Earth Resources and the Environment, 4th edition

Published by Pearson (January 15, 2010) © 2011

  • James R. Craig Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • David J. Vaughan University of Aston in Birmingham
  • Brian J. Skinner Yale University

  • Hardcover, paperback or looseleaf edition
  • Affordable rental option for select titles
  • Free shipping on looseleafs and traditional textbooks
Balanced, broad-based, and up to date, this comprehensive text explores the nature and critical issues of earth resources and the impacts that resource usage has on the earth environment. The authors offer full coverage of all major types of earth resources—energy, metallic, nonmetallic, water, soil. A minimal scientific background is assumed.
Comprehensive coverage enables students to comprehend the breadth of resources and their interactions.
Several hundred photographs and line drawings are featured, many presenting a clear insight from the past into the future in terms of usage and impacts.
A solid geologic foundation provides geologic background of resource formation and occurrence of most of the various types of resources, showing how many resources do not resemble the materials from which they are derived (i.e. plastics from petroleum).
An international perspective shows students that resources are international both in extraction, use, and environmental impact.
Historical perspectives are provided in an overview chapter as well as in the discussions of all resources, helping students understand not only what is used, but how usage has changed over time.
Social aspects are examined; the authors discuss resources not only from the scientific point of view, but also from the point of economic, political, historical considerations.
The past and present usage and impacts are examined as a means of predicting future trends in needs usage and further impacts.
Environmental impacts are discussed—i.e., how the extraction and use of the resources creates impacts—local or global, immediate or delayed, visible or invisible, singular or cumulative. The goal is that students will be able to make intelligent decisions regarding resources in the future.
Discussion of future availability explains that although much concern has been expressed in the past about the decline in resources, in fact most resources have greater reserves today than in the past. The authors examine the trends, but also realistically present the limits that might affect future availability.
Special interest boxes cover more than 35 topical discussions/vignettes (synthetic diamonds, the California gold rush, Chernobyl, etc.).
Chapter objectives are listed at the beginning of each chapter.
Completely updated information on the resources extracted from the Earth reflects the most recent dates before publication, including diagrams.
Emphasis on environmental impacts through the processes of extraction, usage, and disposal is increased throughout the book.
Discussion of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere including sources, levels, and consequences is greatly expanded.
Discussion of “carbon footprints,” their meaning, impact, measurement, and reduction is now included.
New diagrams designed to demonstrate processes involved in the environmental impacts have been added.
Coverage of petroleum economics and politics is fully updated.
Several data-saturated tables are now simplified.
Trend curves are now used in place of dry data tables.
Increased emphasis on water shortages/excesses is provided.
Expanded discussion of the “greening” of society and more environmentally friendly application of resources is included.
Additional discussion of renewable energy sources —wind, solar, hydro, bio-fuels, nuclear, geothermal, ocean generated —is provided.
The Resources Calendar, which is presented as an appendix, has been thoroughly updated.
  • 1. Minerals: The Foundations of Society
  • 2. Plate Tectonics and the Origins of Resources
  • 3. Earth Resources Through History
  • 4. Environmental Impacts of Resource Exploitation and Use
  • 5. Energy From Fossil Fuels
  • 6. Nuclear and Renewable Energy Sources
  • 7. Abundant Metals
  • 8. The Geochemically Scarce Metals
  • 9. Fertilizer and Chemical Minerals
  • 10. Building Materials and Other Industrial Minerals
  • 11. Water Resources
  • 12. Soil as a Resource
  • 13. Future Resources

James R. Craig received his BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962 and his M.S. and Ph. D. degrees from Lehigh University in 1964 and 1965 respectively.  He spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory in Washington D.C before joining the geosciences faculty at Texas Tech University in 1967.  He then moved to the Department of Geological Sciences of Virginia Tech where he remained until his retirement from teaching in 2002.
During his 32 years at Virginia Tech, he taught Resources Geology Courses to more than 15,000 students and published more than 150 research papers.  With David Vaughan, he coauthored Mineral Chemistry of Metal Sulfides (Cambridge University Press 1978) and Ore Microscopy and Ore Petrography (Wiley 1981).  Craig and Vaughan then coauthored the first edition of Resources of the Earth with Brian Skinner in 1988.  New editions were published in 1996 and 2001; the fourth edition appears in 2010 under the title Earth Resources and the Environment.
While at Virginia Tech, Craig received the Sporn Award for best teacher of a freshman subject, was inducted into the Academy of Teach Excellence, and was awarded the Out Standing Faculty Award for the State of Virginia by Governor Mark Warner in 2002.
David Vaughan is Professor of Mineralogy and Director of the Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science at the University of Manchester. Educated at the Universities of London and Oxford, he previously worked in Canada (at CANMET) and the USA (at MIT) before returning to the UK. His research interests centre on fundamental studies of minerals, particularly metal sulfides and oxides, and the applications of such studies to problems of Earth resources and the environment. He is (co-)author of over 250 journal publications and an author/editor of a dozen books in fields ranging from sulphide mineralogy, ore microscopy and environmental mineralogy, to mineral surface science and theoretical geochemistry. Currently Principal Editor of the magazine Elements and Associate Editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, his contributions have been recognised through the award of the Schlumberger Medal of the Mineralogical Society, and the Geochemistry Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  He has been Distinguished Lecturer for the Mineralogical Societies both of America and Great Britain, and also served the latter as its President.
Brian Skinner was born in Australia, attended the University of Adelaide, and then entered the mining industry as the mine geologist for Aberfoyle Tin in Tasmania. After 2 years he entered graduate studies at Harvard, obtaining his PhD in 1955. His subsequent career has involved employment or consulting for various mining companies, several years as a research geochemist for the US Geological Survey and for the past 40 years serving as a faculty member at Yale University.
Skinner has published extensively, including 200 papers and 20 books. He served as editor of Economic Geology for 20 years and of International Geology Review for 14 years. He has been awarded the Penrose Medal of the Society of Economic Geologists and the Futers Gold Medal of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (UK). He has honorary doctorates for the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Toronto.

Need help? Get in touch

Privacy and cookies
By watching, you agree Pearson can share your viewership data for marketing and analytics for one year, revocable by deleting your cookies.

Pearson eTextbook: What’s on the inside just might surprise you

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. It’s the same with your students. Meet each one right where they are with an engaging, interactive, personalized learning experience that goes beyond the textbook to fit any schedule, any budget, and any lifestyle.