Courses

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EOS 1305. Environmental Geology and Hydrology
Peter Lea M, W, F 9:30 - 10:25 VAC-North
An introduction to aspects of geology and hydrology that affect the environment and land use. Topics include lakes, watersheds and surface-water quality, groundwater contamination, coastal erosion, and landslides. Weekly labs and fieldwork examine local environmental problems affecting Maine’s rivers, lakes, and coast. Students complete a community-based research project on Maine water quality.
EOS 1505. Oceanography
Collin Roesler T, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Searles-215
The fundamentals of geological, physical, chemical, and biological oceanography. Topics include tectonic evolution of the ocean basins; deep sea sedimentation as a record of ocean history; global ocean circulation, waves, and tides; chemical cycles; ocean ecosystems and productivity; and the oceans’ role in climate change. Weekly labs and fieldwork demonstrate these principles in the setting of Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine. Students complete a field-based research project on coastal oceanography.
EOS 2020. Earth, Ocean, and Society
Emily Peterman M, W, F 9:30 - 10:25 Adams-208
Explores the historical, current, and future demands of society on the natural resources of the earth and the ocean. Discusses the formation and extraction of salt, gold, diamonds, rare earth elements, coal, oil, natural gas, and renewable energies (e.g., tidal, geothermal, solar, wind). Examines how policies for these resources are written and revised to reflect changing societal values. Students complete a research project that explores the intersection of natural resources and society.
EOS 2145. The Plate Tectonics Revolution
Emily Peterman T, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-024
Although only about forty years old, the theory of plate tectonics forever changed the way we view our earth, from static to dynamic. Plate tectonics provides a global framework to understand such varied phenomena as earthquakes, volcanoes, ocean basins, and mountain systems both on continents (e.g., the Himalaya, the Andes) and beneath the seas (e.g., the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the East Pacific Rise). In-depth analysis of plate boundaries, the driving forces of plate tectonics, global plate reconstructions, and the predictive power of plate tectonics. Lectures and three hours of laboratory or fieldwork per week.
EOS 2325. Environmental Chemistry
David Griffith M, W, F 11:30 - 12:25 Druckenmiller-024
Focuses on two key processes that influence human and wildlife exposure to potentially harmful substances—chemical speciation and transformation. Equilibrium principles as applied to acid-base, complexation, precipitation, and dissolution reactions are used to explore organic and inorganic compound speciation in natural and polluted waters; quantitative approaches are emphasized. Weekly laboratory sections are concerned with the detection and quantification of organic and inorganic compounds in air, water, and soils/sediments.
EOS 2355. Glaciers and Ice Ages
Peter Lea T, TH 8:30 - 9:55 VAC-North
Glaciers are both prolific sculptors of Earth’s landscapes and integral elements in the global climate system. Examines current and former glacier distribution and movement, and the processes and products of glacial erosion and deposition. Explores methods for reconstructing ice-age environments and climate change in the geologic record of ice sheets and linked nonglacial systems. Includes field investigations of Maine’s glaciated landscapes.
EOS 2510. Marine Geology
Tali Babila M, W, F 8:30 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-024
Structure of ocean basins, continental margins and marine sediments. The influence of plate tectonics on major events in oceanographic and climatic evolution. Sediment classification and distribution in the modern and ancient ocean. The geological and geophysical bases of the plate-tectonic model.
EOS 2535. Paleo Perspectives on Ocean Acidification
Tali Babila T, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-004
Recent trends of carbon emissions and subsequent acidification of the surface ocean raises concerns over the potential impacts on marine ecosystems. Similar events from the geologic record may provide insight on current and future ocean conditions. Earth history (past %7e300 million years) of ocean acidification and rapid carbon perturbations. Evidence and indications of past intervals of ocean acidification and the associated biotic responses. Laboratory component focuses on the fundamentals of carbonate chemistry and evidence from paleoceanographic sediment archives.
EOS 3020. Earth Climate History
Phil Camill M, W 10:00 - 11:25 VAC-South
The modern world is experiencing rapid climate warming and some parts extreme drought, which will have dramatic impacts on ecosystems and human societies. How do contemporary warming and aridity compare to past changes in climate over the last billion years? Are modern changes human-caused or part of the natural variability in the climate system? What effects did past changes have on global ecosystems and human societies? Students use environmental records from rocks, soils, ocean cores, ice cores, lake cores, fossil plants, and tree rings to assemble proxies of past changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and disturbance to examine several issues: long-term carbon cycling and climate, major extinction events, the rise of C4 photosynthesis and the evolution of grazing mammals, orbital forcing and glacial cycles, glacial refugia and post-glacial species migrations, climate change and the rise and collapse of human civilizations, climate/overkill hypothesis of Pleistocene megafauna, climate variability, drought cycles, climate change impacts on disturbances (fire and hurricanes), and determining natural variability vs. human-caused climate change.
EOS 3115. Research in Mineral Science
Rachel Beane T, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-024
Minerals are the Earth’s building blocks and an important human resource. The study of minerals provides information on processes that occur within the Earth’s core, mantle, crust, and at its surface. At the surface, minerals interact with the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and are essential to understanding environmental issues. Minerals and mineral processes examined using hand-specimens, crystal structures, chemistry, and microscopy. Class projects emphasize mineral-based research.