Earth Sciences 6: Environmental Change
This course will investigate the science of natural and human induced environmental change on a global scale. The Earth has never existed in a pristine balanced state, and an understanding of pre-industrial changes in the Earth's environment provides important information that we can use to interpret current environmental change. Topics that will be discussed include: the evolution of the atmosphere, global temperature variation, sea level change, atmospheric trace gases and global warming, stratospheric ozone, acid rain and tropospheric ozone, human migration and landscape development, and global catastrophes.
Earth Sciences 65: Remote Sensing
Remote sensing involves the acquisition of information about the earth from airborne and satellite sensors. Both vector (GIS and GPS) and raster (image) data will be treated with an emphasis on their interpretation for various geographic and earth science applications. A significant part of the course will be devoted to practical exercises; there will be a final project involving the computer processing and interpretation of these data.
Earth Sciences 70: Glaciology
This course explores the unique nature and scientific importance of glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and frozen ground in the Earth system, collectively referred to as the Cryosphere. We explore how glaciers work, and how they interact with the climate system. We investigate how ice behaves from the molecular scale to the continental scale and compare and contrast this behavior to that of snowpacks. The practical skills and techniques used by glaciologists to study glaciers and ice sheets are considered along with transferable skills in advanced quantitative data analysis, including time series analysis and computational modeling of physical processes, with emphasis on practical application to real data.
Earth Sciences 203: Advanced Earth Surface Processes
The course will explore the processes that shape Earth's surface and the resulting landforms. Tectonics, weathering and erosion, fluvial, aeolian, and glacial processes influence landscape development at various temporal and spatial scales. These processes will be examined as well as their interaction with the atmosphere, biosphere and climate. The course will highlight ancient and active processes in New England and associated issues for human habitat and environmental conditions. The course will be a combination of faculty lectures and student-led discussions of selected readings from the literature. An oral presentation and a final paper will be used to assess students. The paper will be in the format of a 10-page formal National Science Foundation proposal and will be used to assess the students' ability to formulate testable hypotheses and to collect and integrate published scientific data. At least one mandatory field trip will examine New England geomorphology and environments. Not open to undergraduates. (Taught with Meredith Kelly, Carl Renshaw)