Skagit Valley College

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   Survey of Earth Science

 Title Abbreviation:   SURVEY OF EARTH SCIENCE

 Department:    GEOL&

 Course #:    100

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5

 CIP:    400703

 EPC:    n/a

 REV:    2018

 Course Description  

Introduction to the scientific study of the earth and space. Intended for non-scientists. Basic physics and chemistry applied to the earth and solar system. Emphasis on the evolution of the Pacific Northwest, including a survey of geologic, oceanographic, meterologic, and astronomic processes that contributed to its development. Field trips may be required; however, the online course does not include field trips.


Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or grade of 2.0 or higher in ENGL 099.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 55

Lab: 0

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Academic Natural Sciences  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks
CWU Not evaluated
U of W T

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Use simple observation skills to identify common rocks, minerals, clouds and celestial motions, and know what they tell us about the history and processes of the Earth.
  2. Know some basic ideas about the structure of the stars and solar systems, how the Earth differs from our sister planets in our solar system.
  3. Show how the theory of plate tectonics can be used to determine where and how mountain building, earthquakes, and mineral resources occur, and how they evolve.
  4. Know how water, wind, ice and snow modify the surface of the Earth, and how diverse human populations have adapted to various climates.
  5. Understand the cause of, or the controversy surrounding various negative impacts by humans on Earth systems, how these impacts remedied, how Earth resources may be managed more effectively, and how different cultures address these issues.
  6. Know what is happening in our local geology and climate (near Skagit Valley) that expresses the processes described in points 1 through 5 above.
  7. Identifies the ways in which cultural expectations, assumptions and beliefs define who we are, how others see us, and influence how others and we perform science.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.2 Analyze issues and develop questions within a discipline.

9. Scientific Literacy

Definition: Understanding scientific principles, and analyzing and applying scientific information in a variety of contexts.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
9.1 Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts.
9.4 Use scientific concepts and principles to understand the natural world, human behavior and culture, and relationships between humans and the rest of the natural world.

Course Contents

  1. Introduction to science: Solar System
  2. Space and Stars
  3. Earth as Planet: Cmposition and seismic properties
  4. Heat flow 1: Volcanism, Geothermal Gradients
  5. Heat flow 2: Plate Tectonics, Metamorphism
  6. Water I: Oceanography, Wind
  7. Water II: Meterology
  8. Water III: Rivers and Glaciers
  9. Climate change
  10. Human/Earth interaction: geologic/climatic hazards, resource management