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California State University, Dominguez Hills Earth Science
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Earth Science

Carson, USA




Earth Science

The Earth Science major is one of two programs housed in the Department of Earth Science and Geography. The Earth Science degree is a cross-disciplinary program that trains students for careers involving earth system science, which broadly includes the physical science behind the interactions of the lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. The Earth Science program also examines the contribution of those systems to natural landscapes and geological hazards, during the modern era and through geological time. Importantly, it also considers the relationship of human populations to these geosystems.

If you are curious about the answers to the following questions, Earth Science might be the right major for you:

  • How and when did the Earth form? How has Earth evolved? What is the history of life on Earth? When did the mass extinctions occur, and what caused them?
  • What is plate tectonics, and how do tectonic plates interact? How do mountains form? How, where and why do volcanoes form? What causes earthquakes? Can we predict them? Why or why not? How do tsunamis form?
  • What are the different drainage patterns for river systems? How do flowing water and ice sculpt the landscape? How does the generation of hydroelectricity change the characteristics of flowing rivers?
  • What is groundwater, why is it important to humans, and what are the implications of groundwater contamination?
  • What has Earth’s climate been like in the past? How might climate change in the future? What is the “greenhouse effect” and ocean acidification? What is the carbon cycle, and why is it important?
  • What are the differences between non-renewable, renewable and perpetual natural resources? What is the nature of supply vs. demand in regard to water, petroleum, coal, minerals, and other natural resources? What are the pros and cons of various energy sources including nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and carbon-based fuels?


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