ERSC302 Geomorphology (3 semester hours)

Geomorphology is the study of the physical features of the Earth’s crust. The study of geomorphology helps us understand not only about the earth as it is today, but also as it may have been in the past. Climate change and global warming are hot issues in current events these days, but how do scientists determine the climate is actually changing? Through observation of what we see today, and comparison to what we “see” in the past. This allows us to determine if the climate of the earth has always been like it is today or whether it's changed over time. With that knowledge we can predict how the climate might change (or not) in the future. If global warming and cooling has happened before, then it might happen again. One way to determine past climatic conditions is to study the landscape. What types of landforms are associated with different climatic conditions? The Midwest used to be the bottom of a vast shallow sea; the northern part of our continent was sculpted by glaciers that no longer exist. Understanding geomorphology, gives us insight to the landforms we see today that are the result of processes no longer at work on the landscape. (Prerequisite: SCIN138)