Fall 2017

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
ERSC 121-01 Habitable Worlds
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
The earth is the only planet we know of that is both habitable and inhabited. Are we alone in the universe, or do other planets support life as well? In this course, we will travel in time from the Big Bang to the present day to understand that factors that underlie the habitability of the Earth since its creation 4.6 billion years ago. Emphasis will be placed on the synthesis of the chemical elements in stars, the composition and creation of terrestrial planets, the differentiation of the solid earth and the origin and evolution of the atmosphere. We will also approach the origin of life as a planetary process and examine co-evolution of both life and the planet. Students will be challenged to consider scales of distance spanning 41 orders of magnitude and to think on time scales ranging from days to billions of years. As we uncover the factors responsible for Earths habitability, we will also consider the rise of our species, Homo sapiens, in planetary context and contemplate the sustainability and longevity of human civilizations. Finally, with the knowledge and skills accumulated over the course of the semester, students will address the search for life on other planets and confront the age-old question: are we alone? Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.
1330:R   KAUF 134
0930:MWF   KAUF 186
ERSC 121-02 Habitable Worlds
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
The earth is the only planet we know of that is both habitable and inhabited. Are we alone in the universe, or do other planets support life as well? In this course, we will travel in time from the Big Bang to the present day to understand that factors that underlie the habitability of the Earth since its creation 4.6 billion years ago. Emphasis will be placed on the synthesis of the chemical elements in stars, the composition and creation of terrestrial planets, the differentiation of the solid earth and the origin and evolution of the atmosphere. We will also approach the origin of life as a planetary process and examine co-evolution of both life and the planet. Students will be challenged to consider scales of distance spanning 41 orders of magnitude and to think on time scales ranging from days to billions of years. As we uncover the factors responsible for Earths habitability, we will also consider the rise of our species, Homo sapiens, in planetary context and contemplate the sustainability and longevity of human civilizations. Finally, with the knowledge and skills accumulated over the course of the semester, students will address the search for life on other planets and confront the age-old question: are we alone? Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.
1330:W   KAUF 134
0930:MWF   KAUF 186
ERSC 141-01 Earth's Hazards
Instructor: Jorden Hayes
Course Description:
This course examines natural processes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mass wasting events, and floods that have the potential to produce disastrous consequences for humans. All of these processes result from interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere directly or indirectly, which is the realm of earth sciences. Increasing global populations and increasingly interdependent national economies mean that few disasters are now only local. This course will use examples such as case studies of recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to examine how natural processes can be hazardous, and whether or not humans can anticipate and mitigate these kinds of hazards to prevent future disasters. Laboratory work will include analog experiments, field trips, and video analysis of historic disasters. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.
1030:TR   ALTHSE 106
1330:T   KAUF 146
ERSC 141-02 Earth's Hazards
Instructor: Jorden Hayes
Course Description:
This course examines natural processes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mass wasting events, and floods that have the potential to produce disastrous consequences for humans. All of these processes result from interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere directly or indirectly, which is the realm of earth sciences. Increasing global populations and increasingly interdependent national economies mean that few disasters are now only local. This course will use examples such as case studies of recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to examine how natural processes can be hazardous, and whether or not humans can anticipate and mitigate these kinds of hazards to prevent future disasters. Laboratory work will include analog experiments, field trips, and video analysis of historic disasters. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.
1030:TR   ALTHSE 106
1330:W   KAUF 146
ERSC 142-01 Earth's Changing Climate
Instructor: Marcus Key
Course Description:
An overview of our understanding of climate processes and their interaction with the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere based on studies of ancient climates, which inform our understanding of climate change now and into the future. Topics include drivers of climate change at different time scales, evidence for climate change, and major climate events such as ice ages. Emphasis will be placed on the last 1 million years of earth history as a prelude to discussing potential anthropogenic impacts on the climate. Case studies of major climate players such as the US and China will be contrasted with those most vulnerable, Africa and SE Asia to determine mitigation and adaptation strategies. The lab component will use historic climate data, field experiences, and climate modeling to interpret climate change processes. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.
1330:W   KAUF 152
0900:TR   KAUF 179
ERSC 142-02 Earth's Changing Climate
Instructor: Marcus Key
Course Description:
An overview of our understanding of climate processes and their interaction with the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere based on studies of ancient climates, which inform our understanding of climate change now and into the future. Topics include drivers of climate change at different time scales, evidence for climate change, and major climate events such as ice ages. Emphasis will be placed on the last 1 million years of earth history as a prelude to discussing potential anthropogenic impacts on the climate. Case studies of major climate players such as the US and China will be contrasted with those most vulnerable, Africa and SE Asia to determine mitigation and adaptation strategies. The lab component will use historic climate data, field experiences, and climate modeling to interpret climate change processes. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.
1330:R   KAUF 152
0900:TR   KAUF 179
ERSC 201-01 Surface Processes
Instructor: Peter Sak
Course Description:
Description, origin, development, and classification of landforms. Relationships of soils, surficial materials, and landforms to rocks, structures, climate, processes, and time. Topics will include interpretation of maps and aerial photographs of landscapes produced in tectonic, volcanic, fluvial, glacial, periglacial, coastal, karst, and eolian environments. Exercises will include: photo-geologic interpretation, surficial mapping, and classification of soils. Lectures, discussions, laboratories, and field trip(s). Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 141 or 142. Offered every other year.
1030:TR   KAUF 153
1330:T   KAUF 153
ERSC 202-01 Energy Resources
Instructor: Marcus Key
Course Description:
The study of the origin, geologic occurrence, and distribution of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and uranium. Discussions include the evaluation and exploitation, economics, law, and the environmental impact of these resources and their alternatives, including geothermal, wind, solar, tidal, and ocean thermal power. Prerequisites: Any DIV III lab science (not MATH). Offered every other year.
0830:MWF   KAUF 179
ERSC 218-01 Geographic Information Systems
Instructor: James Ciarrocca
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ARCH 218-01 and ENST 218-01. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a powerful technology for managing, analyzing, and visualizing spatial data and geographically-referenced information. It is used in a wide variety of fields including archaeology, agriculture, business, defense and intelligence, education, government, health care, natural resource management, public safety, transportation, and utility management. This course provides a fundamental foundation of theoretical and applied skills in GIS technology that will enable students to investigate and make reasoned decisions regarding spatial issues. Utilizing GIS software applications from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), students work on a progression of tasks and assignments focused on GIS data collection, manipulation, analysis, output and presentation. The course will culminate in a final, independent project in which the students design and prepare a GIS analysis application of their own choosing. Three hours of classroom and three hours of laboratory per week. This course is cross-listed as ENST 218 and ARCH 218.
1330:F   KAUF 109
0930:MWF   KAUF 185
ERSC 305-01 Earth Materials
Instructor: Benjamin Edwards
Course Description:
Completion of both ERSC 305 and 309 fulfills the WID Requirement. This gives students a basic understanding of the tools and techniques used in modern science to identify and characterize solid earth materials at the macroscopic (hand samples), microscopic (polarized light), and sub-microscopic (X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy) levels. Emphasis in the first part of the course will be on minerals, while the second part of the course will introduce students to characterization techniques of other solid earth materials (soils and rocks) and their conditions of formation. This course is required for the Earth Science major, and will be useful to students interested in agricultural science, archeology, environmental science, forensic science, planetary science, and solid state chemistry and physics. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: 141 and 142, or permission of instructor. Completion of both 305 and 309 fulfills the WID graduation requirement. Offered every other year.
1030:MWF   KAUF 140
1330:M   KAUF 140
ERSC 500-01 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Instructor: Benjamin Edwards
Course Description:
 
ERSC 550-01 Appalachian Foreland Strain Accommodation
Instructor: Peter Sak
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-01 Research Methods in Geochemistry
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-02 Mercury Chemostratigraphy of the Triassic-Jurassic transition in Kuhjoch, Austria
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-03 Lava-Ice Interactions at Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland
Instructor: Benjamin Edwards
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-04 Origin and Extent of Pyroclastic Deposits from 2015 Villarrica Eruption Chile
Instructor: Benjamin Edwards
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-05 Unraveling the Central Appalachians II
Instructor: Peter Sak
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-06 Comparing Methods for Removal of Organic Material for C and O Isotope Analysis in Skeletal Carbonate
Instructor: Marcus Key
Course Description:
 
ERSC 560-07 Taphonomic Comparison of Recent and Fossil Bryozoan Fouling New Zealand Sea Urchins
Instructor: Marcus Key
Course Description: