"Scientific Literacy NTSC113"
STANDARD SYLLABUS Earth Science: The Changing Planet NTSC 113 This course is an introduction to the earth sciences concentrating on the features and processes found at the surface of the Earth and in its interior. Knowledge Area(s) satisfied: Scientific Literacy Skill(s) Developed: Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions Values Requirement(s) satisfied: Learning Objectives: Knowledge Area (Scientific Literacy): This course is an introduction to the earth sciences concentrating on the features and processes found at the surface of the Earth and in its interior. Thus this course addresses Scientific Literacy competency b : "Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles, concepts, and knowledge of the sciences". This competency will be achieved by studying how scientists have investigated various fundamental questions in the earth sciences and come to a consensus that has established this body of knowledge. It is expected that each student will not only become familiar with the basic material, but also develop an understanding of the laws and prioresses that have changed the Earth and finally, how they can be applied. Some topics will be introduced in a historical manner that emphasizes the varied questions and methods used by scientists of the past to gain an understanding of this subject. Thus, Scientific Literacy competency a: “Perceive the basic philosophical and historical foundations of contemporary science” will also be addressed. The use of cognitive and mathematical skills employed by scientists is emphasized throughout the course. This includes the use of scientific notation, reasoning based on orders of magnitude, scaling, proportionality, deduction, induction, cause and effect and reduction ad absurdum. As a consequence, the third Scientific Literacy competency addressed in this course is d: "Use cognitive and mathematical skills employed by scientists". Skills (Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions): Competency b: “Analyze relationships among statements, questions, concepts, descriptions, or other forms of representation intended to express beliefs, judgments, experience, reasons, information, or opinions.” Learning Activities: Possible array of texts: Earth’s Dynamic Systems by Hamblin and Christensen Note: (Instructors may vary the textbooks.) Possible evaluation methods: Lecture Discussion Demonstration Examinations Note: (Instructors may vary the evaluation categories.) Sample Semester Schedule: Introduction Steno (17th century) and the beginnings of geology I. Age of the Earth Uniformitarianism versus Creationism The fossil record and relative dating Absolute dating techniques Radioactivity and radiometric dating The evolution of the solar system Currently accepted age of the Earth II. Structure of the Earth Minerals, rock formation and rock types, rock cycle Elastic and inelastic rock motions Folding, faulting, seismology Seismic triangulation Earth's interior Volcanic activity Discovery of liquid core and Moho Physical divisions of Earth's interior III. Development of Plate Tectonics Mountain formation and isostasy Wegener and Continental Drift Holmes and convection currents in the mantle Exploration of the ocean floor, paleomagnetism Tectonic plates Theory of Sea Floor Spreading Plate structure and motions Subduction History of plate motions IV. Glaciers and Glaciation Glaciers, their motions and types Glaciation Moraines, moraine features Modification of valleys and mountains North American glaciation Formation of the Great Lakes Chicago landforms Note: (Instructors may vary the presentation of topics to some degree, but the material covered will remain the same.)