Before you get to the site:
Pick an outdoor location for your report. This location could be on campus at West Los Angeles College, a park within your neighborhood, or you may choose to travel somewhere specifically to complete this report. Locations nearby West Los Angeles College include Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area (Links to an external site.), Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Links to an external site.), and Ballona Creek Wetlands (Links to an external site.). *Important* If you want to pick a location outside of the Los Angeles area, you must get prior approval from the instructor. Please email me with details about the location that you would like to select. *UPDATE*: Since we are under stay at home orders in California, you will likely have to do this from where you are currently living. See below for further modifications (highlighted in pink) to the instructions to respect your privacy.
Determine at least one date that you will visit the location and make the observations. If you visit on multiple dates, you will need to log your observations separately for each date.
Download the topographic map for the location that you are visiting. In the United States, you can use the USGS Map Locator, as explained in the background to Lab 4.
Determine if the location that you are visiting is near a geologic fault. There are a few ways that that you can find this information. a) Download the geologic map for the location that you are visiting. You can find geologic maps of the United States using the National Geologic Map Database (Links to an external site.). [Hint: click the box next to “Use Area on Map” and then zoom in or out to collect maps for the region shown in the map preview box.] b) In California, visit the Earthquake Zones of Required Investigations (Links to an external site.) website of the California Geologic Survey. You can type in the name of the city that you are visiting, or use the controls to zoom in. c) If you have a smartphone, download the QuakeFeed app (Links to an external site.). Click the icon at the top left of the screen (looks like a circle with a grid on it and an arrow pointing to the center). Then, zoom in to find your location.
Download the Daily Weather Map (Links to an external site.) from NOAA for the date that you are visiting the location.
At the site:
Take pictures at the site. At least one picture must be a “selfie” at the location. You should have images to support other geographical observations that you make. Pictures are optional.
Think about all of the content that you have learned during this course and how that new knowledge can be applied to this site. Make the following observations:
What is the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the location? If there is a range, be sure to take note of that information. You may use your smartphone to help you acquire this information, but you must also record the 7.5 Minute Quadrangle Map name that contains the location you are visiting. You should include the latitude and longitude only to 1/10th of a degree (for example, 34.0°N, 118.4°W).
What are the weather conditions on the Daily Weather Map (be sure to record the date)? Is there a nearby low or high pressure system? Is there precipitation in the area?
What are the observed weather conditions for the location on the date and time of your visit? Be as descriptive as possible (think about temperature, relative humidity, winds, clouds, etc.).
How does the actual weather conditions compare to the weather map? Be descriptive.
Are there any geologic faults near to the area you are visiting? If so, what is the name and direction of motion? If so, can you see any evidence of movement along the fault (for example, the area is on a hill that was pushed up due to reverse faulting? If not, where is the closest geologic fault (give the name and directions of motion)?
What is the geomorphological agent that dominates formation of this landscape (wind, water, ice, etc.), and what landforms can you observe?
After your visit:
Write a report that includes all of the following:
The location, date, and time of your observations.
Complete sentences that record your answers to the questions listed above. Be sure to Avoid Plagiarism. Plagiarized reports will receive 0 points.
References to the lab where you can find more information about these observations. For example, if you make an observation about the weather, you would likely refer to the lab on Weather Map Analysis.
Citations for all references that you use, including to maps and websites. You may use any standard format for references, but please be consistent. For example, this webpage (Links to an external site.) provides the APA Style Guide for references.
The pictures that you have taken as part of your report. Pictures are optional.
Submit your report (with photos) to Canvas prior to the deadline. Use File Upload to submit a Microsoft Word (.docx, .doc) or PDF file that includes your images in the document. Apple Pages documents are not accepted. For help submitting an assignment via Canvas, visit this webpage (Links to an external site.). Emailed reports will not be accepted.
Additional notes about the assignment:
Your assignment should be long enough to provide detailed and thoughtful answers to all parts. While I have not set a minimum or maximum length for this assignment, most students will need to write at least 1000 words to create a complete report.
You will need to cite all references that you use in this report. You should use both in-text citations (Links to an external site.) and a reference list (Links to an external site.). I’ve included hyperlinks to useful pages on the Online Writing Lab (Links to an external site.) at Purdue University, but please click around on that site to find more helpful information for writing essays. You can also use the West LA College Writing Lab (Links to an external site.) and NetTutor (see link in menu at left) as resources for completing this assignment.
Do not plagiarize. Please see this page for more information about avoiding plagiarism. Any student found plagiarizing all or part of their essay will immediately receive a grade of zero for the assignment. Immediately after submission, you will receive a Unicheck report (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.), which will estimate how similar your report is to online articles and other student work. This score is not your grade for the assignment.
When writing your assignment, pay attention to the attached rubric (see below), which will be used in grading your project.
This project will be submitted via file upload through Canvas. Emailed files are not accepted. The only acceptable file formats are Microsoft Word or PDF. Apple Pages files are not accepted. Students at West have access to Microsoft 365, which includes Word, as part of your enrollment (see the link in the menu at left). If you need help submitting an assignment online, please see this page (Links to an external site.).
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