Student-friendly overview of our physical environment that offers balanced, up-to-date coverage of geology, oceanography, astronomy, and meteorology. The authors focus on readability, with clear, example-driven explanations of concepts and events. The Thirteenth Edition incorporates a new active learning approach, a fully updated visual program, and is available for the first time with MasteringGeology™—the most complete, easy-to-use, engaging tutorial and assessment tool available.
Three themes recur throughout the text—“Earth as a System,” “People and the Environment,” and “Understanding Earth”—to help organize and connect concepts that may otherwise seem disparate
Chapter 1 starts with a discussion of “Earth System Science”—and the theme of “Earth System Science” keeps recurring throughout all major units of the book. It is a thread that “weaves” throughout the chapters and helps tie them together. In addition, each chapter concludes with an Examining the Earth System section. The questions and problems found here are intended to develop an awareness and appreciation for some of the Earth system’s many interrelationships.
The text integrates a great deal of information about the relationship between people and the natural environment and explores the application of the Earth sciences to understanding and solving problems that arise from these interactions. In addition to many basic text discussions, many of the text’s special interest boxes involve the “People and the Environment” theme.
Developing an understanding of how science is done and how scientists work is the third important theme that appears throughout this book. In Chapter 1, in the section “The Nature of Scientific Inquiry” students will be introduced to this concept. They will examine some of the challenges encountered by scientists as they attempt to acquire reliable data about our planet and students will learn about some of the ingenious methods that have been developed to overcome these obstacles. Students will also explore many examples of how hypotheses are formulated and tested, as well as learn about the evolution and development of some major scientific theories.
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