History of the Earth

Science & Technology
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Course Code
EAES 1121
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is concerned with Earth history and the events that have shaped the development of the Earth. Topics include: the origin of the Earth, movement of Earth's tectonic plates over time, origin and evolution of life, mass extinction events, and ancient climates. Techniques used to date and interpret events of the past and reconstruct ancient environments will be discussed. The course includes practical hands-on labs. A field trip may be required.
Course Content
  • Origins: Origin of the solar system and planet Earth, origin of life, evolution.
  • Rocks and Minerals: Composition, texture/physical properties, classification and identification.
  • Sedimentary Rocks and Environments: Composition, texture, classification, identification, formation, weathering and erosion, soils, sedimentary processes and structures, depositional environments and erosional/transport agents.
  • Interior of the Earth: Structure of the Earth, plate tectonics, composition and structure of oceanic and
    continental crust, structural deformation (e.g., orogenies, rifting).
  • Time: Geologic time scale, relative and absolute dating.
  • Stratigraphy: Stratigraphic principles, lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, lithofacies, biofacies, correlation.
  • Paleontology: Fossil observation, description, identification.
  • Ancient environments: Paleoenvironments, paleobiogeography, paleoclimate.
  • Major events of Earth history: Extinctions, supercontinents, glaciations, etc.
Methods Of Instruction

2 hours per week lectures.

2 hours per week labs.

A field trip may be required.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:


Lecture and lab assignments, homework, project, term paper 10 - 30%
Lab exams, quizzes 20 - 40%
Midterm exam 20 - 25%
Final exam 30%
Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing EAES 1121, a student will be able to:

  • Describe the history of important events and people involved in the development of early geological concepts and the geologic time scale. Explain the difference between uniformitarianism, actualism and catastrophism.
  • Recite the geological time scale in terms of eons, eras, periods and Cenozoic epochs.
  • Describe, identify and classify the most common rocks and minerals. Explain the formation of sedimentary rocks and stratified and cross-cutting igneous rocks.
  • Describe the underlying principles of stratigraphy and fossil succession and apply them to sedimentary successions (stratigraphic sequences). Interpret stratigraphic sequences in terms of changes to paleoenvironment and paleolandscape. Correlate stratigraphic sequences.
  • Describe, identify and classify common fossil organisms (classification based on kingdom, phylum, class and order). Explain the basic principles of evolution and extinction.
  • Describe the theory of plate tectonics and how it relates to rock forming processes.
  • Recite and describe key climatic, tectonic and evolutionary events in Earth's history.
Textbook Materials

Students should consult the bookstore for the latest required course materials, including the textbook.

Levin, H.L., The Earth Through Time; Wiley Publishing, latest edition, or an equivalent text.



No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


Requisite for

EAES 2320, 2550, 2800

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX SOSC 1XX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
Athabasca University (AU) AU GEOL 2XX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU SCEL 1XX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR GEOL 106 (3) 2016/05/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 1210 (4) 2016/01/01 to 2018/12/31
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 1XXX (3) 2019/01/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 1XXX (3) or LANG GEOL 1XXX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
North Island College (NIC) NIC GEO 1XX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU EASC 210 (3), B-Sci 2016/05/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOL 2050 (3) 2016/05/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) No credit 2016/05/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ARTS 1XX (3) 2005/05/01 to 2016/04/30
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO EESC 121 (3) 2016/05/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV EOSC 116 (3) 2016/05/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC GEOG 1XX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 1XX (3) 2016/05/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) DOUG EAES 1120 (3) & DOUG EAES 1121 (3) = UVIC EOS 120 (1.5) & UVIC EOS 1XX (1.5) 2016/05/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC EOS 1XX (1.5); DOUG EAES 1120 (3) & DOUG EAES 1121 (3) = UVIC EOS 120 (1.5) & UVIC EOS 1XX (1.5) 2016/05/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOL 112 (4) 2018/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Winter 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.