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    Vassar College
  Dec 15, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ESCI 151 - Earth, Environment, and Humanity

Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
1 unit(s)

(Same as GEOG 151 ) Catastrophic events such as hurricanes and tsunamis and the specter of global climate change affirm the centrality of Earth Science in a well-rounded liberal arts education. This course explores three intertwined questions: 1) How do Earth’s different systems (lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere) function and interact to create the environment we live in? 2) What are the causes of, and how can we protect ourselves from, geologic hazards such as earthquakes, flooding, and landslides? 3) How are human activities modifying the environment through changes to the composition of the atmosphere, biogeochemical cycles, and soil erosion, among other factors? While serving as an introduction to the Earth Science major, this course emphasizes those aspects of the science that everyone should know to make informed decisions such as where and where not to buy a house, whether to support the construction of an underground nuclear waste repository, and how to live more lightly upon the Earth. The department.

Several lab exercises take place in the field.

Satisfies the college requirement for quantitative reasoning.

Two 75-minute periods; one 4-hour laboratory/field period.

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