About this Course
4.8
26 ratings
13 reviews
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Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 32 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 6-8 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 32 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 6-8 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Orientation

You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course....
Reading
8 readings, 1 quiz
Reading8 readings
Welcome to Planet Earth...and You!10m
Syllabus15m
Google Earth Instructions30m
Updating Your Profile10m
Social Media5m
About the Discussion Forums15m
How Graded Discussions Work10m
Discussion Rubric10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Orientation Quiz15m
Hours to complete
8 hours to complete

Week 1: Earthquakes!

In the lectures for this week, we will consider what an earthquake is, how it occurs, how we can record and measure its size, and what we can do to mitigate damage. Our first weekly assignment consists of reporting your own experience with earthquakes (if any). The Week 1 Lab gives you a chance to work with seismograms, locate an earthquake epicenter, and determine magnitude. Finally, the Week 1 Discussion addresses the balance between risks from quakes and costs of preventive measures. ...
Reading
18 videos (Total 115 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video18 videos
1.A.2 Generation of Earthquake Vibrations5m
1.A.3 Introduction to Faults4m
1.A.4 Types of Faults5m
1.A.5 Earthquake Waves6m
1.B.1 The Intensity and Magnitude of Earthquakes6m
1.B.2 Seismometers4m
1.B.3 Interpreting Seismograms and Earthquake Magnitude4m
1.B.4 Comparing Earthquakes5m
1.C.1 Damage Due to Ground Shaking5m
1.C.2 Other Consequences of Earthquakes7m
1.C.3 Tsunamis8m
1.D.1 The First Step in Predicting Earthquakes: Recognizing Where They Occur6m
1.D.2 Earthquake Recurrence Interval7m
1.D.3 Interpreting The Recurrence Interval4m
1.D.4 Efforts to Prevent Earthquake Devastation5m
1.D.5 Mitigating Earthquake Damage7m
Week 1 Lab: Triangulation Lab 13m
Reading1 reading
Week 1 Overview10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Week 1 Quizm
Week 1 Assignmentm
Week 1 Lab30m
Week
2
Hours to complete
9 hours to complete

Week 2: Plate Tectonics

In the early twentieth century, publication of the hypothesis on continental drift caused an uproar that soon died down. Data collected in mid-century led geologists to reconsider the idea that continents could move. During the 1960s and 1970s, old ideas were reworked into what is now called the theory of plate tectonics. As we will see, this robust theory encompasses many geological phenomena that appear to be unrelated at first glance: earthquakes and volcanoes, but also ice ages, fossils, and mountains. Today, plate tectonics provides an overarching framework for interpreting the Earth. We study its details in Week 2, but we will return to this theory again and again throughout the rest of this course....
Reading
17 videos (Total 128 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video17 videos
2.A.2 Alfred Wegener & Continental Drift5m
2.A.3 Evidence for Continental Drift6m
2.A.4 New Discoveries Leading to Plate Tectonics: Seafloor Bathymetry10m
2.A.5 New Discoveries Leading to Plate Tectonics: Apparent Polar-Wander Paths7m
2.A.6 New Discoveries Leading to Plate Tectonics: Evidence for Seafloor Spreading11m
2.B.1 Discovering Plate Tectonics4m
2.B.2 Earth's Internal Layers and the Concept of a Plate7m
2.B.3 Three Types of Plate Boundaries: Divergent Plate Boundary6m
2.B.4 Three Types of Plate Boundaries: Convergent Plate Boundary6m
2.B.5 Three Types of Plate Boundaries: Transform Plate Boundary5m
2.B.6 Continental Rifts and Continental Collisions5m
2.B.7 Intraplate Earthquakes6m
2.B.8 The Velocity of Plate Motion7m
2.B.9 Plate Driving Mechanisms7m
Week 2 Lab: Plate Tectonics! Lab Part 111m
Week 2 Lab: Plate Tectonics! Lab Part 214m
Reading1 reading
Week 2 Overview10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Week 2 Quizm
Week 2 Assignmentm
Week 2 Labm
Week
3
Hours to complete
8 hours to complete

Week 3: Volcanoes!

This week, you will learn how and where rocks can melt, and what happens when molten material of various compositions bursts out of the ground. The lecture videos also cover different types of eruptions, as well as the rocks and mountains produced by them. In the lab, you will study details about the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79. The discussion forum gives you the opportunity to weigh risks to people living on or near volcanoes and what can be done to minimize damage and loss of life. The weekly assignment provides a place for you to share your own experiences with volcanoes or eruptions or, if you have never been near a volcano, your thoughts about such events....
Reading
23 videos (Total 149 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video23 videos
3.A.2 Where Does Molten Rock Come From?5m
3.A.3 How Does Rock Melt?6m
3.A.4 Forming Molten Rock; a Magma Composition5m
3.A.5 Volcanoes Associated with Subduction5m
3.A.6 Melting at Rifts and Mid-Ocean Ridges6m
3.A.7 Melting at Hot Spots7m
3.B.1 Introduction to Igneous Rocks6m
3.B.2 What Are Igneous Rocks Composed Of?5m
3.B.3 When Molten Rock Solidifies7m
3.C.1 Types of Volcanic Eruptions6m
3.C.2 Magma and Lava with Gas6m
3.C.3 Eruption Materials6m
3.C.4 Pyroclastic Debris4m
3.C.5 Three Different Volcano Shapes5m
3.C.6 Eruption Styles and Case Studies4m
3.C.7 Case Studies of Volcanic Explosions: Pompeii, Present-Day Italy9m
3.C.8 Super Volcanoes in the Geologic Record7m
3.D.1 Volcanic Hazards, Part 15m
3.D.2 Volcanic Hazards, Part 28m
3.E.1 Predicting Volcanic Eruptions7m
3.E.2 Dealing with Volcanic Hazards6m
Week 3 Lab: Volcanoes! Lab Introduction 8m
Reading1 reading
Week 3 Overview10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Week 3 Quizm
Week 3 Assignmentm
Week 3 Lab30m
Week
4
Hours to complete
10 hours to complete

Week 4: Rocks and Mineral Resources

As part of the Week 4 Assignment, you will take a close look at your daily surroundings to identify Earth resources. The video lectures for the week examine various aspects of finding, extracting, and using resources such as metals and stones. For the lab, you will utilize Google Earth to examine several mining sites around the world. In the discussion, you will weigh the pros and cons of mining operations, as many communities have had to do already. This week also includes peer grading discussions, as explained on the How Graded Discussions Work page. Finally, we provide an optional assignment for those who would like to identify some common minerals....
Reading
19 videos (Total 141 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video19 videos
4.A.2 Origin of Earth Materials5m
4.A.3 Defining Minerals7m
4.A.4 Clues for Identifying Minerals8m
4.B.1 Introducing Classes of Rocks5m
4.B.2 The Nature of Igneous Rocks9m
4.B.3 Different Types of Sedimentary Rocks4m
4.B.4 Formation of Clastic Sedimentary Rocks6m
4.B.5 Primary Sedimentary Structures and Sedimentary Basins6m
4.B.6 Carbonate Sedimentary Rocks6m
4.C.1 How Rocks Can Change11m
4.C.2 Metamorphic Rocks Part 18m
4.C.3 Metamorphic Rocks Part 27m
4.C.4 The Rock Cycle3m
4.D.1 The Practical Uses of Rocks8m
4.D.2 The Nature of Metal Ore Deposits9m
4.D.3 Global Steel Usage5m
4.E.1 Non-Metallic Minerals – Concrete and Crushed Rock10m
4.E.2 Other Non-Metallic Resources – Brick, Gypsum, Dimension Stone9m
Reading1 reading
Week 4 Overview10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Week 4 Quizm
Week 4 Assignmentm
Week 4 Lab30m

Instructors

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Dr. Stephen Marshak

Professor and Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment
Department of Geology
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Dr. Eileen Herrstrom

Lecturer
Geology

About University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement, distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty and alumni. Illinois serves the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and finding solutions to critical societal needs. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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