Winter 2023 Class Schedule
|Sustainability & Social Justice (First-Year Seminar)
|TTh 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM
|Earth is Out to Kill You: Earthquakes and Volcanoes (First-Year Seminar)
|TTh 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM
|Climate Catastrophes in Earth History
|TTh 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
|Evolution and the Scientific Method
|MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
|MW 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
|F 12:00-1:50 PM or F 2:00-3:50 PM
|Communication for Geoscientists
|TTh 2:00-3:20 PM
|Earth and Planetary Materials
|TTh 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM
|W 11:00 AM - 12:50 PM or W 2:00-3:50 PM
|TTh 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM
|TTh 3:30 PM - 4:50 PM
|TTh 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
|R Data Science
|M 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM
|W 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM
|Communicating Science Beyond Academia
|M 2:00 PM - 4:50 PM
|Responsible Conduct of Research Training
|M 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
The challenge of sustainability to "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" has evolved over the past few decades. This course will introduce fundamental concepts of sustainability, consider the application of these concepts in diverse societal, economic, and cultural settings, and explore the potential of climate science and sustainable development to act as forces for environmental and social justice.
In this seminar, we will learn about some of the most devastating natural disasters in Earth's recorded history. We will explore the science and the human toll of earthquakes and volcanoes - frequent reminders from our dynamic planet that it has little respect for human life. We will cover current events, as exemplified by recent destructions in Haiti and Spain, as well as historical events such as the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 which kicked off the Age of Enlightenment, and the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 which led to the Year Without a Summer, and which gave us Dracula and Frankenstein. There will be several writing assignments on science-related topics. In the words of Voltaire, bemoaning the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755: "Come, ye philosophers, who cry, "All's well," And contemplate this ruin of a world."
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental components of the Earth system--the atmosphere, hydrosphere and solid Earth--and more importantly, examine how these components interact in response to internal and external influences to control climate. Within this Earth systems context, we will explore how climate is changing today, how it has changed (sometimes catastrophically) in the geologic past, and how it may change in the future. Natural Sciences Distro Area
The scientific method is explored through the role it has played in the development of evolutionary thought. The course tracks the history of evolutionary theory from its earliest origins to the modern consensus, and in so doing, provides examples of scientific method as practiced in biology, geology, physics, and chemistry. It is the story of one of the greatest paradigm shifts in the history of human thought, and is designed to serve the needs of a broad spectrum of non-science majors seeking to satisfy the Area I distribution requirement.
The earth as a planet: origin, composition, and evolution of the solar system and the earth; internal structure of the earth; plate tectonics. Recommended Background: At least one credit in math, chemistry, biology or physics. Natural Sciences Distro Area
Science writing and presentation skills necessary for careers in the earth sciences. Topics include science writing as a language, scientific manuscript components, abstracts, poster presentations, formal talks, and informal presentations. Registration is reserved for Earth & Planetary Sciences majors and minors.
Mineralogy of the earth and planets from atomic to continental scales, focusing on structure, composition, identification, and physical properties of minerals as they pertain to geological and societal applications. Recommended Background: At least one course in each of chemistry, physics, and math. Natural Sciences Distro Area
The sources and fates of organic matter in the natural environment; global cycling of organic carbon; applications to the study of modern and ancient environments. Recommended Background: at least one quarter of earth or environmental science, and one quarter of chemistry. Taught with CIV_ENV 314-0; may not receive credit for both courses. Natural Sciences Distro Area
Storage and flux of water in near-earth terrestrial surface: surface water hydrology, shallow groundwater hydrogeology, and lake limnology. Recommended Background: Three courses in EARTH or ENVR SCI at the 200 or 300 level, or permission of the instructor.
Fossils record the 3.8 billion year history of life on Earth, and extinct organisms make up 99% of all the species that ever lived. The fossil record reveals insights into evolutionary processes and the distributions and structures of organisms and ecosystems that cannot be observed by studying living organisms. This course is an introduction to the concepts of paleobiology: the nature of fossils, evolutionary trends and adaptations, systematics, paleoecology, and biogeography. We will investigate how life, from individual organisms to whole biomes, has changed over time; the geologic processes that lead to the burial and preservation of organic material; and the scientific methods by which we infer the biological processes that occurred across deep time from the limited and often biased fossil record. Course has prerequisites.
As we are in the era of ‘big data’, the quantity and quality of data available for environmental, ecological and earth science research has exploded over the past few decades. The free and open-source R programming language has become a powerful tool in data analysis in scientific research. This course offers an introduction to the fundamentals of data science using the programming language, R. The course contents span from basic R programming skills to advanced skills including data management, visualization and analysis of spatial data such as weather and satellite imagery data. By conducting hands-on exercises and an extensive project, students will develop dynamic and reproducible outputs based on their own fields of interests. This course does not require prior coding experience.
Through reading, discussion, writing and peer critique, this course will explore strategies for successful scientific communication beyond academia. How can scientists break through barriers to understanding and foster engagement with scientific information, while still conveying nuance and uncertainty? What happens when science becomes politicized and controversial? This seminar is open to graduate students in all STEM disciplines, with preference to students who have begun to conduct independent research.
All Earth and Planetary Sciences Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Fellows must complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training in their first year of the program. This course includes 6 online "CITI" modules as well as discussion sections. New students and fellows should contact the Assistant Chair with any questions. Recommended Background: Earth and Planetary Sciences Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows Only