list 5 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

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timer 30 hours in total

About the content

Earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, ice ages, landslides, floods, life evolution, plate motions—all of these phenomena have interacted over the vast expanses of deep time to sculpt the dynamic planet that we live on today. Planet Earth presents an overview of several aspects of our home, from a geological perspective. We begin with earthquakes—what they are, what causes them, what effects they have, and what we can do about them. We will emphasize that plate tectonics—the grand unifying theory of geology—explains how the map of our planet's surface has changed radically over geologic time, and why present-day geologic activity—including a variety of devastating natural disasters such as earthquakes—occur where they do. We consider volcanoes, types of eruptions, and typical rocks found there. Finally, we will delve into the processes that produce the energy and mineral resources that modern society depends on, to help understand the context of the environment and sustainability challenges that we will face in the future.

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Syllabus

WEEK 1:  Earthquakes!
  • Just what is an earthquake?
  • Recording and measuring shakes
  • Consequences of quakes
  • Prediction and preparation
WEEK 2:  Plate Tectonics
  • Continental drift and sea-floor spreading
  • What is a plate?
  • Plate boundaries
  • Earthquakes and plate tectonics
WEEK 3:  Volcanoes!
  • Where does molten rock come from?
  • Introduction to igneous rocks
  • Types of eruptions
  • Volcanic hazards 
WEEK 4:  Riches in Rocks
  • What is the "stuff" of modern life?
  • Where do the elements come from?
  • Soil: the base for life
  • Mining metals and quarrying rocks
WEEK 5:  The Sources of Power
  • What's the "fossil" in fossil fuel?
  • How do we find oil?
  • Nuclear power
  • Energy challenges in the future
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Instructors

Dr. Stephen Marshak
Professor and Director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment
Department of Geology

Dr. Eileen Herrstrom
Lecturer
Geology

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Content designer

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.
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Platform

Coursera

Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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