Fall 2011 Courses

050. Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Edward Laine T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
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
Rachel Beane M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
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. 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.
241. Structural Geology
Rachel Beane M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
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.
250. Marine Geology
Edward Laine M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
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 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
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.
287. Poles Apart: A Comparison of Arctic and Antarctic Environments
Collin Roesler T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Compares and contrasts the geography, climate, glaciology and sea ice, ocean biology and exploration history of the Arctic and Antarctic regions with particular emphasis on the role of polar regions in global climate change. One weekend field trip required.