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Earth and Space Science, PLED 576

About This Course: 

This course, Earth and Space Science, provides basic content material concerning geology, astronomy, oceanography, and meteorology. Topics include the origin of the universe and the life cycle of stars; the origin of the solar system and its components; the composition and structure of the Earth; plate tectonics; the rock cycle, water cycle, and associated resources; the atmosphere, weather, and climate; and Earth’s oceans. Demonstration lessons and Application assignments supplement the comprehensive video and audio/slide presentations.


Prerequisites:

Teachers should hold a Bachelor’s degree

Who Should Attend? 

This course is designed for K-12 teachers who are interested in learning more about earth and space science.

Expected Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course, teachers should be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Evaluate the differing theories that explain the structure, scale, composition, origin, and history of the universe.
  • Describe the solar nebular accretionary disk model.
  • Cite evidence that shows how Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere formed and changed through time.
  • Explain how Earth’s interior is differentiated chemically, physically, and thermally.
  • Identify plate tectonics as the global mechanism for major geologic processes, and describe how heat transfer as governed by the principles of thermodynamics serves as the driving force for those processes.
  • Describe how the geosphere continuously changes over a range of time scales and the impact of dynamic and complex interactions among Earth’s subsystems on that process.
  • Explain the process of scientific dating to determine the age of fossils and rock sequences and how that process is used to construct a chronology of Earth’s history.
  • Identify the hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere subsystems of fluid Earth, and describe how the subsystems interact on various time scales with the biosphere and geosphere.
  • Describe the process by which Earth’s global ocean stores solar energy and serves as a driving force for weather and climate through complex atmospheric interactions.
  • Explain how interactions among Earth’s five subsystems influence climate and resource availability, which affect Earth’s habitability.
  • Describe how the use of energy, water, mineral, and rock resources impacts Earth’s subsystems.

Course Outline:

  • Structure, scale, composition, origin, and history of the universe
  • Solar nebular accretionary disk model
  • Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere
  • Plate tectonics
  • Heat transfer as governed by the principles of thermodynamics
  • Scientific dating to determine the age of fossils
  • Hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere subsystems of fluid Earth
  • Process by which Earth’s global ocean stores solar energy and serves as a driving force for weather and climate through complex atmospheric interactions
  • Interactions among Earth’s five subsystems influence climate and resource availability
  • How the use of energy, water, mineral, and rock resources impacts Earth’s subsystems

Credit:

3 graduate credits

Presented by:

Course Lecturer: Rebecca L. Dodge, Ph. D.
Course Assistant: Mark Carpenter, M.Sc.

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