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How have humans shaped the environment and how has the environment shaped humans throughout their (pre)history? We will explore key theories and case studies and students will further explore these questions through independent research.
We will discuss the "food turn" in anthropology through reading contemporary (and classic) ethnographies of food in contexts of production, distribution, social exchange, gender, and science. Note: Undergraduates encouraged to participate. Instructor’s permission required.Note: Expected to be given...
Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of public policy issues associated with environmental protection and natural resources management. Lectures on conceptual and methodological topics are combined with examinations of specific resource and environmental issues, with particular...
This is an advanced research seminar on selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes presentations by invited outside speakers. Students prepare critiques of presented papers and...
Deals with public and private management of an industry sector that encompasses half the world’s labor force, half the world’s assets, and 40% of consumer purchases. The public policy issues of economic development, trade, nutrition, food safety, the environment, maintaining limited natural...
The oceans contain 97 percent of the Earth's water, and host the most disparate ecosystems on the planet. This course provides an introduction to deep sea ocean habitats, animals, and microorganisms. Emphasis is placed on the physiological adaptations of organisms to their environment, as well as...
This course explores advanced and emerging topics in business, energy, and the environment. There is a focus on opportunities for firms whose offerings are significantly involved in or impacted by energy, water, resource efficiency, transportation, and conservation. The course is team taught in one...
The course will provide a survey of the global food and agribusiness system. In addition to studying the management problems of farmers, processors, branded consumer goods manufacturers and food retailers, we will consider consumer trends, technological advances, public policy issues, food safety...
Carbon C is ubiquitous—it is one of the primary elements supporting life on earth, the fourth most abundant element in the universe, and it makes up 18.5% of the human body. Global economies have increasingly relied on carbon-based resources since the industrial revolution (fuel, plastics, paving,...
Origin, evolution, dispersal, paleoecology, and geologic history of the major groups of the plant kingdom. Laboratory study of representative groups, living and fossil.Note: Expected to be given in 2015-16. EPS 107 is also offered as OEB 107. Students may not take both EPS 107 and OEB 107 for...
An overview of the Earth's energy and material resources. Following introductions to hydrocarbons, nuclear fuels, and other economically important ores, the course emphasizes methods used to exploit these resources and the environmental impacts of these operations. Topics include: coal and acid...
Basic observations and theoretical understanding of ocean phenomena from local surface beach waves to the effects of the oceans on global climate. Observations and dynamics of ocean waves, currents, turbulence, temperature and salinity distributions; basic fluid dynamics equations; the ocean’s role...
Prerequisite: Mathematics 21 or Applied Mathematics 21a or 21b, Physics 11 or 15, or permission of instructor.Physical concepts necessary to understand atmospheric structure and motion. Phenomena studied include the formation of clouds and precipitation, solar and terrestrial radiation, dynamical...
Physical and chemical processes determining the composition of the atmosphere and its implications for climate, ecosystems, and human welfare. Origin of the atmosphere. Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulfur, trace metal cycles. Climate and the greenhouse effect. Atmospheric transport and turbulence....
The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is now the highest it has been in at least 800,000 years, raising concerns regarding possible future climate changes. This seminar will survey the science of global change from the perspective of scientific debates within climate community. Specifically...
A solution to the problems set by the intersection of global energy demand and climate feedbacks requires the teaching of physics and chemistry in that context. Core topics include thermodynamics, free energy, entropy, acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions, electrochemistry, electromagnetic...
Introduction to the physical processes governing the large-scale circulation of the ocean. Emphasis on time-changing components, observational methods used, and a survey of basic methods of analysis and theory. Topics include sea level rise, oceanic heat transport changes, and smaller-scale physics...
Study of water as a critical resource and as a factor in Earth surface and near-surface processes. Focus on development of relevant mechanics and physics. Hydrologic cycle, surface and groundwater, evapotranspiration, soil physics. Flow in porous media, Darcy law, contaminant transport, remediation...
A focused inquiry on the interactions of life and environment through geologic history. This term we will focus on mass extinctions, their causes and evolutionary consequences.Note: Given in alternate years.Prerequisite: EPS 8, OEB 10; or permission of instructor.
Techniques in interpreting paleo-environmental information from sedimentary rocks, covering grain-flow, alluvial fans, siliciclastic shelves, carbonates, glacial deposits, and deep-sea environments, and culminating with cyclo-stratigraphy and basin dynamics.
An introduction to low temperature biogeochemistry. We will focus on key biogeochemical elements and look to understand the linkages between the biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. The course begins with a description of marine geochemistry (alkalinity and chemical fluxes) and works toward...
Introduction to biological and organic chemistry of the Earth’s environment. Primary focus on formation, processing, and preservation of organic carbon, with emphasis on paleoenvironmental applications and on processes occurring at the molecular level. This class is intended to be taken in series...
Introduction to geobiological research methods: We will learn low temperature geochemical techniques, light stable isotope mass-spectrometry, and other microbiology methods commonly used in geobiological research. The focus will be on the cycling of biogeochemical elements (O, C, S, and Fe) in...
Atmospheric physics and chemistry: stratospheric and tropospheric transport, photochemistry, and aerosols; stratospheric ozone loss, tropospheric pollution; biogeochemical cycles. Note: Students specializing in this area are expected to take EPS 200 and 236. These courses may serve as an...
Introduction to the mechanics of fluids and solids, organized around earth and environmental phenomena. Conservation laws, stress, deformation and flow. Inviscid fluids and ocean gravity waves; Coriolis dominated large scale flows. Viscosity and groundwater seepage; convective cells; boundary...
Topics in low-temperature geochemistry, oceanography, and climatology will be discussed. Students will read and present journal articles on relevant topics, and will rotate responsibility for leading discussions.Note: Given in alternate years. Expected to be given in 2015-16.
Overview of the basic features of the climate system (global energy balance, atmospheric general circulation, ocean circulation, and climate variability) and the underlying physical processes.Prerequisite: Applied Mathematics 105b (may be taken concurrently), Physics 11a, b, or 15; or permission of...
The course emphasizes the principles of isotope and trace element geochemistry and their application to relevant problems in Earth and Planetary Sciences. Problems to be addressed include planet formation and differentiation, ocean chemistry, and climate reconstruction.Note: Expected to be given in...
Introduces students to the fluid Earth, emphasizing Earth’s weather and climate, the carbon cycle, and global environmental change. Course begins with the physical concepts necessary for understanding the structure, motion and energy balance of the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere, and then...
Climate and climate variability phenomena and mechanisms using a hierarchical modeling approach. Basics: El Niño and thermohaline circulation, abrupt, millennial and glacial-interglacial variability, equable climates.Note: Given in alternate years.Prerequisite: Background in geophysical fluid...
The atmosphere understood as a fluid dynamical system. Observations of atmospheric motions related to weather and climate. Application of the equations of atmospheric dynamics to explaining phenomena such as jet streams, cyclones, and fronts.Prerequisite: Applied Mathematics 105b; or permission of...
Chemical transport models: principles, numerical methods. Inverse models: Bayes’ theorem, optimal estimation, Kalman filter, adjoint methods. Analysis of environmental data: visualization, time series analysis, Monte Carlo methods, statistical assessment. Students prepare projects and presentations...
Absorption, emission, and scattering, emphasizing Earth’s atmosphere. Atmospheric spectroscopic properties for various measurement geometries. Quantitative spectroscopy and atmospheric structure are reviewed. Radiative transfer modeling and simulation and interpretation of atmospheric spectra from...
This course provides an introduction to the physical and chemical impacts of energy choices on human society and natural ecosystems. Topics will include the carbon cycle, climate, air and water pollution, impacts of energy systems on health, land use consequences of energy technologies, and nuclear...
The laws of thermodynamics. Equilibrium and spontaneous transformations in systems of variable chemical composition. Components, phase rule and petrogenetic grids. Calculation of phase diagrams. Applications to cosmochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and environmental geochemistry....
The physical processes responsible for sea level changes over time scales extending from hours to hundreds of millions of years. Long-term sea-level trends: geological observations, physical mechanisms and eustasy, dynamic topography. Sea-level change on an ice age Earth (glacial isostatic...

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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2014-2015 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
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