Earth's Dynamic Systems

Course code GEOS1040Units 10Level 1000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

The Earth is an evolving and dynamic planet. Changes that take place and at the rate at which they occur have the potential to dramatically affect the way we live. Understanding past evolutionary changes in the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere that shape our planet, and the crucial interactions between these systems, is fundamental in predicting the course and impact of future changes. Topics covered provide the necessary grounding for continuing studies in Earth and Environmental Sciences, including Geology and Physical Geography.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Workplace Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory component in the course outline provided by the school.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesAt the successful completion of this course, students will have:

1. a foundation for further studies in the Environmental Geosciences (Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography);
2. received a basic theoretical introduction to the major themes in Earth System Science: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere and Biosphere;
3. developed practical skills in: manipulation & interpretation of scientific data; development of interpretive skills in space/time relationships, map and aerial photograph interpretation; basic field observation, interpretation and note-taking; selected laboratory analyses; use of computer statistical packages for data analysis and presentation.

These objectives deliver the assumed knowledge required in ensuing courses in the Bachelor of Science programs in Physical Geography & Geology, as well as the Bachelor of Environmental Science program.
Content1. The course examines the evolution and dynamics of Earth and the environment, covering topics that are grouped under the term Earth Systems Science. Topics are broadly categorized into the major themes of Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, and Biosphere. These themes illustrate the dynamic and evolutionary nature of our planet and the breadth of the science.

2. An emphasis is placed on the development of concepts from observations made on our environment and by using modern processes to understand past environments. Specific topics include:
Planetary Geology
Earth formation & evolution
Evolution of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and life
Relative & absolute time
Plate tectonics
Oceanography and coastal processes
Mountain building & continental growth
Weathering of the continents: fluvial (river), glacial & aeolian (desert) environments
Climatic systems and the impact of climatic change
Replacing Course(s)The course combines and replaces GEOS1100 (Planet Earth) and GEOS1010 (Introduction to Physical Geography) courses.
TransitionGEOS1040 will not count for credit with GEOS1100 or GEOS1010.
GEOS1040 will also replace GEOS1100 as assumed knowledge for GEOS1110. To account for those students who have completed GEOS1010 but not GEOS1100, GEOS1010 will also be accepted as assumed knowledge for GEOS1110 during this transition.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeNone.
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsField excursion assignments
Examination: Formal.
Laboratory Exercises
Contact HoursField Study: for 16 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Lecture: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Laboratory: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Compulsory Course ComponentWHS-Safety Induction or Risk Assessment. Compulsory Course Component: In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction.
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for GEOS1040