Plate tectonics are covered early in the book, starting with processes then moving to applications. Students are given the tools for understanding plate tectonics before they learn to apply it. Contains a unique chapter on the Biosphere. Chapter 11 provides a unique recap of the Rock Cycle and plate tectonics together. Each part is separated by "The Art of Geology" which provides a literary, historical or artistic reference to geology. This feature addresses the liberal arts student taking physical geology to fulfill a requirement.