Indiana University Northwest

Course Description

Kris Huysken, Ph.D.

Kris Huysken, Ph.D.
Department of Geosciences

Office: Marram Hall 253
Phone: 219-980-6739

Online Course Offered:
Fall Semester

GEOL-G 101 Intro to Earth Science Lecture

Course Description  

This course is an introduction to the principles of Earth Science – the study of the Earth and the dynamic processes that operate on and within it.  In this course, we cover aspects of Geology (rocks and minerals, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and glaciers, just to name a few), Oceanography (chemistry and movement of ocean waters, the ocean floor), and Atmospheric Science (makeup of the atmosphere, climate, and weather).

One overarching theme is Plate Tectonics. Plate tectonics are the driving force, the geologic engine that drives most Earth processes.   

We also focus on the relationship among the solid Earth, the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and life on the planet. Humans are part of this system, and so “the human equation (The effect of humans on the Earth and the effect of the Earth on humans)” is part of this focus.

Course Goals and Objectives  

In a nutshell, the objective is to understand basic Earth science principles! Within this context, I list 10 objectives that will guide this course.

  1. Recognize, describe, and understand Earth materials and their classification.
  2. Explain basic geologic, oceanographic, and atmospheric processes and concepts.
  3. Describe how a particular process leads to the development of a specific feature. 
  4. Apply scientific knowledge in new ways.
  5. Understand how Earth scientists approach new problems, and the (sometimes-amazing) ways they gather data and interpret findings.
  6. Draw on scientific principles to predict behavior of geologic, oceanographic, or atmospheric systems.
  7. Be able to devise ways in which scientific hypotheses may be tested
  8. Interpret scientific data.
  9. Communicate logically and meaningfully.
  10. Understand the Earth as a system
Course Activites  

Each week, students will participate in class activities, including:

Discussion Forums: This exercise serves as one of student participation, and engagement. Each week, students respond to questions posted in a weekly forum. Responses are brief (100+ words) and based on analysis of weekly readings, internet research, and student’s own experiences. Students respond to other’s answers in shorter comments (50+ words).

Assignments: Assignments introduce students to practical applications of the topics covered in this class. They are described in detail, in the weekly Modules .

Quizzes: Short quizzes focus on information from the course textbook and other supplemental materials.

Exams: Two midterm exams and a final exam focus on evaluating students’ understanding of fundamental principles in the Earth Sciences and its application.

Course Syllabus  


GEOL-G 101 Intro to Earth Science Lecture

Online Course Syllabus

Time: Online

Place: Online

Instructor: Kris Huysken, Ph.D.

Office: Marram Hall 253

Phone: (219) 980-6739