THE FOUR BRANCHES OF GEOSCIENCE Geoscience • Geology • Astronomy • Oceanography • Meteorology GEOLOGY The study of the solid Earth and the processes that shape it. ASTRONOMY The study of the universe beyond Earth OCEANOGRAPHY Study of the Earth’s oceans METEOROLOGY The study of the Earth’s atmosphere 4 Branches of Geoscience Have you ever wondered why a volcano erupts? Or felt the Earth shake? • Long ago early humans saw these things happening and wondered why and how. To explain these natural phenomena ancient people forged myths and legends, attributing such events to powerful supernatural forces. • Angry goddesses hurled fire from volcanoes; giants wrestled underground causing the Earth to shake. • Not until humans began to make careful observations and searched for natural causes did scientific study begin. • The Chinese began keeping written records of earthquakes as early as 780 B.C. • The Greeks compiled catalogs of rocks and minerals in the 3rd century B.C. • The Mayas in Central America, kept track of the movements of the Sun, moon, and planets. Why do you think they would watch the planets move? They used these observation s to make accurate calendars Why would you want to have a calendar? Planting crops, fishing the tides, seasons, when to move, etc. What is Geoscience? The study of the Earth and of the universe around it • Earth science like most modern sciences are based on the assumption that the causes of natural phenomena can be discovered through careful observation and experimentation Review • What is Geoscience? • What are the four branches of Geoscience?