Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Introduction to Earth Science

Introduction to Earth Science

Gina Frost

San Joaquin Delta College
Two Year College


This course is an introduction to earth sciences for non-science majors. The broad disciplines of geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy are explored in the context of an interacting earth system emphasizing local examples and case studies.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology, Geoscience
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi, Course Information
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Ready for Use: Course Goals Only
Course Type: Entry Level:Earth Science
Topics: Earth surface
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites, but with advisories of college-level writing skills and beginning algebra. Nearly all the students take the course to satisfy a general education requirement. The course has a required weekly lab.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to:
1. Apply basic scientific principles to address Earth science questions and make informed decisions about scientific matters likely to confront educated citizens.
2. Gather and analyze information relevant to an issue in the Earth sciences and communicate the analysis to others.
3. Solve problems relevant to introductory Earth science and interpret solutions.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

The course activities provide students with practice in applying scientific principles and analyzing information about current issues in the Earth sciences.

Skills Goals

quantitative abilities
working in groups
student writing

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

One activity provides students with practice in determining the direction of groundwater flow and in analyzing water quality data. The student prepares a map showing the information and a brief report summarizing the data and its significance.

Attitudinal Goals

1. increasing student excitement/personal wonder about learning about the Earth
2. building students' confidence in earth science related abilities

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Exposes students to local issues as a vehicle for learning basic principles.


Homework assignments.
Laboratory activities.

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