|What Is in This Section?|
Earth System Science
This subsection introduces you to the interdisciplinary realm of Earth system science. A short history of the evolving interest in examining interactions between different "brands" of science within the natural Earth system is provided. Special problems of investigating the richly interactive Earth system in the context of an "open scientific system" - as opposed to a controlled experiment in the laboratory - are introduced. The special role of humans in Earth system science is also introduced.
This topic focuses on the rules of logic in investigating natural systems that we cannot control; and a most important aspect of examining the interactions between different cause-effect processes that operate within an open Earth system. Cause-effect processes in the biosphere may have significant interactions with cause-effect processes in the atmosphere, or hydrosphere. The science of the geosphere has important implications for climate and climate change. Weather and climate changes feed back into the behavior of the hydrosphere, and various biological systems living within. Teaching about the simplistic causeeffect relationships within a specific discipline is a perfect beginning for 21st Century Earth System Science Education, but is not the perfect ending. Teaching interactions, feedbacks, and implications are fundamental to Earth System Science Education (ESSE).
Earth System Science Educational Strategies
A brief introduction to strategies of initiating ESSE at colleges and universities is also provided in this section. Decisions about breadth and depth of a curricular track are the most fundamental aspect of curriculum design. Relationships between ESSE courses and collegiate requirements are important considerations.
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