Introduction to Earth Systems Science
Charles Dodd, Shoreline Community College**;
**Two Year College
This course is an introduction to Earth Systems Science. Earth Systems Science is the study of the complex interrelationships between materials and energy in the atmosphere and in the solid, fluid, and living Earth. Systems Science also involves the study of human interactions with these natural systems. In this course, we will investigate the fundamental processes that drive these systems, focusing on the measurement and representation, and response to change over time. These topics will be presented within the context of a global perspective. During the course we will solve quantitative problems and use mathematical models to describe and assess the impact of humans on Earth's systems.
In the lab, we will have an opportunity to observe, measure, and model these systems. The lab activities will be presented in the framework of problems to be solved, and will involve critical thinking in addition to using the language of mathematics. To help us evaluate the interactions between Earth's systems, we will become familiar with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and the STELLA Earth systems simulation software.
- Use the tools and working terminology of systems science.
- Demonstrate an understanding of Earth's atmospheric, solid, fluid, and living systems and how they respond to change.
- Evaluate the impact of humans on natural systems.
- Solve quantitative problems as they pertain to Earth systems.
- Communicate information about natural processes and natural systems in a quantitative format.
- 5 scheduled quizzes: 5% each of the final grade (each worth a possible 25 pts.)
- 8 labs*:35% of the final grade (worth a possible 175 pts.)
- 1 Mid-Term exam: 12% of the final grade (worth a possible 60 pts.)
- 1 Final exam: 20% of the final grade (worth a possible 100 pts.)
- class participation**: 8% of the final grade (worth a possible 40 pts.)
Total: 100% (total of a possible 500 points)
* individual labs vary from 20 to 25 pts.
** based on 5-6 "pop quizzes"
Syllabus (PDF) (Acrobat (PDF) PRIVATE FILE 72kB Jun28 06)
Description of Laboratory Activities (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 22kB Jun28 06)
Simulated Ecosystem Lab (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 117kB Jun28 06)