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Tullis Onstott Teaching


GEO374-AST374   Planetary Systems: Their Diversity and Evolution

Examines the diversity of recently discovered planetary systems in terms of fundamental physical and chemical processes and what this diversity implies about the origin and evolution of our own planetary system. Topics include: the formation and dynamics of planets and satellites, planetary migration, the evolution of planetary interiors, surfaces and atmospheres, the occurrence of water and organics, and the habitability of planets and planetary systems. Recent discoveries from planetary missions and extrasolar planet observations are emphasized.


GEO 255 / AST 255 / CHM 255 / EEB 255   Life in the Universe

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; extra-solar planets nearby that offer targets for NASA space telescopes searching for life.


GEO 523 / CEE 572   Geomicrobiology

Course focuses on microbial interactions with a wide range of terrestrial environments and the bioenergetics of microbial respiration coupled to mineral diagenesis and hydrocarbon degradation. Students learn how to use Geochemist Workbench and PhreeqC to model their own experimental or field data and how to construct thermodynamic data sets using SUPCRT92. Course is part lecture and part seminar, and contains a computer lab. Undergraduates who have taken GEO363 or GEO417/428, or who convince the instructor that they have adequate geochemical and microbiological training are welcome.

GEO 503 / AOS 503 - Responsible Conduct of Research in Geosciences

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.

GEO 505 - Fundamentals of Geosciences  I

A 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