Course Offerings

Spring 2024

Topics in Environmental Justice in the Geosciences (SEL)
Subject associations
GEO 360 / ENV 356

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.

Instructors
Stefania Gili
John A. Higgins
Responsible Conduct of Research in Geosciences (Half-Term)
Subject associations
GEO 503 / AOS 503

Course educates Geosciences and AOS students in the responsible conduct of research using case studies appropriate to these disciplines. This discussion-based course focuses on issues related to the use of scientific data, publication practices and responsible authorship, peer review, research misconduct, conflicts of interest, the role of mentors & mentees, issues encountered in collaborative research and the role of scientists in society. Successful completion is based on attendance, reading, and active participation in class discussions. Course satisfies University requirement for RCR training.

Instructors
Curtis A. Deutsch
Leo Donner
John A. Higgins
Larry W. Horowitz
Laure Resplandy
Blair Schoene
Frederik J. Simons
Jeroen Tromp
Bess Ward
Rong Zhang
Fundamentals of the Geosciences
Subject associations
GEO 505

A yearlong survey, in sequence, of fundamental papers in the geosciences. Topics in 505 (Spring) include the origin and interior of the Earth, plate tectonics, geodynamics, the history of life on Earth, the composition of the Earth, its oceans and atmospheres, past climate. Topics in 506 (Fall) include present and future climate, biogeochemical processes in the ocean, geochemical cycles, orogenies, thermochronology, rock fracture and seismicity. A core course for all beginning graduate students in the geosciences.

Instructors
Curtis A. Deutsch
Thomas S. Duffy
John A. Higgins
Satish C. Myneni
Blair Schoene
Bess Ward
Xinning Zhang

Fall 2024

Methods of Chemical and Isotopic Analysis in the Earth Sciences (SEL)
Subject associations
GEO 402 / ENV 402

An intensive introduction to isotopic analyses in the Earth sciences. Students will learn the fundamentals of isotope abundance and isotope ratio mass spectrometry through lectures and laboratory rotations with hands-on training in a wide range of analytical techniques. The course is oriented towards upper-level undergraduate students interested in pursuing laboratory research in geological, biological, and environmental sciences as part of their JP or ST as well as graduate students in the natural and applied sciences.

Instructors
Stefania Gili
John A. Higgins
Daniel M. Sigman

Previous Semesters

Undergraduate Courses

Earth History (SEN)
Subject associations
GEO 362 / ENV 362

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 representation of our planet's history.

Instructors
John A. Higgins
Geochemistry of the Human Environment (SEL)
Subject associations
GEO 360 / ENV 356

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.

Instructors
John A. Higgins
Topics in Environmental Justice in the Geosciences (SEL)
Subject associations
GEO 360 / ENV 356

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.

Instructors
John A. Higgins

Graduate Studies

Fundamentals of the Geosciences
Subject associations
GEO 505

A yearlong survey, in sequence, of fundamental papers in the geosciences. Topics in 505 (Spring) include the origin and interior of the Earth, plate tectonics, geodynamics, the history of life on Earth, the composition of the Earth, its oceans and atmospheres, past climate. Topics in 506 (Fall) include present and future climate, biogeochemical processes in the ocean, geochemical cycles, orogenies, thermochronology, rock fracture and seismicity. A core course for all beginning graduate students in the geosciences.

Instructors
Thomas S. Duffy
John A. Higgins
Satish C. Myneni
Allan M. Rubin
Daniel M. Sigman
Frederik J. Simons
Jeroen Tromp
Spring 2022
Fundamentals of the Geosciences II
Subject associations
GEO 506

A survey of fundamental papers in the Geosciences. Topics include present and future climate, biogeochemical processes in the ocean, geochemical cycles, orogenies, thermochronology, Earth structure and mechanics, and seismicity. This is the core geosciences graduate course.

Instructors
Stephan A. Fueglistaler
John A. Higgins
Ching-Yao Lai
Elizabeth Niespolo
Allan M. Rubin
Gabriel A. Vecchi
Fall 2022
Responsible Conduct of Research in Geosciences (Half-Term)
Subject associations
GEO 503 / AOS 503

Course educates Geosciences and AOS students in the responsible conduct of research using case studies appropriate to these disciplines. This discussion-based course focuses on issues related to the use of scientific data, publication practices and responsible authorship, peer review, research misconduct, conflicts of interest, the role of mentors & mentees, issues encountered in collaborative research and the role of scientists in society. Successful completion is based on attendance, reading, and active participation in class discussions. Course satisfies University requirement for RCR training.

Instructors
Leo Donner
Thomas S. Duffy
John A. Higgins
Larry W. Horowitz
Allan M. Rubin
Daniel M. Sigman
Frederik J. Simons
Rong Zhang
Spring 2023