Spring 2010 Courses

100. Environmental Geology and Hydrology
Peter Lea M  8:30 - 9:25
W  8:30 - 9:25
F  8:30 - 9:25
An introduction to aspects of geology and hydrology that affect the environment and land use. Topics include watersheds and surface-water quality, groundwater contamination, coastal erosion, and landslides. Weekly labs and field trips examine local environmental problems affecting Maine rivers, lakes, and coast
103. Marine Environmental Geology
Edward Laine M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
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, harmful algal bloom, 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.
202. Mineralogy
Rachel Beane T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
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, and 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.
267. Coastal Oceanography
Edward Laine T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Principles and problems in coastal oceanography, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary inquiry. Topics include circulation and sediment transport within estuaries and on the continental shelf, impact of human systems on the marine environment, and issues and controversies of eutrophication and hypoxia in the coastal environment.
302. Earth Climate History and Its Impacts on Ecosystems and Human Civilizations
Philip Camill T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
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? 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? Uses the past as context for evaluating changes in the modern world. Students use sediment and growth records (ocean, glacier, lake, coral, tree ring, and rodent middens) to assemble proxies for past changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and disturbance to examine several issues: how tectonics and orogeny affect long-term carbon cycling and climate, the rise of C4 photosynthesis and the evolution of grazing mammals, orbital forcing and glacial cycle theory/evidence, glacial refugia and post-glacial species migrations, climate change and the rise of human civilizations, climate/overkill hypothesis of Pleistocene megafauna, patterns and mechanisms of climate variability, drought cycles, how climate change affects disturbances like fire, climate-related collapses of human civilizations, and how models can be used to weigh the relative effects of natural variability and human-caused climate change. Prior enrollment in a 200- or 300-level environmental studies or geology course is recommended.
357. The Physics of Climate
Mark Battle M  11:30 - 12:25
W  11:30 - 12:25
F  11:30 - 12:25
A rigorous treatment of the earth’s climate, based on physical principles. Topics include climate feedbacks, sensitivity to perturbations, and the connections between climate and radiative transfer, atmospheric composition, and large-scale circulation of the oceans and atmospheres. Anthropogenic climate change will also be studied.