The purpose of the course is to assist students in gaining a better understanding of our Earth, the planet that we live on. Students will come to understand that the whole Earth is a dynamic, changing, unified system of interwoven cycles and processes. Students will learn about the theory of plate tectonics and how it has revolutionized the study of geology. Students will learn about the composition and history of the Earth, about minerals and rocks, about key phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes, and about the various forces that change and mold 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. An essential aspect of the course will be actual hands-on explorations focused around key geological phenomena.