Appel, Christopher  

Soil Science

3.67/4.00

51 evaluations


SS 110


Junior
B
General Ed
Jan 2007
Appel is the Shit. He's not very easy, but he's hott so it makes up for it! Take him if you want something nice to look at for a few hours. If you want an easy A...take someone else.


Freshman
Credit
Required (Major)
Dec 2010
A CR/NC class that has a few tough assignments, but Dr. Appel was very helpful and willing to accommodate.

SS 121


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Nov 2002
He was a really good teacher, he got everyone involved and made the information fun. He was also really fair as far as grading goes. It's a really sweet lab to have after a late night on the town.


Junior
N/A
Required (Support)
Dec 2002
This guy is great. His lectures are totally straight forward and he gives you a brief outline to follow for each one. He's totally into the material and his enthusiasm for it is contagious. He's pretty funny and entertaining too which helped when the material got a little dry. He gives you a study guide for each test and nothing is on the test that isn't on the study guide. He also really good about clearing up misunderstandings and seems to really want the students to get the material. There are a about 5 homework assignments, but they're not that bad and they really help you understand the material better and help you study for the tests. I learned a ton of stuff in this class and even though I thought I would hate it, it ended up being my favorite class this quarter. Who knew learning about dirt could be so painless?


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Apr 2003
Appel is an above average instructor. So far as the soils department, I would only recomend Hallock over him. Very laid back, labs last two or two and a half hours, and there's no lab final. Pretty easy as a lab, but I thought grades were all around pretty low. The final three labs focused more on math and class grades took a dip. It isn't hard. Appel makes a commitment to remembering you and your name. Everything is a "unique and interesting opportunity." Oh yeah, and soil isn't dirt. How dare you! Soil is.. "life." Hahaha.. but really, take the class.


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Apr 2003
Chip is a really cool guy!! I throughly enjoyed each one of his lectures. Although I did recieve a D+ due to my own laziness. While chip is a really great professor, he's not the kind who will cut you any slack. He really plays by the rules. I would highly recomend Chip to anyone who wants to take SS-121 and learn a lot. If your just looking for an easy A, you better take another teacher.


Senior
C
Required (Support)
May 2003
Chip is a great guy! This isn't the easiest of classes and quite frankly, I was happy that I put it off until my senior year because it might have been a little overwhelming taking it as freshman. I also had Chip for lab and he always made sure to explain everything and not make you feel retarded. His tests in lecture were hard, but fair and my high lab grade is actually what saved me. Out of all the horror stories that I have heard about the other soil science professors, Chip makes the class a walk in the park. He also isn't a bad looking professor, so on those Fridays when you really don't want to go to class, it is at least worth your while to go and check him out!


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2004
Going in to this class, I was intimidated because everyone said it was SOOO hard. I had Chip for lab and lecture, which proved to compliment each other nicely. He has a dry sense of humor but it is hilarious. He does an awesome job of explaining the material, and answers any questions perfectly. His labs are long, but he covers everything you need to know. If your looking for an easy class, this is not it. But if your looking to learn alot and have a good time, i highly recommend it. he also keeps you informed about your grade. TAKE HIM, HE IS AWESOME!!


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2004
Chip is really a good professor. He makes what is nomally a very mundane topic as interesting as is possible. He also keeps the class fun with lame soil jokes and gives birthday presents from the soil science department's lost and found to people who have a birthday during the quarter. His tests are difficult but, from what I hear, easier than most other SS instructors. He also takes attendance, not outloud but silently, so even if you think he isn't checking he is, and it affects your grade as much as a full letter if you miss more than once. He also gives extra credit for perfect attendance. Fair teacher overall, though.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2004
Chip is the best teacher I have had at Cal Poly so far. He presents material clearly and is always more than willing to help you out when you dont understand something. Though I should mention that his tests are rather challenging. I did recieve an A but I studied A LOT for his tests. Chip goes by the book so dont expect a curve or any pity. Some advice, go to every class because he raises your grade by 3% if you make every class, but after your first missed class he takes off one letter grade per absence. This isnt the kind of class you can miss anyways, missing a few classes would probably give you an F anyways. Chip makes the class worth it, he has a dry sense of humor and is absolutly hilarious, I highly reccomend this teacher.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Oct 2004
Go to his office - he's very helpful. This class isn't that hard if you review your lecture notes. Do the homework in groups - it's a lot easier.


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jan 2005
I had Appel for SS121 Lab, not lecture. This was a 3 hour lab, and we only got out early once or twice. He often lectures for the first 1.5 hours of lab, and it's just a repeat of what we learned in the real lecture. Although the lab is dry and long, Chip is very through and goes around to make sure everybody understands the material. He has a very dry sense of humor, which can be absolutely hilarious sometimes.


Senior
C
Required (Major)
Feb 2005
SS 121 lab wiht Chip was eventful. He is alway there if you have a question. And the field trips are a lot of walking but you "learn by doing." Read the next lab before the next class. That will help you pass his tests. If you hook up with a good lab partner then you will be done with lab with time to spare. You will have to go on a walking field trip. If you don't go you loose 100 points. That is one lab score. He goes over the lab before you do it. I would recommend Chip to any student.


Senior
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2005
Chip's a totally nice guy with some humor. The class itself has a lot of material to cover. I had Chip for both lecture and lab. Weekly quizzes in the lab section, so study both the new, old, and any material. The tests for lecture was very challenging for me, but if you do lots of studying you'll manage.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Oct 2005
I had Appel for lecture and lab. Great in both. I recommend taking lab and lecture with him if you can because the material goes together at times. Hard class, but Appel is very helpful and available in office hours. Great sense of humor, made soil science fun. Highly recommended. I know many students that hate SS because they had a bad teacher, I love SS because I had a good one.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Dec 2005
Chip is a cool surfer prof. who has a great sense of humor and relates well to students. I loved his interaction in lecture. Gives clear understandable lectures. His tests are hard so study for them. He's one of the best soils professors, take him!


Senior
B
General Ed
Mar 2006
The lab: Just study a lot, especially the calculations. Be on top of things. Work hard! You'll do fine. The prof: Great guy. Very nice.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2006
Study for the weekly quizzes. He's a very helpful teacher and knows his soils, he's just hard, so if you want an easy teacher, take Dingus.


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2006
Chip is the man! He is hilarious and is probably the sole reason why I want to pursue a career in Soil Science. If you want to learn about soils take Chip, but if you want an easy A, I recommend taking someone else. He knows his stuff and his weekly lab quizzes are hard. Chip is one of my top 3 proffessors I have had at Poly and I actually learned something.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2006
Appel is really cool, but difficult. He gives you great information, but he'll expect you to go above and beyond yourself. His weekly quizzes are crazy, i didn't do very well on them, and his packets, well, they're tricky. Make sure you have someone to work with, talk about what's going on and go beyond just what Chip gives you. He's a great guy though, and he's really nice. If you're willing to put in the work, Chip Appel rocks, and I totally recommend him, otherwise, don't. He'll make you think, you can't just coast by in this lab. He tells you how to do the lab actually, but the packet can get really tricky. Students beware, but you'll have fun if you have him, that's no doubt. Good luck.


Sophomore
A
Elective
Sep 2006
He was very helpful if you did not understand. He also explained the information in detail. If it was not for him then I would not have done as well in my Lecture class.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2007
Chip is a really great lab instructor. I know people in lab hated and failed all the lab quizzes, but they really are nice to have. They helped prepare me for the lecture tests even though I had a different instructor for that [Dr. Smith.] He does spend some time going over how to do all the labs, and he makes everyone get to know each other. But it helped create a better atmosphere where we all helped each other out if someone got stuck. Grading was not bad. It wasn't overly harsh or too lax. All the quiz material is mentioned beforehand, so it's not a bunch of surprises. But if you haven't done dimensional analysis before, make sure you practice! Labs are graded somewhat strict, but it's because he wants people to do good work. If you messed something up, explain what might have happened. Think about what you're doing in lab. We pretty much never got out early except for towards the end of the quarter. There are a couple walking fieldtrips, and a small paper due that relates to them both. Basically Chip is a super nice, friendly guy and he knows his stuff and how to talk to people. Take his lab if you don't want to be bored!


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2008
this is a class that i had previously dropped because it was sooo boring with Dr. Rice. If you need ss 121 take appel!!!


5th Year Senior
C
Required (Major)
Apr 2008
Chip is all about getting students involved and learning the material. I had him for the lecture and lab and that made the course much easier! It is a hard course but if you put in the time and energy you will pass it no problem with Appel, I've heard alot about the other professors that teach ss121 and not much of is has been good. I would definitely recommend taking Appel.


Freshman
C
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
He is a good guy and is REALLY enthusiastic about the class. You will learn a lot but the tests are hard... really hard. I don't this it has to do with him as a teacher this class is just a bitch in general.


Sophomore
B
Required (Support)
Aug 2008
Probably one of my favorite teachers here at cal poly. The test were pretty hard but he is so worth it. He is so funny and makes class fun. He is just a really great guy. He keeps tract of everyone's birthday and memorizes everyone's name by like the second day. He still waves to me around slo and I took this class a year ago.(and I am not a overachiever student)


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2009
Dr. Chip Appel is a fantastic teacher. He does all kinds of fun and goofy stuff like instituting \"hat and mustache\" days throughout the quarter. He makes all the material very clear and interesting. I never went to office hours with him but it sounded like he was very willing to take extra time to help students out. He even took the time to learn EVERYONEs names within two weeks. He really cares about the students. He will do a lot to help you out but he isn\'t an easy teacher either. He gives tough homework and quizzes every lab. You need to work hard in this class but Dr. Appel makes it just fine.


Junior
C
Required (Major)
Jan 2010
Chip is the man! Take him. It\'s a hard class, but if you work hard you can get a good grade. Plus he does hat and moustache days!


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2010
Chip Appel is the man! He makes learning about dirt, excuse me, soil fun! Do the homeworks and do them well because they are worth the same amount as a midterm. There were two midterms and I got a C+ and a B-. They weren\'t easy but I think if you do the study guides and memorize the information you could easily get an A. I think I complicated the questions and I don\'t think the book reading matters that much. I feel like the notes from in class are the focus of his tests. Do the labs and do them well (TAKE LARRY RAIO for lab!!!) because that will boost your grade. Also, be sure to go into office hours if you don\'t understand something; Chip is really helpful. Another cool thing- he memorizes every student\'s name in the first couple weeks. The final was comprehensive but I thought it was easier than the midterms. Chip really does everything possible to make sure students have the opportunity to do well; he even offers extra credit! He is always cracking jokes and is really passionate about soil. TAKE HIM!!!


Sophomore
D
Required (Support)
Sep 2010
Cool guy he really knows what he is talking about i just didnt really try at all when i took his class thats why i got a d but if you actually study its not too bad plus he gives you candy on your birthday!


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
I have never given an all around A rating on Poly ratings before, but Chip earned it! By far my favorite prof at Cal Poly. Engaging, funny, and extremely helpful outside of class. A very fair grader. This is a fairly difficult class, but it certainly isn't impossible. I highly recommend office hours for help on the homework because he is totally willing to go through it problem by problem to help you figure it out if you are confused. He is pretty strict about cell phones, he makes you leave the class. And if you miss more than one lecture you get 10% off your grade for each time, but all of his policies are very clear and laid out from day one. TAKE APPEL! He knew my name before i even ever went to his office hours, and I didn't have lab with him. I think there were like 5 homework assignments, two midterms and a final, plus participation and the lab grade.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2011
Dr. Appel is the man! This was a tough class and not exactly something i would recommend for someone needing a GE. He did make a otherwise boring class fun- he was always way into the material and made it cool. Very helpful in office hours and he definitely wants to know you. I recommend him for SS 121.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2012
Soil Science is not an easy class. Professor Appel understands this. I came into the course two weeks later. He was very accommodating. He is a fun teacher and very good at explaining the more difficult concepts presented in this course. He is always willing to help, have a good attitude and be willing to work hard and you will do fine.


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Jul 2013
Chip is a great teacher and a very funny guy. He covers a lot of material and expects you know it all for the midterms and finals. However, my friends and I agreed that only a couple topics comprised 80% of the midterms/finals, so get familiar with soil chemistry and how to do the calculations. Chip does a good job at making himself available during his office hours so take advantage with that. He also will dock your grade by an entire letter if you're caught texting in class, which happened to me and it sucked lol. Don't expect to get an A in this class unless you're a straight nerd.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Mar 2015
Dr. Appel is the best there is, plain and simple. He breaks it down so anyone can understand the material. Yes the class in general is hard, but Dr. Appel makes it work. He is extremely helpful in office hours and understanding if you're struggling in the course. The two midterms are challenging, but again if you're struggling go to his office hours and he will gladly help. The final is comprehensive, definitely much easier than the midterms, but still difficult. If you don't do good on a midterm you can easily make it up in the homework points if you do well on those. Dr. Appel is a genuine person and he really loves what he does. I cannot recommend him enough.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Bomb DIG-GIDY professor. Hard material, but he made it entertaining. The class in general takes up a lot of time for studying! Try to enjoy it and study hard; you won't regret it.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Jun 2015
Here's my take on Appel. Everyone says he's great. He is, indeed, great, but he is very busy. This guy is a legit Professor, teaches several classes and does a lot of other stuff in the NRES department. I had a really hard time finding him in his office. I had Malama for lab. He was always in his office. I might suggest Malama if you're the kind of student who needs assurance that they have all their info correct, which is easy to do. Soil Science is surprisingly nuanced.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2016
Chip is AWESOME! Take him for SS lecture! He just started a new thing where he lets you have one "re-do", whether it's a homework assignment or a midterm. There is no EC and this is a difficult class. I made this class my priority and I think that's why I got an A. I went to office hours weekly, had him check my homework every time before it was due, and asked questions when preparing my study guide...this is necessary for an A. Homework is every other week (5 hw assignments total) and if you go into office hours he will check all of your answers for you. Midterms (2) are difficult, but if you go over his test outlines and create a detailed study guide, you will get an A or B (but it takes forever so start the week before and email him when you get stuck). He is great at answering questions, he makes class fun and enjoyable, he learns everyone's name by the 2nd week, and is totally approachable. Take Appel!


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jun 2016
Chip is such a good teacher and is so knowledgeable about soils. Having said that, SS 121 is a very hard class. So if you're failing in the class you can't blame it on the teacher because he explains it more than sufficiently. His tests don't really follow his "study guides" per say, due to the fact that the study guides basically encompass all topics in the class. I know that Dr. Will (other SS 121 teacher) has tests that are so identical to her study guides that it's criminal. But then again, she's a bit of a prude. Chip is cool af.


Freshman
F
Required (Major)
Dec 2016
I was struggling with a D+ and tried to talk to him in office hours and felt optimistic about finishing with a C-. In the end, he took 10% off my grade for having my phone out one day. I basically had no chance of passing at that point. The man lives by his syllabus... BE WARNED!

SS 131


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2012
Dr. Appel was quite good at presenting information well and orderly that stacked on earlier information he gave as the course went along. He basically learned it for me. In addition to that, he is just a nice guy, and is very accommodating on incorrectly done assignments.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2012
Chip is a great teacher. He is super knowledgable and knows everything there is to know about soils. Everyone learns to love his dry sense of humor and sarcasm. He also gives a gift to every student who has a birthday during that quarter! He is really relaxed and easy going, but while his personality is what students dream of, the material is pretty tough. This was a really hard class for me, as well as for the students sitting around me. 2 exams and a final, you need to study hard for all. Lastly, he calls students out who look like they're dozing off. Overall, I'd take him again. Definitely an A in my book.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Jan 2013
he is literally the shit. go to his office hours and he will literally help you so much and tell you everything you need to know on his lab quizzes. seriously changed my mind about my major cause he is such a chill guy. CHIP FOR SOIL SCIENCE FOR SURE


Freshman
C
Elective
Feb 2013
Chip is awesome! The class itself is not too bad, however, you do need to show up every day and study a tonnn for the tests because they are really hard. Chip makes it interesting and understands that it is a difficult subject to learn. It is not an easy class, I ended up with a C but he makes it better for sure!


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2013
Chip is awesome! He is super funny and always makes class interesting!


Freshman
B
Required (Support)
Mar 2013
Chip is a great teacher, its a hard class due to the subject but Chip does his best to relay the information in an enthusiastic and fun way, one of the best teachers on campus hands down.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2013
SS 131 is the hardest class I have ever taken. As an agbusiness major I got blocked into it as an incoming freshmen, and this class became the bane of my existance all Fall quarter. I have never ever studied so hard to get such low of a grade. Chip is an awesome guy and presents the material clearly, but it is entirely up to you to get a good grade through hardcore studying. The thing about soil science for me (and a lot of other people) is that it is literally like nothing I have ever studied before, therefore every single concept we learned was new to me. You get one homework assignment a week, due the following Monday, and every single one (except the first) is super difficult. The labs can sometimes be fun, but the lab quizzes are hard. The midterms are EXTREMELY difficult and very thorough, you literally need to know and master every single thing in your notes if you want to get at the very most a B on them. Just as an example, on the first and second midterm the entire class average on both was a 67%. No that was not a typo, both times it was sixty-seven percent. I ended up with a D+ on the first midterm, a D- on the second and a D- on the final. Chip also does participation points every day along with taking roll. Make sure you never miss a class because if you don't then he adds 3% onto you overall grade, which for me saved my ass cause it bumped me up to a C. Overall it was worth it because Chip is literally one of the best and friendliest professors at Poly. He doesn't want anybody to fail and will do all he can to hrlp you succeed. It is completely up to you to do so however.


Freshman
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2015
Love this professor. Appel is a great guy and a great professor. He is very helpful and can be fun at times to break up the monotony of learning about dirt. Glad I had him for a professor. Study hard for the weekly quizzes in the lab and you'll do fine in the labs.


Sophomore
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2015
He is a tough grader and sometimes goes over material too quickly. If youre lost be sure to ask for clarification because a lot of the material accumulates. He doesnt give a lot of practice material for the math portions so definitely go to office hours. Test are hard. Chip is very helpful and knowledgeable

SS 221


Senior
N/A
Elective
Nov 2002
Chip's a good guy and a good teacher. He's good about helping you out in class, but he does a good job of explaining things so you shouldn't need too awful much help. No lab final.

EHS 810


Graduate Student
B
Required (Support)
Nov 2016
he sure does like his women, wet!!