Provides a scientific understanding of the physical and biological processes that have shaped the Earth over its 4.6 billion year history and relates this to issues facing society today.
This course looks at the major events that have defined the history of our planet and the life that it supports. It will challenge you to consider these events in the context of contemporary issues and give you an understanding of the relevance of earth history to some of the most compelling questions facing our society. Is current climate change unprecedented? Are modern extinctions comparable with those of the past? What determines the abundance and distribution of natural resources? We will consider these questions and others with the 4.6 billion year perspective that is the history of The Earth.
Student learning goals
To develop the critical skills required for a scientifically informed citizen.
To develop an appreciation of scientific research.
To develop an interdisciplinary understanding of how physical and biological processes have combined to produce the diversity of landscapes and life on Earth.
To develop an appreciation of how the history of The Earth is relevant to comprehending crucial issues currently facing our society.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading