Earth & Environment

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  • CAS GE 304: Environmentally Sustainable Development
    Traces the emergence of sustainable development as the defining environmental challenge of our times. Surveys and evaluates policies for balancing ecological sustainability and economic development in various parts of the world and at the global level. Also offered as CAS IR 304.
  • CAS GE 307: Biogeography
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS BI 107 and CAS GE 101.
    Examines the spatial distribution of plants and animals from historical, ecological, and analytical perspectives. Environmental and human influences on species distribution, abundance, and diversity are considered, as are changes resulting from past and projected climate change. Also offered as CAS BI 307.
  • CAS GE 309: Intermediate Environmental Analysis and Policy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 100 and CAS EC 101.
    Introduction to economic and environmental theory critical to the formulation and evaluation of environmental and resource policy. This theory is applied to real world analysis of climate change, population growth, oil supplies, energy use, and globalization.
  • CAS GE 310: Climate and the Environment
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CASMA123 or equivalent; CASPY211 or equivalent; and either CASGE100 or CASES105 or CASES107.
    Physical principles governing the climate system and its impact on the environment. Emphasis on understanding the physical processes governing energy, mass, and momentum transfer in the ocean and atmosphere. The interaction and feedback of these processes and their impact on the climate system and its variability.
  • CAS GE 365: An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 113 or CAS MA 115.
    Practical hands-on computing experience using GIS for analyzing data from maps and other sources. Analytical functions unique to GIS are emphasized, as are applications in archaeology, land use planning, environmental monitoring, and other fields.
  • CAS GE 375: Introduction to Quantitative Environmental Modeling
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 115 or CAS MA 213; or equivalent; and CASGE100 or equivalent; and CASMA121 or CASMA123 or equivalent.
    Introduces students to quantitative models of environmental systems. Emphasizes application of quantitative models to environmental problem solving. Includes computer exercises with examples from current environmental issues such as population growth, pollution transport, and biodiversity.
  • CAS GE 382: Understanding the Middle East
    Introduces the contemporary Middle East, including the Arab world, Iran, Israel, and Turkey; examines the systems of government; the roles of external powers; the origins of the state system; the sources and objectives of opposition forces; the prospects for political reform including democratization; and the prospects for future cooperation or conflict. Also offered as CAS IR 382.
  • CAS GE 394: Environmental History of Africa
    Focus on the African environment and ecological systems over the past 150 years. Topics include climate change, hydrography, agriculture, deforestation, soil erosion, disease, conservation, famine, and the role of colonialism and government policy in environmental change. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS GE 400: Environment and Development: A Political Ecology Approach
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: senior standing.
    Theory and practice of development with an explicit focus on environmental issues. Introduces history of development and the environment; explores select themes in development and environmental studies (e.g. rural livelihoods, conservation, urbanization, and climate change); and considers alternative development paradigms.
  • CAS GE 401: Senior Independent Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: approval of the Honors Committee.
    Senior Independent Work
  • CAS GE 402: Senior Independent Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: approval of the Honors Committee.
    Senior Independent Work
  • CAS GE 420: Methods of Environmental Policy Analysis
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS EC 101 and CAS MA 121; ; or CASMA123
    Introduction to the analysis of environmental policy, the implications of environmental problems for public decision making, the tools available to decision-makers, and their effectiveness, advantages, and disadvantages.
  • CAS GE 425: United States Environmental Policy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 309.
    (CASGE309 may be taken as a co-requisite.) Survey and historical overview of key environmental policies and regulations in the United States. Emphasis on policy development, including formulation and implementation of federal pollution control regulations since the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. Considers possible future policy needs.
  • CAS GE 440: Digital Image Processing - Remote Sensing
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 302; or equivalent.
    Pursues both the algorithms involved in processing remotely sensed images and their application. Topics include spectral and spatial enhancement, image classification and clustering, spatial analysis, and linear transforms.
  • CAS GE 445: Physical Models in Remote Sensing
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 302; or equivalent.
    Devoted to understanding the physical processes involved in remote sensing. Emphasis on topics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere, at the surface, and in sensors. Reflectance modeling, advanced sensor systems, and geometric effects.
  • CAS GE 446: Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 302 and CAS GE 310; or consent of instructor.
    Remote sensing has transformed the study of Earth's atmosphere. Learn the principles of retrieving meteorological parameters (humidity, temperature, precipitation) and key atmospheric constituents (clouds, greenhouse gases, aerosol) from satellite observations. Explore applications to climate change, disaster monitoring, and public health.
  • CAS GE 456: Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 100 or CAS GE 101 or CAS ES 105 or CAS ES 107; ; CASBI306 or CASBI443 or CASGE530; and CAS MA113 or CASMA115 or CASMA213, or equivalent; or consent of instructor.
    Explores the past, present, and possible future dynamics of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Key topics include the physical climate system, variability, ecosystem processes, land use issues, and impacts of global change on society.
  • CAS GE 460: Food, Energy, and Water Policy
    Economic and policy analysis of how to manage ecosystems for the provision of food, energy, and water. Introduces cost-benefit analysis, dynamic optimization, and ecosystem service valuation as tools for understanding the optimal management of ecosystems and tradeoffs.
  • CAS GE 475: Urban Ecology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 100 or CAS GE 101 or CAS GE 104; and one of the following: CAS BI 306, CAS BI 443 or GRS BI 643, CAS GE 456 or GRS GE 656, or CAS BI 530 or CAS GE 530; or consent of instructor.
    The biophysical environments and ecology of urban settlements. Key topics include the physical environment, patterns in human population growth and development, ecosystem structure and function, global change, urban environment pollution and management, and sustainable urban development. Also offered as CAS BI 475.
  • CAS GE 483: Geodynamics II: Fluids and Fluid Transport
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 127 or CAS MA 129 ; CAS PY 211 ; CAS ES 360; or consent of the instructor.
    Large- and small-scale phenomena in oceanic, atmospheric, and landsurface fluids. Properties of gases and liquids; surface and body forces; statics; flow analysis; continuity and momentum conservation. Darcy's Law; potential, open channel, and geostrophic flow; dimensional analysis; diffusion, turbulence. Also offered as CAS ES 483.