Fall 2013 Courses

1105 {101}. Investigating Earth
Emily Peterman 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 laboratories explore rocks exposed along the Maine coast. During the course, students complete a research project on Maine geology.
2005 {200}. Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change
Philip Camill T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
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.
2110 {211}. Volcanoes
Rachel Beane T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
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.
2335 {220}. Sedimentary Systems
Peter Lea M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Investigates modern and ancient sedimentary systems, both continental and marine, with emphasis on the dynamics of sediment transport, interpretation of depositional environments from sedimentary structures and facies relationships, stratigraphic techniques for interpreting earth history, and tectonic and sea-level controls on large-scale depositional patterns. Weekend trip to examine Devonian shoreline deposits in the Catskill Mountains in New York is required.
2125 {241}. Field Studies in Structural Geology
Rachel Beane T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 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.
2810 {257}. Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics
Mark Battle M 11:30 - 12:25, W 11:30 - 12:25, F 11:30 - 12:25
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.
2530 {287}. Poles Apart: An Exploration of Earth’s High Latitudes
Collin Roesler M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Compares and contrasts the tectonic evolution, geography, climate, glaciers and sea ice, ocean circulation and ocean biology of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Emphasis on the polar regions’ role in global climate regulation and the sensitivity of these regions to climate change. In addition to scientific readings (text book chapters and journal articles), students read an array of first-hand accounts of polar exploration from the turn of the twentieth century.
3515 {351}. Research in Oceanography: Topics in Paleoceanography
Michele LaVigne T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
The ocean plays a key role in regulating Earth’s climate and serves as an archive of past climate conditions. The study of paleoceanography provides a baseline of natural oceanographic variability against which human-induced climate change must be assessed. Examination of the ocean’s physical, biological, and biogeochemical responses to external and internal forcings of Earth’s climate with focus on the Cenozoic Era (past 65.5 million years). Weekly labs and projects emphasize paleoceanographic reconstructions using deep-sea sediments, corals, and ice cores. This course includes a laboratory and fulfills the 300-level research experience course requirement for the Earth and Oceanographic Science major.