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Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology

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Have you ever wondered how scientists analyse the environment? This free course, Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology, introduces you to the techniques used by science students at residential schools. You will learn how to determine where rocks have come from and how they were made. You will also examine the processes involved in determining the ecology of a particular area.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the difference between a mineral and a rock
  • describe the textural differences between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  • account for these differences in terms of the processes that produce these rocks
  • classify igneous rocks according to their grain size and mineralogical composition
  • recognise the difference between a body fossil and a trace fossil.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 14 hours
  • Updated Thursday 24th March 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Geology
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Practising science: reading the rocks and ecology


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This course introduces you to the types of activities undertaken by students of the earth sciences and ecology. You will learn how data is collected and analysed.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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