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Getting to know Earth LAC

Explore the atmosphere and hydrosphere to discover how air and water molecules are cycled. Dig into the pedosphere to learn how soil is formed. Investigate the diversity of life in Earth's biosphere.

What you'll learn:

This is a basic, introductory and short course into environmental science. Students will learn basic information about each Earth sphere. Module 1 will include layers and composition of the atmosphere, weather & global convection currents, monsoons, the rain shadow effect and an introduction to climate. Module 2 will delve into the hydrosphere with a quick course in water cycle reservoirs and transfer processes, issues with water consumption, and the (uneven) global distribution and consumption of water. Module 3 will focus on soils (pedosphere) and their importance to life and human society, how soils form, their basic properties that enable them to store, transmit and cycle water and nutrients, and how soils are degraded by some human activities. Finally, Module 4 will tie all of the Earth spheres together by exploring Earth’s biomes and what types of life forms live in each, and the reasons for recent declines in biodiversity.

Note: This course is not hosted on the Starbucks Global Academy platform. After enrolling, the course content will direct you on how to complete registration for this content.

Meet your instructor:

Susannah Sandrin, Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Sandrin has an interdisciplinary background in environmental science, hydrology and engineering. She currently teaches a large, popular introductory environmental science course at ASU. Her research interests are related to STEM education and strategies for engaging a more diverse group of future scientists and engineers to help us solve our challenges of the future. She is eternally optimistic due to her experiences working with the fabulous students at ASU as she recognizes their immense potential and passion for making the world a better place.