Athabasca University offers distance education courses in science, at freshman and higher levels. It has a number of geology and astronomy courses, and recently opened a planetary science course as the first upper division astronomy course after many years of offering freshman astronomy. Astronomy 310, Planetary Science, focuses on process in the Solar System on bodies other than Earth. This process-oriented course uses W. F. Hartmann's "Moons and Planets" as its textbook. It primarily approaches the subject from an astronomy and physics perspective. Geology 415, Earth's Origin and Early Evolution, is based on the same textbook, but explores the evidence for the various processes, events, and materials involved in the formation and evolution of Earth. The course provides an overview of objects in the Solar System, including the Sun, the planets, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. Earth's place in the solar system is examined and physical laws that govern the motion of objects in the universe are looked at. Various geochemical tools and techniques used by geologists to reveal and interpret the evidence for the formation and evolution of bodies in the solar system as well as the age of earth are also explored. After looking at lines of evidence used to reconstruct the evolution of the solar system, processes involved in the formation of planets and stars are examined. The course concludes with a look at the origin and nature of Earth's internal structure. GEOL415 is a senior undergraduate course and enrols about 15-30 students annually. The courses are delivered online via Moodle and student evaluation is conducted through assignments and invigilated examinations.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #227
- Pub Date:
- January 2016