Geosciences

GEOS 120
Geohazards
Common Area: Natural Science

This introductory geoscience course will provide an examination of the causes, effects, and options available to mitigate natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, sinkholes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, landslides, and meteorite impacts. While the focus will be on the science, we will also discuss big-picture concepts such as hazard and risk, resilience and recovery, environmental social justice, and the earth as a connected system. This course is appropriate for current or potential geoscience and environmental studies minors, as well as students interested in a natural science course. There will be three exams plus readings from the popular and scientific literature, hands-on data analysis, writing assignments, and a group oral presentation. One Unit.

GEOS 130
Habitable Planets
Common Area: Natural Science

Is there life elsewhere in the solar system or in the universe? How and where did life begin? What conditions are required for life? How do geologic processes affect the habitability of planets, moons, and exoplanets? In this class, we will explore theories about the formation of the solar system, evidence for the appearance and evolution of life, and describe how geologic processes and planetary evolution are related to life and habitability. This course will draw on important concepts in biology, geology, astronomy, planetary science, and philosophy.

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