EOSC 311 · The Earth and its Resources

An introduction to the Earth with emphasis on its industrial and aesthetic resources. Rocks, minerals, gold, diamonds, sediments, fossils, oil and gas, canyons, and volcanoes and the processes that create them. Not for credit in the Faculties of Science and Applied Science. No background in Science or Mathematics is required. [3-0-0] Prerequisite: Second-year standing.

Course Availability & Schedule

Course Syllabus

 Distance education offered

 Non-specialist course


Michelle N. Lamberson


No purchased textbook; course uses a combination of open textbooks and online resources.

Lecture Topics

Week Topic
1-2 Understanding Geology.  This module introduces you to the course, your classmates and geology as a science and a profession. You will be encouraged to get to know your classmates and the course subject matter and challenged to begin to understand what the geosciences mean to you.
3-4 Fundamental Concepts in Geology. In this module, we tackle subject areas that deal with fundamental concepts in geology including geological time and plate tectonics, particularly as they impact our local region. 
5-6 Earth Materials and their Distribution in Vancouver. This module focuses on the origin and distribution of earth materials, drawing examples from the Vancouver region and other parts of BC. We will introduce a classification for earth resources, examining their distribution in BC.
7-9 Interior Processes. This module focuses on major interior processes that result in large scale earth movements, volcanism and magmatism (underground igneous activity). We'll build on our plate tectonics and earth materials knowledge to better understand such hazards as earthquakes and volcanism, as well as processes such as mountain building and ore deposit formation.  Spans Winter Term Break
10-11 Surface and Near-Surface Processes. This module focuses on processes that happen at or near the surface of the Earth. We will examine the processes associated with near-surface resources, including water, gravel and organic materials.
12-13 Earth Resources. This module summarizes our understanding of the formation and concentration of earth resources, with a particular emphasis on the metal and energy resources important to British Columbia.