Earth Science (GLY 1001 001 & 002)

Mustapha Kane,
Florida Gateway College


This is an introductory course to Geology, Meteorology & Climate Change, Oceanography, and Astronomy.

Course Size:

Course Format:
Lecture only

Institution Type:
Two Year College

Course Context:

This is a general education course and introductory course to geoscience with sections in Geology, Meteorology & Climate Change, Oceanography, and Astronomy. Students take high school perquisite courses in algebra, physics and chemistry. There is no lab for this course, but the lecture includes short sessions class activities to stimulate analytical and critical thinking. Students who decide to major in any of the sections of this course will do so when they transfer to a 4-year college or a university.

Course Content:

This class teaches concepts and processes in the geoscience sections previously listed. Due to the location of the school in a spread and rural community, field trips have been difficult to successfully organize as they require the entire class to attend. Instead, we have adopted virtual field trips consisting in watching recorded field trip videos followed by a discussion and a test the students have to take for a grade.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to
View the earth and its spheres as a complex and fragile system
Define and explain Climate Change
Connect concepts and processes in geoscience
View the earth as a dynamic system fueled by tow energy sources
Use a variety of scientific principles to show how our earth works
Understand the role and the importance of geoscience in our society
Understand the fragility of our planet
Understand the need to safeguard earth and its resources

Course Features:

A group project is a central part of this course. Students will choose a chapter in the three following sections: Meteorology, Oceanography , and Climate, and do a PowerPoint presentation at the end of the semester followed by questions from the class.

Course Philosophy:

I want the students to be able to learn and research a topic by themselves. I also want them to have the confidence to present their findings to a public and answer questions.


There is a rubric on the project presentation that specify exactly how points are earned.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 175kB May2 19)

References and Notes:

Earth Science 2015 edition by Trbuck & Lutgens/Pearson
Excellent content and online material. Resources are always adapted to the changes in technology and learning styles.

Students use a study guide with embedded internet links I have personally created to help them spend less time reading the course material and acquire more knowledge quickly.
Participation in workshop and the interaction with colleagues through SERC, NAGT, etc... have helped me a lot to shape my courses and my teaching style to better suit the students.