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SOEE1052 Module Reading List

Our Habitable Planet, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dave Ferguson
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

The main text for the module is this book:

How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind, Langmuir, Charles H., and Wally Broecker.  - Revised and Expanded Edition. REV - Revised ed., Princeton University Press, 2012  

It gives a broad overview of the themes and topics we will cover over the semester. 

In addition any good introductory earth sciences textbook will be useful, such as:

Understanding Earth, Grotzinger, JordanPress and Siever. W.H. Freeman & Co. 2010

This book is in its 6th edition, however, any edition of the book will do for the course. The earlier editions are authored by Press and Siever or Press, Siever and Grotzinger. 


Earth: portrait of a planet, Marshak, S; W.W.Norton & Co., 3rd Edition, 2008.

Earlier or later editions will also be ok. 

Other books/reading that cover some of themes in this module that might be of interest to you are:

Sapiens: A brief history of humankind. Harari, Yuval N. Vintage Books, 2015. Broad synthesis of various lines of evidence on the history of our species and growth of our current civilization. 

Planetary Geoscience, McSween Jr Harry Y. et al. Cambrirdge University Press, 2019. Detailed texbook on planetary science and geology. Good for more depth the solar system, exoplanets, and considering earth in the context of other planets. 

Global Tectonics, Kearey, Klepeis, and Vine. Blackwell. 2009. Detailed texbook on plate tectonics. Good for those interested in more in-depth material on tectonics and geodynamics. 

Is there life out there? Seager, S. Free online booklet about searching for habitable exoplanets by astrophysicist Prof. Sara Seager. 

This list was last updated on 10/09/2021