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Prerequisite: A few operations of calculus are developed and used. Fluency in pre-calculus secondary school mathematics is assumed. Students are expected to have AP or honors level high school chemistry, or have completed Life and Physical Sciences A (LPS A) with a satisfactory grade.Physical...
This course covers the chemistry and physics underlying molecular phenomena in the world around you. Starting from a single electron, we will build up to atoms, molecules, and materials. We will study interactions of molecules through thermochemistry, equilibria, entropy and free energy, acids and...
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...
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...
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 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.
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...
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...
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...
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....
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...
Basic theory and models. Externalities, common property, public goods, polution control, renewable and non-renewable resources, discounting, uncertainty, cost-benefit analysis, green accounting, sustainability, climate change.Note: Students welcome from other departments and programs. There is a...
Selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes invited outside speakers.Note: Primarily for graduate students in economics or related fields with environmental interests. Offered...
Participants discuss recent research in environmental and natural resource economics and present their own work in progress.Note: Open to doctoral students only.
An introduction to the role of technology in environmental sciences with an emphasis on solving problems concerning human use and control of theenvironment, with foci on energy, technology, air & water pollution, and water quality. For each topic, the basic scientific principles underlying...
Prerequisite: Applied Mathematics 21 or equivalent.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...
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...
Time rate of change of chemical species in environmental systems. Measure rate constants. Linear free energy relationships and structural contributions to estimate unknown rate constants. Formulating a coupled chemical system. Numerical analysis of complex systems.Note: Offered in alternate years.
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 preserve biodiversity by applying ecological and evolutionary theory within the contexts of resource management, economics, sociology, and political science. This course will explore the moral and scientific motivations for preserving...
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...
Full course. 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.
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...

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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.
  • 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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