Last updated: 6/21/2016

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Science TCSD Pacing Guide - Earth Science February

Earth Science


Earth's History

The Principle of Uniformitarianism

Sequence of Geologic Events

Relative Age versus Absolute Age

Chronology of Layers

What are the Major Principles Used to Interpret Geologic History?

Principle of Original Horizontality

Principle of Superposition

Evidence of Events

Igneous Events

Intrusions and Extrusions

Age Comparison

What are Faults? Joints? Folds?

Internal Characteristics:

Cracks, Veins, and Mineral Cement

Correlation Techniques

Continuity of Rocks

What is Bedrock?

What is and Outcrop?

What is Meant by "Walking an Outcrop?"

Fossil Evidence in Rocks:

What are Index Fossils and How are they Used?

Volcanic Time Markers in Rocks:

What are Volcanic Time Markers?

How are Volcanic Time Markers Used?

What are Geologic Anomalies?

How Do We Determine Geologic Ages?

The Geologic Time Scale:

What are Eons, Eras, Periods, and Epochs?

What are the 4 Major Geologic Time Divisions?

Precambrian, Paleozoic Era, Mesozoic Era, Cenozoic Era

Characteristics of the Erosional Record

What are Unconformities and How are they Formed?

Uplift, Erosion, Submergence, and Deposition

The 3 Most Common Unconformities

Angular Unconformities, Parallel Unconformities, Nonconformities

What is Radioactive Decay?

What is Half-Life?

How is Half-Life Calculated and Used?

History and Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere

Outgassing and the Fossil Record 

Weather: Changes in Our Atmosphere

Why Do We Need to Know About Weather?

What is the Atmosphere?

Layers of the Atmosphere:

Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere

What is Weather?

What is Meteorology?

Electromagnetic Energy and the Electromagnetic Spectrum:

Properties of Waves

Crest, Trough, Wavelength, and Frequency

Interaction of Matter and Electromagnetic Energy:

Refraction, Reflection, Scattering

Solar Energy

The Doppler Effect

What are Red Shift and Blue Shift; How are these used?

The Earth's Energy Budget

Energy Transfer in the Atmosphere:

Conduction, Convection and Radiation

Energy Transformation in the Atmosphere:

Closed Energy System vs Open

Energy Source and Energy Sink

Heat versus Temperature

Calories, Specific Heat and Latent Heat

What Variables Effect the State of the Atmosphere?

Effects of Temperature

What is Insolation?

Factors Effecting Local Temperature

Effects of Latitude, Altitude, Closeness to Large Bodies of Water, Amout of Moisture in the Air

Effects of Humidity

What is Capacity?  Saturation?

What is Relative Humidity?

Calculating Relative Humidity?

Effects on Relative Humidity of Warm and Cold Air

What is a Psychrometer?

What is Dew Point?

Effects of Atmospheric Pressure

Moisture and Air Pressure

High and Low Pressure Systems

Altitude and Air Pressure

Moisture and Energy Input

Evaporation, Transpiration and Evapotranspiration

Factors Effecting the Rate of Evaporation

Vapor Pressure, Energy, Surface Area, Moisture

What is Dynamic Equilibrium?

What is Saturation Vapor Pressure?

The Hydrologic Cycle

Effects of Wind Speed and Wind Direction

Effects of Clouds and Precipitation

Cloud Formation, Cloud Classification and Cloud Types

Forms of Precipitation

What are the Differences between Rain, Drizzle, Sleet, Snow, Hail, Dew and Frost?

Moisture and Energy Transfer: The Adiabatic Lapse Rate


What Causes Changes in the Weather?

Air Masses and Air Movement

What is an Air Mass?

Air Mass Characteristics

Air Mass Source Regions

Air Movement:  Winds, Breezes and Currents

Cause of Winds, Local Breezes (Land vs Sea Breezes)

Convection Cells

Zones of Divergence and Convergence

Planetary Winds and the Planetary Wind System

What are Jet Streams?

Weather Fronts

What is a Weather Front?

Tyes of Weather Fronts:  Warm, Cold, Stationary, Occluded 

Severe Weather and Climate

Types of Severe Weather?

Thunderstorms and How They Form


Tornadoes and How and Where They Form

Hurricanes and How and Where They Form

Hurricane Tracking, Categories, and Damage

Floods and Droughts

What are Blizzards?

Fog and Ice Storms


What is Climate?

Climate versus Weather, and Global Climate

Effects of the Water Cycle on Climate

Effects of Latitude on Moisture Exchange

Belts of Surplus and Deficit

Effects of Insolation on Climate

Intensity and Area

Factors Affecting Insolation:

Angle, Type of Surface, Length of Time, Atmospheric Conditions

Latitude and Intensity of Insolation

Seasons of the Earth

Causes of the Change of Seasons

Length of Day / Duration of Insolation

What is Radiative Balance?

Maximum and Minimum Temperatures: Daily and Yearly

Earth's Energy Budgets 

Earth in Space

What is Astronomy?

How are Distances Measured in Space?

Astronomical Unit/Light Year

What is a Galaxy?

Types of Galaxies:  Elliptical, Irregular, Spiral, Barred Spirals

The Milky Way Galaxy

What are Clusters?

What is our Sun?

Characteristics and Layers of the Sun

What are Solar Flares, Prominences, Sunspots?

What is the Solar System?

Formation of the Solar System

What are Planets?  Classification of Planets: Terrestrial and Jovian

The Earth's Moon

Dwarf Planets

The Kuiper Belt

Other Objects in the Solar System:

Comets, Asteriods and Meteoroids

What are Impact Events, and Effects of Impact Events?

Origin and Fate of the Universe

Principles and Evidence of Hubble's Law

What are Spectra?

Principles of the Doppler Effect

Deep Space Phenomena

What are Stars?

How do Stars Form?

Types of Stars

Characteristics and Classification of Stars:

Temperature, Color, Luminosity/Brightness (Actual vs Apparent)

Main Sequence Stars and Using the Hertzsprung Russel Diagram

Life Cycle of Stars

Supernova and Black Holes

Celestial Observations

The Celestial Sphere and Locating Objects in Space:

Horizon, Zenith, Altitude, Azimuth

Star Paths and Circumpolar Stars

Celestial Motions: 

Rotation vs Revolution

Earth's Revolution

Orbits and Eccentricity

What are Constellations?

Star Shifts

Planetary Motions

Celestial Models

Geocentric vs Heliocentric Models

Orbital Forces and Kepler's Laws

Perihelion vs Aphelion and Affects to Orbital Speeds

Evidence of Earth's Rotation

Foucault Pendulum, Coriolis Effect, Other Evidence

Apparent Motions of the Sun

Time and Earth Motions:

Causes and Dynamics of the Change of Seasons

What is Insolation?

Why Does the Length of Day on Earth Change?

Sidereal Day vs Apparent Solar Day

Motions of the Moon:

Sidereal Month vs Synodic Month

Phases of the Moon

What are Eclipses? Types of Eclipses

Solar Eclipse Characteristics

Lunar Eclipse Characteristics 

Environmental Awareness

Interdependence of Earth's Living and Non-Lliving Systems


Ground Polluton:

Soil Wastes

Hazardous Wastes

Soil Erosion

Air Pollution

Problems Associated with Air Pollution:

Acid Rain

Ozone Depletion

Water Pollution

Types of Water Pollutants

Global Warming Facts and Concerns


NYS Regents: Skills and Topics Review




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