Physical Science 111

Student Log In | Syllabus | Grading | Learning Outcomes

          Week          TopicText Reference
Aug 28th MonOverview of the Course. Earth's Spheres. Scales of Measurement. Earth as a System. The Nature of Scientific Inquiry.Chapter 1
Assignment: NOVA: Earth From Space (video - 2 hours) | transcriptNOVA worksheet DOC | PDF
Aug 30th WedThe Scientific MethodChapter 1
Assignment: Why We Should Trust Scientists (video - 19 minutes) | transcriptGroup Discussion Worksheet
Sept 4th MonLabor Day Holiday - No Classes 


Sept 6th WedIntroduction to Minerals: Definition, Atomic Structure, Properties, Abundance, MiningChapter 2
Sept 11th MonMinerals: How to Identify Common Minerals
Watch Life's Rocky Start (NOVA)
Chapter 2
Minerals Identification LaboratoryLAB: Identification of Minerals (30)
Sept 13th WedRocks: The Rock Cycle, Igneous, Metamorphic, Sedimentary, OresChapter 3
Sept 18th MonRocks in the Loop, Carbon CycleLAB: Identification of Rocks Lab (40)
Identification of Rocks Essay (20)
Sept 20th WedIntroduction to Soil: Formation, composition, classificationChapter 4
Sept 25th MonSoil AnalysisLAB: Soil Analysis (20)
Sept 27th WedWeathering, Types of Mass WastingChapter 4
Oct 2nd MonQuiz One (1,2,3,4) 
Oct 4th WedRunning Water:
The Hydrologic Cycle, River Systems, Work From Running Water, Erosion, Deposition, Floods
Chapter 5
Oct 9 MonGroundwater: Storage and Movement of Groundwater, Springs and Wells, Contamination, Subsidence
Latitude, Longitude, Topological Maps
LAB: Reading Topographical Maps (20)
Oct 11 WedGlaciers, Deserts and Wind:
Gacial Erosion, Landforms, Glacial Deposits, Ice Ages,
Chapter 6
LAB: Geological Models Labs (Zip File)(40)
Oct 16th MonEvolution of a Desert, Dunes
Review for Quiz Two
Chapter 6
Oct 18th WedQuiz Two (1,2,3,4,5,6)
Plate Tectonics:
Continental Drift, Plate Boundaries, Hot Spots, Mechnisms
Chapter 9
LAB: Geological Models Labs (Zip File)(40)
Oct 23rd MonEarthquakes and Earth's Interior:
Faults, Foreshocks and Aftershocks, Seismology, Scales, Tsunamis, Subsidence, Earth's Layers
Chapter 6
Oct 25th WedVolcanoes:
Flows, Gases and Pyroclastics, Types of Volcanoes, Volcanic Landforms, Plate Tectonics and Vulcanism
Oct 30th MonMountain Building:
Folds, Faults, Types of Mountain Ranges, Isostasy, Joints
Chapter 10
LAB: Clay Models (10)
Nov 1st WedGeological Time:
Relative Dating, Law of Superposition, Cross-Cutting Relationships, Inclusions, Principle of Original Horizontality, Unconformities, Disconformity, Fossils, Radiometric Dating, The Geologic Timescale
Chapter 11
LAB: Simulation of Radioactive Decay (10)
Nov 6th MonQuiz Three (7,8,9,10,11)
Exit Exam Part One: Geology (1 to 11)


Nov 8th WedThe Atmosphere: Composition, Structure and Temperature
Weather and Climate, Height and Structure of the Atmosphere, Ozone Hole, Greenhouse Effect
Please watch this video on the structure of the atmosphere BEFORE class.
Chapter 16
LAB: Air and Air Pressure (10)
Nov 13th MonThe Atmosphere: Earth-Sun Relationships, Mechanisms of Heat Transfer, Cloud Cover and Albedo, Electromagnetic SpectrumChapter 16
LAB: Cloud Journal (40)
Nov 15th WedMoisture, Clouds and Precipitation:
Phase Changes of Water, Relative and Absolute Humidity, Dew Point, Stability and Instabilty of Air Masses, Classification of Cloud Types, Precipitation
Chapter 17
LAB: Using the NOAA website (20)| docx
Nov 20th MonQuiz Four (16, 17)
Measuring Air Pressure, Idealized Global Circulation, Jet Streams, Local Winds, Land and Sea Breezes
Chapter 18
LAB: Tracking Hurricane Katrina (10)
Nov 22nd WedWeather Patterns:
Types of Air Masses, Fronts, Cyclones and Anti-cyclones
Chapter 19
LAB: Air Masses and Weather Maps(30)
Nov 27th MonSevere Storms: Thunderstorms, Tornados, Hurricanes
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Quiz Five (16,17,18,19,20)Cloud Journals are Due


Nov 29th WedOrigin of Modern Astronomy:
Early Greeks, Ptolemaic System, Copernican System, Kepler's Laws, Galileo, Constellations, Rotation, Revolution, Precession, Phases of the Moon
Chapter 21
Dec 4th MonTouring Our Solar System:
Terrestrial Planets, Jovian Planets, The Moon, Asteroids, Comets, Meteoroids
Light and the Sun:
Nature of Light, Spectroscopy, Doppler Effect, Telescopes, Structure and Composition of the Sun
Chapter 22/23
LAB: A Scale Model of the Solar System (10)
Dec 6th WedBeyond the Solar System:
Stellar Brightness, Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, Variable Stars, Interstellar Matter, Stellar Evolution
Chapter 24
LAB: Night Vision (10)
Dec 11th MonQuiz Six (21,22,23,24)
Exit Exam Part Two: Meteorology and Astronomy (16 to 24)
Dec 13th WedMandatory Final Grade Conference 

HomeworkHomework Zip File
Laboratories: All laboratory exercises are provided as handouts. There is no lab manual for this course.