Syllabus: Introduction to Geosciences

Subject name

Introduction to Geosciences (including Experiments)





Main language


Course Purpose and Description

Major subjects of the sciences of the earth and the universe will be covered. Focus will be given to the regularities in the phenomena of the earth and the universe, and how they were recognized. Using computers, data visualization and numerical experimentation about the earth and the universe.

Learning Objectives

To possess basic knowledge about the major subjects of the science of the earth and space that are taught in junior and senior high schools.


Instructional Methods

The outline of the class and reading materials (other than the textbook) will be posted on the Web. Web materials will be updated as needed. The materials and figures in the textbook will be referenced in class. To understand relationship between physical quantities, calculations will be conducted to examine how change in one variable can affect other variables. Students are required to complete exercises and submit short reports, to become familiar with handling numerical values with the dimensions and units of physical quantities, quantities distributed in space and time. For computation, R language on personal computers will be used.

Self-study before/after classes

Teaching materials will be posted on the Web and updated after class with additional explanations not covered in the class. Students are advised to read them before the next class and proactively ask questions. A short report must be submitted, even if incomplete. The use of computers will be demonstrated, but there is no time to provide on-the-spot instruction. Students should master computer usage by working together with other students, based on the materials. No books other than the textbooks are assigned. Books may be introduced in the class; students are encouraged to read them.

Methods of Evaluation and Grading Criteria

Final exam (60%), short reports (40%; 4 reports 10% each).


There are no prerequisites. However, knowledge of high school level mathematics, physics, and chemistry may be beneficial. Items of background knowledge to be used include basic statistics; exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; calculus; two- and three-dimensional coordinates; forces and motion; heat and temperature; ideal gas equations; etc. Information literacy may be required to read Web materials, handle data files, and write reports.


Hamajima Shoten, "Shin Chigaku Zuhyo (Earth Science Illustrations, New Edition)". ISBN 978-4-8343-4012-9. (This is a reference for high school students. It is used during the classes to look at diagrams and photos. Note that documentation of information sources in this book is insufficient for university-level learning. It is planned (though not decided yet) that students may be use this book during the examination as well.

Reference Materials

References and recommended books for those who hope to study more will be introduced on the class website.

Related Study Fields and Courses

"Introduction to earth sciences II" (old curriculum), "Introduction to earth sciences" (new curriculum). Masuda's class of those courses are focused on the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, contrary to the broad scope of this course.

URL (in Japanese)

MASUDA Kooiti (増田 耕一)
[Entrance of course materials for 2020 Spring term (ja)] [Entrance of teaching materials about earth sciences (ja)] [List of teaching meterials in Japanese] [List of teaching meterials in English] ["Home" page of K. Masuda]