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Open non-major ESS Courses for Autumn Quarter!

July 26, 2012

ESS has a fabulous assortment of courses designed for non-science majors (but still of interest to science majors!) who are are looking for fun, engaging courses to fulfill their NW credits, or to balance out a heavy schedule! These courses are taught by engaging faculty who enjoy working with students in 100-level course settings. Please share these with your students as appropriate:

ESS 101: Introduction to Geological Sciences (NW)
After taking this course students will never look at the Earth the same! Students will learn about how the Earth evolved from primordial dust to form the compositionally zoned planet upon which life now exists. Students will learn about the unifying concept of plate tectonics, which will provide them with a framework to understand the why and where of earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain belts, ocean basins and rock types in their surrounding world. Students will become amateur geologists and drive their friends and families crazy with their new-found knowledge. Students will also learn about time and its importance to the geologic record. Students will learn that geologists pay more for their dates than Hollywood’s most elite stars! This course will provide students with important information about geologic hazards, which will perhaps one day save lives or personal property. If students love the outdoors, this course will give them many opportunities to visit spectacular geologic sites around Washington state through the ESS 101 optional weekend field trip program. The entire class will be invited to attend a special IMAX viewing of a geologic film at the Seattle Center.

ESS 102: Space and Space Travel (NW)
Explores powering the sun, making of space weather conditions, observations from space and from Earth, Earth’ s space environment, radiation belts and hazards, plasma storms and auroras, electron beams, spacecraft requirements, tooling up for manned exploration. This course includes rocket launches and other hands-on activities! Open to non-science majors.

ESS 103: Minerals and Gems (NW)
Introduction to the nature of minerals: their composition, structure, physical properties, and origins, with emphasis on gem minerals. Focuses on topics of particular interest in gemology, such as mechanisms of color, history and lore of gems, and uses of gems. Hands-on laboratories using about one hundred representative gems and minerals.

ESS 106: Living with Volcanoes (NW/IS)
Explores volcanoes and volcanic eruptions on Earth and in the solar system. Examines how volcanoes work and how they affect the environment, life, and human societies. Illustrates principles using local examples of recent volcanism and ancient examples of mega-eruptions. Evaluates the possibility of predicting future eruptions.

ESS 105: Astrobiology: Live in the Universe (NW)
Introduction to the new science of astrobiology, study of the origin and evolution of life on Earth, and the search for microbial and intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. Designed for non-science, liberal arts majors. Offered: jointly with ASTBIO 115/ASTR 115/OCEAN 115/BIOL 114.

And for any student who has taken ESS 101, a great class with Dr. Terry Swanson is available (despite being numbered at the 300-level, it is appropriate for anyone who has taken ESS 101)

ESS 302: Great Ice Age (NW)
Growth of mile-thick ice sheets, worldwide lowering of sea level, and other geological and paleoclimatological changes that accompany the harsh environments of a global glaciation. Geology of the last three million years, focusing on the causes and effects of global glaciation and future climate change


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