Science Refresher boxes review key scientific concepts that are critical to understanding the topic at hand.

Chapter 1: Foundations of Modern Geology
  • Science Refresher: Some Basic Concepts in Chemistry and Physics
  • Science Refresher: The Flow of Heat

Chapter 3: Minerals
  • Science Refresher: Some Basic Definitions in Science
  • Science Refresher: Solids, Liquids, and Gases

Chapter 4: Origin and Evolution of Igneous Rocks
  • Science Refresher: Heat, Temperature, and Magma

Chapter 5: Weathering and Soils
  • Science Refresher: What is an Acid?

Chapter 6: Sedimentation and Sedimentary Rocks
  • Science Refresher: Settling Velocities

Chapter 7: Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks
  • Science Refresher: Pressure Units

Chapter 8: Geologic Time
  • Science Refresher: Types of Radioactive Decay
  • Science Refresher: Linear versus Exponential Relationships

Chapter 11: Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior
  • Science Refresher: Density, Volume, and Seismic Velocity
  • Science Refresher: Wave Refraction

Chapter 12: Mass Wasting
  • Science Refresher: Surface Tension, Sand Castles, and the Goldilocks Solution

Chapter 14: Groundwater
  • Science Refresher: Water Pressure at Depth

Chapter 15: Glaciers and Glaciation
  • Science Refresher: Air Temperature in the Lower Atmosphere

Chapter 16: Deserts and Winds
  • Science Refresher: Ocean Currents and the Coriolis Effect

Chapter 17: Coastlines and Coastal Processes
  • Science Refresher: Wave Terminology

Chapter 20: Physical Geology and Climate Change
  • Science Refresher: The Physics of Global Warming

Chapter 21: The Planets
  • Science Refresher: Center of Mass


“… a very good idea. I don’t remember seeing anything quite like it in other intro book. I’ve seen “basic” science included in appendices but I like having it right here in the text where the students need it …”

Bruce Simonson, Oberlin College

“Helpful although not sure temperature and heat will resonate with students but a good idea.”

James Baxter, Harrisburg Area Community College

“I don’t think these sections detract from the chapters and certainly if students needed a ‘refresher’ that’s a benefit…”

Sheldon Skaggs, Bronx Community College

“…makes a good connection to bring in the “hard sciences” in a casual (but rigorous) way …”

Joachim Dorsch, St. Louis Community College at Meramec

“Need complete view of chapter to comment further on synergy with content but conceptually, this is a good approach.”

John Creasy, Bates College

“These are great. Students who need a reminder on the vocab can read them and students who already understand can focus on the more geologic concepts without getting bogged down.”

Julie Hoover, Durham Technical Community College

“This is a great idea! I found very often my students have never understood basic concepts that I need to go over such as convection and the Periodic Table.”

Katherine Amey, Kent State University