» Science Home «
The Earth Science Department offers a variety of courses including Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, Stellar Astronomy, Solar System Astronomy and Earth Systems Science (for non-majors). All Earth Science courses include both lecture and lab experience for the best hands-on training. A list of courses with catalog descriptions follows.
The instructors in the Earth Science Department are enthusiastic and ready to teach the students principles and procedures using state-of-the-art equipment and technology. They share how the students' education will be necessary as they move into the workforce. A very useful tool available to the department is the observatory located behind the campus. The students get hands-on exerience using a Newtonian telescope which reinforces the classroom information.
Through completion of their academic path in Earth Science, students will develop the ability to:
- Demonstrate correct understanding of geoscience concepts.
- Identify and classify specimens using data and observations.
- Demonstrate skills in field and/or laboratory setting by making precise accurate measurements of earth science variables.
- Use data to solve earth science problems by correctly interpreting earth science data sets.
- Apply the concepts and theories learned in class to issues facing them in society and in personal life.
Earth Science Course Offerings
1004 Earthquakes and Volcanoes
This course examines the causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanic activity. It also covers the impacts of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, including secondary effects such as landslides, mudflows, and tsunamis; climatic effects; energy/mineral resources; and social disruption. Additionally, the mitigation of effects of natural disasters will be included. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. (Prerequisites: None; 12th grad reading and writing skills recommended). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab hrs per week). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences, Goal 10/People and the Environment.
Earth Systems Science
This course explores our planet and how it works. It surveys basic concepts of shifting tectonic plates, deep geologic time, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the nature of rocks and minerals. Laboratory exercises will introduce students to the methods of geoscience and will supplement the lectures. Non-science majors will benefit from this course. (Prerequisites: None). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences, Goal 10/People and the Environment.
1114 Physical Geology
This course is an introduction to the fundamental processes that shape Planet Earth. We examine the influence of geological processes on humankind. Emphasis is placed on plate techtonics as a framework for understanding these processes. In this course, we explore the rock cycle (minerals, rocks, volcanoes, weathering) and investigate deep geologic time. Students will strive to understand the forces that shape our world such as glaciers, rivers, groundwater, earthquakes, and tsunamis. We experience the beauty of places like deserts, coasts, and mountains. Laboratory exercises introduce the methods of geology and reinforce lecture material. Field trips to significant geological localities are an important part of the course. (Prerequisites: Appropriate score on RCTC placement test with needed score into developmental reading). (4 C/3 lec, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences, Goal 10/People and the Environment
ESCI 1124 Solar
This course is a survey of the solar system. It includes study of the Earth and Moon, the planets and their satellites as well as asteroids, meteors and comets. Study includes the history of astronomy from ancient times leading up to our modern view of the sun and planets. Topics include light and telescopes, planetary surfaces and atmospheres, the origin of planetary systems and the search for life in the universe. Students will also be introduced to striking beauty of our solar system as revealed through photographs, written work and direct experience through the telescope. Lab work is supplemented by astronomical observations at the RCTC observatory. (Prerequisites: Appropriate score on RCTC placement test with needed score into developmental reading). (4 C/3 lec, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.
ESCI 1134 Stellar
This course is an introduction to stellar astronomy for the non-science major. The course covers topics that include light spectra, the sun, stars, galaxies, supernovae, black holes and the Big Bang. In addition, students will be introduced to the stunning beauty of the universe as revealed in images, written works and direct experience through the telescope. Laboratory exercises introduce students to the methods astronomers use to study the universe. Lab work is supplemented by astronomical observing sessions at the RCTC Observatory. NOTE: ESCI 1134 and PHYS 1134 are cross-listed. Students may take one or the other for credit, but will not receive credit for both. (Prerequisites: Appropriate score on RCTC placement test with needed score into developmental reading). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.
ESCI 1144 Environmental
This course examines the relationship between geology and short-term human concerns (periods of no more than a few hundred years). Topics include earthquake hazards, volcanoes, flooding, landslides/mass wasting, groundwater and surface water problems, radioactive waste disposal, energy and mineral resources and radon. Environmental issues and effects on society are a major focus.(Prerequisites: Appropriate score on RCTC placement test with needed score into developmental reading). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.
1154 Introduction to Meteorology
This course will introduce students to our atmosphere and how variables in the atmosphere affect our daily and seasonal weather patterns. Students will gain an understanding of how weather occurs and how the atmosphere affects us individually and as a society. Other topics include tornadoes, hurricanes, air pollution and climate change. This course contains a lab-like component. (Prerequisites: Test into developmental English). (3 C/3 lect, 0 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences, Goal 10/People and the Environment.
Earth Science Instructor
For instructor's credentials, class schedules and class syllabi, please click the instructor's name.
Current Common Course Outlines for these courses can be found on the Course Schedule or Catalog Course Discriptions.