This course is a non-laboratory introduction to the study of the origin and evolution of the earth and solar system. Foci of exploration are the theory of plate tectonics, the composition and history of the Earth, minerals and the rock cycle, key phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes, climate, and the various forces that change and mould the Earth. Students will become aware of the critical importance of the Earth’s resources to human society and the need to use those resources wisely. Students will come to understand that the whole Earth is a dynamic, changing, unified system of interwoven cycles and processes. Although the course does not include a formal laboratory component, an essential aspect of the course will be hands-on explorations of key geological phenomena.