Course Objectives

  1. Conduct scientific inquiries into geologic phenomenon by using authentic data from a variety of sources, some web based and others collected in the field. Using those data sources, conclusions about the relationships between variables will be established and supported.
  2. Apply knowledge and principles of earth systems in order to identify, explore, and propose solutions to real world problems on both a global and local scale.
  3. Employ data, derived locally through field observations and measurements, as well as that with global relevance through networked technology, in order to formulate questions, design and conduct research, and communicate results of scientific investigations.
  4. Recognize local and global environmental or earth science issues, as they exist in the real world, in order to draw conclusions and make informed decisions.
  5. Understand the evolution of monitoring and analytical technology and their implications on our knowledge base and evolving societal values/attitudes towards resources.

Earthquakes! Volcanoes! Tsunami! Landslides! Mass extinctions! Why are there mountains? How do glaciers work? What determines the shape of a river? Geophysics is a full year, project based-inquiry oriented science class designed for juniors and seniors. The course will employ the fundamentals of chemistry, physics, and mathematics to study and research Earth dynamics, Earth evolution, and global change.

A significant portion of student activity will be self-directed investigations of topics using computer-based resources such as: software designed data modeling, analysis and visualization, telecommunication tools, and the World Wide Web.

Students will analyze local environmental and geological systems through fieldwork, the culling of authentic data from web based sources and, on-going monitoring projects. For Earth systems of a global scale, remotely sensed data and/or images will be employed. The course will be structured around the collection of evidence of learning and the creation of a record of achievement over the course of the year. This collection, with reflection by the student, will include publication on the World Wide Web.