Since ancient times, humankind has gazed up at the night sky and wondered. This on-line course introduces students to astronomy in order to understand the formation, evolution, physical properties and current theories of the universe as we know it. Topics explored include: the Big Bang Theory, physics of light and matter, planets of our solar system including results of spacecraft explorations, the Milky Way and other galaxies, key constellations, life and death of stars, supernovae, pulsars, black holes, quasars, exoplanets and dark matter. Students will analyze astronomy photos and explain interesting astronomical phenomena. Various indigenous and cultural perspectives about the universe and our place within it are also offered as a complement to the scientific worldview. This course is mainly descriptive, taught at a qualitative level with an emphasis on conceptual, as contrasted with mathematical, comprehension. It is designed as a general education course for anyone with an interest in astronomy. No Textbook Required.
Geology is the most exciting and hands-on of the sciences. It is the study of a dynamic Earth that is changing on a daily basis due to tectonic activity, volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, meteorite strikes, tsunami and more. This course is an "Introduction to Geology" and it outlines the formation of the Earth in context of the formation of the Universe and Solar System. It examines the history of the Earth and of the Moon and its formation. This is followed by an examination of the properties of the Earth, its dynamic activities, its rocks and minerals and fossils and the uses of rocks and minerals. The course closes with an examination of the careers that are associated with Geology. No Textbook Required.
Petrology is the study of rocks. This course examines the different categories of rocks, the processes by which different rocks are created, the characteristics of rocks that allow them to be identified, and the location of different types of rocks. Software required: PowerPoint to view presentations. No Textbook Required.
The world’s oceans are spectacular in their beauty, majestic in their power, and domineering in terms of their effects on the world’s climate. Oceans are a source of bountiful food and tremendous numbers and varieties of species. Our future, as humans, depends upon the oceans that surround each and every continent. This course examines the oceans form historical, geological, geographical, and biological perspectives. Through readings, research, and presentations, students will discover the importance of caring for our oceans. Textbook Required.
Software Required: PowerPoint