Benefits of courses are on full display by the Earth Science Department

By Eduardo Sanchez

The Geography, Geology and Anthropology departments celebrated Earth Day by hosting an open house to share the benefits students can get from taking their courses.
There are open classes for the fall semester and can be used as alternatives for difficult courses like chemistry and physics.
For an assignment in her geography class, Professor Tiffany Seeley has students map the trees that were removed from campus due to construction.
Using a Geographic Information System (GIS) database, they found that 360 trees were affected.
Seeley said the college had promised “if they took away the trees, they would add more.”
Once the mapping was complete, it was discovered there were not enough trees to replace the ones taken.
Due to COVID-19, the class has not been in-person and so no updates have been made since.
Last semester, more trees were added.
Seeley hopes to create another similar assignment in her upcoming Geography/GIS course to find the new results.
The course, returning in the fall semester, will study the Earth and teach students how to create maps using GIS.
Seeley said learning to map and use GIS has helped several students get jobs as it is a skill not known by many.
Mapping with GIS databases is not limited to geography but can be used in every profession.
Business and marketing are two examples of companies using GIS to map their locations and plan where new locations would be most successful.
Public services and cities use it to help keep records and even some mobile map applications rely on GIS to function.
Unlike in geography, geology not only studies the Earth but focuses on its natural disasters.
From volcanoes and earthquakes to meteors and human intervention and how these have impacted the planet.
Randall Adsit, the geology professor, said the planet is at a point where if the global warming continues the current trend, the planet will be able to recover from global warming.
Adsit said scientists are unsure where the turning point for the planet is when it comes to global warming. One potential indicator is the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet.
The melting of the ice sheet will create a clycical effect where the melting will create a melting of ice.
“That will raise sea levels by a foot or so. It doesn’t sound like much but that means your favorite beach is gone. That means that the port sea level rose, the dock is too low, and you have millions of dollars of infrastructures that are now worthless,” Adsit said.
This is especially low-level countries where an extra foot of sea level at high tide would flood parts of the country.
The geology course will discuss more natural disasters and even go into how students can help protect themselves from them.
For students needing to complete lab and general course requirements, anthropology courses prove to be more accessible instead of more difficult ones like chemistry and physics.
Anthropology deals with the study of humans.
It dives into past human evolution and studies how they evolved.
Other areas of Archeology and paleontology studies, with each anthropology course being different.
“(Anthropology) opens the same door as sociology and even psychology.
It sets you up for being able to do social science and research regardless of whether you become a teacher or a social worker or a lawyer or a doctor,” Professor Julie Bernard said.
Taking anthropology courses can help students cross off requisites such as life science and social science.
All of the courses are eligible as electives and are University of California and California State University transferable.

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