Written Assignment:

One of the objectives of this course is to make you more aware of the geology which surrounds you. In order to facilitate this, I’d like you to take a closer look at the geology of your hometown, state, or region, or of a place which you have spent time at or have some other link to (for example, where your family came from), and tell me an interesting geological story. The assignment is 1000-1500 words, with a well-developed theme which will be graded on content (mostly), but also style and grammar. Your story should address, and explicitly tie together, the following questions: What is interesting geologically of the area, and how and when did it get like that, and how does it fit into the broader geology of the area? Why do you think this is a great story? Why do you think non-geologists might be interested? You should write as though a member of your family or a friend is the target audience—don’t use technical terms or jargon without clarifying them, and try to keep it interesting. Your paper needn’t be completely comprehensive—feel free to focus on fewer, more interesting aspects rather than trying to include every geological detail. To get started on your search, Google and Wikipedia are obvious choices. State Geological Surveys will often have lots of local information, and the U.S. Geological Survey (www.usgs.gov) also has lots of regional information if you search for it. You must use citations with a list of references at the end of the paper—the particular format you choose is not important, so long as it is consistent. If you use web-based sources, make sure to include the URL in your citation.

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