Astro 7: Extra Credit Opportunities


You can earn extra credit by several ways. Try 'em all! Remember - there's almost no chance I'll be generous about bumping up your grade above the numerical calculation unless you show your work ethic by doing extra credit - you win once by the extra credit, and maybe twice if you then end up near a transition to the next grade higher.


(a) Our Star Party +1%: By spending a couple of hours at the "star party" put on at the Cabrillo Observatory or other location I might decide. When the time is right, I'll announce it and put it on our schedule. We'll show you the real stuff... stars, planets, galaxies! Attend and get 1% extra credit. If it's clear you should definitely jump on the chance - Clouds cancel, and over the years typically at least half of our star parties are clouded out, and no guarantee of a re-schedule. Here is Cabrillo Observatory


(b) Climate Clippings +1%: By bringing in three news clippings that are suitable for putting up around the room. The idea is to put up fresh news of recent discoveries, not put up long articles summarizing current knowledge out of magazines. You can print these off the web as well, but we want short, news-like articles and please make sure it is a reputable source. Blog sites and politically-oriented stuff not acceptable. We want good science. Science News, LiveScience, etc on the web, or in print. To qualify, your clippings must observe these rules:

(1) The clipping can run a maximum of 1 page.

(2) Put your NAME on the back of the clipping

(3) Put the date of the article on the front of the clipping.

(4) The clipping has to be fresh! No more than a week old.

(5) The clipping must be handed in no later than two weeks before the end of class. No last minute hurried cutouts which will be stale before the next semester begins.

(6) The clipping has to be suitable for tacking on our boards (if we every get the $ to replace them in the new classroom); that means trim off any dead space or advertising. Cork board real estate is precious! Don't hand-tear something that looks cheesy - I won't accept it.


(c) Attendence at a local public Climate-related lecture +2% for two. Because these are more effort (and hopefully more intellectually rewarding as well) for you, I'm going to allow extra credit for 2 of these lectures, not just for one. So you can get up to +2% onto your grade by going to two of them A great source of local events of this nature is the Santa Cruz Community Calendar. For particularly good events I may post a reminder right on our class schedule. You can also check out the talks at the IGPP Friday seminar given Fridays at noon at UCSC, or the UCSC Astronomy Dept seminars every Wednesday at 4pm, or a UCSC Physics Dept. seminar at 4pm on Thursdays. The IGPP seminars are always on planetary or small body astronomy, and can include a climate-related subject. We shall see as the semester moves forward. I'll include some IGPP opportunities that look extra interesting I'll put them on our Course Schedule. The IGPP talks are aimed at grad students but much can be followed by an intelligent non-planetary science person such as yourself. Any other talk must be clearance from me as being appropriate If I'm there too, I'll take names of the attendees. If I can't attend, then write up a couple of paragraphs on your impressions of the talk and turn it in for your credit.

(d) Doing an essay on a climate-related topic +1%. You may choose from my list, or propose your own but you must get clearance from me that it is appropriate for extra credit - so see me first with your idea


(e) Find a significant error in my PowerPoints. It must be a significiant error of fact, error knowledge. Typo's don't qualify. I'll be fair-minded here. I would like fact-checkers! Must include a link to a source which is reputable and which shows my entry is wrong. I don't want to be misleading anyone in my teaching! Find a significant error and you'll get my accolades and +1% added to your grade as well!

Note: you cannot add to your extra credit by doing e.g. more than 3 news clippings or more than 2 public lectures. It is not my grading philosophy to have extra credit be any more than an opportunity to prove your work ethic and add a bit to the grade revealed by your knowledge and mastery of the subject as shown on exams and the essay. If you do all possible extra credits, you can turn e.g. a 74% (mid "B" into an 80% (barely an "A"), and no more. However, if you do the extra credit and you end up with a 79.5% and just barely miss the "A" range, and have shown good classroom attention and participation, I'll likely give it to you anyway. I really would like to see you get a good grade, but at the same time, I want to make sure that good grade is earned by mastering the information to the largest extent.