Earth & Environment

  • GRS ES 623: Ecosystem Biogeochemistry
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS ES 306; and one year college chemistry or BUMP semester.
    Nutrient and biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems; global biogeochemistry. Topics include anthropogenic effects on ecosystem cycles and productivity, wetland ecology and biogeochemistry, ecosystem restoration, ocean productivity, climate change and temperate, tropical, and aquatic ecosystems, oceans and the global CO2 budget, marine sediment chemistry. (Offered alternate years.)
  • GRS ES 640: Marine Geology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: None.
    Examines the evolution of ocean basins and marginal seas, changes in structure and composition of ocean basin throughout the last billion years, and the contribution of oceanic geological processes to the chemistry and biochemistry of earth.
  • GRS ES 643: Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: (CAS BI 107 OR CAS ES 101 OR CAS ES 105) and CH 101/102, or consent of instructor.
    The patterns and processes controlling carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Links between local and global scales are emphasized. Topics include net primary production, nutrient use efficiency, and biogeochemical transformation. Meets with GRS BI 643.
  • GRS ES 660: Geodynamics I
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: graduate standing and an introductory course in Earth Sciences and CAS PY 211 or 251 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
    (Meets with CAS ES 360.) Introduces basic physical principles of Earth's structure and dynamics. Driving mechanisms and plate motion; reflection, refraction seismology, magnetism, gravity and the Geoid, heat flow, tomography, mantle convection. Oceanic and continental lithosphere in active tectonic regions.
  • GRS ES 671: Geochemistry
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: graduate standing and an introductory course in Earth Sciences and CAS CH 101 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
    (Meets with CAS ES 371.) Chemical features of Earth and the solar system; geochemical cycles, reactions among solids, liquids, and gases; radioactivity and isotope fractionation; water chemistry; origins of ore deposits; applications of geochemistry to regional and global problems.
  • GRS ES 683: Geodynamics II Fluids and Fluid Transport
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 or 127 or 129 and PY 211 and CAS ES 360 or consent of instructor.
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 127 or CAS MA 129 ; CAS PY 211 ; CAS ES 360; or consent of instructor.
    Large- and small-scale phenomena in oceanic, atmospheric, and land-surface fluids. Properties of gases and liquids; surface body forces; statics; flow analysis; continuity and momentum conservation. Darcy's Law; potential, open channel and geostrophic flow; dimensional analysis; diffusion, turbulence. Offered alternate years.
  • GRS ES 699: Teaching College Earth Sciences I
    The goals, contents, and methods of instruction in earth sciences. General teaching-learning issues. Required of all teaching fellows.
  • GRS ES 702: Quantitative Methods for Earth Sciences II: Analysis and Modeling of Geologic Processes
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 123 ; CAS MA 124 ; CAS PY 211 ; CAS PY 212; (or equivalents) or consent of instructor.
    Quantitative techniques for deriving models of geologic processes from physical measurements. Applications include marine sediment composition, soil response to solar heating, seismic-wave propagation in the mantle, estuarine water quality, glacial and interglacial cycles, and olivine deformation.
  • GRS ES 719: Colloquium in Terrestrial Biogeoscience
    Graduate Prerequisites: MA or PhD standing.
    Introduction to the field of Terrestrial Biogeoscience through weekly research presentations and discussions with GRS faculty and distinguished guests. Students also meet weekly with lead faculty member to discuss primary literature related to each presentation. Also offered as GRS BI 719 and GRS GE 719.
  • GRS ES 720: Practicum in Terrestrial Biogeoscience
    Graduate Prerequisites: MA or PhD standing.
    Analysis and synthesis of the primary literature via in-depth case studies in terrestrial biogeoscience. Students meet weekly with faculty to read papers from the primary literature, synthesize results, and prepare a peer-review quality paper on the case study. Also offered as GRS BI 720 and GRS GE 720.
  • GRS ES 834: Advanced Topics in Geochemical Cycles
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
    Develops skills in critical scientific thinking through readings and discussions of classic and current literature in geochemical cycles.
  • GRS GE 600: Environment and Development: A Political Ecology Approach
    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.
  • GRS GE 620: Methods of Environmental Policy Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing
    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.
  • GRS GE 625: United States Environmental Policy
    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.
  • GRS GE 640: Digital Image Processing - Remote Sensing
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 302 or equivalent
    At least introductory statistics (and preferable multivariate statistics) recommended. This course pursues both the algorithms involved in processing remote sensing images and their application. Topics include preprocessing, image transformations, image classification and segmentation, spectral mixture analysis, and change detection. Examples cover a wide range of environmental applications of remote sensing. Students do a project
  • GRS GE 645: Physical Models in Remote Sensing
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 302 or equivalent
    Devoted to understanding the physical processes involved in remote sensing. Emphasis based on topics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere, at the surface, and in sensors. Reflectance modeling, advanced sensor systems, and geometric effects. A short research paper is required.
  • GRS GE 656: Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS GE 100 or CAS GE 101 or CAS GE 104 or CAS ES 105; ; 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.
  • GRS GE 660: 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.
  • GRS GE 675: 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 GRS BI 675.
  • GRS GE 683: Geodynamics II: Fluids and Fluid Transport
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124, MA 127, oe MA 129, and CAS PY 211 and CAS ES 360 or consent of instructor
    Large and small scale phenomena in oceanic, atmospheric, and land surface fluids. Properties of gases and liquids; surface body forces; statics; flow analysis; continuity and momentum conservation. Darcy's Law; potential, open channel geostraphic flow; dimensional analysis; diffusic turbulence.