What the course comprises.
Topics for discussion sessions and links to information on these
RESOURCES Access to class materials and
to relevant text chapters for each topic
Details of required
A summary of course themes and learning objectives
The planned sequence of coverage for lecture topics
How learning in the course is assessed
Who to contact for more information
Major Course Themes
- Origins of matter, stars and the chemical elements.
- Formation of the Earth.
- Development of the atmosphere, oceans & continents
over geological time.
- The origin of life, its evolution and extinction.
- Catastrophic events in Earth history.
- The past, present and future of climate change.
- The central aim of the course is to foster knowledge of
the combination of critical factors that have shaped the development of
the global environment.
- The course endeavors to build an understanding of the
Earth system that provides answers to the following key questions:
- What combination of processes led to the formation of
- How do Earth's characteristics differ from those of
other planets and why?
- Has the composition of Earth predetermined its
- How well can ancient processes on Earth be reconstructed
and what evidence is required?
- What factors exert critical controls on the present-day
- Have these controlling factors varied significantly over
- How does the existence of life and its activity affect
the Earth system?
- What critical events have dramatically changed Earth’s
- When have pronounced changes occurred in Earth's history?
- How has global climate varied over geological time?
- What are Earth’s climatic extremes?
- How is human activity changing the global environment?
- Can the detrimental effects of human activity be
- How resilient is the Earth system?
Department of Geological Sciences,
1001 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-1403
Phone: (812) 855-5582 Last updated: 6 January 2006
2000, The Trustees of Indiana University