PHS 111 - Earth Investigations
Investigate Earth’s atmosphere, its geology, and its place in the universe. Students will discover how weather and/or geology affect our every-day lives and how we use and modify our physical surroundings. Students will learn how the Earth compares to the other planets and how our solar system compares to the universe. Current scientific topics may be introduced by both students and instructors. Binghamton’s regional weather and geology will be emphasized. Laboratory activities, including a field trip and a student project are included in this course. This course does not meet science requirement for LAAA, LAAS or BAAS degree.
2 Class Hours, 2 Laboratory Hours
Learning Outcomes of the Course:
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
1. List and explain the steps in the scientific method.
2. Develop a hypothesis, test, modify, compare other hypotheses, and come to consensus on a theory as to what is hidden from view by using a cube with a hidden side.
3. Write an original scientific research project. Students will form a hypothesis, design data collection and an analysis schemes to prove or disprove their hypothesis. Students will learn how to write a scientific report by using a standardized scientific paper format.
4. List the elemental composition of the Earth’s crust and apply how these elements combine to form minerals. Students should also be able to use the definition of a mineral and their physical properties to identify minerals.
5. Describe the classification schemes of the three rock groups and use these systems to identify common rocks.
6. Assess the durability and weathering of different rocks and minerals used as building materials across campus.
7. Create a timeline of Earth’s History, including Geologic, Biologic, and Atmospheric events.
8. Describe how Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis of continental drift was eventually proved by modern evidence to construct the Theory of Plate Tectonics decades after his death.
9. Identify the height in the atmosphere at which various objects or phenomena occur.
10. Explain the greenhouse effect as it relates to global climate change and cite environmental consequences of unimpeded global warming.
11. Explain ozone depletion: its causes and environmental consequences.
12. Create a graph of the seasonal daylight changes at various latitudes throughout one earth year.
13. Create a wind rose of Binghamton’s resultant wind direction.
14. Articulate possible reasons for climatic differences when comparing two or more cities.
15. Describe Binghamton’s climate.
16. Construct a brief history of the development of modern astronomy.
17. Describe the nebular theory of stellar and planetary development.
18. Classify the celestial objects in our Solar System and argue whether Pluto should have been reclassified as a dwarf planet.
19. Explain the basic properties and sizes of the 8 major planets and minor celestial objects in our solar system.
20. Describe the characteristics, changes in apparent size of the Moon, eclipses, and phases of the moon.