EOSC 310 (3 cr): The Earth and the Solar System

EOSC 310

Course Outline

  • 5-6 discussions
  • 2 quizzes
  • 1 assignment
  • final exam

Course Description

The Earth as a planet: its composition, internal dynamics, and surface evolution. Rotation, magnetic field, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes. The ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere as components of a varying geo-environment. Students who have already completed EOSC110 cannot take this course for credit.

Prerequisite: Second year standing.

Intended Student

This course is open only to students not registered in the Faculty of Science or Applied Science. No background in science or mathematics is required.

Course Content Overview

Earth and Ocean Sciences 310 is a course that is designed to provide you with a functional scientific literacy within the context of earth sciences. It is designed so that all students, however slight their background in science is, should be able to follow and enjoy it.

The following is a brief description of the course content:
Lesson 1: Geology and the Solar System Formation – You will study the historical perspective on how Earth’s place in the universe has evolved through history.
Lesson 2: Earth Materials and the Rock Cycle – You will study the three major rock types (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) and how they are classified and sub-classified.
Lesson 3: Earth Systems – This module begins with a brief introduction into Earth systems concepts and a review of major Earth cycles. You will then consider the influence of these systems on global climate and mass extinctions.
Lesson 4: Planetary Geology – You will compare the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars). In addition, we’ll include in our comparison our Moon, as well as several moons of the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn.


Assignment 10%
Quizzes 25%
Discussions 30%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

Required Textbooks

John Grotzinger, Thomas H. Jordan, Frank Press & Raymond Siever, Understanding Earth, 6th ed., 2010, W.H. Freeman.

EOSC310 Textbook Order Form

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