Earth Science 13th Edition
Earth Science, 13th Edition, is a college-level text designed for an introductory course in Earth science. It consists of seven units that emphasize broad and up-to-date coverage of basic topics and principles in geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. The book is intended to be a meaningful, nontechnical survey for undergraduate students with little background in science. Usually these students are taking an Earth science class to meet a portion of their college or university’s general requirements. In addition to being informative and up-to-date, Earth Science, 13th Edition, strives to meet the need of beginning students for a readable and user-friendly text and a highly usable “tool” for learning basic Earth science principles and concepts.
New to This Edition
• An enhanced active learning approach. Each chapter begins with Focus on Concepts—a series of questions that alert students to important ideas in the chapter. Within the chapter, each major section concludes with Concept Checksthat allow students to monitor their understanding and comprehension of significant facts and ideas. Each chapter concludes with a new section called Give It Some Thought. These questions and problems challenge learners by involving them in activities that require higher-order thinking skills that include the synthesis, analysis, and application of material in the chapter.
• MasteringGeology™. Used by over one million science students each year, the Mastering platform is the most effective and widely used online homework, tutorial, and assessment system for the sciences. Earth Science, 13th Edition, is supported by MasteringGeology assignable activities that include geoscience animations, Encounter Earth Google Earth™ multimedia activities, and GEODe activities, as well as a robust student self Study Area with many digital resources including a Pearson eText version of Earth Science. www.masteringgeology.com.
• A stronger art program. Dozens of figures are new or redrawn. The result is art that is clearer and easier to understand. Numerous diagrams and maps are paired with photographs for greater effectiveness. Many new and revised art pieces also have additional labels that “narrate” the process being illustrated and/or “guide” students as they examine the figure.
• More than 150 new, high-quality photos and satellite images. New “Geologist’s Sketch” illustrations accompany many important photographs and satellite images. Each sketch, which resembles what a geologist or other Earth scientist might put in a field notebook, helps the student identify important and sometimes subtle aspects of an image.
This author–artist collaboration helps make an already strong visual component even stronger and more effective.
• New “Professional Profile” boxes. Eight chapters include essays that present profiles of working Earth scientists. These special boxes are intended to give students a sense of what Earth scientists do and a perspective on a variety of careers in Earth science.
• Revised and updated content. A basic function of a college science textbook is to provide clear, understandable presentations that are accurate, engaging, and up-to-date. Our foremost goal is to keep Earth Science current, relevant, and highly readable for the beginning student. With this goal in mind, every part of the book was examined carefully. Significant changes were made throughout, including the chapters on minerals, running water and groundwater, plate tectonics, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Discussions on the ocean floor, global cli mate change, hurricanes, the solar system, stellar evolution, and the big bang theory also received considerable attention.
The language of this book is straightforward and written to be understood. Clear, readable discussions with a minimum of technical language are the rule. Frequent headings and subheadings help students follow discussions and identify the important ideas presented in each chapter. In this edition, improved readability was achieved by examining chapter organization and flow, and writing in a more personal style. Large portions of the text were substantially rewritten in an effort to make the material more understandable.
Focus on Basic Principles and Instructor Flexibility
Although many topical issues are treated in Earth Science, 13th Edition, it should be emphasized that the main focus of this new edition remains the same as its predecessors—to promote student understanding of basic Earth science principles. Whereas student use of the text is a primary concern, the book’s adaptability to the needs and desires of the instructor is equally important. Realizing the broad diversity of Earth science courses in both content and approach, we have continued to use a relatively nonintegrated format to allow maximum flexibility for the instructor. Each of the major units stands alone; hence, they can be taught in any order. A unit can be omitted entirely without appreciable loss of continuity, and portions of some chapters may be interchanged or excluded at the instructor’s discretion.
A Strong Visual Component
Earth science is highly visual, so art and photographs play a critical role in an introductory textbook. As in previous editions, Dennis Tasa, a gifted artist and respected Earth science illustrator, has worked closely with the authors to plan and produce the diagrams, maps, graphs, and sketches that are so basic to student understanding. The result is art that is clearer and easier to understand. Our aim is to get the maximum effectiveness from the visual component of the book. Michael Collier aided us greatly in this quest. Many of his extraordinary aerial photographs were used in the new edition. Michael is an award-winning geologist-photographer. Among his many awards is the American Geological Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences. We are fortunate to have had Michael’s assistance in Earth Science, 13th Edition. Three Important Themes Chapter 1, “Introduction to Earth Science,” presents students with three important themes that recur throughout the book: Earth as a System, People and the Environment, and Understanding Earth.
Earth as a System
An important occurrence in modern science has been the realization that Earth is a giant multidimensional system. Our planet consists of many separate but interacting parts. A change in any one part can produce changes in any or all of the other parts— often in ways that are neither obvious nor immediately apparent. Although it is not possible to study the entire system at once, it is possible to develop an awareness and appreciation for the concept and for many of the system’s important interrelationships. Therefore, starting with the revised discussion of “Earth System Science” in Chapter 1, the theme of “Earth as a System” keeps recurring throughout all major units of the book. It is a thread that “weaves” throughout the chapters and helps tie them together. Several new and revised special interest boxes relate to “Earth as a System.” In addition, each chapter concludes with an Examining the Earth System section. The questions and problems found here are intended to develop an awareness and appreciation for some of the Earth system’s many interrelationships.
People and the Environment
Because knowledge about our planet and how it works is necessary to our survival and well-being, the treatment of environmental issues has always been an important part of Earth Science. Such discussions serve to illustrate the relevance and application of Earth science knowledge. With each new edition this focus has been given greater emphasis. This is certainly the case with this edition. The text integrates a great deal of information about the relationship between people and the natural environment and explores the application of the Earth sciences to understanding and solving problems that arise from these interactions. In addition to many basic text discussions, many of the text’s special interest boxes involve the “People and the Environment” theme.
As members of a modern society, we are constantly reminded of the benefits derived from science. But what exactly is the nature of scientific inquiry? Developing an understanding of how science is done and how scientists work is a third important theme that appears throughout this book, beginning with the section “The Nature of Scientific Inquiry” in Chapter 1. Students will examine some of the difficulties encountered by scientists as they attempt to acquire reliable data about our planet and some of the ingenious methods that have been developed to overcome these difficulties. Students will also explore many examples of how hypotheses are formulated and tested, as well as learn about the evolution and development of some major scientific theories.
Many basic text discussions as well as a number of the special interest boxes on “Understanding Earth” provide the reader with a sense of the observational techniques and reasoning processes involved in developing scientific knowledge. The emphasis is not just on what scientists know, but how they figured it out
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