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Welcome to GEOSC 010!
Quick Facts about GEOSC 010
Instructor - Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences
Authors - Dr. Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and Dr. Sridhar Anandakrishnan, Professor of Geosciences
Overview -"It would be fun to take a tour of all the national parks, learning a little about each. But Penn State would not award you General Education credit for such a course—you are supposed to be taking a tour of a field of knowledge, in this case geology. So, we will take a tour of geologic ideas. But, some of the best geological features of the world are enshrined in the U.S. national parks. We will use national parks as illustrations, delving into park history and culture when we can, but concentrating on those things that illustrate how the Earth works."
That quote from the Introduction of the course textbook, describes the vision for Geosc 010. Dr. Alley developed the the following statement of ideas he wants students to take away from the course:
- Science works.
- The Earth recycles everything slowly, by building and tearing down mountains.
- The Earth's environment has been balanced for very long times.
- Human-induced changes are among the fastest Earth has ever experienced.
- The National Parks are critical but endangered living laboratories, museums, and repositories of biodiversity.
Audience - Geosc 010 is designed to serve undergraduate non-majors who need to fulfill a General Education requirement and think that learning about the geology of the national parks is just the right way to do it.
Course Description - This is a fun course. Dr. Alley has four goals for the course:
- to help students become better-informed citizens on topics that may affect them in the future (groundwater pollution, biodiversity, volcanic hazards, etc.);
- to demonstrate what is and is not believable about science, those subjects on which scientists are usually correct and those on which scientists have no special expertise;
- to give students enough geological background that they will get more out of their next visit to a park; and
- to show students enough beautiful places that they can't wait to go out and visit some of them.
The required text, Rocking the Parks: Geological Stories of the National Parks, is a short, targeted book designed specifically for this course and is available completely online.
Movie Teaser- If you like to check out the teaser before sitting through the two-hour movie, here is the seven minute version of GEOSC 10, winner of a regional Emmy award.
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