Faculty Profile

Alyson Thibodeau

Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences (2015)

Contact Information

thibodea@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Building Room 133

Education

  • B.A., Amherst College, 2004
  • M.S., University of Arizona, 2006
  • Ph.D., 2012

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ERSC 121 Habitable Worlds
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 Earth’s 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.

ERSC 121 Habitable Worlds
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 Earth’s 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.

ERSC 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

ERSC 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

Spring 2018

ERSC 142 Earth's Changing Climate
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.

ERSC 142 Earth's Changing Climate
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.