Sample Syllabi

EAR 225: Volcanoes and Earthquakes

This is the syllabus I wrote for the intro-level non-majors course “EAR 225: Volcanoes and Earthquakes” that I taught through Syracuse University in Fall 2020. While the overall structure of the syllabus is written according to the required Syracuse University template, and the scope and content of the course are based off of previous instructors’ versions of this course, the bulk of this syllabus is my own design.

In a departure from previous versions of this course, I chose to emphasize hazards and hazard mitigation as a driving motivation behind the course material. As the majority of my students were non-majors, and mostly non-STEM majors, I sought to connect potentially obscure topics like plate tectonics to students’ interests and career aspirations, putting the “why should we care?” front and center.

As I was teaching online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I chose to teach this course as a “flipped course” in which students watched lectures covering basic course content outside of the normal class time, and completed active learning exercises during scheduled course times to increase their understanding of the material. In the last two units of the course, students worked in teams on group projects that built off of concepts learned in lecture.

Dealing with Data

This is a syllabus for a course I could teach on data analysis techniques in the Earth Sciences, inspired by Cornell’s course “Quantitative Data Analysis for the Geosciences”. This is the course I wish I had been able to take at the beginning of my graduate school experience! The course covers basic statistics, curve fitting, and digital signal analysis, at a level appropriate for upper level undergraduates/beginning graduate students. My version of the course features an emphasis of group work and peer evaluation to improve student learning and foster community in the classroom.

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