TEACHING

GEO 203 - Fundamentals of the solid Earth(Fall)

A quantitative introduction to Solid Earth System Science, focusing on the underlying physical processes and their geological and geophysical expression. Topics include basic physical conservation laws, examples of constitutive relationships, waves, transport phenomena, geopotential fields, geologic time, basic thermodynamics and mineralogy. Single variable calculus is a prerequisite. The course serves as a prerequisite for several upper-level GEO and CEE courses.  (Higgins/Irving)

GEO 534 - Geological Constraints on the Global Carbon Cycle (Spring)

Earth system and climate sensitivity relate changes in greenhouse gas concentrations and other radiative forcers to changes in temperature, both in Earth's past and in the future. The Cenozoic record provided by paleo-temperature and paleo-CO2 proxies can constrain these parameters and thus also the projected response of the planet to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. This course will explore the concepts of climate and Earth system sensitivity, the methods and records of paleo-temperature and paleo-carbon dioxide proxies in the Cenozoic, and the statistical challenges of inferring sensitivities from these proxies. (Higgins)

GEO 360/ENV 356 - Geochemistry of the Human Environment (Spring)

Humans have profoundly altered the chemistry of Earth's air, water, and soil. This course explores these changes with an emphasis on the analytical techniques used to measure the human impact. Topics include the accumulation of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) in Earth's atmosphere and the contamination of drinking water at the tap and in the ground. Students will get hands on training in mass spectrometry and spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of air, water, and soil and will participate in an outreach project aimed at providing chemical analyses of urban tap waters to residents of Trenton, NJ. (Higgins)

GEO 362 - Earth's History (Fall)

We are the product of 4+ billion years of geological, chemical, and biological evolution in a thin veneer on the surface of a rocky planet ~150 million kilometers from a mid-life main sequence star. This course seeks to understand the ‘how‘ of Earth history by integrating many branches of Earth system science including geochronology, paleomagnetism, tectonics, petrology, paleoclimate, sedimentology, geochemistry, and geobiology. Through a detailed study of the relevant datasets, models, and theories students in this course will engage and struggle with these seemingly disparate fields to arrive at a better understanding of how an imperfect geologic record can be used to produce an accurate reconstruction of our planet’s history. (Higgins, Schoene)