EASC 209:Earth’s Materials and Resources


The course is made up of two parts. The first part concerns Earth's materials, including the atom, elements, compounds and minerals, crystallinity, the importance of silicate minerals, physical properties of minerals, and formation, identification and description of minerals and rocks. Earth Materials is a laboratory based, however, instead of dedicating a specific day of the week to laboratory work, the lecture and laboratory elements will be integrated. Everyday life and the fabric of modern civilization depend on using the Earth’s physical resources: water to drink; fuel to burn; rocks and minerals to build roads and houses; metals for machinery, electronics, and communications. The second part of the course is about the occurrence, availability, exploitation and sustainability of these essential resources. It also consider their origins, how to find and extract them, and the environmental consequences of exploitation. The course may include several one-day long trips to the field to reinforce geological and environmental concepts learned in class and laboratory.