Fall 2012 Courses

020. Living Downstream: Dams, Floods, and the Politics of River Management
Gabrielle David M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 HL-311 (third floor)
Explores the interconnectedness between rivers and the history and consequences of river management through analysis of dam building in the American Southwest and New England. Weighs competing claims of resource development and conservation through writings of Thoreau, Roosevelt, Abbey, and Leopold. Investigates connections between dams, floods, and climate in relation to how river management has changed in the past and will need change in the future. Specific topics include how watershed management is connected to your drinking water quality; the building of the Hoover and Glen Canyon Dams on the Colorado River; the impacts of dams on stream ecology and landscapes.
101. Investigating Earth
Emily Peterman M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25 Druckenmiller-004
Dynamic processes, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, shape the earth on which we live. In-class lectures and exercises examine these processes from the framework of plate tectonics. Weekly field laboratories explore rocks exposed along the Maine coast. During the course, students complete a research project on Maine geology.
105. Oceanography of the Gulf of Maine
Nicholas Record M 8:30 - 9:25, W 8:30 - 9:25, F 8:30 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-024
The Gulf of Maine is in many ways a microcosm of the North Atlantic. It lies at the intersection of subpolar and subtropical seas, has a wide variety of coastal habitats, ecosystems, and morphologies, and historically has supported productive fisheries. Introduction to the fundamentals of geological, physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, using the Gulf of Maine as a natural laboratory. Weekly labs apply the principles in the coastal Gulf of Maine.
200. Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change
Michele LaVigne T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Kanbar Hall-107
Understanding global change requires knowing how the biosphere, geosphere, oceans, ice, and atmosphere interact. An introduction to earth system science, emphasizing the critical interplay between the physical and living worlds. Key processes include energy flow and material cycles, soil development, primary production and decomposition, microbial ecology and nutrient transformations, and the evolution of life on geochemical cycles in deep time. Terrestrial, wetland, lake, river, estuary, and marine systems are analyzed comparatively. Applied issues are emphasized as case studies, including energy efficiency of food production, acid rain impacts on forests and aquatic systems, forest clearcutting, wetland delineation, eutrophication of coastal estuaries, ocean fertilization, and global carbon sinks. Lectures and three hours of laboratory or fieldwork per week.
211. Volcanoes
Rachel Beane M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25 Druckenmiller-024
Volcanoes make the news for their human impact, and they reveal much about the inner workings of Earth. Examination of volcanic eruptions, landforms, products, and hazards. Exploration of tectonic influence and magmatic origins of volcanoes. Investigation into the impact of volcanoes on humans, climate, and earth history.
241. Field Studies in Structural Geology
Rachel Beane M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-004
Geologic structures yield evidence for the dynamic deformation of the earth’s crust. Examines deformation at scales that range from the plate-tectonic scale of the Appalachian mountains to the microscopic scale of individual minerals. A strong field component provides ample opportunity for describing and mapping faults, folds, and other structures exposed along the Maine coast. In-class exercises focus on problem-solving through the use of geologic maps, cross-sections, stereographic projections, strain analysis, and computer applications.
282. Ocean and Climate
Collin Roesler M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-024
The ocean covers more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface. It has a vast capacity to modulate variations in global heat and carbon dioxide, thereby regulating climate and ultimately life on Earth. Beginning with an investigation of paleo-climate records preserved in deep-sea sediment cores and in Antarctic and Greenland glacial ice cores, the patterns of natural climate variations will be explored with the goal of understanding historic climate change observations. Predictions of polar glacial and sea ice, sea level, ocean temperatures, and ocean acidity investigated through readings and discussions of scientific literature. Weekly laboratory sessions devoted to field trips, laboratory experiments, and computer-based data analysis and modeling to provide hands-on experiences for understanding the time and space scales of processes governing oceans, climate, and ecosystems. Laboratory exercises form the basis for student research projects. Mathematics 171 is recommended.
352. Biodiversity in the Open Ocean
Nicholas Record T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-024
Seminar. An analysis of the multiple and often conflicting notions of biodiversity in the open ocean. Explores biodiversity properties that are unique to ocean ecosystems. Attempts to disentangle the scientific definitions of biodiversity from the conservation- or policy-driven interpretations. Focuses on interpreting, synthesizing, and identifying key questions in the scientific literature.