Conditions of Use
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
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.
The information presented is accurate and thorough.
There are in text links to short videos and other resources that may need to be updated in future editions, but in general the book is very relevant in terms of the current state of the science at it applies to a general student audience.
Really well written- very clear with short, crisp sentences that students should be able to follow easily. Takes complex concepts and distills them down to digestible components.
Very consistent use of terminology and figure styles. In some cases figures/photos are repeated, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Certain topics receive more treatment than others, but there is definitely enough material within the text to full a standard 15 week semester course.
Excellent, logical organization. It provides the student with a sound base level of knowledge that is needed for topics later in the course.
Easily navigated textbook, with good links to supplemental exercises and quizzes to help students test their knowledge as they progress.
Some minor typographical and grammatical errors, but overall very well written and edited.
Excellent highlights of geologists from underrepresented groups who contributed significantly to the field. Also good diversity in field photos of students and scientists working in the field.
This is an excellent, comprehensive introductory textbook that will serve both students and faculty well. I appreciate the author's efforts to expand upon topics that are sometimes given shorter coverage in traditional textbooks (ex. the different rock types, mass wasting, etc). The introductory chapter tends to lose its focus on the broader topic of science as a whole when it starts to discuss specific elements of geology, tectonics, etc, but not to the point that it is detrimental to the overall flow of the book. I look forward to implementing this textbook in future offerings of introductory courses at my institution.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Science
- Plate Tectonics
- Igneous Processes and Volcanoes
- Weathering, Erosion, and Sedimentary Rocks
- Metamorphic Rocks
- Geologic Time
- Earth History
- Crustal Deformation and Earthquakes
- Mass Wasting
- Global Climate Change
- Energy and Mineral Resources
- Origin of the Universe and Our Solar System
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: https://bit.ly/interest_intro_earth_science. 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.