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Earth Sciences


1. Introduction to Earth Sciences

08F, 09S, 09F, 10S: 10; Laboratory (three hours weekly) M 1-4; Tu 9-12; Tu 2-5; or W 2-5

This course introduces the principles of physical geology by describing the earth’s com­ponents and analyzing the processes that control its evolution. Mountain ranges and deep sea trenches, volcanism and earthquakes, surficial and deep-seated geologic processes provide the evidence we will use to interpret the earth’s makeup and history. Earth resources, geologic hazards, and environmental protection will be discussed in connection with a variety of general geologic topics. Dist: SLA. Meyer, Kelly.

2. Earth History

09W, 10W: 11; one weekly hour discussion period

The origin and development of the earth, its atmosphere, and its oceans. The modifications of animals during geologic time are studied, particularly as they relate to ancient environments. The historical perspective provided by the course is used to evaluate and estimate human effects on recent natural environments. Dist: SCI. Scott.

3. Elementary Oceanography

09S, 10S: 11

Physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes in the oceans and their interac­tions. Topics include dynamics of ocean circulation, marine ecology and living resources of the sea, geology of the sea floor and ocean minerals, and the structure and origin of the ocean basins. Dist: SCI. Dade, Feng.

4. Elementary Meteorology

Not offered in the period from 08F through 10S

Introduction to the science of the atmosphere, emphasizing weather and weather forecasting, but including atmospheric variations on all scales from tornadoes, through the Little Ice Age, to Snowball Earth. We begin by discussing the properties of air and a few basic physical principles that control all atmospheric phenomena. These principles enable us to understand weather systems and associated fronts, clouds, winds, and precipitation, and to forecast weather using simple visual observations, satellite data and supercomputers. They are also the basis for the global circulation of air, energy and water, as well as the restlessly changing, diverse climate zones of our planet. Additional topics may include air pollution, deliberate and inadvertent weather and climate modification, aviation and marine weather, and atmospheric chaos. Dist: SCI.

5. Natural Disasters and Catastrophes

09W, 10W: 10

This course will examine several different kinds of natural hazards, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and meteorite impacts. We will attempt to understand the reasons for the occurrence of these events, the reasons for the wide variations in our ability to accurately predict them, and the role of the scientist in broader societal issues relating to disaster preparation, forecasting events, and damage and cost mitigation. Dist: SCI. Sonder.

6. Environmental Change

09F: 11

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. Dist: SCI. Mikucki, Hawley.

7. First-Year Seminars in Earth Sciences

Consult special listings

9. Earth Resources

09W, 10W: 2

The over-arching goal of this course is to make students—many of them future leaders in their fields—keenly aware of how the foundation and progress of society are based on the utilization of the earth resources. The fact that such resources are finite and unevenly distributed around the globe has been a major driver for not only human exploration and innovation but also wars. Also, the exploitation of earth resources has profoundly altered the earth’s natural geochemical cycles with ramifications to our health, security, economy and well-being. We will discuss these issues along with the origin of earth resources. Dist: SCI. Sharma.


21. Geology of New England and Surrounding Regions

09X: 10A

The continuous geological development of our continent over the past several billion years has played a significant role in influencing the character of agriculture, commerce, and transportation, the availability of mineral, energy, and water resources, and even the ecologic communities that occupy this varied landscape. In this course we will develop an understanding of the geological history of a portion of the North American continent and its continental shelves, as a basis for understanding some of the natural controls that constrain our interaction with this landscape and that continue to modify it through a variety of geological processes. Field trips. Dist: SCI. Johnson.

26. Hydrology and Water Resources

10S: M, W 2:00-4:00; Laboratory: W 4:00-6:00 Offered alternate spring terms

This course explore both the physical and technical dimensions of the Earth’s surface water resources and water resource management to demonstrate that ensuring sustainable water resources requires not only a firm understanding of the physical-chemical characteristics of water, but also of its social arena. Focus is given to the array of environmental problems resulting from human impacts on water resources and contexualizes them both in terms of their physical underpinnings and in terms of social requirements driving the development of technical analyses. Topics include floods, droughts, domestic water supply, dams and dam removal, habitat degradation, snowmaking, and climate change. Weekly field studies of local streams and lakes are used to introduce hydrological field methods and to illustrate fundamental principles and phenomena. Field studies are complemented with technical analyses of water resources.

Prerequisite: Introductory course in Earth Sciences or a related field recommended. Dist: TLA. Renshaw.

28. Environmental Geology

08F, 09F: 10A; Laboratory W 1:45-5:00

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach toward understanding the Earth’s present and past environments as systems controlled by natural processes and impacted by human actions. Environmental issues, such as global climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, and water resources and pollution, are discussed in this context. In the process of developing this understanding, students will gain skills in collecting, interpreting, and reporting scientific data. This course does not emphasize environmental policies, but instead the scientific knowledge and arguments behind them. However, case studies will allow students to gain appreciation of the complexity of scientific, social, cultural and political interactions surrounding local and global environmental issues and sustainability.

Prerequisite: Introductory course in Earth Sciences or a related field recommended. Dist: TLA. Feng.

31. Paleobiology

09S, 10S: 11; Laboratory M 2:00-5:00

The study of fossil flora, invertebrate and vertebrate fauna, and their utility in understanding ancient rock sequences of paleontologic or archaeologic significance. Emphasis is placed on the nature of the fossil record, the environmental context, and the evolutionary history of certain major groups of organisms, paleoecology, paleogeography, and the use of fossils for geologic dating and correlation. Stratigraphic principles are developed.

Prerequisite: One introductory level science course or its equivalent or permission of the instructor. Dist: SLA. Scott.

33. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (Identical to Geography 33)

08F, 10S: 12; Laboratory M 3:00-5:00

This class is concerned with surficial landforms on the earth’s surface, the processes responsible for their formation, and their spatial and temporal distribution. The course is designed to present a wide overview of geomorphic principles and processes. Dist: SLA. Magilligan.

34. Materials of the Earth

09X, 10X: 10; Laboratory M 2:00-5:00, Arrange

Identification, crystallography, crystal chemistry, and natural occurrence of minerals, rocks, and water. Origin and classification of the igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 1 (Earth Sciences 2 or 3 or 5 or 6 may be substituted) and Chemistry 3 (or 5), or permission of the instructor. See note below following entry for Earth Sciences 47. Dist: SLA. Bostick.

36. Analysis of Environmental Data

09W: 9L

Topics such as acid deposition, air and water pollution, water quality, acid mine drainage and climate change are used to introduce the fundamentals of environmental data analysis. Basic subjects include descriptive statistics, uncertainty, error propagation, hypothesis testing, regression, and experimental design. Advanced methods for spatial and time series data analysis are briefly introduced.

Prerequisites: One course in Earth Sciences and Mathematics 3 or permission of instructors. Dist: QDS. Feng.

37. Marine Geology

Not offered in the period from 08F through 10S

Geology of the ocean floors revealed by direct observation, sea-bottom photography, various geophysical sensing techniques, and sediment/crust coring. Major topics include mor­phology of the sea floor; origin and structure of the oceanic crust; the nature, origins and distribution of marine sediments; marine stratigraphy, paleoceanography and paleoclimatology; the processes of coastal erosion and deposition, especially during glacial/intergla­cial cycles. A short fieldtrip is offered to learn the various geophysical techniques.

Prerequisite: One introductory course in Earth Sciences (1, 2, 3, 5 or 6) or permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI.

44. Structural Geology

09S, 10S: 11; Laboratory: Arrange

Physical characteristics of earth materials: folding, faulting, fracturing, and flow. Application to fault motion, slope stability, and soil mechanics. Plate tectonics and continental drift, formation and evolution of mountain belts. Laboratories will introduce techniques for visualizing three-dimensional geometric relationships and will develop skills in interpreting geologic and topographic maps. Field trips to selected areas in New England.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 1, or Earth Sciences D.F.S.P. (45, 46, 47), or permission of the instructor. Dist: SLA. Sonder.

45. Field Methods: Techniques of Structural and Stratigraphic Analysis

08F, 09F: D.F.S.P.

The study of geologic phenomena and field problems associated with the solid earth. The analysis of outcrop evidence of the structural, stratigraphic, and geomorphic history of selected regions. The integrated use of geologic instruments, topographic maps, aerial photography, and satellite imagery to enable geomorphic and structural analysis. Because of the nature of this course, class meetings, assignments, readings, and reports are scheduled irregularly.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 34. Must be taken concurrently with Earth Sciences 46 and 47. Dist: SLA. The staff.

46. Field Methods: Environmental Monitoring

08F, 09F: D.F.S.P.

The study of surface processes and products through the integration of geomorphic, hydrologic, and environmental chemistry techniques. The analysis of field evidence of the interaction between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere at the earth’s surface. The integrated use of geologic instruments, topographic maps, aerial photography, and satellite imagery to enable geomorphic and environmental assessment. Because of the nature of this course, class meetings, assignments, readings, and reports are scheduled irregularly.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 34. Must be taken concurrently with Earth Sciences 45 and 47. Dist: TLA. The staff.

47. Field Methods: Resource and Earth Hazards Assessment

08F, 09F: D.F.S.P.

Field studies of rock associations, geologic structures, active and fossil volcanism, and mineral resources in the western United States. The interrelationship between upper crustal processes and earth materials in the development of landforms and landscapes, and rock and mineral provinces. The integrated use of geologic instruments, topographic maps, aerial photography, and satellite imagery to enable resource assessment. Because of the nature of this course, class meetings, assignments, readings, and reports are scheduled irregularly.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 34. Must be taken concurrently with Earth Sciences 45 and 46. Dist: SLA. The staff.

Earth Sciences 45, 46, and 47, the Earth Sciences Off-Campus Study Program (D.F.S.P.), require considerable logistical planning for proper execution. It is therefore imperative that Earth Sciences majors planning to be enrolled in this program register in the Off-Campus Programs Office (44 N. College Street, Hinman 6102) no later than February 1 of the sophomore year. All prerequisites to Earth Sciences 34 must be met by the end of spring term of the sophomore year; failure to complete prerequisites may cause a student to be denied permission to participate in the Off Campus Program. Enrollment may be limited. Preference given to majors.


55. Remote Sensing (Identical to Geography 55)

09W, 10W: 10A; Laboratory: W 1:00-4:00 or Th 1:00-4:00

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.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 1, 2, 5, or 6, or Geography 3. Dist: TLA. Hawley, Chipman.

60. Geology of Fossil Fuels

08F: 3A

This course introduces the geologic controls on the formation, geochemical maturation, and natural preservation of fossil fuels. The depositional history, diagenetic regimes, and deformational patterns of sedimentary basins will be discussed. A description will be given of modern methods of petroleum exploration and primary and secondary production tech­nology. The course will finish with a discussion of the locations and amounts of fossil fuel reserves, and the future of fossil fuels as an energy source. An independent research project will be required.

Prerequisite: A term-length geology field course or permission of the instructor. Dist: TAS. Dade.

62. Geochemistry

08F, 09F: 2A

An overview of low-temperature geochemistry with particular emphasis on the quantita­tive chemical principles controlling the composition of the atmosphere, streams, lakes, groundwater, and the ocean.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 6 or equivalent or permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI. Sharma.

63. River Processes and Watershed Science (Identical to Geography 35)

09S: 10; Laboratory: Monday 3-5

Role of surface water and fluvial processes on landscape formation; magnitude and frequency relationships of flood flows; soil erosion, sediment transport, and fluvial landforms. This course examines the links between watershed scale processes such as weathering, denudation, and mass wasting on the supply of water and sediment to stream channels on both contemporary and geologic timescales and further evaluates the role of climate change on the magnitude and direction of shifts in watershed and fluvial processes. Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 26 or 33 or Biology 23 or permission of the instructor. Dist: SLA. Magilligan.

64. Geophysics

10S: 10; Laboratory: Arrange Offered alternate spring terms

Geological methods (mapping and analysis of samples collected at the earth’s surface) tell us much about processes occurring near the earth’s surface, but very little about deeper parts of the earth. Almost all surface rocks come from depths of no more than a few tens of kilometers, yet 99% of the Earth is deeper than that! How can we learn about parts of the Earth to which there is no hope of ever traveling and from which we have no samples? Geophysics gives us the tools. In this course we will use the principles of gravity, magnetism, seismology, and heat transfer to “journey to the center of the Earth.” Laboratory sessions will be focused more locally; we will collect geophysical data from the Hanover area and interpret them to learn about the rocks hidden below the Earth’s surface.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 3, or permission of the instructor. Mathematics 8 is advisable, but not required. Dist: SLA. Sonder.

65. Geotectonics

09S: 12

The paradigm of plate tectonics developed from research on paleomagnetism and seafloor topography. The course will examine this background and explore: 1) how plate tec­tonics works, 2) the geometry of plate motion on a sphere, 3) modern examples of plate boundary interactions, and 4) the study of a major orogen and associated basin(s).

Prerequisites: Earth Sciences 1 and 44 or permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI. Aronson

66. Hydrogeology

09W: T, Th 8-10 Offered alternate winter terms

This course is an introduction to groundwater and the technical analyses of groundwater resources. A series of case studies are used to introduce the physical, chemical, and technical aspects of groundwater budgets, groundwater resource evaluation (including well hydraulics and numerical modeling), and the transport and fate of contaminants. The case studies also allow students to gain insight into the complexity of sustainable groundwater resource management through exploration of the ideas of safe yield, surface-groundwater interactions, and water quality standards.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 3 or permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI. Renshaw.

67. Environmental Geomechanics

10W: 10 Offered alternate winter terms

The study of our Earth environment requires an understanding of the physical processes within and at the surface of the Earth. This course explores the physics of key Earth surface processes, including volcanic eruptions, landslides and debris flows, and turbulent flows in rivers and the sea. Quantitative concepts are developed through applications in geomorphology, sedimentology, oceanography, and volcanology.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 3 or permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI. Dade.

68. Sedimentary Systems/Sedimentary Petrology

10W: 2A Offered alternate winter terms

This course considers the evidence, preservation, and temporal record of environmental change as preserved in sedimentary rocks. Various biological and physical processes, occurring at or near the earth’s surface, involving the complex interaction between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, will be evaluated so as to understand their occurrence within the ancient sedimentary rock record—a record that may be extended to several billion years before the present. The principles of various paleontological and chronological techniques will also be illustrated through a consideration of certain modern and ancient sedimentary assemblages of geologic, archeological, paleontologic, or paleoenvironmental significance. Laboratory study will involve the use of lithologic and paleontological materials, subsurface and surface outcrop data, optical and electron microscopy. Field trips and field project.

Prerequisite: One introductory level science course or its equivalent or permission of instructor. Dist: SLA. Johnson.

69. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

09S: 10A; Laboratory Tu 2:00-5:00 Offered alternate spring terms

An overview of high-temperature geochemistry with particular emphasis on the processes that form igneous and metamorphic rocks. The course will examine the principles of phase equilibria, the relationship between tectonic and rock forming processes, and the origin of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core. Laboratories will be strongly field-based. Students will examine and collect rocks in the surrounding New England Appalachians and will analyze these rocks in the laboratory.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 34. Dist: SLA. Sharma.

70. Glaciology

09S: 2A Offered alternate spring terms

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.

Prerequisite: Physics 3 and Mathematics 3, or equivalent. Earth Sciences 33 is recommended. Dist: SCI. Hawley.

72. Molecular Paleontology/Archaeology

09F: 10

This course will investigate the origin and preservation of organic molecules in sedi­ments/fossils and their relation to environmental assessment in the present, archaeology in the past and paleontology in the geological past. Topics include environmental conditions affecting the preservations of molecular fossils (lipids, pigments, proteins, carbohydrates and DNA), molecular dating tools, molecular fingerprints of plant and animal evolution, ancient DNA detection and “Jurassic Park”, DNA markers of prehistoric migrations, molecular and isotope reconstruction of the history of human diets and living environments.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5 or permission of the instructor (Earth Sciences 31 or Biology 16 recommended). Dist: SCI. Scott.

73. Environmental Isotope Geochemistry

09W: 10A; Laboratory: Arrange

This course examines the use of radiogenic and stable isotopes as tracers of biogeochemical processes. Topics in the course include the theoretical basis for radiogenic and stable isotope chemistry, and the application of isotope studies in ecological, hydrological, and geochemical studies. The course will include a class project in which students will work on a research problem in environmental science. Past projects have included isotope studies of beer, maple syrup and coffee production.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5 (or 3) or permission of the instructor. Dist: SLA. Feng.

74. Soils and Aqueous Geochemistry

09S: 10A Offered alternate spring terms

An overview of the basic principles that govern soil chemistry, with particular emphasis on the composition and mineralogy of soils, the chemical processes that function within soils, the reactions that describe the fate of elements (both nutrients and contaminants) within soils and soil solutions. The majority of the course will cover equilibrium soil processes. Occasional field trips will concentrate on the collection of soils and their characterization.

Prerequisites: Chemistry 5 and Earth Sciences 62 or equivalents, or permission of instructor. Dist: SCI. Bostick.

76. Contaminant Hydrogeology (Identical to Engineering Science 42)

09S: W 2:00-4:00, F 8:00-10:00; Laboratory: W 4:00-6:00 Offered alternate spring terms

Groundwater contamination is a widespread threat to the environment and to human health. This course includes a survey of physical, chemical, and biological processes by which both dissolved and multiphase contaminants are transported and transformed in the subsurface. Laboratory is used to illustrate phenomena and principles.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 66 or permission of instructor. Dist: TAS. Renshaw.

79. The Soil Resource (Identical to Environmental Studies 79)

10S: 10A Offered alternate spring terms

Soils are a critical natural resource; feeding our growing population depends fundamentally on soils, in fact, soil provide nutrients to all ecosystems. Agriculture and land management has increased soil erosion around the world, potentially influencing the history and fate of civilizations. In the modern era, this use is not sustainable; the physical and chemical degradation of soils far outpaces soil production. This course will explore the nature and properties of soils and examine how these processes occur in natural and human-influenced soils, and identify reasonable limits on what can influence the sustainable utilization of soils as a resource. We will begin by developing an understanding of the geologic, biologic, and chemical processes that lead to soil formation and the development of specific soil properties. The second portion of the course will examine the relationship between soils and underlying bedrock and overlying vegetation and the role of soils in ecosystems. The final section of the course will examine the situations in which soils are used to reduce the impact of human activities and the way in which humans can reduce their impact on soils: the importance of soils in septic tanks and leach fields; the use of soils as solid waste landfill caps and liners; the use of soils in the storage of hazardous wastes; and the conservation and management of soils.

Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 2 or Earth Sciences 1 (Earth Sciences 2 or 3 or 5 or 6 may be substituted); or Chemistry 5 (or 3) and an advanced course from the environmental sciences or earth sciences; or permission of the instructor. Dist: SLA. Bostick.

86.1 Special Topics in Earth Sciences: Earth’s Past, Present, and Future Climate

09W: 2A

This course investigates the characteristics and causes of short- (1 yr) to long-term (>1 million yrs) climate change over the past 100 million years and 1000 years into the future. Emphasis is placed on Quaternary ice age cycles and Holocene (last 10,000 yrs) climate as a context for current changes and projections of future climate modified by human activities. Major topics include natural and anthropogenic climate forcing mechanisms, climate-tectonic interactions, the carbon cycle, climate models, paleoclimate proxies, sea-level change, and societal impacts of climate change in the past and future.

Prerequisite: Introductory Earth Science course or permission of instructor. Dist: SCI. Osterberg.

86.2 Special Topics in Earth Sciences: Polar Geobiology: Life in the Cold

08F: 10A

This course explores the remarkable diversity of microbial life in the cryosphere and the unique challenges of living at low temperatures. Students will be introduced to the importance of microbial diversity in ecosystem function and our general paucity of knowledge in this area will be exposed. Through a critical evaluation of the literature, students will begin to find the gaps in our understanding of the role of microbes in the environment..

Prerequisite: Introductory level science courses such as: Earth Science 1, 6; Environmental Studies 2; or Biological Sciences 11 or permission from the instructor. Dist: SCI. Mikucki.

87. Special Projects

All terms: Arrange

Available every term as advanced study in a particular field of the earth sciences, not related to Senior Thesis research, and under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Conclusions from the project must be submitted in a suitable oral or written report. If taken in satisfaction of the culminating experience requirement, attendance at weekly earth sciences research talks during Winter and Spring terms of the senior year is required.

Prerequisite: Sufficient training in the area of the project, and faculty approval.

88. Research Seminar

09W, 10W: 3A

Participation in advanced reading and discussion related to weekly departmental research talks. Students will read one or more journal articles each week, give oral presentations summarizing the articles, and participate in discussion of the papers. Evaluation will be on the basis of oral presentations, participation in discussion, and attendance. Also requires attendance at weekly earth sciences research talks during Winter and Spring terms of the senior year. Serves in satisfaction of the culminating experience requirement for the earth sciences major.

89. Thesis Research

All terms: Arrange

Research related to preparation of a senior thesis. The initiative to begin some project should come from the student, who should consult the appropriate faculty member. May be taken two terms, both for course credit, but can only count once toward the major. Conclusions from the research must be submitted in a suitable report. Attendance at weekly earth sciences research seminars is required during Winter and Spring terms. Serves in satisfaction of the culminating experience requirement.

Prerequisite: permission of a faculty research advisor.


Various of these courses are open to qualified undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

100. Spatial Data Analysis

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged.

Remote Sensing involves the processing of data collected by satellite and airborne sensors to yield environmental and geologic information about the earth’s surface such as the distribution of forest types, rock units, and land use. A Geographic Information System (GIS) links these thematic data with other spatial data such as topography, transportation networks, and political boundaries to allow display and analysis at the same scale and with the same geographic reference. This course will cover the principles of GIS including data capture, geographic rectification using a Global Positioning System (GPS), spatial buffers, and logical overlays as well as the concepts of Remote Sensing including linear and nonlinear image enhancements, convolution filtering, principal components analysis, and classification. Weekly labs will apply the concepts learned in class.

101. Topics in Petrology

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

The specific aspect of petrology that is covered in this course will vary from year to year. Topics will be selected from either igneous petrology, metamorphic petrology, or the petrology of soils and chemical weathering.

102. Organic Geochemistry

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

This course will consider the sources, distribution and stability of organic compounds in various environments. Emphasis will be place on the abundance and stable isotope content of biomarkers and their application to the geological and environmental systems. Major topic areas include: Origins of organic molecules in the universe and solar systems; major cellular components; dissolved and particulate organic compounds in the ocean; organic compounds in sediments and soils and their diagenetic pathways; sources and fates of anthropogenic compounds; biomarker reconstruction of paleoenvironments.

103. Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks

09W: Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

Problems in the petrogenesis of sedimentary rocks. The petrography, classification, and field relations of various sedimentary facies will be considered in light of examples from both modern and ancient depositional systems. Carbonate facies will be illustrated emphasizing data from modern shelf environments. Clastic rocks will be studied by illustrating the petrology and sedimentology of various depositional systems, facies models, and the diagenetic record. Some emphasis is placed on non-marine and transitional marine environments. Laboratory work involves petrographic and scanning electron microscopy. Field trips. Johnson.

104. Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Basin Analysis

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

The analysis of the spacial and temporal evolution of ancient sedimentary basins. The application of outcrop, well records, cores, and geophysical data to illustrate the principles of stratigraphic analysis and correlation. Course emphasis will include sedimentary lithofacies and biofacies analysis, characterization of depositional systems, basin mapping techniques, and the analysis of basin thermal histories. Intrinsic basin response to such extrinsic controls as plate tectonics and sea level changes will be considered. Field trips. Johnson.

105. Phase Equilibria

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

Theoretical treatment of multicomponent phase equilibria that examines diagenetic, metamorphic, igneous, and ore forming processes.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 69.

106. GIS in Hydrology

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

107. Mathematical Modeling of Earth Processes

09W: Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged. Offered alternate years

Physics and mathematics of processes in the earth, including chemical and thermal diffusion, mechanics of lithospheric deformation, and chemical fractionation.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 13 or permission of instructor. Sonder.

108. Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

Lectures, seminars, and laboratory studies on radiogenic isotope geochemistry. Topics will include planetary evolution, igneous and metamorphic petrology, weathering and diagenesis, and geochronology. Emphasis will be placed on current research developments and techniques of isotopic measurement. Sharma.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 62 or 73.

109. Clay Mineralogy and Shale Petrology

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

The theoretical and practical aspects of x-ray diffraction are stressed. Homework and laboratory work involve the computer and the x-ray diffractometer. Bostick.

110. Process Geomorphology

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

Lectures will be combined with discussion sections and field trips to examine geomorphic principles from a process-based perspective. Reading will draw from texts, seminal papers, as well as the most current geomorphic literature to quantitatively examine the Earth’s surface. Field trips will involve data collection and processing that will be written up as student reports. Topics examined include: mechanical and chemical weathering of bedrock, erosion by water, mass wasting, glacial, and periglacial processes, and landscape evolution modeling. Heimsath.

111. Marine Geology

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

112. Geochemical Thermodynamics

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

This course covers chemical thermodynamics for both low and high temperature geochemical processes. Subjects include aqueous geochemistry, stability relationships of minerals at both low and high temperatures, calculation of activity vs. activity diagrams, and calculation of geochemical reactions. As such, the information in this course is essen­tial for students interested in geochemistry. The course will require weekly problem sets, a biweekly laboratory, and 2 hourly exams. Students should be familiar with general chemistry.

113. Watershed Hydrochemistry

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

115. Analysis of Environmental Data

09W, 10W: Arrange

Topics such as acid deposition, watershed pollution, water quality, acid mine drainage and climatic change are used to introduce the fundamentals of environmental data analysis, including uncertainty and hypothesis testing, error propagation, regression, and experimental design. Students are required to analyze their own research data as part of their final project. Feng.

117. Topics in Stable Isotope Geochemistry

Lecture and Laboratory to be arranged

An advanced seminar course on the application of stable isotope geochemistry to research in biogeochemistry. A specific topic in biogeochemistry will be selected each year this course is offered. Students will read and present research papers and will conduct a group research project in the stable isotope laboratory.

119. Stable Isotope Geochemistry

10W: Lecture and Laboratory to be arranged. Offered alternate winter terms

Lectures, seminars, and laboratory studies on the theory and applications of stable isotope geochemistry. Emphasis will be placed on major contributions of the stable isotope tech­nique to the fundamental understanding of geological processes and on current research developments. Topics will include planetary evolution, high and low temperature rock-fluid interactions, global climate change, and biogeochemical cycles.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 62 or 73. Feng.

120. Quaternary Paleoclimatology

Lecture and Laboratory to be arranged

121. Graduate Seminar


122. Topics in Geomorphology

Lecture and Laboratory to be arranged

123. Special Topics

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

124. Analytical Chemistry and Inorganic Instrumental Analysis (Identical to Chemistry 124)

09S: Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged

This course is directed towards graduate students planning to use inorganic chemical analysis in their thesis work. The lectures and seminars focus on the theory and application of modern instrumental analysis and analytical chemistry. The theoretical background for a number of inorganic instrumental analytical methods are given and examples of their application to problems of interest for analytical chemists working in the fields of earth science, chemistry, biology and environmental science are presented. The lectures covers ion chromatography, electrochemistry, atomic absorption, inductively coupled plasma optical emission and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The theory and concepts of analytical chemistry are provided along with statistical tools, uncertainty calculations and data treatment methods useful in analytical chemistry.

Prerequisites: Chemistry 5 and Chemistry 6 or permission of instructor. Jackson.

125. Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Soils and Sediments

Lectures to be arranged

This course provides an in-depth treatment of chemical processes within soils, surface waters and sediments. The course will include both lectures and discussions of readings from current literature. Emphasis is given to oxidation-reduction reactions and processes at the solid-water interface. Included are quantitative descriptions of electron transfer processes, microbial (dissimilatory) metal reduction, ion exchange, electrified interfaces, specific adsorption, and dissolution/precipitation.

Prerequisites: Earth Sciences 62 and 74 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Bostick.

131. Project Research


Research under the guidance of a staff member on a topic unrelated to the thesis.

141. Level I — Part-time Thesis Research (one-course equivalent)


142. Level II — Part-time Thesis Research (two-course equivalent)


143. Level III — Full-time Thesis Research (three-course equivalent)


157. Supervised Teaching in Earth Sciences

All Terms: Arrange

Not open to undergraduates.

201. Concepts and Methods I

08F: Lectures to be arranged

An annual sequence of short modules covering important issues in Earth Sciences. Enrollment in Earth Sciences 201 is required for all incoming graduate students in Earth Sciences.

Not open to undergraduates.