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The course covers the chemistry and physics underlying molecular phenomena in the world. Starting from a single electron, the course will build up to atoms, molecules, and materials. Interactions of molecules are studied through thermochemistry, equilibria, entropy and free energy, acids and bases...
Forests cover nearly one third of the earth's land surface area. They provide a vast range of products and services to human civilization, and are important for economic and cultural reasons. This class will provide students with an introduction to the biology and ecology of forest ecosystems. An...
This course introduces students to the fluid Earth, emphasizing Earth’s weather and climate, the carbon cycle, and global environmental change. The physical concepts necessary for understanding the structure, motion and energy balance of the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere are covered first, and...
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. Construction of atmospheric composition models. Atmospheric transport. Nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon cycles. Climate forcing by greenhouse gases and aerosols...
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 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. Likely offered in Fall 2016.Prerequisite: EPS 8, OEB 10; or permission of instructor.
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. ESP 200 is also expected to serve as an...
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 Spring 2017.
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 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...
Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of environmental and natural resource policy. Combines lectures on conceptual and methodological topics with examinations of public policy issues. 
Note: This course offers an optional writing requirement which if completed will satisfy the...
Selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes invited outside speakers. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A&B) within the same academic year in order to...
Participants discuss recent research in environmental and natural resource economics and present their own work in progress. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A&B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.Note: Open to doctoral students only.
This course will provide an introduction to environmental science and engineering through case studies of some of the most pressing environmental issues. Course modules will include climate and air quality; food production and environmental impact; availability and quality of water; species...
Introduces the fundamental statistical and mapping tools needed for analysis of environmental systems. Topics will be linked by environmental and social themes and will include GIS concepts; data models; spatial statistics; density mapping; buffer zone analysis; surface estimation; map algebra;...
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...
Basic concepts, principles, and applications of environmental chemistry for students in Earth and environmental sciences. We will investigate a variety of environmental chemistry topics relevant for soil environmental systems, including soil mineralogy, water chemistry, redox reactions,...
Introduces the fundamentals of water biology, chemistry, physics and transport processes needed to understand water quality and water purification technologies. Practical instruction in basic water analyses concluding with a final water treatment project in place of exam. 
Prerequisite: Physical...
Principles governing energy generation and interconversion. Current and projected world energy use. Selected important current and anticipated future technologies for energy generation, interconversion, storage, and end usage.Prerequisite: One full year of college-level physics and familiarity with...
An introduction to the history, organization, goals, and ideals of environmental protection in America. Examines the shift in emphasis from nature protection to pollution control to sustainability over the 20th century and develops critical tools to analyze changing conceptions of nature and the...
The seminar will provide an account of the technologies that shape our world with a perspective on how they evolved, the benefits that ensued, and the environmental challenges that arose as a consequence. Topics include prospects for renewable energy and options to minimize damage from conventional...
Conservation biology strives to describe, understand, and forecast biodiversity dynamics by applying ecological and evolutionary theory within the contexts of resource management, economics, sociology and political science. This course will explore the motivations for preserving biodiversity and...
War, disaster, drought, or famine force people to flee their land. Climate change is contributing to many of these factors. The humanitarian consequences of this loss of place and livelihood are filled with complexity, relating to the extent and permanence of environmental destruction wrought by...
Supervised reading and research on topics not covered by regular courses of instruction. Students must complete a registration form, including permission from their faculty sponsor, with the concentration office before course enrollment. A final paper describing the research/reading completed...
Research and writing of the senior thesis under faculty direction. Senior honors candidates must take at least one term of this course while writing a thesis. The signature of the faculty adviser is required. Part one of a two-part series
This course explores state-of-the-art research, tools and measurements used to investigate and predict climate change through ongoing studies at the Harvard Forest’s 3,000-acre outdoor laboratory in Petersham, MA. The seminar consists of three weekend long field trips (Friday evening-Sunday) to the...
Explores wide range of environmental neurotoxic substances and effects on human and animal populations. Attention to pediatric exposure to neurotoxic agents and associated neurodevelopmental disabilities, as well as neurobehavioral and immunological changes. Examines impact of lead and mercury...
Europeans “discovered” America in search of foodstuffs, specifically spices. And food has been central to the American experience from the starving time in early Virginia to the problem of obesity in the United States today. But what is American about American food? How have individual food choices...
This seminar will use mapping as a methodological technique to examine social and environmental issues. Students will be expected to use mapping software to examine spatial data for a location and topic of their choice for their final paper. Weekly discussions will be conducted in class on various...
Introduces students to international history through the study of commodities ranging from oil, coal, and cotton to potatoes, rum, coffee, and sugar. Showcases historical writings that transcend geographic, cultural, and political boundaries between East and West, North and South, Atlantic and...
Advanced seminar for undergraduates. We concentrate on the history of animal and plant collecting, exploration, and the way that "nature" is put on display in museums, zoos, botanic gardens, etc. ranging from the 17th century to the present. We also think about media and imagery including...
An integrated approach to the diversity of life, emphasizing how chemical, physical, genetic, ecological and geologic processes contribute to the origin and maintenance of biological diversity. Topics to be covered include the evolution of metabolic pathways, multicellularity and structural...
Introduction to the structure, diversity, and physiology of plants with an emphasis on evolutionary relationships and adaptations to life on land. Topics include growth, resource acquisition, interactions with other organisms (i.e., fungi, bacteria, insects), reproduction, and survival in extreme...

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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2015-2016 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

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