Spring 2002 Course Syllabus

The Oceanography Laboratory class is the introductory lab course for Oceanography and is suitable for both Oceanography majors and non-majors.  This lab course follows and supports the oceanic principles and concepts covered in the lecture course. 
Prerequisite: Geology 12 (may be concurrently enrolled).  Laboratory exercises include: 

Required Materials
Lab Manual: Laboratory Exercises in Oceanography,  by Pipkin, et. al.
your lecture textbook and a calculator, 2 scantrons, colored pencils,
a three-ring binder and an LPC Computer Access Card

Web Site:  http://lpc1.clpccd.cc.ca.us/lpc/hanna/index.htm

Instructor: R.L. Hanna

Office Hours

Mon and Wed 9:30am-11:00am

Friday 1:45-3:00pm

and are held in Rm 1824 (Science Center Work Area) or Rm 1828


Exam Schedule

Lab Practical Exam: Tue., May 7, 1:30-4:20pm

Final Presentations: Tue., May 21, 1:30-4:20pm 


350 points (35%) Midterm

150 points (15%) Final

500 points (50%) Labs











To Optimize Your Learning Opportunites
Actively participate in the learning process


+   come to every lab meeting prepared for that day's lab

+   read the lab instructions before coming to class

+    the lecture textbook as a resource to help you

+   STUDY GROUPS: work and study with other students in the class - quiz each other

+   explore the geology links available on the instructor's geology web-site

+   attend EVERY scheduled lab meeting; commit to education as your priority

+   take advantage of the instructor's office hours

+   use the LPC Tutorial Center

+   during office hours, inform your instructors of

o        learning disabilities

o        physical disabilities

o        use of prescribed medications that affect your in-class capabilities

o        other such special accommodations that may be required




How are Lab Courses Different from Lecture Courses?

Lab Courses require that the student figures out what to do, tests this and then formulates a new course of action based on the results of each test... and eventually, the student converges on the answer.  This is active, experiential learning and is highly effective - and most students already know that they will learn better if they do it themselves.... However, I have found that most students do not actually want to figure out how to do a lab experiment on their own... it takes too much time and effort, is too frustrating and makes them feel stupid....its sort of like trying to jog when you are out-of-shape...  Most of my students are non-science majors taking their one and only science course for general breadth requirements...Most of my students have had innumerable, countless numbers of classes that fit into the Standard Lecture categories - and even though they complain about these classes, and the students are forever voicing their opinions on how the instructors could make the classes better - the truth is, that because students have had so many of the Standard Lectures, that most students have gotten pretty good at dealing with them in order to pass the courses and even to get A's in most of these courses.  So, here these students are... taking a Lab Course... where they know that they should be learning better because they will be doing it themselves and they will not have to sit and listen to a boring verbal lecture.... And, what do these students immediately demand from the lab professor?  Instructions, guidelines, examples.... which turns the beginning of the lab into a standard lecture explanation and then turns the students into monkeys who ape the professors instructions and demos... and how much do these students retain?  Very, very little!  These types of labs are also known as "Cookbook Labs" where all the student has to do is follow the instructions -- its passive learning in a lab setting... and is very sad.

A Great Analogy: The Goal is to get to the top of a mountain.  Active experiential lab-type learning entails that the students formulate a plan and a route to the top and start hiking.  Along the way, the students find that they have to backtrack and, perhaps, even start over several times.  Eventually, however, after a tough hike and many mistakes, they make it to the top and the view is spectacular and breathtaking and the students have a sense of pride and accomplishment.  These students can tackle that hill over and over again and they can make it to the top on their own -- they know the way.

In contrast, the "Cookbook Labs" that are requested by passive students result in the instructor piling students into a van and driving them to the top.  When the students drag themselves out of their seats to see the view, they are not impressed... they complain about the drive up and the cold and wind on the top.  After the instructor drives the students back down to the bottom, the very next day these students could not climb to the top of that mountain.  They don't know the route because they didn't figure out the route and drive it themselves.  They have no clue as to how to plan for the effort that the hike will require.  These students whine and complain and are always full of pointed suggestions of what others should do -- especially of what others should do for them.... These passive learners must change their perspective and expectations of college or they are going to make the unlucky people around them miserable!




There are 14 labs for a total of 500 term points; most labs are worth 35points each; however, since 14x35=490points, a few of the labs are worth more than 35 points.  The instructor will assign the lab points as appropriate as the term progresses so that the total lab points sum to 500 points.  If scheduled lab time is cancelled for any reason (e.g., instructor illness or campus situations), students must work and complete all questions and problems for one of the exercises in the Lab Manual.  This work will be due at the beginning of the next lab meeting.  .  A note will be posted on the labroom door with further instructions.

Missed instructions or assignments?
1) from at least one other student in class:
obtain copies of notes, assignments, instructions, announcements, etc.
2) discuss and study the material with a student
who was present for the material that you missed
3) if the assignment was out of the lab manual - work the assignment and
check your answers with students who were in class 
4) get a tutor if you can not understand the explanations from your classmates who were in class the day that you missed.  Do NOT expect the instructor to be able to individually tutor you on the material that you missed.  The lab that you missed took 3 hours… the instructor can not spend 3 hours individually tutoring each student who missed lab. (I have had students come and plop themselves in front of me during my office hours with the expectation that it is somehow my responsibility to tutor them in 15 minutes on what they missed in a 3 hour lab…. this is unreasonable)

Make-Up Lab Credit:  Lab facilities and personnel are not available for makeup labs.  To make-up the credit for one missed lab, the student must work and complete all questions and problems for one of the exercises in the Lab Manual.  This individual work will take at least 3 hours and may take as much as 6-10 hours of the student’s time.  Student’s must demonstrate to the instructor that they spent the requisite amount of actual learning time. The instructor can not be available as an individual tutor for the student who missed class.   The deadline for makeup work is the same as the deadline for extra credit work (see that section of the course syllabus).  Missed lab credit is not available for any labs missed after the extra credit/makeup deadline.

Allowable number of missed classes, drop procedures, etc.:
At the instructor's discretion, the student may be dropped after 2 missed labs sessions that have not been made-up through the appropriate procedures (and within a week of the missed second missed lab).  The preceeding does not imply that the student will be dropped.
Drop procedures: It is the student's responsibility to drop the course before any appropriate deadlines (e.g., NGR - no grade of record, W - withdrawal, or the end of the course). If a student's name appears on the final term roster, the student will recieve the letter grade which reflects the student's course work compared to all that was required.




Exam Materials: Each student must bring extra scantrons, pencils, erasers, kleenex, etc.  The professors can not supply these materials for the students.  If you see materials that are not yours, please leave them alone.

Poor scantron erasures:  Grades are not changed if the scantron machine marks poorly erased questions wrong.  Students must test their erasers before the exam time.  Bring good erasers and bring extra erasers.

Missed exams: The facilities are not available for make-up exams.  There are no rooms available and the instructor is not allowed time to set up special lab exams for individual students.

Exam and Course Grades:

·        Will be posted by student-chosen codenames. 

·        Grades will be posted on the bulletin board outside Rm 1828 and on my website

·        If a student does not want their grades posted, the student must give the instructor notification in writing. 

·        Grades are not discussed during class time.

+  Students are welcome to come to regularly scheduled office hours to view their exams and the exam answer keys.

Student Codenames – Do no tell anyone your codename – not even your friends.  You are responsible for maintaining your codename’s anonymity from your friends and fellow students.

How long do I keep exams and your class paperwork? – I keep your old exams and other classwork until the end of the following term.  For example, the old exams from Fall 2000 were destroyed at the end of Spring 2001.  Students may not keep their old exams.  Students may keep copies of any other work that they submit for the course.


What are the penalties for…. coming in late, leaving early, getting up during class, having a cell phone go off in class, etc.?  [Refer to the list of College Student Responsibilities for more complete lists.]

+  You will not receive any credit for a lab where you came in late or left early – even leaving 5 minutes early results in no credit for the lab.

+  For other areas, such as cell phones

o       Each first offense is 25 term points deducted from the student’s course grade.

o       Second offenses are 50 points each.

o       Third offenses will result in a course grade of F. 


How to get in touch with the instructor:

+  Come to the regularly scheduled office hours

+  Almost all questions can be answered in the course syllabus or on my website

+  Read the syllabus very carefully

+  Please do not send e-mail.  My e-mail is already overloaded and bombarded – if you send an e-mail you will most probably not get any response as I will not have time at night to find and reply to your questions.

+  Phone mail.  Most instructors have very little time to answer phone mail.  I am generally at school between 7:30am to 5+pm and none of that is time spent in my office as I have classes, labs, meetings, etc.  My office hours are held in Rm 1824 (not my office). 

+  “Old-fashioned” mail – Building 100, Instructors’ mailboxes.  If you leave something for me through my campus mail, please make sure that you use an unsealed envelope (or no envelope).  I will not open sealed envelopes or packages through the campus mail.



Letters of Recommendation:  If a student wishes to request that I write them a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, entrance to a college, or for a job, you must come to me at least a week before any deadlines.  Please bring all of your materials and information to my office hours.  I will write the letter while you are present – and only if you are present – and you will have the opportunity to proofread the letter. 

Written Documentation Policy As a matter of academic integrity and fairness to all students, extenuating circumstances must be supported with formal, written documentation from an outside official source (e.g., a doctor). Documentation of extenuating circumstances must be submitted by the student or a family member (not another student) within one to two weeks of the extenuating circumstance. The Instructor will notify and consult with the Dean and Vice President regarding the student's situation. In order for an extenuating circumstance to be valid, all of the student's courses must be suffering to the same degree and from the same situation.




Extra Credit
 Extra Credit may be turned in any day before Friday, May 3rd.
No makeup work or extra credit work will receive credit after

2:30pm Friday, May 3rd

If you wait until the middle of April to submit your work and then circumstances prevent you from attending my office hours, your extra credit will not be accepted late.
No excuses are acceptable.

If circumstances, such as instructor illness or a campus evacuation or closure, prevent regular office hours on Fri, May 3, the extra credit deadline will not be extended to a later day.  Students have several months to submit extra credit and students must not equate the deadline to be the day that extra credit should be turned in.


Extra Credit: The following are available for extra credit for the lab:

1. Two seawater experiments and/or mathematical derivation/proofs
~30 term points each)

2. Exercises from the Lab Manual: 35 term points/each (~ one lab)

     -  see instructor before beginnings any of these
3. Field Trips to Hayward and Sunol

Hayward Field Trip: 35 term points (~ one lab)

Sunol Field Trip: 50 term points


No more than one extra credit assignment may be turned in each week.


Note:  The lecture extra credit videos and personal field trips (detailed in the lecture course syllabus) are not appropriate extra credit for the lab course.



The student must never assume anything that is not specifically covered here in this syllabus.  For example, never assume that you can take your final exam at any time other than that specified for your class in the LPC Class Schedule; no student can assume that they can take any exam at any time other than the time specified by the instructor.  And, never assume that your individual circumstances guarantee extended deadlines or special accommodations.


Spring Semester 2002


January 22

Instruction Begins


January 26

Saturday instruction begins


February 8 *

Last Day to Withdraw with "No Grade of Record" (NGR) in Person
Deadline to ADD classes in person


February 11



February 15

Holiday - Lincoln's Day - no instruction


February 16

Saturday Classes - no instruction


February 18

Holiday - Washington's Day - no instruction


February 22

Deadline to apply for Credit/No Credit


March 8

Deadline to apply for Spring 2002 Graduation


April 1-5

Spring Break - no instruction


April 6

Saturday Classes - no instruction


April 21

Deadline to withdraw with a "W"


May 18

Las Day of Saturday Classes


May 23

Last Day of Classes


May 25

Final Exams, Saturday Classes


May 24 - 31

Final Examination Period (see also the last page of Fall 2001 Schedule)
Filing of Grades


June 1


* The deadlines listed above refer to regular, full-term classes only. Alternate courses have varying deadlines that will be posted in the lobby of the Admissions and Records Office. You may also find deadlines on "CLASS-Web” (on-line).


The schedule above was taken from the LPC website on Dec 25, 2001. 
All students are responsible for monitoring possible college changes and addendums.



Oceanography Laboratory Schedule
RL Hanna  Spring 2002

Tue Jan 22

Oceanography on the InterNet:-- Tides, Coastline Marine Conditions, etc.
Marine Life Potpourri Self-Paced Slide Show

Tue Jan 29

Bathymetry: Constructing Maps & Profiles
Marine Conditions Review: internet

Tue Feb 5

Oceanic Geography and Marine Life
Bathymetry Review; Marine Conditions Review

Tue Feb 12

Marine Life

Tue Feb 19

Magnetic Stripes; Plate Tectonics & Sea-Floor Spreading
Bathymetry Review; Marine Fossil Pre-Lab

Tue Feb 26

Marine Fossils
Marine Life Quiz; Seismic Reflection Pre-Lab

Tue Mar 5

Seismic Reflection profiles
Marine Fossils Review Quiz and Seashells PowerPoint SlideShow
Microplankton Pre-Lab

Tue Mar 12

Microplankton - microscopes
Seismic Reflection Review; Archimedes Pre-Lab

Tue Mar 19

Seawater Physics: Archimedes Principle Experiment
Sea Floor Geology Sample Boxes + Practice Quiz
Microplankton Review Quiz; Seismic Reflection Review

Seawater Part 1 Pre-Lab

Tue Mar 26

Seawater Experiments Part 1:
pH, salinity, refraction, surface tension and buoyancy
Archimedes Practice Review; Seismic Reflection Review
Seawater Part 2 Pre-Lab

Tue Apr 2

Spring Break

Tue Apr 9

Seawater Experiments Part 2: haloclines, pycnoclines and thermoclines
Archimedes Practice Review

Tue Apr 16

Lab Manual Exercise

Tue Apr 23

Lab Manual Exercise

Tue Apr 30

Ø      Student Self-Paced Practice Review Lab

o       Bathymetry Review

o       Seismic Reflection Interpretation and Calculation Review

o       Sea Floor Rock Review; Sand Review

o       Marine Fossil Review (including microplankton)

o       Marine Life; Rm 1824 PC computers; Marine Conditions on the Internet

o       Archimedes Review; pH and Salinity Review

Tue May 7

Lab Practical Exam

Tue May 14

Diving Physics Demo and Discussion

Tue May 21

Your Own Lab/Field Trip Demo


College Student Responsibilities

1) It is your responsibility to understand the the basic introductory oceanography lab material as outlined on the first page of the syllabus and on the lab term schedule. This is a transferable course and neither your instructor nor LPC determines the volume of course content.  If any classes are cancelled (e.g., due to instructor illness or campus closure), you will have more responsibility for more material on your own. The exams will cover the basic course material regardless of what material was covered during the class time available.

The course lab manual and your lecture textbooks are the most complete sources at your disposal. Each student must determine the combination of learning styles that is best for themselves. What is best for one student is NOT always the best combination of study materials for the next student. Do not be discouraged if you find that you need more repetition or more time to learn the material than others around you. Spend the time that you need.

2) "Put in the time" -- attend ALL labs AND plan study time each week. 

3) Timeliness. You must be on time to class.   To earn the credit for a day’s lab, the student must be present for the entire lab; the student can not be late or leave early.  No partial lab credit is possible.  If you must come in late or leave early (even just 5 minutes) you will not receive credit for that day’s lab. There are no exceptions to this rule.  You must schedule counseling and medical appointments at times that do not conflict with class. 

4) Lab classes require clean-up and you may not get to leave the room at 4:20pm, so give yourself at plenty of time after class before you schedule another activity (such as work).

5) It is your obligation to manage you own time schedule so that you can attend class, attend ALL exams, attend office hours when necessary, and study throughout the term - not just before exams. There are NO MAKE-UPS or special times for exams. It is your responsibility to arrange vacations and hours of employment that do not conflict with the requirements of the class in which you have enrolled. If a student misses the lab midterm, the score on the lab final will stand for stand for the missed exam. If a student misses more than one exam, the student will fail the course.

Formal, documentable extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on an individual basis - leave a voice-mail message on 373-4919 - I will contact both the Dean and the Vice President to assist in dealing with your situation. 

6) Absolutely NO CELL PHONES, PAGERS, etc. I do not bring such equipment to class, I expect you to do the same. If you cannot remember to turn the ringers off before you come in to class, leave them at home or in your car. The ringing in-class is rude and disruptive, and the instructor may drop you from the course if your cell phone or pager goes off during class.



College Student Responsibilities

7) Office Hours. Any and all extra credit, makeup work, and special items that you need to discuss with me must be brought to my office hours. PLEASE DO NOT attempt to discuss issues during the few minutes right before or right after one of my classes.

8) You are responsible at all times for your own progress.

9) Do not assume that I will drop you from the class if you stop attending or if you are failing the course. It is important that you keep track of your progress and attendance. You must make sure that you are aware of all drop and withdrawal dates.

10) Respect for me at all times (even when we disagree). This means a) no "chitchat" while I am lecturing; b) no "sleeping or dozing" during class; c) no passing of notes or writing on other's notebooks; and d) no disparaging remarks about groups to whom you do not belong.

11) Please respect my time - please do not try and "catch me" at times other than my office hours. I generally teach 7 classes and have around 250 students per semester. In addition to preparing and teaching classes, I also have weekly obligations to the college. I generally work 10 hours days. Please respect my time. If I'm in my office and it's not during office hours, then I am working on something. I don't "hang out" here.

12) Respect for your classmates at all times (even when you disagree).

13) Be polite during office hours. When attending the instructor's office hours, all students must be polite and wait their turn. You will most probably not be dealt with first. Everyone is busy and everyone has other classes, jobs, appointments and commitments. Everyone is busy. Do NOT act like a spoiled brat that should not have to wait its turn. Leave the attitude outside. Be polite and be mature. When you come to office hours, you will have to wait - there may be many other students with difficult issues that also need to see the instructor. You may have to wait more than a half-hour or even more than an hour. All students will be treated equally and fairly.

14) Questions you may never ask me: "Did I miss anything important?" and "Can I make up my exam?". “What can I do for extra credit?” and “What are your office hours?”…. (my office hours are on the front page of your course syllabus, posted on my door and posted on my website…..).

Read your course syllabus, stay up with the class, and keep track of and take responsibility for your own progress. It is college. The responsibilities are huge, the rewards are enormous. This is a great class - we will cover so much interesting material in this class and I work VERY HARD on my presentations...



A College Course

In a nutshell:  The student is responsible for learning the basic introductory oceanography lab material as outlined on the first page of the syllabus and on the lab term schedule.  The Professor does not choose the basic course content nor the fundamentals that should be included on exams. 

Most college students are fully capable of learning most of the basic course content on their own – without assistance. 

College students are expected to come to lab sessions having already spent whatever time was necessary to learn to be prepared to work with the lab materials effectively.

College students should come to class with questions that extrapolate beyond the basics presented in the book.  The professor may then supply an answer or may then supply an opportunity for discussion and exploration of that question – the professor does not (necessarily) provide the answer to the question.  The outcome of class time may be that the student may have identified where to go next to continue exploring the question.

That is college.  That is what makes it different from high school.

When did I realize this?  By the time I graduated with my B.S…. by the time I finished my degree, I realized that I did not need any instructor to learn the basic concepts of almost any course (that I had completed the prerequisites for).

The average college student actually does not need an instructor to learn the basic concepts.  After 10 years of college teaching, I know that 90% of my freshmen-level students are fully capable of learning the basic material on their own – they just do not know that they are capable of it because they have rarely been forced to realize it.  The major hurdle for most students is that they want “instant understanding” – they want someone to explain it to them in such a way that they “instantly get-it”.  Consequently, because this is a rare occurrence, many students are continually frustrated or less-than-satisfied.  These students have forgotten (or never realized) that it is the student’s responsibility to learn the material (it is not the professor’s responsibility to provide “instant understanding”).


Because “instant understanding” is rare (although continuously expected), many students find that they do not have enough time in their overbooked life-schedules to spend the necessary time to achieve the proper comprehension of course concepts.  Something has to go… some expectations have to change; such as, you may not get an A in the class if you can not rearrange your schedule to accommodate the learning time that you need; or you may have to drop a class or two; or you may have to cut-back on work hours and cut items from your personal budget.







Lab classes are hands-on classes that require that the student actually experiment – that word means that the student has to pose questions and try solutions – most of these solutions will fail…. that is the nature of the beast.  Do NOT expect the professor to wait tables and hand out answers to whatever you do not understand.  In a lab class, the student must spend whatever time is necessary to discover the answers independently of the professor.

When I see a student who finds geology easy, I expect that student to continuously show me that they have spent time exploring geology beyond the basic concepts and to be watching the geology videos in the LPC library collection – especially the Earth Revealed Series.

When I see a student who is struggling with the basic concepts, I expect that student to be meeting with a tutor weekly, to be working with the materials on reserve in the LPC LRC and the materials in Rm 1824 (accessible during the instructor’s office and lab hours), to be watching all of the Earth Revealed videos, to be working in a study group, etc.

If you did not understand some of the concepts discussed in lab, then stop whining and figure out how you are going to learn the material.  Do what you need to do.  Make positive efforts that increase your learning.  Don’t waste your time with the negatives, don’t waste your time griping.  Figure out how you are going to make the time in your schedule to learn the material. You do not need the professor!






The Professor’s Responsibilities


The Professor does not choose course content nor the fundamentals that should be included on exams.  The Professor only has a choice about how the lab sessions are formatted; student group activities, practice quizzes, field trips, term projects, student presentations, etc.  Regardless of class session material, the student is responsible for outside class learning that supplements whatever is necessary for the student to learn the basic course content.

College Professors are paid to:

Ø      Oversee the scheduled class time

Ø      Offer formal office hours each week.

Ø      Critique and evaluate the student’s knowledge of required course concepts

Ø      Be a resource for geology students (NOT to give the answer to every question)

Ø      Oversee the Geology Program; development, curriculum, materials, support personnel, ordering of supplies, etc.

Ø      Contribute to the LPC academic community; attend meetings; produce reports such as Program Review; participate in Accreditation, etc.

Ø      See my website for more details on the responsibilities of a college professor beyond the classroom.


Not the Professor’s Responsibility (not paid to):

Ø      Give you the answer to every question that you ask – it is your responsibility to find the answers and it is not the professor’s responsibility to make that easy

Ø      Conduct individual tutoring; the college has a free tutorial service and professors are not allowed time in their weekly schedules to accommodate personal tutoring.

Ø      Offer individual office hours or appointments that meet each student’s personal life schedule.  With 250 students/term, I can not handle the number of students who prefer special appointments and special accommodations.  I have asked the school if I could have a reduced load so that I can offer special accommodations; unfortunately, the school turned my requests down.  Since it is unfair to offer special appointments to some students without offering them to all students, I can not offer them to any students.  Please do not ask.

Ø      Provide individual exam times for students with individual circumstances.  Students with documented learning disabilities or physical handicaps work with the LPC DSPS which can offer special accommodations as warranted.

Ø      Provide field trips!  Although, I generally schedule 2 field trips/term.

Ø      Provide or accept extra credit; if an instructor allows extra credit, this is work that the instructor is nor is time allowed for this in the instructor’s weekly schedule.  I generally allow many different possibilities for extra credit – but never forget that extra credit is a privilege, not a right.

Ø      Provide pencils, scantrons, erasers, paper, kleenex, etc.





A College Professor is like a Coach….



Consider this analogy:  you hire a fitness coach so that you can run a 10K three months from now.  The coach sets up a regimen of training runs and recommended physical exercises.  The coach offers advice and critiques your progress.  Who has to do the training and exercises? You do.  The coach sets up the plan, gives advice and critiques progress.  You have to do the work.  You have to run the practice 5K’s and you have to do the Stairmaster and the stationary bike at 5am because that’s the only time that it will fit into your schedule.  And at the end of three months, who runs the 10K?  You do.  If you have done ALL of the training runs and ALL of the weekly exercises, then you have the best shot at finishing the 10K.  No one else can run it for you.


A college course is very similar to the scenario above.   A college professor oversees a course and critiques your progress.  Your professor is not your tutor – I have 250 students and it is impossible to tutor all of those individuals at the same time.


A professor is someone with specific expertise that is hired to set-up and oversee a course.  The course may have traditional verbal presentations, or the course may include multi-media presentations– or may not have any presentations by the instructor – or the course may include student-group work and/or student presentations.  There are a wide spectrum of potential class formats.  In a college class, your professor does not have to give a single presentation.


In the end, you have to “run the 10K” –and you are the one who has to learn the material and you are the one who has to perform on the exams. 


Never place the responsibility for your learning anywhere but with yourself.