendance points.


Quiz preparation requires students to practice study skills: reading, comprehension, organizational, and communication. Quizzes consist of two short-answer questions selected randomly from the reading discussion for each quiz. Each quiz is worth two points.


Exams are exercises in written communication, information comprehension, and problem solving.

Exams have two parts. The first part consists of 4-5 written comprehension questions. This part covers information from the previous two weeks of the semester. The list of potential questions will be posted two days prior to exam date.

The second part consists of one application question. This part also covers information from the previous four or five weeks of the semester; however, the application question is not posted on the course website. Application questions are problem-solving questions that require students respond to using information from the lecture topics.

Each exam is worth 15 points.

Media Topics:

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

Up to two times a week, students can select an article from a newspaper, magazine, or website about a subject related to a topic discussed in class.

To receive full credit for each media topic (1.0 point) students must 1) provide a brief summary of the article and 2) explain the relationship between the information in the article and the topics learned in class. 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.

Media topics must be typed. Media topics substitute for quiz points, one per quiz period. A maximum of fourteen media topics can be completed.

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.

Three 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 or videos will be announced in class and posted on the course website. 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 four points. The due dates are listed in the syllabus. Lecture reports cannot be turned in late.

Fieldtrip Report:

The field trip report is an exercise that enables students to observe natural and scientific processes and report about what they learned on the field trip.

The field trip report covers what students observed and learned on the fieldtrip. The report should be 2-3 pages long, double-space, have 1-1.5” margins, and use a 12-point font. An additional page, the title page, contains the assignment title, student's name, and class time.

A field trip report is graded on the how well the phenomena observed on the field trip are described and the material organized. Grading is in increments of 0.5 points, up to a maximum of five points.

The report is due the last day of class: Thursday, December 11


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 Leeward CC 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

  • Explain and apply scientific principles related to the formation, weathering and erosion of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Explain and apply scientific principles related to the interaction of marine processes and Hawaiian Islands.
  • Explain and apply scientific principles related to environmental hazards in the Hawaiian Islands.
Students with Disabilites Statement: Leeward Community College abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, which stipulate that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education "solely by
reason of a handicap." Students with documented disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in
this class are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of the KAKO 'O IKE (KI) program as soon as
possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. The KI office is located in L-
208, across from the elevator in the library building or call for information at 455-0421.
Student Assessment Notification: With the goal of continuing to improve the quality of educational services offered to students, Leeward CC conducts assessments of student achievement of course, program, and institutional learning outcomes. Student work is used anonymously as the basis of these assessments, and the work you do in this course may be used in these assessment efforts.
Learning Resource Center:

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) offers many free services for students. LRC writing consultants can help with writing and reading assignments for any class, with scholarship essays, and with study skills including time management, organization, and note taking. Content tutors can help with course concepts and study strategies for many subjects. The LRC also offers workshops and handouts to help you succeed in college as well as help in starting study groups. To make an appointment with a writing consultant or content tutor, visit the LRC on the first floor of the Library building, call 455-0412, or visit one of our websites:

Each website includes information about services for students and links to many online resources.

The Maka'ala Program:

At Leeward CC we want every student to be successful. The Maka‘ala Program is a campus-wide effort that seeks to support students early in the semester when they first begin experiencing difficulty in a class. If I feel that you are having difficulty in my class within the first few weeks of the semester (e.g. missing class, missing assignments, or low test scores) I may refer you to the program. I will notify you about my intention to refer you to the program. Once referred, the Maka‘ala Program will:

  • Send an email to your account to let you know about my referral; and
  • Have a counselor follow up with you by phone or by email to find out what kinds of help you might need, to connect you with the necessary resources, and to help you devise a strategy for success.

Maka’ala means “eyes that are awake,” and reminds us that it is the responsibility of everyone involved—instructors, support services AND students—to be alert, watchful and vigilant and to attend to students’ success with “wide-open eyes.”

Fall 2014 GG 103 Schedule
Date Lecture Topic Quiz Reading Discussion Media Topic Reports
August 26 Hawaii        
  28 Ring of Fire        
September 2 Hot Spots 1 Hot Spots    
  4 Decompression Melting 2 Hawaiian Minerals and Igneous Rocks    
  9 Hawaii Hot Spot     1  
  11 Silicate Minerals 3 Tephra: Pyroclastic Material    
  16 Other Common Minerals     2  
  18 Rocks 4 Volcanic Hazards    
  23 Igneous Rocks     3  
  25 Eruption Explosivity 5 Collapse    
  30 Lava     4 1
October 2 First Exam        
  7 Volcanoes     5  
  9 Hawaii Shield Volcanoes 6 Bowen's Reaction Series    
  14 Volcanic Features     6  
  16 Tsunamis 7 Intrusive Bodies    
  21 Life Stages: Shield-Building     7  
  23 Life Stages: Declining and Rejuvenated 8 Rejuvenated Stage    
  28 Absolute Age Dating     8  
  30 Global Warming 9 Relative Age Dating    
November 4 Holiday - General Election Day     9 2
  6 Second Exam        
  11 Holiday - Veterans' Day     10  
  13 Streams 10 Rock Weathering and Soils    
  18 Amphitheater-Headed Valleys     11  
  20 Wave Refraction 11 Earthquakes    
  25 Sand 12 Sedimentary Rocks 12  
  27 Holiday - Thanksgiving Break        
December 2 Beaches     13  
  4 Longshore Drift 13 Groundwater    
  9 Seawalls and Beach Loss     14  
  11 Shoreline Features 14 Coastal Geology   3
Final Exam 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM