May 19, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ESCI 1210 - Earth Science

Credit Hours: 4.00

Prerequisites: None

(formerly NATS 1210)

This is a lecture/laboratory course for non-science majors. It is a survey of the earth sciences intended to aid the student in understanding the interrelationships of the universe through the investigation of such topics as matter and energy, astronomy, geology, and meteorology.

Billable Contact Hours: 4

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Outcome 1:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the organization of the Universe.


  1. Discuss theories of creation of the Universe.
  2. Identify components and organization of the Universe.
  3. Diagram the arrangement of the Solar system.

Outcome 2:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify the structure of the Earth.


  1. Identify minerals and rocks and discuss their development.
  2. Discuss internal and external forces that impact the Earth’s development.

Outcome 3:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe weather development on Earth.


  1. Discuss composition and structure of the atmosphere.
  2. Describe moisture, clouds, and precipitation
  3. Discuss air pressure and wind.
  4. Describe weather patterns.

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES


  1. The nature of Earth Science
    1. Resources
    2. Population
    3. Environmental Problems
  2. How Science Works
    1. Hypothesis
    2. Theory
    3. Scientific Methods
  3. Earth Materials
    1. Minerals
      1. Elements and types of chemical bonds
      2. Properties of Minerals
      3. Mineral Resources
    2. Rocks
      1. Igneous Rocks
        1. Magma vs. Lava
        2. Plutonic structures vs. Volcanic structures
        3. Compositions of igneous rocks
        4. Where igneous rocks form on Earth
      2. Sedimentary Rocks
        1. Clastic vs. chemical sediment
        2. Formation of sedimentary rocks
        3. Where sedimentary rocks form on Earth
      3. Metamorphic Rocks
        1. Foliated vs. Nonfoliated metamorphic rocks
        2. Where metamorphic rocks form on Earth
  4. Internal and External Forces
    1. Plate Tectonics
      1. Divergent boundaries
      2. Convergent boundaries
      3. Transform Boundaries
    2. Earth’s Interior
      1. Core
      2. Mantle
      3. Crust
    3. What drives the motions of the plates?
      1. Convection cells
    4. Running Water
      1. Drainage Basins
      2. River Systems
    5. Glaciers
      1. How glaciers move
      2. Glacial erosion
      3. Glacial deposits
  5. The Atmosphere
    1. Composition
    2. Structure
  6. Moisture, Clouds, Precipitation
    1. Humidity: Relative vs. absolute
    2. Processes that lift air
    3. Condensation and cloud formation
    4. Types of precipitation
  7. Air Pressure and Wind
    1. Isobars
    2. The Coriolis effect
    3. Cyclones vs. anticyclones
  8. Weather Patterns and Severe Weather
    1. Air Masses
    2. Fronts
    3. The Mid‐Latitude cyclone
    4. Thunderstorms
    5. Tornadoes
    6. Hurricanes
  9. Astronomy
    1. The Solar System
      1. Our sun
      2. Planets
      3. Moons
      4. Asteroids, meteoroids, comets
    2. Earth‐Moon system
      1. Phases of the Moon
      2. Earth’s Seasons
      3. Eclipses: Lunar and Solar
    3. Beyond our Solar System
      1. Properties of stars
        1. Brightness
        2. Distances between stars
      2. Star formation and evolution
      3. Stellar Remnants
        1. White Dwarfs
        2. Neutron Stars
        3. Black Holes
      4. Galaxies
        1. The Milky Way Galaxy
        2. Other types of galaxies
      5. Theories of Formation
        1. The Big Bang
        2. The Steady State model

Primary Faculty
Schafer, Carl
Secondary Faculty
Sadorski, Joseph
Associate Dean
Young, Randall
Pritchett, Marie

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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