Complete Catalog

Below is the full list of courses for the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department.

EOS 1030 Addressing Sea Level Rise

Non-Standard Rotation

Sea-level rise is accelerating due to climate change. Such a rise, combined locally with sinking land and/or trapping of coastal sediment, creates dramatic impacts on human lives and property and on coastal ecosystems and the services they provide. Explores the scientific basis for sea-level rise, projections of future impacts, and options for policy responses over decadal and single-event (disaster) time scales. Topics include: identifying the trade-offs between armoring and retreating from the coast; examining whether disasters are natural or human-caused; considering how race and socioeconomic status influence risk and recovery; questioning who controls the planning process; and exploring how science should be communicated in times of hyper- partisanship.

EOS 1105 a-INS. Investigating Earth

Every Fall

Dynamic processes, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, shape the earth. 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.

EOS 1305 a-MCSR, INS. Environmental Geo & Hydrology

Non-Standard Rotation

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/or landslides. Weekly labs and fieldwork examine local environmental problems affecting Maine’s rivers, lakes, and coast. Students complete a community-based research project. (Same as ENVS 1104)

EOS 1505 a-INS. Oceanography

Every Spring

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 ocean’s 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. (Same as ENVS 1102)

EOS 2005 a. Biogeochemistry

Every Fall

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. (Same as ENVS 2221)

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1100 - 1999 or BIOL 1102 or BIOL 1109 or CHEM 1092 or CHEM 1102 or CHEM 1109 or ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515

EOS 2020 a-INS. Earth, Ocean, and Society

Every Spring

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. (Same as ENVS 2250)

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1100 - 1999 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515 or ENVS 2221 

EOS 2110 a-INS. Volcanoes

Non-Standard Rotation

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.

EOS 2115 a-INS. Volcanology

Every Spring

Volcanism is responsible for the crusts and atmospheres of all the rocky planets (and some of the icy ones as well) and also affects human civilization. Survey of volcanic rocks and landforms and the impacts of volcanism on human and Earth history and climate. Volcanism serves as a probe into planetary interiors and allows comparison across the solar system. During weekly laboratory sessions students examine volcanic rocks in hand sample and thin section, volcanic deposits in the field and in maps and photos; and investigate the links between eruptive style of magma and its composition. Not open to students with credit in Earth and Oceanographic Science 2110.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1105 or EOS 1305 (same as ENVS 1104) or EOS 1505 (same as ENVS 1102) or EOS 1515 or ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 2145 a-INS. The Plate Tectonics Revolution

Every Other Spring

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.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1100 - 1999 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515 or ENVS 2221

EOS 2165 a-INS. Mountains to Trenches

Non-Standard Rotation

Exploration of the processes by which igneous rocks solidify from magma (e.g., volcanoes) and metamorphic rocks form in response to changes in pressure, temperature, and chemistry (e.g., mountain building). Interactions between 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 hand sample observations, microscopic examination of thin sections, and geochemical modeling. 

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221 or EOS 1105

EOS 2335 a-INS. Sedimentary Systems

Every Other Fall

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.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1100 - 1999 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515 or ENVS 2221

EOS 2345 a. Geomorphology

Every Other Fall

Earth’s surface is marked by the interactions of the atmosphere, water and ice, biota, tectonics, and underlying rock and soil. Even familiar landscapes beget questions on how they formed, how they might change, and how they relate to patterns at both larger and smaller scales. Examines Earth’s landscapes and the processes that shape them, with particular emphasis on rivers, hillslopes, and tectonic and climatic forcing.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221 or EOS 1105

EOS 2355 a. Glaciers and Ice Ages

Non-Standard Rotation

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.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1000 or higher or ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515

EOS 2365 a. Coastal Process & Environments

Every Year

Coasts are among the most densely populated and dynamic components of the earth system, with forms that reflect the interplay among sediment delivery, reshaping by waves and coastal currents, changes in land subsidence and/or sea levels, and human interventions. Understanding these processes and how they may change is a first step toward reducing risk and developing resilient coastal communities. Examines coastal environments (e.g., deltas, barrier islands, beaches, salt marshes), the processes that shape them, and underlying controls. Considers impacts of climate change and sea- level rise on coastal erosion and flooding, and trade-offs involved in human responses to such problems.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 2510 a-INS. Marine Geology

Non-Standard Rotation

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.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1105 - 1515 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 2525 a. Marine Biogeochemistry

Every Spring

Oceanic cycles of carbon, oxygen, and nutrients play a key role in linking global climate change, marine primary productivity, and ocean acidification. Fundamental concepts of marine biogeochemistry used to assess potential consequences of future climate scenarios on chemical cycling in the ocean. Past climate transitions evaluated as potential analogs for future change using select case studies of published paleoceanographic proxy records derived from corals, ice cores, and deep-sea sediments. Weekly laboratory sections and student research projects focus on creating and interpreting new geochemical paleoclimate records from marine archives and predicting future impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine calcifiers. (Same as ENVS 2251)

PREREQUISITE: Two of:|| EOS 1100 - 1999 or either ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515 || and EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221)

EOS 2530 a. Poles Apart

Non-Standard Rotation

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. (Same as ENVS 2287)

EOS 2535 a. Paleo Ocean Acidification

Non-Standard Rotation

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 ~300 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.

PREREQUISITE: Two of:|| EOS 1100 - 1999 or either ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 1515 || and EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) 

EOS 2540 a-INS. Equatorial Oceanography

Non-Standard Rotation

The equatorial ocean is a region with virtually no seasonal variability, and yet undergoes the strongest interannual to decadal climate variations of any oceanographic province. This key region constitutes one of the most important yet highly variable natural sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Explores how circulation, upwelling, biological activity, biogeochemistry, and CO2 flux in this key region vary in response to rapid changes in climate. Particular emphasis on past, present, and future dynamics of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. In-class discussions are focused on the primary scientific literature.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1105 - 1515 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221)

EOS 2550 a-MCSR, INS. Remote Sensing of the Ocean

Every Other Fall

In the 1980s, NASA’s satellite program turned some of its space- viewing sensors towards the earth to better understand its processes. Since that time, NASA’s Earth Observatory mission has yielded a fleet of satellites bearing an array of sensors that provide a global view of the earth each day. Global- scale ocean properties, including bathymetry, temperature, salinity, wave height, currents, primary productivity, sea ice distribution, and sea level, are revealed through satellite-detection of ultraviolet, visible, infrared and microwave energy emanating from the ocean. These satellite data records currently exceed thirty years in length and therefore can be used to interpret climate-scale ocean responses from space. A semester- long research project, targeted on a student-selected oceanic region, focuses on building both quantitative skills through data analysis and writing skills through iterative writing assignments that focus on communicating data interpretation and synthesis. (Same as ENVS 2222)

PREREQUISITE: Two of:||either EOS 1105 or EOS 1305 (same as ENVS 1104) or EOS 1505 (same as ENVS 1102) or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or either ENVS 1102 or ENVS 1104 or ENVS 2221 || and MATH 1600 or Placement in MATH 1700 (M) or Placement in MATH 1750 (M) or Placement in MATH 1800 (M) or Placement in 2000 2020 2206 M 

EOS 2585 a-MCSR, INS. Ocean and Climate

Non-Standard Rotation

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface. It has a vast capacity to modulate variations in global heat and carbon dioxide, thereby regulating climate and ultimately life on Earth. Beginning with an investigation of paleo-climate records preserved in deep-sea sediment cores and in Antarctic and Greenland glacial ice cores, the patterns of natural climate variations are explored with the goal of understanding historic climate change observations. Predictions of polar glacial and sea ice, sea level, ocean temperatures, and ocean acidity investigated through readings and discussions of scientific literature. Weekly laboratory sessions devoted to field trips, laboratory experiments, and computer-based data analysis and modeling to provide hands-on experiences for understanding the time and space scales of processes governing oceans, climate, and ecosystems. Laboratory exercises form the basis for student research projects. (Same as ENVS 2282). Mathematics 1700 is recommended.

PREREQUISITE: Two of:||either EOS 1505 (same as ENVS 1102) or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or either ENVS 1102 or ENVS 2221 || and MATH 1600 or Placement in MATH 1700 (M) or Placement in MATH 1750 (M) or Placement in MATH 1800 (M) or Placement in 2000 2020 2206 M 

EOS 2610 a. Planetary Geology

Non-Standard Rotation

A survey of planetary bodies with an emphasis on the crusts of the rocky planets and moons. Solar system condensation and early differentiation, planet formation, comparative histories of the rocky planets, meteorites, and surface processes. Students use new data and resources from spacecraft in orbit and on the surface of planetary bodies. Texts are augmented with historic and recent articles on meteorite studies and planetary modeling. 

EOS 2620 a. Gulf of Maine Oceanography

Non-Standard Rotation

Explores oceanography of the Gulf of Maine through a variety of topical issues including harmful algal blooms, input of freshwater, and historical changes in chemical and biological properties. Fundamental principles of physical, chemical, and biological oceanography are explored together to consider the Gulf of Maine as a microcosm of the North Atlantic. Multiple presentations throughout allow students to communicate Gulf of Maine science to a variety of intended audiences.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1100 - 1999 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 2625 a. Ocean Acidification

Non-Standard Rotation

Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are causing acidification of the ocean at a rate unprecedented in the geologic record. The associated changes in ocean chemistry present myriad potential difficulties for marine organisms. Considers the biological implications of ocean acidification, including the highly variable and extreme coastal carbonate chemistry conditions. Builds skills in critically evaluating scientific papers. Laboratory component includes active culturing work to experimentally determine the impacts of acidification on marine organisms. Lectures and three hours of laboratory or fieldwork per week.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1100 - 1999 or EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221 

EOS 2630 a-INS. Oceans in the Anthropocene

Non-Standard Rotation

We have entered the Anthropocene—a new geologic age marked by the profound influence of human behavior on the earth system. Humans have relied on the oceans for centuries and over time this relationship evolved from one of subsistence use to abuse, which has led to physical and ecological changes. Considers the services the oceans have provided over human history and how anthropogenic forcing has altered ocean properties and may in turn affect human lives. Explores current efforts to lessen and undo past wrongs and propose future mitigation and remediation approaches. With an eye to the future, considers current research on pollution (oil, plastics, eutrophication), climate change (sea level rise, acidification), and marine biodiversity (overfishing, habitat changes, invasive species), among other topics of student choosing.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 1000 - 2969 or EOS 3000 or higher

EOS 2665 a-MCSR, INS. Chemical Tracers of Oceans

Non-Standard Rotation

Chemical tracers including gases, nutrients, stable isotopes, and radioisotopes provide a valuable tool for investigating both biological and physical processes in the marine environment. Explores the foundational principles of these tracers and their applications, including identifying water masses and global ocean circulation and quantifying air-sea gas exchange, sea ice meltwater input, and particle export. Weekly labs involve analysis of cutting- edge global data from GEOTRACES and other programs in Matlab and the development of analytical techniques. Local data collected along the Maine coastline is placed in a global context.

PREREQUISITE: Two of:|| EOS 1050 - 1999|| and EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 2970 a. Intermed Indep St-Solid Earth

EOS 2978 a. Intermed Indep St-Oceanography

EOS 2979 a. Intermed Indep St-Oceanography

EOS 2980 a. Intermed Indep St-Oceanography

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2979

EOS 3020 a. Earth Climate History

Every Spring

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 versus human- caused climate change. (Same as ENVS 3902)

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 3115 a. Research in Mineral Science

Every Spring

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.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 3515 a. Research Oceanography: Paleo

Non-Standard Rotation

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 oceans’ physical, biological, and biogeochemical responses to external and internal pressures 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. Includes a laboratory and fulfills the 3000-level research experience course requirement for the EOS major.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 3525 a-MCSR, INS. Coastal Dynamics & Ecosystems

Non-Standard Rotation

Explores the coastal waters from estuaries and bays to the continental shelf. Emphasis on the interconnectedness of physical processes that control the dynamics (e.g., waves, tides, coastal currents, upwelling, and estuarine circulation) and the response of biological processes that structure planktonic ecosystems (e.g., bottom up versus top down controls, carrying capacity, life history, and species succession). Weekly labs and semester-long research project focus on developing skills in field observation, experimentation, and data analysis. Course with separate lab fulfills the 3000-level capstone research requirement for the EOS major.

PREREQUISITE: Three of:|| either EOS 2115 or EOS 2125 or EOS 2145 or EOS 2165 or EOS 2335 or EOS 2345 (same as ENVS 2270) or EOS 2355 or EOS 2365 || and either EOS 2525 (same as ENVS 2251) or EOS 2535 or EOS 2585 (same as ENVS 2282) or EOS 2625 or EOS 2665 || and EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221)

EOS 3625 a. Estuarine Research

Non-Standard Rotation

Survey of estuarine systems considers the geomorphological and chemical constraints on phytoplankton communities and the impacts of phytoplankton communities on estuarine chemistry. Further investigates the abiotic and biotic controls on biogeochemical and nutrient cycling in estuarine systems. Weekly laboratory sessions dedicated to both field observations and laboratory analyses in preparation for student research projects. Field observations highlight the variety of Maine estuaries and emphasize their chemical and biological differences through sampling from docks or small boats. Students may opt to participate in the department weekend field seminar to Acadia National Park, which includes an opportunity to make observations in Somes Sound, the only fjord-like estuarine system on the East Coast.

PREREQUISITE: EOS 2005 (same as ENVS 2221) or ENVS 2221

EOS 4000 a. Advanced Indep St-Solid Earth

EOS 4001 a. Advanced Indep St-Solid Earth

PREREQUISITE: EOS 4000

EOS 4004 a. Advanced Indep St-Surface Proc 

EOS 4005 a. Advanced Indep St-Surface Proc

PREREQUISITE: EOS 4004

EOS 4008 a. Advanced Indep St-Oceanography

EOS 4009 a. Advanced Indep St-Oceanography

PREREQUISITE: EOS 4008

EOS 4050 a. Honors Project-Solid Earth

EOS 4051 a. Honors Project-Solid Earth

PREREQUISITE: EOS 4050

EOS 4052 a. Honors Proj-Surface Processes

EOS 4053 a. Honors Proj-Surface Processes

PREREQUISITE: EOS 4052

EOS 4054 a. Honors Project-Oceanography 

EOS 4055 a. Honors Project-Oceanography

PREREQUISITE: EOS 4054