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The Earth is a system of systems, within which the flow of energy drives the cycling matter between the 'spheres'. Earth System Science (ESS) is the study of these interactions


The Sun-Fire is the bright star at the center of this planetary system within a galactic arm Orion of Milky Way. 

The incomprehensible mass holds the planets by the invisible force gravity, while radioactive solar wind holds away interstellar space.

In the Earth Systems, the Sun's electromagnetism and our revolution around it drive the changes of warmth and light through time. 


The Air-gas is a mixture of light, energized particles--N2, O2, Ar, CO2--and more--gravitationally held by Earth.

Again invisible: both a protecting shield and warmth-conserving blanket, while gradients of heat and moisture drive global, dynamic flow known as wind. 

In the Earth Systems, the Air carries the change set in motion by the Sun.


The Phases of Water--vapor, water, ice of H20--change depending on heat or pressure producing clouds, ocean, and glaciers. 

Visible yet invisible, the full hydrologic cycle is a medium for dissolving air and earth. 

In the Earth Systems, the Water erodes, deposits, restores, 


The Rock-Earth is the solid iron and magnesium silicate mass beneath our feet and making up mountains.

Very visible, the tectonic movement is driven by the release of the primoridian heat preserved during from the planets birth. 

In the Earth Systems, the Earth is the material making up all things. 


The Eco-Life is the family of animated, carbon-based creatures of all sizes in a cycle of energy exchange and reproduction. 

Visible as organisms, the life emerged long ago and has diversified into many species and stored great amounts of carbon.

In the Earth Systems, the Life is the combination of the previous elements, but animated with mystery. 

These amazing systems work in such a way on Earth that sustains life. Suggested by Lynn Margilis and James Lovelock in science articles between 1960-1970, the Earth actually functions as a self-regulating [living] organisms. Named the Gaia Hypothesis after the ancient Greek Earth Goddess Gaia, this idea spurred a resurgence of system science investigation today referred to as Earth Systems Sciences. 
Please see references for source literature on this subject. 

The emerging Noosphere 

One of my favorite recent writings on the subject of the Anthropocene is by Science writer David Grinspoon, who introduced me to the long held idea of a Noosphere: a sphere of human thought. 
Violent Earth

GEOL 148 - Violent Earth

Video Lecture Series

Treasure Valley Community College, Winter 2019

Course syllabus

Slides: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15)

Discussion Questions: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)

Assignments: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15)

Essays: (1) (2) (3) 

Quizzes: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Key: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Exams: (1) (2) (Final)

What comes next?? 

Well, the future is not certain but there is a lot of scientific data trends of the past and present aht we can extrapolate into the future.
Great far out future of the Universe video on Youtube. 
For nearer future, I tend toward perceptions like that in 'An Ecotechnic Future' by John Michale Greer. 
I also enjoy the riduculous speculation of the time after the Anthropocene. What does the biology of the planet look like after us?
For this, I call on the Mycocene: A time when fungi once again rule the earth as they clean up the plastic waste of our time. See my presentation "Homo sapiens as Ore Depositing Agents".
Earth System Science Bingo:
This bingo-styled game was made for use at an Ontario School family science night event in Spring 2017, and has been used several times. Made to illuminate elements of each system and the connection between the spheres.
Find a FREE PDF download here (printing and assembly required) or purchase an assembled version, either way please consider leaving a donation to support other creative endeavors at If you intend to use the board, I would enjoy hearing the story of your use. 
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