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Emphasis on the observations and hypotheses used to interpret earth system processes. Students will gain understanding of how Earth processes affect their lives and how they affect the Earth, and of the complex nature of the Earth and its processes. Examination and analysis of past climate records ranging from historical documentation to ecological and geochemical proxies (e.g. Plate tectonics, Earth materials, landforms, structures, climate, and natural resources. Introduction to mechanisms that drive climate, including the interplay between oceanic and atmospheric circulation and fluctuation in Earth's orbital parameters. Emphasis on important rock-forming environments and processes and their influence on rock characteristics.
Discussion of basic evolutionary theory and interpretation of fossil evidence. Laboratory includes processing and analysis of specific microfossils. Orientation course for students enrolled in the Earth, Wind and Fire Learning Community. Develop and apply quantitative, data-analysis, management, and communication skills on an authentic research project in a team to focus on professionalism and resilience. Geologic mapping; structural, stratigraphic, sedimentologic, metamorphic, geomorphic, and environmental analyses. Spring orientation course for students enrolled in the "Earth, Wind and Fire" Learning Community. Historical and current perspectives on water policy, use, and the role of water in society and the environment. How does the earth work, what is it made of, and how does it change through time? Computer laboratory emphasizes assigned problems that illustrate topics discussed in the course. Discussion of human population growth, resource depletion, pollution and waste disposal, global warming and ozone depletion, desertification, and geologic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, flooding, and volcanism. Application of MODFLOW to regional flow-system analysis.