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Graduate Program

Courses of Instruction

Below you will find a list of all graduate courses that have been offered. 

NOTE: Not all of these courses are offered in any given year.

Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for the official schedules for the widest range of terms for which such information is available.

EES 405 SOLID EARTH GEOPHYSICS

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

EES 406 PETROLOGY & GEOCHEMISTRY

Distribution, description, classification, and origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks in the light of theoretical-experimental multicomponent phase equilibria studies; use of trace elements and isotopes as tracers in rock genesis; hand specimen and microscopic examinations of the major rock types in the laboratory.

Prerequisites: EES 101
Last Offered: Spring 2013

EES 407 ADV SEM CLIMATE & ENV CHNG

This seminar will focus on the IPCC 2013 Working Group I report (Physical Science Basis). The IPCC stands for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is the main international organization for assessing the current state of scientific knowledge for global climate change. The IPCC reports are a result of contributions from thousands of scientists from all over the world, and are a comprehensive summary of the current state of climate change research. The course will be conducted in a reading-and-discussion format. Students will be expected to lead some of the discussions as well as actively participate in all of the discussions

Prerequisites: At least 1 of EES 212, EES 218 or EES 265
Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 411 GEOHAZ AND THEIR MITIGATION

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are violent manifestations of plate tectonics, the movement of the relatively rigid plates forming Earth's outer shell. Ground movements and shaking from these events may generate tsunamis, slumping and mass wasting , and increase risk in other areas. Global and regional sealevel rise changes forces on the plates, motivating reconsideration of hazard assessments. Large volumes of aerosols and greenhouse gases are emitted during volcanic eruptions, with implications for global climate change. The first third of the class focuses on the causative mechanisms of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamics and volcanic eruption induced climate change. The second third outlines the consequent hazards and forecasting efforts, and feedbacks between these processes. The final third of the course examines mitigation programs, with numerous case studies.

Prerequisites: EES 101 or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Spring 2016

EES 412 CLIM CHNG PERS CHEM. OCEAN.

Most introductory courses to chemical oceanography cover a variety of topics that are only related because they are under the broad umbrella of chemical oceanography. Some of these topics include the carbon dioxide and inorganic carbon chemistry, salinity, marine nutrients, dissolved gases and organic constituents. Similarly, most discussions of climate change and chemical oceanography only touch on ocean acidification. This course seeks to provide the same broad prospective to conventional chemical oceanography courses but will interweave the unifying theme of climate change into these numerous and diverse topics.

Prerequisites: MTH 161 and CHM 131
Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 412W RES OCEAN BIOGEOCHEM I

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

EES 413 RESEARCH BIOGEOCHEM II

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 413W RES OCEAN BIOGEOCHM II

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2014

EES 414 GEOSPATIAL DATA ANALYSES

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

EES 415 ENV & APPLIED GEOPHYSICS

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 416 ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 417 CHEMICAL AND ISOTOPE HYDROLOGY

This course provides a foundation in both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the dynamic interaction between water and geologic media. The first part of the course outlines the formation of water, atmospheric processes, and the hydrologic cycle. The second part focuses on the theory of, and geologic controls on, groundwater flow. The third and final part of the course deals with natural groundwater geochemistry and environmental contamination.

Prerequisites: EES 101
Last Offered: Spring 2011

EES 418 ATMOSPHERIC GEOCHEMISTRY

The atmosphere helps to maintain habitable temperatures on our planet's surface, shields life from destructive cosmic and ultraviolet radiation and contains gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, which are essential for life. In this course we will use lectures, discussions and hands-on activities to work toward an understanding of several important questions. How did the Earth acquire and atmosphere? What is in the Earth's atmosphere? What are the sources and sinks of the most important gases in the atmosphere? What is the role of photochemistry in atmospheric composition? How does the atmosphere interact with the land and oceans? How has human activity affected the atmosphere?

Prerequisites: EES 101, CHM 131-132, MTH 141-142, MTH 163 useful but not required
Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 420 INTRODUCTION TO GEOBIOLOGY

Geobiology is the study of the interactions between the biosphere (living organisms and their products) and the geosphere (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere). This class will explore how the chemical and physical processes of the geosphere have influenced life and evolution and how life has influenced the Earth system during the roughly 4 billion years since life first appeared. Several topics will be particularly emphasized, such as the microbial weathering of minerals, bacterial and skeletal biomineralization, the roles of autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolisms in elemental cycling, the redox history in the oceans and its relationship to evolution and the origin of life itself.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 422 ENERGY RESOURCES

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

EES 431 ICE SHTS,GLACIERS,CLIM CHNG

The flow of glacier ice and climate-ice interactions affect the state of the cryosphere and impact critical aspects of the Earth system. Our understanding of present and past behavior of glaciers and ice sheets is key to anticipating likely future change in global sea level. We will explore fundamental glaciological processes and work to understand the current state of mountain glaciers, ice caps, and the polar ice sheets through a mix of lectures, current and classic readings from the literature, and in-class discussions. This seminar course is appropriate for advanced undergraduates (EES 231) as well as graduate students (EES 431).

Prerequisites: EES 101 or 103 or 105 (or equivalent), MTH 161-162 (or equivalent), PHY 113 (or equivalent)
Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 432 SEMINAR IN MARINE BIOGEOCHM

The "biological pump" is the suite of biogeochemical processes that lead to carbon sequestration in the deep ocean, out of contact with the atmosphere, and is an important regulator of global climate. This seminar will review the seminal works that have sought to understand and quantify the component processes: 1) the production of organic carbon by photosynthetic plankton in the sunlit surface ocean; 2) aggregation of organic matter into sinking particles; 3) degradation of those particles over depth. We will then review evidence for the changing strength of the biological pump over Earth's history, and the attempts to predict its response to current climate warming.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 433 MARINE ECOSYS&CARBN CYC MOD

Over the last few decades, numerical biogeochemical models have provided new insights into the marine carbon cycle, its contribution to past climate change, and its potential responses to future climate warming. In this practical class, students will build simple biogeochemical models-ranging from "box" models of marine microbial ecosystems to three-dimensional nutrient cycling models-and design experiments to address climate change hypotheses. They will also be taught to analyze output from state-of-the-art climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Students will not only learn invaluable programming skills, but also gain a deeper intuition of the ocean carbon cycling and its role in the global climate system.

Prerequisites: No prior computing experience required: an extensive grounding will be provided in the MATLAB programming language that will be used throughout the course.
Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 434 FUND. ATMOSPHERIC MODELING

Global atmospheric models are critical research and policy tools used to understand and predict the weather, climate change, and air pollution. This course provides an applied introduction to the physics, chemistry, and numerical methods underlying simulations of the spatial and temporal evolution of mass, energy, and momentum in planetary atmospheres. Topics include: finite-differencing the equations of atmospheric dynamics, radiative transfer models, numerical methods for solving systems of chemical ordinary differential equations, parameterization of small-scale processes, surface exchanges, inverse modeling, and model evaluation techniques. Assignments focus on the implementation and application of simple models by students; no prior experience with scientific programming will be assumed. Students will also gain experience using state-of-the-science models of atmospheric chemistry and/or climate in a final project of their choosing.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: EES 105 or EES 218 or equivalent; MTH 165 or equivalent; CHM 131-132 or equivalent; PHY 121 or equivalent; or permission of instructor. PHY 255 or equivalent recommended but not required.
Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 435 PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 436 PHYSICS OF CLIMATE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 445 SOLID EARTH GEOCHEMISTRY

Composition, structure and evolution of the Earth over the past 4.5 billion years; isotopic geochemistry of crust-mantle processes; phase transitions within the Earth and their tectonic significance.

Last Offered: Fall 2012

EES 447 CHEM. EVOLUTION OF THE EARTH

We will discuss the main geochemical characteristics of the major reservoirs that comprise the solid Earth, the processes by which they formed and evolved, and the analytical tools used for their study. We will cover topics of high-temperature geochemistry, extinct radionuclides, and radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the formation of Earth's continental crust. This course is cross-listed with EES 447.

Prerequisites: General knowledge of Mineralogy and Petrology. EES 206-Petrology required for undergraduates
Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 448 HIGH TEMPERATURE GEOCHEMISTRY

An introduction to the principles of geochemistry. The first portion of the course is devoted to basics, especially thermodynamics, and isotope (both stable and radio-) geochemistry. The middle portion of the course deals with high temperature processes and crystallization. The last part of the course covers lower temperature processes including weathering, sediment dyagenesis and element cycling through the lithosphere.

Prerequisites: EES 101, CHM 103
Last Offered: Spring 2011

EES 450 SEMINAR IN GEODESY

This course introduces students to theory and methods in geodesy. Topics include geoid and gravity field derivation and products, space-based geodetic methods, and their use in crustal deformation and mantle dynamics studies.

Prerequisites: PHY 114/122 and MTH 162 (MTH 165 recommended)
Last Offered: Fall 2013

EES 451 GEOSPATIAL ANALYSES AND 3D VISUALIZATION-THIS COURSE IS NO LONGER BEING OFFERED

Classes and computer labs outline the logic and structure of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) including geographic coordinate systems and their transformations, map and 3D representations and rotations on a sphere and their transformations,statistical and spatial analyses of diverse data sets linked by common geographic coordinates. With these tools, students learn how to compile, display and analyze spatial patterns to solve problems, detect trends, and develop analytical procedures. Students will work with GoogleEarth and kml, command-line software (GMT) and commercial software ArcGIS. Computer laboratory exercises involve some statistical and mathematical analyses. Assessment is through two mid-terms, computer laboratory assignments, and a final case study project.

Prerequisites: Calculus 161 or equivalent
Last Offered: Fall 2014

EES 452 MARINE GEOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2015

EES 453 GEODYNAMICS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2016

EES 454 GEO INFO SYS:EARTH SCI APPL

This course will provide an introduction to Geographic Information Systemss, with an emphasis on their application to issues in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. Examples of applications may include land use (and environmental contamination) and its relationship to geology, hydrology and climate. Other applications (time permitting) will include a survey of computer packages routinely used in the marine geoscience community.

Prerequisites: EES 101 or permission of instructor

EES 455 PLANETARY SCI-GEOL EVOLUTN

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 456 PALEOMAG/GLOBAL PLATE TECH

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2014

EES 457 SEISMIC REFLECTION ANALYSES AND INTERPRETATION

Geothermal, groundwater and petroleum exploration and extraction rely on subsurface information. 2D and 3D seismic reflection methods are a foundation in many basin regions, as well as crustal studies. Students will review data acquisition and processing methods to understand limitations and potential artifacts in seismic reflection data sets. A major component of the class is a problem-solving project involving seismic reflection data and calibrations with well, rock outcrop and other data. Students will work independently and in teams.

Prerequisites: PHY 121 or equivalent required; EES 205 or 215 recommended
Last Offered: Spring 2015

EES 458 HOTSPOTS & PLATE MOTIONS

This course will provide a basic understanding of hotspot models, hotspot fixity and the relationships between hotspots, mantle plumes, true polar wander and plate motions. Hypothesis development and testing will be discussed, as will the basic elements of grantsmantship.

Prerequisites: EEs 101 or equivalent or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Spring 2015

EES 459 SEMINAR IN PALEOMAGNETISM

Current topics in paleomagnetism and rock magnetism are explored through literature reviews and modeling studies. Topics range from the history of plate tectonics to biogenic magnetism. An introduction to basic concepts in paleomagnetism and rock magnetism is included.

Prerequisites: EES 101 or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 460 SEMINAR-EARLY EARTH GEOCHEM

This course is about the geochemical and geophysical processes of the earliest Earth. It will explore topics such as the formation of the Moon, the early accretionary history, the origin(s) of life, the nature of the earliest igneous and sedimentary crust, the composition of the atmosphere, and the timing of core formation. Students will learn how to effectively leverage extremely limited geochemical and geophysical constraints in order to support useful conclusions. Before enrolling in this course, students should be comfortable with the basic principles of geochemistry

Last Offered: Spring 2015

EES 461 STABLE ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY

Most courses in stable isotopes highlight the analytical techniques and classic examples of applications of stable isotopes. However, the stable isotope investigations in this course will stress the fundamentals of stable isotope models, along with their underlying assumptions, guided by several classic applications. Not only will we learn the equations used in these pioneering applications, but we will set-up and derive these equations. The goal of this course is to equip students with the knowledge needed to both dissect as well as manipulate traditional stable isotope models so that they can analyze their data in the most appropriate and intelligent fashion.

Prerequisites: CHM 131-132 and MTH 161-162
Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 462 SEMINAR IN NOBLE GAS GEOCHEM

This course will examine topics in noble gas geochemistry through a series of recent articles on various topics.

Last Offered: Fall 2012

EES 463 INTRO THERMODYNAMICS AND KINETICS

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the equilibrium and kinetic processes that govern the elemental and isotopic composition of rocks and minerals. The course will be divided into two broadly equal components. In the first part, the fundamentals of thermodynamics, phase diagrams, and selected examples in earth systems will be explored. The second half of the course is devoted to understanding the non-equilibrium case for earth materials; diffusion in minerals and melts is emphasized. Students are expected to have a general knowledge of mineralogy, petrology, and very basic thermodynamics prior to taking the course.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

EES 464 PALEOENV.RECONSTRUCTIONS USING LIGHT STABLE ISOTOPES

This class will focus on techniques used in environmental reconstruction to address questions related to paleoclimate, paleotemperature, paleovegetation and paleoelevation. We will examine the use of stable isotopes in paleoenvironmental reconstructions with particular emphasis on O,C, and to a lesser extent H and N isotopes. The class will start with a thorough introduction of the geological framework of the environments of interest and the processes of light isotope fractionation. This will be followed by "emphasis areas" that highlight the basics and latest developments in a variety of environmental systems, including the oceans, rivers, ice, lakes, soils and fossils.

Prerequisites: EES 101 or EES 103 (open to Juniors and Seniors)
Last Offered: Spring 2015

EES 465 PALEOCLIMATE

The Earth's climate is changing in a potentially fundamental way because of human activity. In this course we will look into Earth's climate history in order to gain a better understanding of how the climate system works and what we can expect from Earth's climate in the future. During its history, the Earth has gone through periods that were much warmer as well as periods that were much colder than today. By examining the geological record of the environmental conditions, we can gain insights into how key parameters such as greenhouse gas concentrations, insolation and postions of the continents influence the climate system.

Prerequisites: EES 101 or 103 (or equivalent), MTH 161-162 (or equivalent), CHM 131 (or equivalent)
Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 466 ICE CORE RECORDS OF CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

This course is intended for graduate students and advanced undergraduates and will provide an introduction to the exciting field of ice core research. We will cover the basics of ice core science in the first few sessions, and then continue with more in-depth sessions on some of the most important and interesting questions in the ice core field. A large component of the course will be reading, presentation and discussion of the research literature. Students will be expected to write either an individual or a group review paper on an ice-core related question of their choice.

Prerequisites: MTH 161-162 or equivalent, CHM 131 or equivalent, PHY 113 or equivalent, and one of: EES 101, 103 or 105.
Last Offered: Spring 2014

EES 467 ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY

Causes for differences in the isotopic composition of elements. Nucleosynthesis, fractionation, radioactive decay and cosmogenic production. Evolution of crust and mantle, formation of ore deposits, tracing of fluid movements, history of cosmic ray flux and other applications of stable and unstable isotopic systems to geologic problems.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 468 PRIN.EXPERIMENTAL GEOCHEM

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 469 SEM EARTHQU&VOLC DEFORM

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 470 VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2016

EES 474 SEMINAR IN PALEOCEANOGRAPHY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2016

EES 480 MAT PROP OF DEFORMED ROCKS

Elastic, linear and nonlinear viscons and perfectly plastic behavior of rocks. Effect of dislocation and diffusional creep, grain boundary sliding, microfracturing and recrystallization on rocks. Study of microstructures to determine macroscoptic flow laws.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

EES 481 MICROTECTONICS

Study of microstructures, fabric and textures in rocks to define deformation patterns, deformation mechanics and flow laws.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

EES 483 SEDIMENTARY BASIN ANALYSIS

We will discuss basin classification schemes, isostasy, flexural and thermal subsidence,effects of mantle dynamics, basin stratigraphy, and techniques used to study sedimentary basin evolution. By determining how sedimentary basins develop and fill, we will better understand the tectonic and eustatic controls on subsidence and surficial processes.

Prerequisites: The prerequisite for undergraduates is EES 203-Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. There is no prerequisite for graduate students.
Last Offered: Spring 2014

EES 484 STRESS & STRAIN IN ROCKS

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 485 STRC&TECTONICS OF MONT BELTS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 486 SEM IN SEDIMENTOLOGY&TECTNCS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2016

EES 487 CLIMATE AND TECTONIC INTERACTIONS

This class will focus on current topics on the interactions between climate and tectonics, such as how the growth of large mountain belts has modulated global climate over time and how climate influences the tectonic evolution of mountain belts. The first several weeks of the semester will be focused on an introduction to the region of study and the climate-tectonic processes of interest. The rest of the class will be focused on a review of recent literature. Students will choose a research topic and develop their grant-writing skill through a class-related project.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

EES 488 GEOMETRY AND MECHANICS OF THRUST FAULTS

Geometry of thrust faults and thrust belts. Mechanics of thrust motion and thrust emplacement. Homework assignments and readings on current literature.Field trip to the Appalachians to look at typical structures of fold-thrust belts.

Last Offered: Spring 2016

EES 489 TOPICS IN ADV STRUC GEOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2012

EES 490 SUPERVISED COLLEGE TEACHING

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 491 MASTER'S READINGS IN GEOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 492 GRADUATE FIELD SEMINAR

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

EES 493 MASTER'S ESSAY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 495 MASTER'S RESEARCH IN GEOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 499 RESEARCH FRONTIERS IN EARTH SCIENCES

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 591 PHD READINGS IN GEOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 594 PHD RESEARCH INTERNSHIP

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 595 PHD RESEARCH IN GEOLOGY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 595A PHD RESEARCH IN ABSENTIA

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 595B PHD RSRCH IN ABSENTIA ABROAD

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

EES 890 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE - MA

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2014

EES 895 CONT OF MASTER'S ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 897 MASTERS DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 899 MASTER'S DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 985 LEAVE OF ABSENCE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 986V FULL TIME VISITING STUDENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 990 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2015

EES 995 CONT OF DOCTORAL ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 997 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 999 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

EES 999A DOCT DISSERTATN IN ABSENTIA

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018