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Earth Sciences 1100

Planet Earth: How it Works

Ozeas Costa

Credit hours: 4
GEC categories: Natural Science: Physical Sciences
Prerequisites: None

Text Books:

Title Author(s) Publisher ISBN
Visualizing Geology B. Murck, B. Skinner, D. Mackenzie John Wiley & Sons 9781118129869

Example Syllabus: syllabus-AU13.pdf
Website: http://mansfield.osu.edu/faculty/ocosta

Course Objectives: This course provides a basic introduction to the principles and methods of Earth Science, and its relevance to daily life and the problems of the contemporary world. It fulfills the learning objectives of the GEC Natural Science requirement and provides a laboratory experience for students.
Learning Objective 1: Students explain and recall the basic facts, principles, theories and methods of modern earth science, including: the formation and structure of the earth; principles of plate tectonics; composition of and interrelationship among earth materials; geologic time; hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and floods; the hydrologic cycle; controls on global climate; and human sustainability.
Learning Objective 2: Students describe and explain the significance of key events in the history of earth science, especially the development of plate tectonic theory. Students should also learn key events in the geological, hydrological, atmospheric and biological history of the earth.
Learning Objective 3: Students will be able to discuss the inter-dependence of scientific and technological developments in measuring and modeling physical and chemical aspects of the earth and environment.
Learning Objective 4: Students will explain the ways in which aspects of earth science impact society. Students should be able to describe the relationship between science and societal decision-making pertaining to natural hazards, natural resources, global climate and human sustainability.

Course Content: “Planet Earth: How it Works” is an introductory course describing the fundamental concepts of Geology for Science and non-Science majors. It contains 24 lessons grouped in 7 modules. Module I (Origin and Evolution of Earth) discusses the formation of the universe, the solar system, and our planet’s internal structure. Module II (Plate Tectonics and the Dynamic Earth) introduces the theory of plate tectonics, a unifying idea that explains the Earth’s processes. Module III (Earth Materials: Minerals and Rocks) discusses the materials from which Earth is made, as well as their structure and classification. Module IV (Tectonic Activity of a Dynamic Planet) will discuss how Earth’s internal and external processes interact to produce volcanoes, earthquakes and mountain chains. Module V (Geologic Time and the Age of Earth) deals with the geologic time and how geologists calculate the age of rocks and other Earth materials. It also discusses the evolution of life on the planet from a geological perspective. Module VI (Earth’s Resources) describes the energy and mineral resources that the Earth provides us. Finally, Module VII (Landscape Geomorphology) discusses how water (and the lack thereof) shapes the face of our planet and help creates a multitude of landforms, from fertile river floodplains to inhospitable deserts of sand and ice.

Method of Presentation: PowerPoint lectures, lab exercises, reading and video quizzes online on Carmen.

Method of Evaluation: The following are the course assignments and their contribution to your final grade:
1. Weekly lab reports (theoretical and practical exercises) = 20% of final grade 2. Weekly reading quizzes = 20% of the final grade 3. Weekly video quizzes = 10% of the final grade 4. Mid-term exam = 20% of final grade 5. Final exam = 30% of final grade


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