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DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES

FALL 2015 - 2016


Undergraduate

CEE 305/GEO 375/ENE 305Environmental Fluid Mechanics(STN)The course starts by introducing the conservation principles and related concepts used to describe fluids and their behavior. Mass conservation is addressed first, with a focus on its application to pollutant transport problems in environmental media. Momentum conservation, including the effects of buoyancy and earth's rotation, is then presented. Fundamentals of heat transfer are then combined with the first law of thermodynamics to understand the coupling between heat and momentum transport. We then proceed to apply these laws to study air and water flows in various environmental systems, with a focus on the atmospheric boundary layer.Elie R. Bou-Zeid
CEE 471/GEO 471/URB 471Introduction to Water Pollution Technology(STN)An introduction to the science of water quality management and pollution control in natural systems; fundamentals of biological and chemical transformations in natural waters; indentification of sources of pollution; water and wastewater treatment methods; fundamentals of water quality modeling.Peter R. Jaffé
GEO 102A/ENV 102AClimate: Past, Present, and Future(STN)An introduction to the processes that control Earth's climate; an overview of past climates from the distant past to the period of human history; and an investigation of ongoing climate changes and those predicted for the future, including the capacity of human activities to alter climate and the impacts of climate change on environment and society. Intended to be accessible to students not concentrating in science or engineering.Daniel M. Sigman
GEO 102B/ENV 102BClimate: Past, Present, and Future(STL)An introduction to the processes that control Earth's climate; an overview of past climates from the distant past to the period of human history; and an investigation of ongoing climate changes and those predicted for the future, including the capacity of human activities to alter climate and the impacts of climate change on environment and society. Intended to be accessible to students not concentrating in science or engineering.Daniel M. SigmanDanielle M. Schmitt
GEO 203/ENE 203Fundamentals of Solid Earth Science(QR)A quantitative introduction to Solid Earth system science, focusing on the underlying physical and chemical processes and their geological and geophysical expression. Through the course we investigate the Earth starting from its basic constituents and continue though its accretion, differentiation and evolution and discuss how these processes create and sustain habitable conditions on Earth's surface. Topics include nucleosynthesis, planetary thermodynamics, plate tectonics, seismology, geomagnetism, petrology, sedimentology and the global carbon cycle. Two field trips included.John A. HigginsJessica C. Irving
GEO 255A/AST 255A/EEB 255A/CHM 255ALife in the Universe(STN)This course introduces students to a new field, Astrobiology, where scientists trained in biology, chemistry, astronomy and geology combine their skills to discover life's origins and to seek extraterrestrial life. Topics include: the origin of life on Earth; the prospects of life beneath the surfaces of Mars and Europa, a moon of Jupiter; and extra-solar planets nearby that offer targets for NASA space telescopes searching for life. 255A is the core course for the Planets and Life certificate.Laura F. LandweberEdwin L. TurnerTullis C. Onstott
GEO 361/ENV 361/CEE 360Physics of Earth, the Habitable Planet(STN)Earth's habitability depends on the continual recycling of various gases and even rocks, mainly between the atmosphere, oceans, "solid" earth and biosphere. The atmospheric and oceanic circulation's that effect this recycling involve phenomena such as the weather, hurricanes, Jet Streams, tsunamis, the Gulf's Stream, deserts, jungles, El Nino and La Nina. The class will discuss how global warming will affect these phenomena.Stephan A. Fueglistaler
GEO 363/CHM 331/ENV 331Environmental Geochemistry: Chemistry of the Natural Systems(STN)Covers topics including origin of elements; formation of the Earth; evolution of the atmosphere and oceans; atomic theory and chemical bonding; crystal chemistry and ionic substitution in crystals; reaction equilibria and kinetics in aqueous and biological systems; chemistry of high-temperature melts and crystallization process; and chemistry of the atmosphere, soil, marine and riverine environments. The biogeochemistry of contaminants and their influence on the environment will also be discussed.Satish C. Myneni
GEO 373Structural Geology(STL)An introduction to the physics and geometry of brittle and ductile deformation in Earth's crust. Deformation is considered at scales from atomic to continental, in the context of mountain building, rifting, and the origin of topography.Blair Schoene
GEO 378Mineralogy(STL)A survey of the structure and crystal chemistry of major rock-forming minerals. Topics include: symmetry, crystallography, physical and chemical properties of minerals, mineral thermodynamics, environmental mineralogy, and techniques of modern mineralogy.Laurel P. GoodellThomas S. Duffy
GEO 418/CHM 418Environmental Aqueous GeochemistryApplication of quantitative chemical principles to the study of natural waters. Includes equilibrium computations, carbonate system, gas exchange, precipitation/dissolution of minerals, coordination of trace metals, redox reactions in water and sediments.François Morel
GEO 422Data, Models, and Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences(QR)No more being puzzled by dots on a graph! This course is for those who want to turn observations into models and subsequently evaluate their uniqueness and uncertainty. Three main topics are elementary statistics, heuristic time series analysis, and model parameter estimation via matrix inverse methods. While the instructor and textbook examples will be derived mostly from the physical sciences, students are encouraged to bring their own data sets for classroom discussion and in-depth analysis as part of their term papers. Problem sets and Matlab computer programming exercises form integral parts of the course.Frederik J. Simons
GEO 423/CEE 423Dynamic MeteorologyThis course provides the rigorous introduction to the moving atmosphere needed to understand Earth's weather and climate. The fundamental forces of the atmosphere (pressure gradient, gravity, and Coriolis) and conservation laws (mass, momentum, energy) will be developed. Approximations relevant to Earth's large-scale circulation and regional-scale extreme events will be discussed. Important consequences of atmospheric turbulence will also be covered. Throughout, connections between dynamical equations and atmospheric observations will be strongly emphasized.David M. Medvigy
GEO 425/MAE 425Introduction to Ocean Physics for ClimateThe study of the oceans as a major influence on the atmosphere and the world environment. The contrasts between the properties of the upper and deep oceans; the effects of stratification; the effect of rotation; the wind-driven gyres; the thermohaline circulation.Gabriel A. Vecchi

Undergraduates are able to take graduate courses (500+) with permission from course professor.

Graduate Studies

AOS 527/GEO 527Atmospheric Radiative TransferStructure and composition of terrestrial atmospheres. Fundamental aspects of electromagnetic radiation. Absorption and emission by atmospheric gases. Optical extinction of particles. Roles of atmospheric species in Earth's radiative energy balance. Perturbation of climate due to natural and antropogenic causes. Satellite observations of climate system.Venkatachalam RamaswamyYi Ming
GEO 503/AOS 503Responsible Conduct of Research in Geosciences (Half-Term)Course educates Geosciences and AOS students in the responsible conduct of research using case studies appropriate to these disciplines. This discussion-based course focuses on issues related to the use of scientific data, publication practices and responsible authorship, peer review, research misconduct, conflicts of interest, the role of mentors & mentees, issues encountered in collaborative research and the role of scientists in society. Successful completion is based on attendance, reading, and active participation in class discussions. Course satisfies University requirement for RCR training.Tullis C. Onstott
GEO 543Rock FractureApplication of fracture mechanics to a wide range of geologic processes, including dike and hydrofracture propagation, fault and joint growth and earthquake rupture. Topics include engineering fracture mechanics, analytic solutions for cracks in elastic media, numerical boundary element methods, and applications to geologic examples including observed fracture paths and patterns, small-scale structures associated with faults and dikes, and interpretation of geodetic data and seismological data.Allan M. Rubin
GEO 557Theoretical GeophysicsGeophysical applications of the principles of continuum mechanics; conservation laws and constitutive relations and tensor analysis; acoustic, elastic, and gravity wave propagation are studied.Jeroen Tromp