Environmental Studies 30: Global Environmental Science

201 Steele Hall
MWF: 11:15-12:20; X-Hour: Tu 12:00-12:50

Instructor: Andy Friedland
211 Steele Hall; 646-3609
Office Hrs: M W: 2:30-3:30 Th 1-2 & by appointment

Graduate TA: Melody Burkins
402 Steele Hall; 646-1612
Office Hrs: Tu 4-6

Required Reading

Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change by William H. Schlesinger, 2nd edition, Academic Press, 1997.

Occasional articles from the Web and handouts.

Recommended Reading (especially if ENVS 2 is ancient history for you)

Earth Under Siege: From Air Pollution to Global Change by Richard P. Turco, Oxford University Press, 1997. Everyone should read pages 1-9 and 289-291 after the first class. (on reserve in Kresge).

Description of Course

This course examines human influences on the major global biogeochemical cycles (water, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, metals). We will emphasize cycling processes in terrestrial, marine, and--to a lesser extent--aquatic systems in an attempt to understand how human activities such as air pollution, deforestation, desertification and soil erosion alter these cycles. You may recall that Envs 2 is a survey course which covers a wide variety of topics at a moderate level of intensity. This course is designed to allow you to explore a few of those topics in greater detail.

There will be one in-class hour exam and a take-home final. The take-home exam might take up to two full days to complete. Two environmental problem set simulations will be assigned to give hands-on experience in understand the dynamics of change in biogeochemical systems. Each class member will prepare a 200-word abstract on a recent development in a topic we have discussed during the term. Two students will present their abstracts at the end of each class throughout the last four weeks of the term.


2 Problem Sets

(25 pts each) 50 pts

1 Hour-Exam

100 pts

1 Final Exam

100 Pts

Abstract and in-class presentation

25 pts

Class participation and attendance

25 pts


300 pts

The Academic Honor Principle applies to all Dartmouth students at all times. I will speak about specific aspects of the Honor Principle as they relate to this class on the first day of the term.

Lecture and Reading Schedule

Date Description Reading: Schlesinger (unless noted otherwise)

03/30 Introduction: Overview Chap 1; Turco pgs 1-9, 289-291
04/01 Population: The Underlying Driver Science 269:341 (1995)
04/03 Population: Uncertainty Science 269:1058 (1995)
04/06 Origins: The Planet, Atmosphere, Oceans Chap 2
04/07 X-hour on Daisyworld (Prob. Set #1)
04/08 Earth System History
04/10 The Atmosphere: Reactions, Chap 3
04/13 Weathering, Chap 4
04/14 X-hour on Stella (Prob. Set #2)
04/15 Soil Formation Problem Set #1 Due
04/17 Biogeochemistry: Theory & Practice
04/20 Carbon and the Biosphere Chap 5
04/22 Biogeochemical Cycling in Plants Chap 6 Problem Set #2 Due
04/24 Biogeochemical Cycling in Soils
04/27 Oceans and Water Chap 9, 10
04/29 Contemporary Carbon Cycles Chap 11
05/01 Carbon Dioxide and Methane
05/04 Carbon Cycles and Certainty http://www.ipcc.ch/
05/06 Hour Exam
05/08 Carbon Cycles and Uncertainty Turco Ch 12
05/11 Global Nitrogen Cycles Chap 12
05/13 Excess Nitrogen Turco Ch 9
05/15 Global Sulfur Cycles Chap 13
05/18 Global Metal Cycles Nriagu Papers
05/20 Lead Release and Recovery Web address TBA
05/22 Mercury Release and Release Web address TBA
05/25 Restoration Biogeochemistry On Reserve
05/27 Mechanical Impacts on Biogeochemistry On Reserve
05/29 Further Human Dimensions On Reserve
06/01 Summary and Conclusions Chap 14

I encourage students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities like chronic diseases, learning disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities to discuss with me after class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations that might be helpful to them.