Introduction to Earth Science

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EAS 100

       Course Name: Introduction to Earth Science

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces four major divisions of Earth Science and how their interactions contribute to conditions on Earth today. Geology includes studies of minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and surface topography. Oceanography includes studies of seawater and ocean currents, ocean floor topography, the beach and wave dynamics, and marine life. Meteorology includes studies of global and local winds, weather systems and conditions, and climate. Astronomy includes studies of the formation of the solar system and the objects in it, stellar evolution, and current technology for space travel and long-range discoveries. This course is intended for both science and non-science majors. Credit cannot be received in both EAS 100 and EAS 121.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course a student should be able to:

  1. Identify mineral and rock samples based on diagnostic properties and tests.
  2. State the Theory of Plate Tectonics and identify associated features on land and the sea floor.
  3. Describe and locate geologic hazards associated with plate boundaries.
  4. Interpret and construct topographic maps.
  5. Gather, analyze, and interpret basic weather/climate data.
  6. Recognize frontal systems and differentiate by type, weather conditions, and associated cloud patterns.
  7. Explain what drives ocean circulation.
  8. Label sea floor features.
  9. Summarize the patterns and relationships within the solar system.
  10. Work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, both individually and in groups.
  11. Communicate effectively in writing or speech.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Required:
    1. Minerals
    2. Rocks
    3. Plate Tectonics
    4. Earthquakes
    5. Volcanoes
    6. The Ocean Floor
    7. The Dynamic Ocean
    8. The Atmosphere
    9. Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation
    10. Air Pressure and Wind
    11. Weather Patterns and Severe Storms
    12. Planetary Geology
  2. Optional:
    1. Ocean Water and Life
    2. Origins of Modern Astronomy
    3. Beyond our Solar System

Laboratory Activities
Instructor provided labs will accompany most topics.  At a minimum 10 labs must be completed.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
  2. Instructional methods may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
    1. Assigned readings
    2. Lecture
    3. Discussion
    4. Field trips
    5. Lab exercises
    6. Case studies
    7. Field demonstrations
    8. Video clips
    9. Web activities and links
    10. Debates
    11. Application assignments

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Required course practices are to be established by the instructor.  Completion of lab exercises is required.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Textbook: Earth Science, Tarbuck, Lutgens, and Tasa, 15th Edition, Prentice Hall. ISBN-13: 978-0-134-54353-6.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation of student learning is established by the instructor and may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Quizzes
  2. Exams
  3. Research Papers
  4. Class Participation
  5. Laboratory Reports
  6. Oral Presentations
  7. Application Assignments
  8. Field Journals

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance and other policies are established by individual instructors.

Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or participate in any required exam, study, or work on a particular day shall be excused from that exam, study, or work requirement and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up any requirement that he or she may have missed on that day, provided that he or she notifies the faculty member or instructor well in advance of any anticipated absence or conflict between a scheduled class and the religious observance, and provided that the make-up exam, study, or work does not place an unreasonable burden upon the institution.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.