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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Earth and Mineral Sciences (EM SC)

EM SC 100S (GWS) Earth and Mineral Sciences First-Year Seminar (3) Writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills applied to topics of general interest in Environmental and Materials Science.

EM SC 100S Earth and Mineral Sciences First-Year Seminar (3)
(GWS;FYS)

The EMS First-Year Seminar is designed to encourage students to begin the important process of "thinking for a living." The primary focus of the seminar is to promote critical reading and thinking skills, and to help students develop effective written and oral arguments. Students learn the importance of reading, sharing ideas and collaborating, through independent and group research, discussion and debate.

We want our students to think about some of the major issues facing the world today, the role that science and technology have played in defining and addressing these issues, the way in which present-day thinking has been shaped by the past, and the development of scientific thought. The Seminar's content focuses on communication skills, but these are addressed within the context of issues relevant to the disciplines represented in EMS. As such, the discussions range across topics such as the Earth and its resources; scientific and technical aspects of global habitability; development of the advanced materials necessary for sustaining and advancing civilization in the 21st century; and the social, economic, and political factors that shape and constrain society's view of the Earth system.

Students undertake three to five major writing projects throughout the semester, as well as several smaller one to two paragraph written assignments. Grades are determined from their performance on the written papers, oral presentations, and in-class participation.

The Seminar is a required course for all EMS first-year students at the University Park campus and, together with English 015 and either English 202 or Speech Communications 100, will satisfy the Writing and Speaking requirements of General Education.


General Education: GWS
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2001

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.