Fall 2010 Courses

050. Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Edward Laine T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
Introduction to the basic plate-tectonic structure of the earth and its relationship to the global distribution and types of earthquakes and volcanoes. Exploration of the factors contributing to the origin and styles of eruption of magma from volcanoes. Examination of the history and nature of tsunamis and the volcanic, seismic, and other events that can trigger them. Consideration of the human response to these and other geological hazards and efforts to mitigate them.
101. Investigating Earth
Peter Lea T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
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. During the course, students complete a research project on Maine geology.
200. Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change
Philip Camill T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
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.
262. Petrotectonics
Rachel Beane M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Exploration of the processes by which igneous rocks solidify from magma (e.g., volcanoes), and metamorphic rocks form in response to pressure, temperature, and chemical changes (e.g., mountain building). Interactions between the petrologic processes and tectonics are examined through a focus on the continental crust, mid-ocean ridges, and subduction zones. Learning how to write effectively is emphasized throughout the course. Laboratory work focuses on field observations, microscopic examination of thin sections, and geochemical modeling. Both Earth and Oceanographic Science 101 and 202 are recommended.
282. Oceans and Climate
Collin Roesler T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Through the transfer of heat and matter, the oceans drive earth’s climate and ultimately life on earth. Students will learn how records of paleoclimates are preserved in deep-sea sediments and glacial ice cores and how natural climate variations can be distinguished from human induced changes. The role of the ocean in buffering increasing heat and carbon in the atmosphere and ocean ecosystem responses to climate perturbations will be explored. Weekly laboratory sessions will be devoted to field trips, laboratory experiments, and computer-based data analysis and modeling to provide hands-on experiences for understanding the time and spaces scales of processes governing oceans, climate, and ecosystems. Earth and Oceanographic Science 200 and Mathematics 161 are recommended.