Students completing this minor should be able, at some level, to, among other things:
Make observations of a rock’s texture, mineralogy, and structure, and from these facts make inferences about the rock’s history and mode of origin, as well as its significance to understanding the larger processes acting within the Earth or on the Earth’s surface.
Make observations of landscape features in the field and on maps and other imagery and infer the processes acting to shape that landscape, as well as their significance to understanding the larger processes of the Earth system.
Utilize topographic maps to visualize Earth’s features, demonstrating an understanding of map projections, map scale, map orientation, and utilizing coordinate systems for plotting of map locations.
Describe the Scientific Theory of Plate Tectonics, provide evidence in its support, and apply it to understanding landform development and the distribution of various resources.
Describe the Scientific Theory of Evolution, provide evidence in its support, and apply it to understanding the history of the Earth and of life.
Demonstrate comprehension of the scale of geologic time, and the rates of changes in the Earth system.
Identify major events in the history of the Earth and describe their impacts on the Earth’s surface, the oceans, the atmosphere, and life.
Describe the Earth’s energy balance (Earth-Sun relationship) and energy re-distribution systems (global atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns, and resulting climate zones, in turn determining of weathering regimes, hydrologic activity, soil types, and biomes).
Describe the Earth as a dynamic system of solid, liquid, gaseous and living components, connected through the cycling of matter and energy, including the concepts of dynamic equilibrium and feedback loops.
Use data to model Earth Systems and predict the response of system components to disturbance, applying the concepts of dynamic equilibrium and feedback loops.
Critique geoscience-related news stories from a scientific perspective.
Evaluate human impact on the Earth system.
Practice how science works via inquiry, observation, verification, reason and critical thinking.
Prepare and interpret visual presentations (maps, graphs, etc…) of relevant earth science data.