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Earth Sciences

INTRODUCTORY COURSES IN EARTH SCIENCES

1. Introduction to Earth Sciences

09F, 10S, 10F, 11S: 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. Kelly, Osterberg.

2. Evolution of Earth and Life

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

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. By examining how the biosphere has interacted with key geochemical and geophysical processes over this time, this course investigates how the evolution of the biosphere and geosphere has been a synergistic process throughout the entire history of the Earth that continues today. Dist: SCI. Scott.

3. Elementary Oceanography

10S, 11S: 11

Oceanography is one of the studies in which natural processes are investigated with interdisciplinary approaches by scientists of a wide range of specialties. Physical, chemical, biological and geological processes in the oceans and their interactions are studied in this course. Students will gain appreciation of the complexity of the ocean as a natural system and necessity of interdisciplinarity to investigate it. Oceans as a source of resources, as a fundamental part of the global climate engine, as a book of earth’s environmental history, and as a bed of origin of life are discussed. Use and abuse of ocean resources and associated environmental problems, such as ocean water pollution, over-fishing and whaling are also discussed. Dist: SCI. Dade, Feng.

5. Natural Disasters and Catastrophes

10X: 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. Hawley.

7. First-Year Seminars in Earth Sciences

Consult special listings

8. Geology of New England and Surrounding Regions (formerly Earth Sciences 21)

10S: 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.

9. Earth Resources

11W: 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.

COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF EARTH SCIENCE DATA

14. Meteorology (formerly Earth Sciences 4)

10W: 2A; lab 4-6 Th

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. Labs will provide hands-on experience observing the weather, building and using simple meteorological instruments, interpreting network data and satellite images, and forecasting the weather in real time. Additional topics may include air pollution, deliberate and inadvertent weather and climate modification, aviation and marine weather, and atmospheric chaos. Dist: SLA. Posmentier.

15. Earth’s Climate – Past, Present and Future

10W, 11W; 10A Laboratory Wed. 1:45-4:15

Understanding what drives climate change is one of the major scientific questions of the 21st century. Evidence for past (paleo) climate change provides essential information about Earth’s climate system and the potential for future change. In this course, we will investigate paleoclimate changes and the chemistry and physics of the modern climate system. We will explore the mechanisms which influence climate on various time scales and the projections for future change. Laboratory projects will focus on collecting and analyzing data from local sites to develop paleoclimate records. Dist: SLA. Kelly.

16. Hydrology and Water Resources (formerly Earth Sciences 26)

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. Dist: TLA. Renshaw.

17. Analysis of Environmental Data (formerly Earth Sciences 36)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

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. Dist: QDS. Feng.

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

18. Environmental Geology (formerly Earth Sciences 28)

09F, 10F: 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. Dist: TLA. Faiia, Feng.

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

CORE METHODS AND CONCEPTS

31. Paleobiology

10S, 11S: 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. Dist: SLA. Scott.

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

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

09F: 10A   10F: 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. Osterberg, Magilligan.

35. The Soil Resource (formerly Earth Sciences 79) (Identical to Environmental Studies 79)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

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. Dist: SLA.

Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 2 or Earth Sciences 1-9 exclusive of Earth Sciences 7 or Chemistry 5 and an advanced course from the environmental sciences or earth sciences; or permission of the instructor.

37. Marine Geology

10W: 11

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. Dist: SCI. Osterberg.

Prerequisite: One of Earth Sciences 1-9 exclusive of Earth Sciences 7 or permission of the instructor.

38. Sedimentary Systems (formerly Earth Sciences 60)

11W: 2A

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. This course will also introduce a consideration of the geologic controls on the formation, geochemical maturation, and natural preservation of fossil energy resources. Dist: TAS. Johnson.

Prerequisite: One of Earth Sciences 1-9 exclusive of Earth Sciences 7 or permission of the instructor.

40. Materials of the Earth (formerly Earth Sciences 34)

10X: 2; Laboratory T or Th 2:00-4:00

This course will prepare students for the Earth Sciences FSP and for further study in Earth Sciences. It consists of two integrated modules, structural geology and earth materials. In the Structural Geology component, students will learn how to observe and analyze the arrangement of rock units in order to gain insight into the chronology of events occurring in the geological past and the implications for kinematics (e.g. plate tectonic history) and dynamics (e.g., origin and evolution of tectonic forces). Practical skills include making and analyzing geological maps, constructing cross-sections, and analyzing three-dimensional geological data and geometries. Field excursions. In the Earth Materials component, students will develop an understanding of the nature and formation of solid-earth’s raw materials in the context of earth’s major tectonic, petrologic, hydrologic and biogeochemical systems. This will involve an understanding of the nomenclature of materials and their textures, and systems of classification, the physical and chemical properties of earth materials, associations and occurrences, and an understanding of processes of formation of earth materials resources. Field (hand-and outcrop-scale) and petrographic microscope- based laboratory procedures will be introduced. Field excursions. Dist: SLA. Johnson and Sonder.

Prerequisite: One of Earth Sciences 1-9 exclusive of Earth Sciences 7 and Chemistry 5, or permission of the instructor.

45. Field Methods: Techniques of Structural and Stratigraphic Analysis

09F, 10F: 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. Dist: SLA. The staff.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40. Must be taken concurrently with Earth Sciences 46 and 47.

46. Field Methods: Environmental Monitoring

09F, 10F: 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. Dist: SLA. The staff.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40. Must be taken concurrently with Earth Sciences 45 and 47.

47. Field Methods: Resource and Earth Hazards Assessment

09F, 10F: 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. Dist: SLA. The staff.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40. Must be taken concurrently with Earth Sciences 45 and 46.

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 40 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.

ADVANCED CORE METHODS AND CONCEPTS

51. Mineralogy and Earth Processes

10W: 11

Crystallography, mineral chemistry, and physical properties of the principal rock forming minerals, especially the silicates. In the laboratory hand identification, the petrographic microscope, and X-ray diffraction are techniques to be mastered. The course culminates with three case studies that relate mineralogic change to the geologic cycle, such as in regional metamorphism during mountain building; the origin of petroleum; and soil formation. Dist: SLA. Aronson.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 and Chemistry 5 or permission of instructor.

52. Structural Geology (formerly Earth Sciences 44)

11S: 11; Laboratory: Arrange

This course examines various aspects of regional-scale geologic processes and structures, or tectonics. Topics of study include the history of relevant geologic thought, rock deformation, the origin and evolution of mountain belts, the growth of continents and ocean basins, the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and tectonic geomorphology. Students learn that tectonic analysis requires the synthesis of a wide range of information in an attempt to reconstruct the history and driving dynamics of the large-scale, geologic architecture of a particular region. Format: faculty- and student-led presentations, and discussion of selected articles from the peer-reviewed literature. Dist: SLA. Dade.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

58. Sedimentary Petrology (formerly Earth Sciences 68)

10W: 2A Offered alternate winter terms

This is a combined lecture and laboratory course on the origin and diagenetic modification of sediments and sedimentary rocks. The course will cover theoretical and practical aspects of sedimentary geology that are critical to understanding the nature of soils, hydrocarbon reservoirs and groundwater aquifers, as well as the record of ancient climate and environments. We will build upon an understanding acquired in Earth Sciences 40 as well as our off-campus field program. Lectures will be combined with the study of field relationships, hand specimen and petrographic thin sections of select sedimentary assemblages. In addition to employing standard petrographic microscopy, we will also introduce some of the other major instrumental methods commonly used in the field (e.g. electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction). 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. Dist: SLA. Johnson.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 or permission of instructor.

59. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (formerly Earth Sciences 69)

11S: 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. We will learn how a combination of rock fabric, texture, mineralogy, phase equilibria, and chemical composition are used to investigate the origin and evolution of rocks. We will also examine the relationship between rock forming and tectonic processes and the origin of the Earth’s crust. The course consists of lectures and laboratory; the latter includes examination of a large number of rocks in hand-samples and their corresponding thin-sections. Additionally, we will have a week-end field trip to the metamorphosed igneous rocks of the Adirondack Mountains. Dist: SLA. Sharma.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 or permission of instructor.

QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF EARTH SYSTEMS

62. Geochemistry

09F: 2A

The intent of this course is to further our understanding of the Earth by utilizing the principles of chemistry. We will place particular emphasis on how to obtain quantitative information about the processes controlling the composition of Earth’s mantle, crust, ocean and atmosphere. We will examine how abundances of elements and isotopes and chemical equilibria can provide such information. Dist: SCI. Sharma.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 6 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

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. Dist: SLA. Sonder.

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

65. Remote Sensing (Identical to Geography 55)

10W, 11W: 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. Dist: TLA. Chipman; Hawley.

Prerequisite: One of Earth Sciences 1-9 exclusive of Earth Sciences 7 or Geography 3.

66. Hydrogeology

11W: 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. Dist: SCI. Renshaw.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 3 or permission of the instructor.

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. Advanced quantitative concepts are developed through applications in geomorphology, sedimentology, oceanography, and volcanology. Format: faculty lectures, challenging weekly problem sets, independent project, final exam. Dist: SCI. Dade.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 23 or permission of the instructor.

ADVANCED TOPICS

70. Glaciology

10S: 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. Dist: SCI. Hawley.

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

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

11S: 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. Dist: SLA. Magilligan.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 16 or 33 or Biology 23 or permission of the instructor.

72. Molecular Geobiology

09F: 10

This course will investigate the coevolution of life and other Earth systems (e.g. oceans and atmosphere). Concepts in geobiology are presented in the context of significant events in Earth’s history. The course provides an introduction to molecular techniques (e.g. isotope analysis to genomics and proteomics) utilized to investigate significant events in Earth’s history. The important geobiological processes and major events discussed in the course may include, for example, the formation of the solar system, the earliest records of life, evolution of photosynthesis and the oxygenation of Earth’s environment, origin of animals at the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, extinction of invertebrates at the Permian-Triassic boundary, and the Eocene- Paleocene thermal crisis to name a few. Dist: SCI. Scott.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5 or permission of the instructor. Earth Sciences 31 or Biology 16 recommended.

73. Environmental Isotope Geochemistry

11W: 10A; Laboratory: Arrange

This course examines the use of stable, radiogenic and cosmogenic isotopes as tools to study Earth’s processes, particularly processes that are environmentally important. The theory of isotope principles are introduced followed by their applications in investigating earth’s systems. The main applications include studies of climate change, hydrological processes, biogeochemical cycles, earth’s early environment, origin of life, erosion and mountain building. Labs provide hands on opportunities for students to learn mass spectrometry and isotopic data collection and interpretation. Dist: SLA. Feng.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5 or permission of the instructor.

74. Soils and Aqueous Geochemistry

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

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. Dist: SCI.

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

76. Contaminant Hydrogeology (Identical to Engineering Science 42)

11S: 2A; Laboratory: Th 4:00-6:00 Offered alternate spring terms

Water 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 subsurface and surface waters. Laboratory is used to illustrate phenomena and principles. Dist: TAS. Renshaw.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 66 or permission of instructor.

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. The Earth System

09F, 10F: Arrange

A culminating experience for seniors choosing not to pursue independent research, offered concurrently with Earth Sciences 201. We review regional geology of the Appalachians in the field, and then review key components of the Earth System, including the origin of our planet and the origin of life, plate tectonics, atmospheric and ocean circulation, Earth surface processes, and environmental change. Format: local field trips, faculty- and student-led presentations, and discussion of selected articles from the peer reviewed literature. Dist: SLA.

Prerequisite: Earth Science major and fourth-year standing.

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.

GRADUATE COURSES IN EARTH SCIENCES

Except where indicated, these courses are open to qualified undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

107. Mathematical Modeling of Earth Processes

11W: 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. Sonder.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 13 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

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 or equivalent.

117. Analysis of Environmental Data

11W: 2A

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.

118. Advanced Methods for Environmental Data Analysis

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Advanced methods of environmental data analysis are introduced with real world examples in environmental science. The course starts with a quick review of the fundamental statistical concepts, such as hypothesis testing, power of statistical tests and experimental design. The advanced methods include time series analysis, spatial data analysis (geostatistics), and multivariate analysis (such as multiple correlation, PCA, factor analysis, etc.) Feng.

Prerequisites: Earth Sciences 17 or 117 and Mathematics 3 or the equivalents.

119. Stable Isotope Geochemistry

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. Feng.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 62 or 73 or equivalent.

121. Graduate Seminar

Arrange

123. Special Topics

Lectures and Laboratory to be arranged.

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

11S: 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. Jackson.

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

131. Project Research

Arrange

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)

Arrange

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

Arrange

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

Arrange

149. Supervised Teaching in Earth Sciences

All Terms: Arrange

Not open to undergraduates.

151. Mineralogy and Earth Processes

10W: 11; X-hour required.

Crystallography, mineral chemistry, and physical properties of the principal rock forming minerals, especially the silicates. In the laboratory hand identification, the petrographic microscope, and X-ray diffraction are techniques to be mastered. The course culminates with three case studies that relate mineralogic change to the geologic cycle, such as in regional metamorphism during mountain building; the origin of petroleum; and soil formation. Aronson.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 and Chemistry 5 or equivalents.

152. Structural Geology

11S: 11; Laboratory: Arrange; X-hour required

This course examines various aspects of regional-scale geologic processes and structures, or tectonics. Topics of study include the history of relevant geologic thought, rock deformation, the origin and evolution of mountain belts, the growth of continents and ocean basins, the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and tectonic geomorphology. Students learn that tectonic analysis requires the synthesis of a wide range of information in an attempt to reconstruct the history and driving dynamics of the large-scale, geologic architecture of a particular region. Format: faculty- and student-led presentations, and discussion of selected articles from the peer-reviewed literature. Dade.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

158. Sedimentary Petrology

10W: 2A; X-hour required. Offered alternate winter terms

This is a combined lecture and laboratory course on the origin and diagenetic modification of sediments and sedimentary rocks. The course will cover theoretical and practical aspects of sedimentary geology that are critical to understanding the nature of soils, hydrocarbon reservoirs and groundwater aquifers, as well as the record of ancient climate and environments. We will build upon an understanding acquired in EARS 40 as well as our off-campus field program. Lectures will be combined with the study of field relationships, hand specimen and petrographic thin sections of select sedimentary assemblages. In addition to employing standard petrographic microscopy, we will also introduce some of the other major instrumental methods commonly used in the field (e.g. electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction). 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. Johnson.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

159. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

11S: 10A; Laboratory Tu 2:00-5:00; X-hour required. 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. Sharma.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 40 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

162. Geochemistry

09F: 2A; X-hour required.

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. Sharma.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 6 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

164. Geophysics

10S: 10; Laboratory: Arrange; X-hour required. 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 equivalent or permission of the instructor. Mathematics 8 or equivalent is advisable, but not required. Sonder.

165. Remote Sensing

10W, 11W: 10A; Laboratory: W 1:00-4:00 or Th 1:00-4:00; X-hour required.

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. Chipman; Hawley.

166. Hydrogeology

09W: T, Th 8-10; X-hour required. 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. Renshaw.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 3 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

167. Environmental Geomechanics

10W: 10; X-hour required. 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. Advanced quantitative concepts are developed through applications in geomorphology, sedimentology, oceanography, and volcanology. Format: faculty lectures, challenging weekly problem sets, independent project, final exam. Dade.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 23 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

170. Glaciology

10S: 2A; X-hour required. 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. Hawley.

Prerequisite: Physics 3 and Mathematics 3 or equivalents. Earth Sciences 33 or equivalent is recommended.

171. River Processes and Watershed Science

11S: 10; Laboratory: Monday 3-5; X-hour required.

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. Magilligan.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 16 or 33 or Biology 23 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

172. Molecular Geobiology

09F: 10; X-hour required.

This course will investigate the coevolution of life and other Earth systems (e.g. oceans and atmosphere). Concepts in geobiology are presented in the context of significant events in Earth’s history. The course provides an introduction to molecular techniques (e.g. isotope analysis to genomics and proteomics) utilized to investigate significant events in Earth’s history. The important geobiological processes and major events discussed in the course may include, for example, the formation of the solar system, the earliest records of life, evolution of photosynthesis and the oxygenation of Earth’s environment, origin of animals at the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, extinction of invertebrates at the Permian-Triassic boundary, and the Eocene- Paleocene thermal crisis to name a few. Scott.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5 or equivalent or permission of the instructor. Earth Sciences 31 or Biology 16 or equivalent recommended.

173. Environmental Isotope Geochemistry

11W: 10A; Laboratory: Arrange; X-hour required.

This course examines the use of stable, radiogenic and cosmogenic isotopes as tools to study Earth’s processes, particularly processes that are environmentally important. The theory of isotope principles are introduced followed by their applications in investigating earth’s systems. The main applications include studies of climate change, hydrological processes, biogeochemical cycles, earth’s early environment, origin of life, erosion and mountain building. Labs provide hands on opportunities for students to learn mass spectrometry and isotopic data collection and interpretation. Feng.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

174. Soils and Aqueous Geochemistry

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

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.

176. Contaminant Hydrogeology

11S: 2A; Laboratory: Th 4:00-6:00; X-hour required Offered alternate spring terms

Water 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 subsurface and surface waters. Laboratory is used to illustrate phenomena and principles. Renshaw.

Prerequisite: Earth Sciences 66 or equivalents or permission of instructor.

201. Earth Systems

09F: Lectures to be arranged

An introductory experience required of all incoming graduate students, offered concurrently with Earth Sciences 88. We review the regional geology and geomorphology of the Appalachians in the field, and then review key components of the Earth System, including the origin of our planet and the origin of life, plate tectonics, atmospheric and ocean circulation, Earth surface processes, and environmental change. Format: local field trips, faculty- and student-led presentations, and discussion of selected articles from the peer-reviewed literature. Not open to undergraduates. Dade.

202. Earth Systems

10W: Lectures to be arranged

Chemical tracers are widely used for tracing geological processes, present and past. This course introduces basic quantitative methods of tracer applications. Geochemical methods such as analysis of system thermodynamics and kinetics, models for biogeochemical cycles, analysis of isotopic systematics are some sample methodologies to be examined. Students will learn that using tracer techniques requires understanding tracer properties and behavior as well as geological processes. In addition, the basic quantitative methods will allow students to think about earth’s processes quantitatively, and address questions about the state of systems and rates and mechanisms of their evolution. Not open to undergraduates. Sharma, Jackson.

203. Advanced Earth Surface Processes

10S: Lectures to be arranged

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. Hawley, Kelly.