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Geosciences Current Courses

Fall 2024

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
GEOS 141-01 Earth's Hazards
Instructor: Peter Sak
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.
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
KAUF 179
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, T
KAUF 153
GEOS 141-02 Earth's Hazards
Instructor: Peter Sak
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.
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
KAUF 179
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, W
KAUF 153
GEOS 151-01 Foundations of Earth Sciences
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
How do mountains and oceans form? Why do the positions of continents shift? Can rocks bend or flow? What is the history of life on our planet? This course explores the materials that make up the Earth and the processes that shape it, both at and below the surface. Students will take field trips around the Carlisle area as well as complete analytical and computer laboratory activities in order to acquire basic field, laboratory, and computer modelling skills. This course serves as a gateway to the Earth Sciences major, but is also appropriate for non-majors. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week.
10:30 AM-11:20 AM, MWF
KAUF 179
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, T
KAUF 134
GEOS 151-02 Foundations of Earth Sciences
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
How do mountains and oceans form? Why do the positions of continents shift? Can rocks bend or flow? What is the history of life on our planet? This course explores the materials that make up the Earth and the processes that shape it, both at and below the surface. Students will take field trips around the Carlisle area as well as complete analytical and computer laboratory activities in order to acquire basic field, laboratory, and computer modelling skills. This course serves as a gateway to the Earth Sciences major, but is also appropriate for non-majors. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week.
10:30 AM-11:20 AM, MWF
KAUF 179
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, M
KAUF 134
GEOS 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: One introductory lab science or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.
08:30 AM-09:20 AM, MWF
KAUF 186
GEOS 205-01 Introduction to Soil Science
Instructor: Ben Edwards
Course Description:
This course focuses on giving students a basic understanding of soil formation processes and field/laboratory characterization of soils. Emphasis in the first part of the course will be on soil formation processes, while the second part of the course will focus on students conducting experiments relevant to soil formation. Weather permitting most labs will have an out-of-doors component. This course is an elective for the Earth Sciences major, and will be useful to students interested in the food studies certificate program, agricultural science, archeology, environmental science, forensic science, planetary science, and solid state chemistry and physics.Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisie: one introductory lab science or permission of instructor.
09:30 AM-10:20 AM, MWF
KAUF 140
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, M
KAUF 140
GEOS 218-02 Geographic Information Systems
Instructor: Heather Bedi, GISP STAFF
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ARCH 218-02, ENST 218-02 and GISP 218-02. 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 per week. This course is cross-listed as ARCH 218, ENST 218 and GISP 218.
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, R
LIBRY DSRL
GEOS 250-01 Introduction to Arctic Studies
Instructor: Ben Edwards
Course Description:
This course is designed to give a broad introduction to the physical/social geography, geology and ecology of the Arctic region of earth particularly through the lens of global climate change. Students will use a variety of media (lectures, readings, videos, blogs) to build knowledge about this critical region of earth to serve as a basis for individual and group projects on a specific Arctic region (e.g., Siberia, Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland, Nunavut, Alaska) and topic (e.g., climate change, Arctic tourism, Arctic flora/fauna species, Arctic archeology, Arctic exploration). Learning goals include: i) exposure to spatial analysis and Geographic Information Systems, ii) foundational knowledge of the Arctic cryosphere and its response to climate change, geological history, human geography and ecological systems, and iii) mastery of Arctic geography. Course meetings will include student presentations, fieldtrips and basic GIS instruction.
09:00 AM-10:15 AM, TR
ALTHSE 106
GEOS 309-01 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Instructor: Marcus Key
Course Description:
Completion of both GEOS 305 and GEOS 309 fulfills the WID Requirement. A study of the processes and patterns of sedimentation as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of rock strata. This includes the origin, transportation, deposition, lithification, and diagenesis of sediments. Lithology, geochemistry, paleontology, geochronology, and seismology will be used to understand the history of rock strata. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 151 or permission of instructor. Completion of both 305 and 309 fulfills the WID graduation requirement. Offered every other year.
10:30 AM-11:20 AM, MWF
KAUF 152
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, W
KAUF 152
GEOS 310-01 Physics of the Earth
Instructor: Jorden Hayes
Course Description:
How and why do earthquakes happen? Why does Earth's magnetic field flip? How do we know there are magma reservoirs under mid ocean ridges? How have Earth's tectonic plates moved in the past? Do mantle plumes really exist? Some of the answers to these questions can be found in the diverse field of geophysics. This course will address these and many other questions about our dynamic Earth. This course aims to teach fundamental physics underpinning the behavior of planet Earth. The application of physics to study plate tectonics is especially emphasized and includes observations from seismology, gravity, magnetism, isostasy, and heat flow. The course will also include units on Earth's deep interior covering mantle convection, mantle plumes, and the geodynamo. Topics will be investigated from a mathematical perspective as well as more descriptive methods. Students will gain and/or enhance skills in manipulating and solving equations, interpreting geophysical data, presenting data, and scientific reasoning. Labs will emphasize coding for data analysis and visualization. No previous coding experience required. The course will culminate in a semester project integrating and applying new geophysical knowledge to a case study plate boundary. Three hours classroom and three hours of laboratory a week.
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, T
KAUF 146
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
KAUF 146
GEOS 322-01 Archaeological Geology
Instructor: Alyson Thibodeau
Course Description:
This course will explore archaeological questions and problems from the perspective of the Earth Sciences. In particular, the course will focus on the use of geological and geochemical methods for establishing the age of archaeological sites, reconstructing past environments, tracing human migration and movements, and evaluating the geological provenance of artifacts. Students will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various methods and discuss them in the context of past and current debates within the field of archaeology. Previous coursework in earth sciences, chemistry, or archaeology is beneficial.
11:30 AM-12:20 PM, MWF
KAUF 134