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    Introduction to Earth Science

    (1 review)

    Laura Neser, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

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    Publisher: Virginia Tech Publishing

    Language: English

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    Conditions of Use

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    Reviewed by Ryan Sincavage, Associate Professor, Radford University on 11/9/23

    Very comprehensive textbook. It gives instructors flexibility in terms of which topics they want to focus on and if there are topics they will choose not to cover in their particular course. read more

    Table of Contents

    1. Understanding Science
    2.  Plate Tectonics
    3. Minerals
    4. Igneous Processes and Volcanoes
    5. Weathering, Erosion, and Sedimentary Rocks
    6. Metamorphic Rocks
    7. Geologic Time
    8. Earth History
    9. Crustal Deformation and Earthquakes
    10. Mass Wasting
    11. Water
    12. Coastlines
    13. Deserts
    14. Glaciers
    15. Global Climate Change
    16. Energy and Mineral Resources
    17. Origin of the Universe and Our Solar System

    Ancillary Material

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    About the Book

    Introduction to Earth Science is a 530+ page open textbook designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to Earth Science that can be freely accessed online, read offline, printed, or purchased as a print-on-demand book. It is intended for a typical 1000-level university introductory course in the Geosciences, although its contents could be applied to many other related courses. 

    This text includes various important features designed to enhance the student learning experience in introductory Earth Science courses. These include a multitude of high-quality figures and images within each chapter that help to clarify key concepts and are optimized for viewing online. Self-test assessment questions are embedded in each online chapter that help students focus their learning. QR codes are provided for each assessment to allow students using print or PDF versions to easily access the quiz from an internet-capable device of their choice.

    Adapted from openly-licensed works in geoscience, the sequence of the book differs from mainstream commercial texts in that it has been arranged to present elementary or foundational knowledge regarding rocks and minerals prior to discussion of more complex topics in Earth Science. Unlike prominent commercial texts for Earth Science, this book dedicates an individual chapter to each of the three major rock types, the processes of mass wasting, geological time, Earth history, and the origin of the universe and our solar system. Book content has been further customized to match the Pathways General Education Curriculum at Virginia Tech with a focus on Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for Pathways Concept 4, Reasoning in the Natural Sciences.

    Are you a professor reviewing or adopting this book for a course? Instructors adopting or reviewing this text are encouraged to record their use on this form: This helps the book's sponsors to understand this open textbook's impact.

    About the Contributors


    Laura Neser, Ph.D. is an Instructor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. Dr. Neser earned her B.S. in Geosciences at Virginia Tech in the spring of 2008 and completed her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in 2014. Her doctoral research focused on the structural geology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy of formations that were deposited along the flanks of the Beartooth Mountains as they rose during late Paleocene-Eocene time. Dr. Neser has worked as an athletic tutor and online instructor at The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC), in temporary positions as an Adjunct Instructor at Chowan University (Murfreesboro, NC) and Full-Time Lecturer at Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN), and as a Professor at Seminole State College (Sanford, FL) before starting as an Instructor at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2021.

    Although she is currently focused on teaching online sections of Introduction to Earth Science, Earth Resources, Society and the Environment, and Climate History, her teaching background is significantly broader and includes Environmental ‬Science, Astronomy, Environmental ‬Ethics, Earth History, Structural Geology, and Field Geology‬.

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