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FALL 2014


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 197/ENE 197Environmental Decision Making(QR)Use of scientific data and arguments in formulating environmental policies, international development, poverty reduction, economic growth, conflict, and risk assessment. Class format consists of case studies for which students analyze the scientific arguments, evaluate the data upon which they are based, and determine the scientific credibility, political feasibility, and economic consequences of the various decisions.Gregory E. van der Vink
GEO 201/WRI 201Measuring Climate Change: Methods in Data Analysis and Scientific WritingStudents will use drone-derived models of landscapes, georeferenced field observations of the natural world, and data mining of the primary literature in combination with quantitative modeling to answer questions like: How have ancient climate changes been preserved in modern landscapes and the rock record? How is climate changing now, and how do we measure it? Students will build on what they learned as freshmen in the Writing Seminars about articulating a compelling hypothesis and making an argument based on data and analysis.Adam C. MaloofAmanda E. Irwin Wilkins
GEO 203/ENE 203Fundamentals of Solid Earth Science(QR)A quantitative introduction to Solid Earth System Science, focusing on the underlying physical processes and their geological and geophysical expression. Topics include basic physical conservation laws, examples of constitutive relationships, waves, transport phenomena, geopotential fields, geologic time, basic thermodynamics and mineralogy. Single variable calculus is a prerequisite. The course quickly uses multivariate calculus, simple matrix algebra, and elementary tensor calculus. The course serves as a prerequisite for several upper-level GEO and CEE courses.Jessica C. IrvingJohn A. HigginsLaurel P. Goodell
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.Tullis C. OnstottEdwin L. TurnerLaura F. Landweber
GEO 361/ENV 361/CEE 360Physics of Earth, the Habitable Planet(STN)The habitability of our planet depends critically on the motion of the oceans and atmosphere, which determines our weather and climate. Associated phenomena include hurricanes, tornadoes, the Jet Streams, the Gulf Stream, El Nino, La Nina, and the recurrent Ice Ages of the past million years. The course includes the use of an idealized computer model (which runs on a laptop) to study how these phenomena depend on the Earth's rotation and sphericity, and to explore the predictability of weather, and of long-term changes in climate, including future global warming.Samuel G. Philander
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 365Evolution and Catastrophes(STN)This course introduces students to the evolution of life and mass extinction's based on a broad survey of major events in Earth history as revealed by the fossil record. Concepts and techniques of paleontology are applied to all aspects, including colonization of the oceans, invasion of land, mass extinction's and evolutionary radiation's. The roles of major catastrophes in the history of life are evaluated, including meteorite impacts, volcanism, climate change, and oceanic anoxia.Gerta Keller
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.Thomas S. Duffy
GEO 415Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences(QR)An introduction to atmospheric sciences. This course discusses aspects of weather and climate both from a phenomenological and analytical point of view. The course balances overview lectures (also covering topics that have high media coverage like the "Ozone Hole" and "Global Warming") with a few in-depth analyses of selected aspects. Lectures are complemented with homework based on real data, demonstrating basic data analysis techniques employed in atmospheric sciences.Stephan A. Fueglistaler
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
GEO 442/PHY 442GeodynamicsAn advanced introduction to setting up and solving boundary value problems relevant to the solid earth sciences. Topics include heat flow, fluid flow, elasticity and plate flexure, and rock rheology, with applications to mantle convection, magma transport, lithospheric deformation, structural geology, and fault mechanics.Allan M. Rubin
GEO 499/ENV 499Environmental Change, Poverty, and ConflictWe will evaluate the environmental, political, social, and economic impacts of climate change on development, poverty-reduction, civil violence, and conflict. Students work in teams integrating climate prediction models with environmental, social, and economic parameters to identify fragile populations that are becoming increasingly at risk due to climate change. Class results submitted for publication and presented to appropriate policy-makers and/or business leaders.Gregory E. van der Vink

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

Graduate Studies

AOS 522/GEO 522Inverse Methods: Theory and ApplicationsCourse treats inverse problems from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Students learn to develop the necessary theory to pose, interpret, and solve inverse problems, focusing on topics including error characterization, linear and non-linear methods, approximations, Kalman filters, use of prior constraints, and observing system design. Concepts are illustrated with examples from the current literature on the Earth's carbon cycle.David M. Medvigy
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.Staff
AOS 577/GEO 577Climate of the Earth: Present, Past and FutureThe goal of the course is to provide students with an introductory overview of the broad factors that determine our current climate, as well as past and future climates. We first build a foundation for understanding the principal features of today's climate. This includes examining the Earth's energy and water cycles, the processes determining the principal atmospheric and ocean circulation features, climate feedback processes, and dominant modes of variability. We then use this framework to interpret observational records of past climates, including ice age cycles, and to examine projections of future climate change.Thomas L. Delworth
AOS 578/GEO 578Chemical OceanographyThe chemical composition of the oceans and the nature of the physical and chemical processes governing this composition in the past and present. The cycles of major and minor oceanic constituents, including interactions with the biosphere and at the ocean-atmosphere and ocean-sediment interfaces.Jorge L. Sarmiento
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 505Fundamentals of the Geosciences IA year-long survey, in sequence, of fundamental papers in the geosciences. Topics in 505 (Fall) include the origin and interior of the Earth, plate tectonics, geodynamics, the history of life on Earth, the composition of the Earth, its oceans and atmospheres, past climate. Topics in 506 (Spring) include present and future climate, biogeochemical processes in the ocean, geochemical cycles, orogenies, thermochronology, rock fracture and seismicity. A core course for all beginning graduate students in the geosciences.Jeroen Tromp
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