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Registration for the Winter 2020 semester begins soon.  Watch your email for more details.
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Introduction to Earth Sciences

Course Code: EAES 1120
Faculty: Science & Technology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

An introductory course focusing on physical geology. Topics include minerals, rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic), plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanic activity, Earth resources, and the many processes that have shaped the Earth. The course includes practical hands-on labs. A field trip may be required.

Course Content

  • Earth Science: Atmosphere/Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Lithosphere, rock cycle, earth time, scientific theory, uniformitarianism, earth science and society, careers.
  • Minerals: Composition, crystal structure, physical properties, classification and identification.
  • Igneous Rocks: Composition, texture, classification, identification, formation, intrusive and extrusive activity (volcanoes) and structures.
  • Sedimentary Rocks: Composition, texture, classification, identification, formation, weathering and erosion, soils, sedimentary processes and structures, depositional environments and erosional/transport agents.
  • Metamorphic Rocks: Composition, texture, classification, identification, formation, agents of change.
  • Interior of the Earth: Structure of the Earth, plate tectonics, earthquakes, composition and structure of oceanic and continental crust, structural deformation.
  • Surface of the Earth: Mass wasting, running water, ground water, glaciation, wind, deserts, shorelines and nearshore environments, ocean floor.
  • Resources and the Environment: Minerals, fossil fuels, groundwater, global environmental issues.


Methods of Instruction

2 hours per week lectures.

2 hours per week lab.

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, projects, homework: 10-30%

Lab exams, quizzes: 20-40%

Midterm exam: 20-25%

Final exam: 30%

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing EAES 1120, a student will be able to:

  • Describe, identify and classify rocks and minerals, explain their formation, and place them in the context of the rock cycle.
  • Describe the theory of plate tectonics and how plate tectonics relates to rock forming processes.
  • Describe and identify surface landforms and explain the relationship between subsurface and surface processes and surface landforms.
  • Demonstrate the relationship between natural processes and "hazards".
  • Describe the link between natural resources, human activity and environmental issues. 

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.