Understanding Planet Earth

Subject ERTH10002 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week for eight weeks; 1 x three hour practical class per week for eight weeks; 4 days of field excursion during the mid-semester recess
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Anne-Marie Tosolini


Email: a.tosolini@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the processes governing the geological evolution of the Earth. This will be achieved via the lecture series, practical sessions and a four-day field trip, providing hands-on and theoretical investigations employing Victoria’s geology.

Initial topics covered in this subject include minerals, rocks and fossils.

The subject continues on to cover the topics of structural, metamorphic and economic aspects of our regional geology.

These studies are integrated with field case studies, during a four day field trip to collect fossils, rocks and minerals that are used to interpret the geological evolution of the region.

On completion of this subject, students should understand and be able to identify the basic components that make up planet Earth; comprehend the diversity of the rock-forming minerals, the processes by which rocks form and evolve; the use of structural geology in interpreting the relationships between rock units in time and space; the contribution of palæontology to the study of evolution; and climate change over geological time. Students should appreciate the contribution of geology to the interpretation of the history of planet Earth.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject builds upon the theoretical big picture approach of ERTH10001 The Global Environment. It provides greater depth to many of the topics introduced in ERTH10001 The Global Environment using geological studies to a gain an understanding of the evolution of the Melbourne and Victorian environment.

On completion of this subject students should appreciate how different types of data, samples and observations are integrated to interpret Earth processes. Students should also have begun to develop practical skills in the acquisition of data in the field and laboratory, essential to unravelling such processes.


Assessment of practical class exercises (10%); a mid-semester 2-hour practical examination (25%); field exercises during the mid-semester field trip (40%); a written report of up to 1000 words due at the end of the semester (25%).

A pass in the practical and fieldwork components is necessary to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

To be advised

Recommended Texts:

"Earth's Dynamic Systems", Web Edition, Hamblin and Christiansen (available online)

"Understanding Earth", 6th Edition, Grotzinger and Jordan

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their discipline knowledge to issues of public debate. These include the ozone hole, the greenhouse effect and sea level rise. The subject will provide experience in presenting technical topics in written form, a skill that is useful in later work. Students will also participate in some simple collaborative projects that will enable them to develop skills for the design and completion of technical experiments. Other generic skills acquired in this subject include learning how to sharpen observation skills and how to grapple with unravelling complex processes.


Special Requirements: Students should consult the Earth Sciences web site for field trip dates, charges for excursions, accommodation and food, and other information including safety and behaviour requirements: http://www.earthsci.unimelb.edu.au/field-trips

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Previously known as 625-104 The Earth, Atmosphere and Oceans (prior to 2010)

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Environments
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Earth's Structure
Geology in the field

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