SURV 114 - Earth Sciences

Course Details
Course Code:
SURV 114


Calendar Description:
This introductory course is designed to acquaint Geomatics students with the fundamental concepts of Earth Science and will demonstrate the importance of the topic to their future practice of Geomatics. Topics include the Earth (evolution, structure, gravity and magnetic fields, etc.), Forces within the Earth (Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, etc.), the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (composition, heat and temperature, climate and weather, etc.), Sculpturing the Earth’s Surface (weathering, glaciers, resulting landforms), Earth Materials (minerals, rocks), and the Biosphere (Forests of the world). Wherever relevant, the central focus will be on Canada and British Columbia (e.g. Climate, Landforms, Minerals and Rocks, and Trees).

Date First Offered:

Total Hours: 20
Lecture Hours: 2

Total Weeks:

This course is offered online:


Non-Course Pre-Requisites:


Rearticulation Submission:

Course Content:
The Earth
- evolution
- geologic history
- structure
- earth/sun geometric relationships
- four "spheres"

Forces Within the Earth
- plate tectonics
- earthquakes
- volcanoes
- mountain building and results re: British Columbia

Earth's Atmosphere 1
- composition
- height and structure
- Air pressure
- heat and temperature
- wind

Earth's Atmosphere 2 and Hydrosphere
- moisture
- clouds and precipitation
- weather and climate
- weather patterns
- seasons
- climate classifications
- B.C. weather and climate

Sculpturing the Earth's Surface
- weathering
- running water and ground water
- glaciers and geomorphology of Canada and British Columbia

Earth Materials
- minerals
- rocks
- minerals and rocks of Canada and British Columbia)

- general
- forests of the world
- forests of Canada and British Columbia
- trees of British Columbia

Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

- Describe the evolution of the earth and other planets in our solar system; a brief geologic history of the earth; the structure of the earth; the earth's gravity and magnetic fields and their importance to the practice of geomatics;earth/sun geometrical relationship; the Lithosphere, the Atmosphere, the Hydrosphere and the Biosphere

- Describe the nature and results of various forces within the earth : Plate Tectonics resulting in earthquakes, Volcanoes and Mountain building; and will describe the history of these elements with regards to British Columbia

- Describe the earth's atmosphere - it's composition, height and structure; the differences between heat and temperature; air pressure and wind; moisture, clouds and precipitation; weather and climate; the seasons, and; climates for the world, Canada and British Columbia

- Describe the forces that sculpt the earth's surface - weathering, running water, and glaciers, and the resulting landforms in British Columbia

- Describe the materials of the lithosphere- minerals and rocks, with emphasis on minerals and rocks of British Columbia

- Describe the earth's biosphere with emphasis of the trees of Canada and British Columbia

Grading System:

Passing Grade:
D (50%)

Grading Weight:
Final Exam: 50 %
Midterm Exam: 20 %
Quizzes and Tests: 15 %
Assignments: 15 %

Percentage of Individual Work:

Course Offered in Other Programs:

Additional Comments:
Assignments/Labs: Assignments are to be completed and submitted by the announced due dates. Submissions received more than 7 days late will suffer a 50% marks penalty. Submissions received more than 14 days late will not be marked. Assignments must be done on an individual basis unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Makeup Tests, Exams or Quizzes: There will be no makeup tests, exams or quizzes. If you miss a test, exam or quiz, you will receive zero marks. Exceptions may be made for documented medical reasons or extenuating circumstances. In such a case, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor immediately.

Ethics: NLC assumes that all students attending the institution will follow a high standard of ethics. Incidents of cheating or plagiarism may, therefore, result in a grade of zero for the assignment, quiz, test, exam, or project for all parties involved and/or expulsion from the course.

Attendance: Attendance in all lectures is mandatory.

Illness: A doctor’s note is required for any illness causing you to miss assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, or exam. At the discretion of the instructor, you may complete the work missed or have the work prorated.

Attempts: Students must successfully complete a course within a maximum of three attempts at the course. Students with two attempts in a single course will be allowed to repeat the course only upon special written permission from the Dean. Students who have not successfully completed a course within three attempts will not be eligible to graduate from the appropriate program.

Course Outline Changes: The material or schedule specified in this course outline may be changed by the instructor. If changes are required, they will be announced in class.

Text Books:

Required - Tarbuck, E.J., Lutgens, F.K., 2006, Earth Sciences, 11th Edition (Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc.). Chapters Covered: 1-11, 15-18
Required - Christopherson, R.W., Byrne, M., 2006, Geosystems - An Introduction to Physcial Geography (Canadian Edition) (Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc.). Chapters Covered: 1-9, 11-18, 20
Required - Gov't of BC, Mininstry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources, Mineral Resources Division, Geological Survey Branch, The Identification of Common Rocks, Information Circular 1987-5
Required - Government of BC, Ministry of Forests, Tree Book - Learning to Recognize Trees of BC