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The Academic Encounters series uses a sustained content approach to teach skills necessary for taking academic courses in English. There are two books for each content area. Academic Encounters: The Natural World engages students with academic readings, photos, graphs, and charts on stimulating topics from the fields of earth science and biology. Topics include Earth's systems: the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere; volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis; the human brain and the human heart; and recent medical advances. Students develop important skills such as reading for detail, skimming, reading critically, and applying what you have read. Each chapter ends with a guided academic writing assignment. Vocabulary and academic writing tasks occur throughout the book. The topics correspond with those in Academic Listening Encounters: The Natural World.