A group research project is an integral part of this geomorphology class. The projects will be done in groups of two and must involve the collection of data. These data can be field data; they can be data collected from maps or data gathered from the literature and used to make calculations which involve new and independent thought.

I've structured the project so that you will be working on it throughout the semester. Your first assignment will involve library research and is designed to expose you to current geomorphic thinking and give you some ideas for projects. By October, you should have settled into a group and found a research topic. You will have an entire week, unencumbered by classes, to collect your data and additional time to revise your draft before making a final presentation.

The purpose of this project is not only to give you experience gathering and interpreting data, it is also designed to hone your writing and presentation skills. Although the reports and presentations will be short (5 page and ten minute MAXIMUM), I expect your groups to be well prepared.

On the back side of this sheet, I've listed some ideas which might give you direction in selecting a project topic. This list is only to get you started. I hope by looking through the literature and listening in class that you'll identify other avenues of research. Please come see me and Kyle in your groups to talk about project ideas before the October 3 and the October 8 deadline for project proposals.....









The first draft of your projects will be due in a short time -- Friday Nov. 21. Below are directions for preparation of your reports. I am expecting that the draft report will be a complete, well-written effort, not a "rough" draft. It and the final report will be graded on the basis of content, presentation and clarity of writing. Your draft and final reports will count equally toward your project grade.



1. Both the draft and final reports must be typed, double spaced, 1 inch magin, 12 pt font; the text (excluding the abstract) should be no longer than 5 pages.


2. You should prepare a single cover sheet which includes the title of your report, the participants names and a single-spaced abstract summarizing your data and conclusions.


3. Each report should have an introduction, a methods section, a presentation of data, a discussion of the data and a short summary of your findings. Use headings and subheadings.


4. You may include as many figures, tables and photographs as you wish. They should be numbered sequentially; each figure must have a caption and each table must have a title. Figures should be mounted on pages and all pages should be numbered.


5. Your report must include the data on which your conclusions are based. In addition, you should reference at LEAST five pertinent publications and include those references in a bibliography.



For you Draft report submit one copy.



Project Presentations....FRIDAY, December 5


Your group will present the results of your project to the class next Friday afternoon. Your presentation should be NO LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES; leaving an additional 2 minutes for questions. There will be a timer and just as at professional meetings we will stick to a schedule. Your talk should give your methods, summarize your data, present your conclusions and discuss the implications of you research. Your presentations should be illustrated with slides, transparencies or drawings that help your audience understand what you have done. It should be well practiced.

We will meet in Room 200 (our classroom) promptly at 11:15. Snacks will be served and the afternoon should end by 2:30 pm. Your presentation will count as one quarter of your project grade.

Project submission

The final draft of your projects is due Monday, December 8, no exceptions. Please reread the guideline for project format that I gave you and please submit TWO copies of the project and your ROUGH DRAFT. One may be a Xerox without color figures. You may pick up your graded final projects from my office after January 5.


1. Make a slope map of a drainage basin and use it to infer the distribution of geomorphic processes. Field check your predictions.


2. Describe and document the stratigraphy of glacial sediments exposed in a gravel pit. Interpret the environment of deposition in terms of glacial processes.


3. Calculate the drainage density in various parts of a drainage basin and relate the density to basin characteristics.


4. Trace the drainage networks in basins developed on different rock types and describe the similarities or differences you see.


5. Model the shape and thickness of the continental ice sheet.


6. Use an erosion law and a spread sheet to evolve a landscape.


7. Measure and describe a section of rhythmic glacial lake sediments. Make a climatic interpretation.


8. Analyze a long-term series of weather data to see how climate varies or may have changed over time.


9. Measure discharge in a stream at a variety of locations from headwaters down the drainage.


10. Determine Manning's n for several streams or several locations on the same stream.


11. Calculate the volume and mass of the Appalachians and compare them to other mountain ranges.


12. Make a histogram of elevations for an area an interpret it in a geomorphic context.


13. Use topographic maps to compare a glaciated and unglaciated drainage basin of similar lithology.


14. Use tombstones to estimate rates of weathering for different lithologies.


15. Survey shorelines of the Champlain Sea/Lake Champlain.


16. Survey stream channel geometries as a function of distance downstream.


17. Survey hillslope profiles and relate your observations to geomorphic processes.


18. Find a landslide and try to figure out why it slid.


19. Determine the empirical relationship between water velocity, slope, discharge and channel size for a stream.


20. Measure alluvial fan volumes


21. Develop a rating curve for a local stream which relates discharge and stage (water height).


22. Measure infiltration rates for local soils.


23. Measure raindrop sizes for different storms.


24. Investigate the effects of this summer's floods.



SEPTEMBER 12 Library Assignment Find four Journals which contain articles related to Geomorphology or Quaternary Geology, Earth's surface!. Read a the Table of Contents (for the month in which you were born, any year is OK) from each of the four journals. Select an article from each journal which interests you and is related to geomorphology. Skim the four articles, look at the figures, read the abstracts, and decide which one is most interesting to you. Read the article of choice and prepare a SHORT (<1 page) summary. Submit your summary along with a copy of the article.

BY OCTOBER 3 Clear Project with Paul Your group should come see me or Kyle discuss project plans and select a topic.

OCTOBER 8 Written Proposal Due Your group should submit a ONE PAGE proposal detailing what you will do for your project. You should specifically state what data you will collect and how you will collect the data. SUBMIT THIS PROPOSAL TO PAUL BY EMAIL!!!!!

OCTOBER 15 Proposal Presentations Both members of your group will present your proposal to the class. The presentation should use visual aides (slides, pictures, transparencies) to describe what you are going to do and the hypothesis you are planning to test. 3 MINUTE MAXIMUM

OCTOBER 20- OCTOBER 24 Data Gathering You have the week to gather your data! NO CLASS

OCTOBER 27 Data Submission Submit A COPY of your raw data

NOVEMBER 21 Draft Project Due Your group should submit a draft (5 PAGE DOUBLE-SPACE MAXIMUM TEXT LENGTH) of your report. You may include as many figures and tables as you wish. I will edit and grade this work and return it to you for revision promptly.

DECEMBER 5 Presentations

Your group should prepare a presentation of your data and findings. The presentation should be done by both members of your group. It should be no more than 10 MINUTES LONG.


DECEMBER 8 FINAL DRAFT DUE Submit two copies and your ROUGH DRAFT