EOSC 310 · The Earth and the Solar System

The Earth as a planet: its composition, internal dynamics, and surface evolution. Rotation, magnetic field, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes. The ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere as components of a varying geo-environment. Not for credit in the Faculties of Science and Applied Science. No background in science or mathematics is required. Please consult the Faculty of Science Credit Exclusion List: www.students.ubc.ca/calendar/index.cfm?tree=12,215,410,414. [3-0-0] Prerequisite: Second-year standing.

Course Availability & Schedule

Course Syllabus

 Distance education offered

 Non-specialist course

Course Content

EOSC 310 is a course that is designed to provide you with a functional scientific literacy within the context of earth sciences. It is designed so that all students, however slight their background in science is, should be able to follow and enjoy it. (Note: Students who have taken EOSC 110 will not receive credit for EOSC 310). 

The following is a brief description of the course content:
Module 1: Solar System Formation & Planetary Development  – In this module, you will study Earth & life as natural systems, the Big Bang & formation of the galaxy, the synthesis of elements, formation of molecules, planets, and moons, as well as how the Earth’s interior segregated into its current layered structure.
Module 2: Dynamic planetary processes  – In this module, you will study moons, asteroids, comets, and impacts, what makes life on Earth comfortable, the start of plate tectonics, mantle convection, how Earth’s layers are linked to one another, how the origin of life is a planetary process, and the role of evolution and extinction in creating biodiversity.
Module 3: Climate Evolution & Supporting Life on Earth  – This module begins with a brief introduction to the coevolution of life and Earth to create a planetary fuel cell and continues on to explore the record of oxidation of the planetary surface, the importance of catastrophes, the causes & consequences of naturally induced climate change, the rise of humans, and the question: are we alone?


section 99A, Term 1: Dr. Louise Longridge

section 99C, Term 2: Dr. Louise Longridge

section 98A, Summer: Dr. Louise Longridge


Langmuir, Charles H. & Wally Broecker. How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind. ISBN: 9780691140063 (E-book: ISBN 9781400841974)