What Constitutes an Earth History Approach?
- The Sayings of Confucius: VII 
An Earth history approach focuses on the development of the Earth over time. At the simplest extreme, it's simply a litany of what happened, who did it, and when at a geologic scale. The stories include:
- "Why are the Applachian Mountains are so much smaller than the Rocky Mountains?"
- "How did Earth end up with an oxygen-rich, carbon-dioxide-poor atmosphere unlike her sister planets Mars and Venus?"
- "Why do trees on the east and west coasts of the US often belong to the same genus but different species?" At the university level, if not earlier, instructors will want to focus on patterns and causes of change as well as on the events and actors themselves.
- Engage our students by telling stories of bygone worlds teeming with strange creatures (not just dinosaurs!)
- Emphasize the ideas of time and change
- More effectively teach some of the most important ideas in modern science: evolution, plate tectonics, and climate change
- The Ice Ages: mostly focusing on the Late Wisconsinan and how the ice age ended
- Volcanism: using the recent and carefully observed eruptions of Mount Saint Helens, Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. Kilauea
- Global Warming: using the IPCC report and the Keeling data
An Earth history approach allows instructors to: