Fall 2008 Courses

091. Origins of Life
Eben Rose T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examination of the origins of life both as a longstanding scientific problem and as an intellectual problem that approaches, but does not demarcate, the boundary between life and non-life.  This course offers a rich introduction to the fundamental biochemistry of life and of how the geological record can co-inform our understanding of the pre-biotic to the biotic transition in Earth history.  It offers a comprehensive review and critique of contemporary claims of evidence of the oldest life on earth and considers how these claims of evidence inform our current searches for life outside of Earth.
101. Investigating Earth
Eben Rose M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
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 trips explore rocks exposed along the Maine coast. By the end of the course, students complete a research project on Casco Bay geology.
103. Marine Environmental Geology
Edward Laine M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
An introduction to the aspects of marine geology and oceanography that affect the environment and marine resources. Topics include estuarine oceanography and sediments, eutrophication of coastal waters, primary productivity, waves and tides, sea level history, glacial geology of coastal Maine, and an introduction to plate tectonics. Weekly field trips and labs examine local environmental problems affecting Casco Bay and the Maine coast. A one-day weekend field excursion is required.
220. Sedimentary Geology
Peter Lea T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
Survey of earth’s depositional systems, both continental and marine, with emphasis on dynamics of sediment transport and interpretation of the depositional environment from sedimentary structures and facies relationships; stratigraphic techniques for interpreting earth history; and tectonic and sea-level controls on large-scale depositional patterns. Weekly lab includes local field trips.
250. Marine Geology
Edward Laine T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
The geological and geophysical bases of the plate-tectonic model. The influence of plate tectonics on major events in oceanographic and climatic evolution. Deep-sea sedimentary processes in the modern and ancient ocean as revealed through sampling and remote sensing. Focus in the laboratory on the interpretation of seismic reflection profiles from both the deep ocean and local coastal waters.
257. Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics
Mark Battle M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
A mathematically rigorous analysis of the motions of the atmosphere and oceans on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Covers fluid dynamics in inertial and rotating reference frames, as well as global and local energy balance, applied to the coupled ocean-atmosphere system.
276. Watershed Hydrology
Peter Lea M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Everyone lives in a watershed, but how do watersheds function, both naturally and increasingly as impacted by humans? Examines the movement and modification of water through the landscape, emphasizing such topics as natural and human controls of water quality, streamflow generation and surface-groundwater interactions, watershed modeling, and approaches to watershed management. Students perform an integrated investigation of a local watershed, examining natural and human controls on hydrologic processes.