Dartmouth College Department of Earth Sciences


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Earth Science Courses at Dartmouth

Thinking of taking an intro Earth Science course? Here are some great options:

EARS 1) How the Earth Works. Learn about our Earth environment—the natural materials, structure, and processes that literally shape the world in which we live. (Offered each year during Fall & Spring terms)

EARS 2 ) Evolution of Earth and Life. The 4.6 billion-year party rocks on and Darwin lives! Learn about the co-evolution of our planet and a funny little thing called life. Revel in the rise and fall of mountains, trilobites, and dinosaurs! (Winter)

EARS 3) Elementary Oceanography (The Blue Planet). The oceans…our final (Earthbound) frontier. Your chance to learn everything you wanted to know and are ready to ask about what's big, wet, salty, and gets around. (Spring)

EARS 5) Natural Disasters and Catastrophes (The Dangerous Planet) – From Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to the devastating Haitian and Chilean earthquakes of 2010, the Earth can be a dangerous place. Over the decade ending in 2010, about 78,000 lives were lost each year to such natural catastrophes, according to the United Nations. Learn how scientists think about natural disasters and some of what they think they know –what, where, why and, sometimes, even when. (Summer)

EARS 6) Environmental Change. Most of us do not like change; but like it or not, our global climate now appears to be undergoing one of its more rapid transformations in Earth history. Learn how scientists study past, present, and future change in the Earth environment. (Fall)

EARS 8) Geology of New England and Surrounding Regions. Ever wonder about the spectacular road cuts along our interstate highways, the origin of the rocks in New England's stone walls, or what, exactly, one is climbing at Sundown and Rumney? Learn how to read the regional landscape for clues about the geologic history of New England, and what this history can tell us about other settings. (Spring)

EARS 9) Earth Resources. Oil, gold, lithium, iron, just to name a few. Whether you sport diamond-studded piercings or not, drive an SUV or a hybrid, and drink out of a porcelain mug or a tin cup, you are using precious resources. We owe it to our one and only planet to learn what we can about the occurrence of some of Earth's greatest hidden gifts, and how geologists find these gifts for societal benefit. (Winter)

Please check out the ORC for the latest course information....

Any course listed above can serve as a gateway to the Earth Sciences major! This is because all introductory Earth Sciences course cover the following concepts and skills in common:

  • To develop a working knowledge of geologic time and an appreciation of geologic processes and spatial scales.
  • To be able to generate, read and understand a geologic map and a topographic map.
  • To understand how to collect and interpret geological, geochemical, and geophysical data.
  • To develop an awareness and understanding of geologic resources and hazards. To know how to employ the scientific method to answer field based questions.



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