Earth Surface Processes in the Critical Zone (3) Introduction to Earth surface processes including weathering and soils, geomorphology, erosion and sedimentation, hydrogeology, low-temperature geochemistry and Earth systems.
EARTH 530 Earth Surface Processes in the Critical Zone (3)
Rapid changes in Earth's surface largely in response to human activity have led to the realization that fundamental questions remain to be answered regarding natural functioning of the Critical Zone, the thin veneer at Earth's surface where the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere interact. To understand these processes requires a broad array of scientific expertise spanning: geology, soil science, biology, ecology, geochemistry, geomorphology and hydrology. EARTH 530 will introduce students to the basic information necessary for understanding Earth surface processes in the Critical Zone through an integration of various scientific disciplines. Those who successfully complete EARTH 530 will be able to apply their knowledge of fundamental concepts of Earth surface processes to understanding outstanding fundamental questions in Critical Zone science and how their lives are intimately linked to Critical Zone health. EARTH 530 will combine digital video, audio, simulation models, virtual field trips to on-line data resources, text, and interactive quizzes that provide instantaneous feedback.
The overarching goal of the course is to help secondary science teachers understand Earth surface processes at a level they can communicate to their students. These processes will be presented in a Critical Zone framework - the teachers and subsequent students will leave with a better knowledge of how their daily lives are impacted by natural processes, and conversely how their daily activities impact Earth's surface and the Critical Zone.
Students will be required to complete weekly assignments. There are 12 lessons divided into 7 units in EARTH 530. Each unit will contain interactive exercises, links, animations, movies, and novel explanations of the basic scientific principles of Critical Zone science.
Students will also be assigned four unit projects throughout the semester (Units 2-6). Projects require students to apply the principles they have learned to various scientific inquires of Earth surface processes in the Critical Zone. A capstone Semester Project will require students to use the skills and knowledge they develop in the course to produce a learning module that they, in turn, will be able to use to teach course concepts to their own secondary school students.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.