Welcome!What are the Earth Sciences?The Earth sciences, or geosciences, are the fields of scientific inquiry focusing on our home planet--Earth. Earth scientists view our planet as a system of interrelated "spheres," including the lithosphere (rock sphere), hydrosphere (water sphere), biosphere (sphere of living things), and atmosphere (gas sphere). At American River College (ARC), our geology courses focus primarily on the rock sphere, and how it is influenced by the other three spheres. Our geography courses focus on all four spheres, with particular attention to how they, together with human beings, influence every aspect of our planet. Our courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) focus on the use of powerful computing software to help map, analyze, and model the various earth systems. Use the links to the left to learn more about Geology, Geography, and GIS at American River College.
Earthrise: a photo taken by Apollo 8 astronaut William A. Anders in 1968. One of the first photographs of Earth from space, this image represents our world as a small blue planet, with finite resources, in a sea of darkness. Perhaps the most influential environmental image ever captured, it has inspired countless Earth scientists in their endeavors to understand complex Earth systems, with hopes of managing and sustaining our planet for future generations.