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Courses I Regularly Teach at Dartmouth:
EARS 2: Evolution of Earth and Life (Winter Terms)
The presence of life on Earth potentially makes it unique in this solar system. The reasons that life emerged, persisted, and evolved on Earth are tied to Earth’s geochemical and geophysical processes, such as the rock cycle and carbon cycle, which have been active on Earth since its formation 4.5 billion years ago. This course examines how the evolution of the continents, oceans and atmosphere has strongly influenced the evolution of life, and vice-versa, for most of Earth’s history, including today. In this context we will discuss the origin of the Earth, Moon, oceans, continents, atmosphere, biosphere, and the importance of catastrophic events in the destruction and evolution of species. View syllabus. W11, W12, W13, W14, W15, W16, W17.
EARS 3: Elementary Oceanography, The Blue Planet (Spring Terms)
Oceanography is the study of the marine environment and represents one of the original 'environmental sciences' in that it draws upon the collaborative expertise of chemists, biologists, physicists and geologists alike. In this course, we introduce this multidisciplinary approach to learn about interactions between the physical, biological, and geological processes in the sea, and understand the complexity of the sea as a natural system. We learn about the sea’s resources, its contribution to global climate, its significance as a recording of Earth’s environmental history, and its importance as the likely setting for life’s beginnings. View syllabus. Sp11, Sp13, Sp15, Sp17 (Xiahong Feng teaches this course in even-year springs).
EARS 14: Meteorology
course introduces students to the science of weather and the
atmosphere, focusing on understanding weather on a day-to-day basis
through observations, and on the collection and analysis of
meteorological data. We begin with first principles of atmospheric
composition, the Earth’s heat engine, and fundamental atmospheric
properties like temperature and moisture. These topics lead to more
in-depth discussions of atmospheric circulation,
weather patterns, weather forecasting, thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes, and how weather is related to
Earth’s changing climate. Vew
syllabus. Sp10, Sp12, Sp14.
EARS 37: Marine Geology
investigates the geology,
processes, and paleoarchives hidden beneath the world’s oceans. Major
topics include the morphology and history of the sea floor (plate
tectonics), marine geology field and remote sensing techniques, the
origin and evolution of ocean crust and sediments, hydrothermal vents and ecosystems, coastal processes including
events (hurricanes, tsunamis), and marine records of climate
sea level changes. The highlight of the course is a weekend research cruise in the Middlebury College research vessel on Lake Champlain collecting sub-bottom seismic data, multibeam bathymetry data, and sediment cores that we analyze as part of a term-long class project. View
Syllabus W08, W10, F13, F14.
EARS 46: "STRETCH" Field
Methods in Banff National Park
Hawley and I lead a 2-week field course section to teach
undergraduate majors about polar and alpine glacier-related research in
Banff (Alberta, Canada) and Glacier (Montana, USA) National Parks. We
spend several days on the Athabasca Glacier, along with several other stops,
covering topics including glaciology, glacier travel and safety, ice
coring, glacial geology, remote
sensing, glacial sedimentology, and climate change. This section is
just the first part
of the STRETCH, which spans the American West from
Yellowstone to the Sierras over a period of 3 months, with Dartmouth
professors taking turns teaching sections related to their research.
Check out some pictures from 2008 from our section! F08,
F09, F10, F11, F17.
EARS 78: Climate Dynamics
upper level undergraduate and graduate course investigates the dynamics of Earth's climate on timescales ranging from hours to millennia, including interactions with the oceans and cryosphere. We focus in particular on coupled ocean-atmosphere modes of variability including the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. We will use primary literature to delve into these phenomena, their forcing mechanisms, and their impacts on regional weather and climate. We will also use simple climate models to gain a better understanding of the underlying physics of these phenomena. F15, Sp18.
Courses I Have Previously Taught at Dartmouth:
EARS 18: Environmental Geology
This course takes an
interdisciplinary approach toward understanding Earth’s terrestrial,
marine, atmospheric, and biological environments. We learn about
the dynamic natural processes that are important in each
environment, as well as the impact of past and present human
gain skills in collecting, interpreting, and reporting scientific data
through field trips and laboratory sessions. Environmental issues such
as ozone depletion, acid rain, climate change, and air and water
pollution are key topics of focus. Selected case studies will allow
students to gain appreciation of the complexity of scientific, social,
cultural and political interactions that surround many environmental
syllabus. F10. Xiahong Feng regularly teaches this course each fall.
EARS 33: Earth's Surface Processes and Landforms
primary objective of the course is
to explore the processes occurring on the surface of the Earth that
shape the landscape. This is an interesting topic because the landscape
is the part
of geology that is most readily accessible to the public; the geology
that most people see every day. Students never look at a landscape the
same way again! A major part of this course is the lab exercises,
where we learn some geology/geography field techniques and work
with data to understand various surface processes. The highlight is a
field trip to Cape Cod to investigate glacial and coastal processes,
landforms, and interactions. View
syllabus. F09. Frank Magilligan, Dartmouth Geography, regularly teaches this course.
EARS 86: Earth's Past, Present and Future
upper level undergraduate and graduate course investigates the
characteristics and causes of short- (1 yr) to long-term (>1 million
yrs) climate change over the past ~400 million years and ~1000 years
into the future. In
order to make informed predictions about Earth’s climate and informed
decisions about our society’s response, it is essential to understand
how and why Earth’s climate has changed in the past. We see that the
climate has always been changing
due to processes such as plate tectonics,
variations in the energy balance, and complex interactions and
feedbacks between the ocean,
atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere. We then use this
understanding to make
reasonable predictions of future climate under various
scenarios. View Syllabus W09. Meredith Kelly regularly teaches an undergraduate version of this course with an amazing lab in the winter: EARS 15 "Earth Climate - Past, Present and Future"
As graduate students, Leigh Stearns and I developed a
website on using "Flubber" to model the flow of the Malaspina Glacier.
Check out our website here.
Leigh has incorporated this into a site on Glacier Education
complete with K-12 lesson plans here.