We are very happy that you have decided to join us this semester.  Before we begin our semester of study together, it is important that you review all of the material in the Orientation and on our course syllabi. These two resources will prepare you to be successful in this course and will make the journey over the next 16 weeks significantly easier for you.  

What will we learn about in the Orientation?

  • An overview of your school's course management system
  • An overview of the course website
  • Technical requirements for this course including learning about software you will be using
  • A brief introduction to the course
  • Modern Earth Science principles
  • How to succeed in this course
  • Where to get course assistance if you need it

What is due for the Orientation?

You should complete the Orientation before the first week of class so you are prepared.

The following is an overview of the activities for the Orientation. Detailed directions and submission instructions are located on the page containing the assignment within this orientation. Some course activities will take place in Canvas.

Orientation Tasks
Tasks Page of Orientation
Personalize your course management system (CMS) space. The Learning Environment
Forward your CMS e-mail to your regular email The Learning Environment
Bookmark the course website The Learning Environment
Introduce yourself and meet the rest of the class. Getting to Know You
Complete the Google Earth tutorial Refreshers and Tutorials
Learn about what to expect in the course Course Introduction
Learn about Modern Earth Science Principles Modern Earth Science Principles
Download the Course Syllabus for your campus Syllabus
Begin your one week Water Journal which is the Summative Assessment (Lab) for Module 1 Water Journal
Take course surveys to evaluate your learning and help us improve the course (see Surveys link at right) In Survey link and the CMS

(Note: You may want to print this page to serve as a checklist as you go along.)

Have you looked at the syllabus yet? This Orientation complements and expands on the information provided on the syllabus. If you haven't read it, be sure to review that document carefully! It is linked from this website and may also be available in Canvas. 


There are two ways you can get help in the class.


For the quickest response directly from your professor, use email through your course management system (e.g., Canvas). We will check several times daily during the week and daily on weekends. Please use this mode of communication for questions and concerns you do not wish the rest of the class to see.

Class Discussion

If you have any questions that you want to share with the class, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum (not e-mail), located in Canvas. We will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.

What is next?

Once you are ready, click the next link in the orientation menu and work all the way to the end of the list.