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DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES

FALL 2018 COURSES


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
ENV 367/GEO 367Modeling the Earth System: Assessing Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change(QR)This course is an introduction to earth system modeling for students interested in global environmental issues. Students will use a "compact" or "reduced" earth system model, including the ocean, the land and the atmosphere, to examine how the system responds to human activities and natural climate variations. In small groups, they will design mitigation and geo-engineering scenarii (reforestation, carbon capture, emission limitation etc.), test their impact using the model and analyze and discuss their results. This course is designed to give students a critical thinking about climate models, their strengths and their limitations.Laure Resplandy
GEO 102A/ENV 102A/STC 102AClimate: Past, Present, and Future(STN)Which human activities are changing our climate, and does climate change constitute a significant problem? We will investigate these questions through an introduction to climate processes and an exploration of climate from the distant past to today. We will also consider the implications of climate change for the global environment and humans. Intended to be accessible to students not concentrating in science or engineering.Daniel M. Sigman
GEO 102B/ENV 102B/STC 102BClimate: Past, Present, and Future(STL)Which human activities are changing our climate, and does climate change constitute a significant problem? We will investigate these questions through an introduction to climate processes and an exploration of climate from the distant past to today. We will also consider the implications of climate change for the global environment and humans. Intended to be accessible to students not concentrating in science or engineering.Daniel M. Sigman
GEO 201/WRI 201/ENV 203Measuring Climate Change: Methods in Data Analysis and Scientific Writing(STL)Students 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? Designed for sophomores in preparation for independent work, the course emphasizes the articulation of a compelling hypothesis and the development of a clearly structured argument based on data, analysis, and engagement with relevant sources.Amanda E. Irwin WilkinsAdam C. Maloof
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.Jessica C. Irving
GEO 255A/AST 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 on Mars, Europa, Enceladus and extra-solar planets. Students will also compete in class to select landing sites and payloads for the next robotic missions to Mars and Europa. 255A is the core course for the Planets and Life certificate.Edwin L. TurnerTullis C. OnstottMichael H. Hecht
GEO 361/ENV 361/CEE 360Earth's Atmosphere(STN)This course discusses the processes that control Earth's climate - and as such the habitability of Earth - with a focus on the atmosphere and the global hydrological cycle. The course balances overview lectures (also covering topics that have high media coverage like the 'Ozone hole' and 'Global warming', and the impact of volcanoes on climate) with selected in-depth analyses. The lectures are complemented with homework based on real data, demonstrating basic data analysis techniques employed in climate sciences.Stephan A. Fueglistaler
GEO 362/ENV 362Earth History(STN)This course seeks to understand the 'how' of Earth history by integrating many branches of Earth system science including geochronology, paleomagnetism, tectonics, petrology, paleoclimate, sedimentology, geochemistry, and geobiology. Through a detailed study of the relevant datasets, models, and theories, students in this course will engage and struggle with these seemingly disparate fields to arrive at a better understanding of how an imperfect geologic record can be used to produce an accurate representation of our planet's history.John A. HigginsBlair Schoene
GEO 363/CHM 331/ENV 331Environmental Chemistry: 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 extinctions and evolutionary radiations. The roles of major catastrophes in the history of life are evaluated, including meteorite impacts, volcanism, climate change, and oceanic anoxia.Gerta Keller
GEO 378/MSE 348Mineralogy(STL)Minerals are the fundamental building blocks of the Earth. Their physical, chemical, and structural properties determine the nature of the Earth and they are the primary recorders of the past history of the Earth and other planets. This course will provide a survey of the properties of the major rock-forming minerals. Topics include crystallography, crystal chemistry, mineral thermodynamics and mineral occurrence. Emphasis will be on the role of minerals in understanding geological processes. Laboratories will focus on hand specimen identification and modern analytical techniques.Thomas S. Duffy
GEO 416/ENV 418Microbial Life - A Geobiological ViewMicrobes were the first life forms on Earth and are the most abundant life forms today. Their metabolisms underpin the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and other important elements through Earth systems. This course will cover the fundamentals of microbial physiology and ecology and examine how microbial activities have shaped modern and ancient environments, with the goal of illustrating the profound influence of microbial life on our planet for over 3 billion years.Xinning Zhang
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

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
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 506Fundamentals of the Geosciences IIA survey of fundamental papers in the Geosciences. Topics include present and future climate, biogeochemical processes in the ocean, geochemical cycles, orogenies, thermochronology, rock fracture and seismicity. This is the core geosciences graduate course.Tullis C. Onstott
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
GEO 561Earth's AtmosphereThis course discusses the processes that control Earth's climate - and as such the habitability of Earth - with a focus on the atmosphere and the global hydrological cycle. The course balances overview lectures (also covering topics that have high media coverage like the "Ozone hole" and "Global warming," and the impact of volcanoes on climate) with selected in-depth analyses. The lectures are complemented with homework based on real data, demonstrating basic data analysis techniques employed in climate sciences.Stephan A. Fueglistaler