All courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.
As of Fall 2020, all courses have been recoded from “ES” and “GE” to “EE.”
EE 501 Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing
Examines advanced concepts in radiative transfer and information extraction relevant to remote sensing. Emphasis on applications of digital image processing to remote sensing problems. Offered every Fall.
EE 503 Micrometeorology: Energy & Mass Transfer at the Earth’s Surface
Modern theories and techniques for measurement and analysis of physical processes occurring at the Earth’s surface: radiation regimes; energy and mass exchange; agricultural and forest micrometeorology, remote sensing, and modeling of land surface properties and processes. Offered every other Spring.
EE 504 Physical Climatology
Physical factors and processes operating in the earth-atmosphere boundary zone. Solar radiation, expotranspiration, and water balance studies for various natural and cultural environments. Examples include bioclimates of vegetation, air-sea interaction, urban climate, physiologic climatic parameters, and climatic change. Offered every other Spring.
EE 505 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Provides a theoretical and practical introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Introduces the essentials in GIS, methods of data capture and sources of data, nature and characteristics of spatial data and objects, data structures, modeling surfaces, volumes and time, and data uncertainty. Emphasis is on applications. Laboratory exercises included. Offered every Fall.
EE 506 Global Resource Geopolitics
Students explore in-depth the relationship between conflict, natural resources, development, and security, and practice developing solutions to complex problems. Analyzes the most contentious themes in the political economy of resources: violence, population, energy, and agro-food production. Also offered as IR 512. Taught by International Relations faculty.
EE 507 Dynamical Oceanography
Introduction to the physical ocean system. Physical properties of seawater; essential ocean dynamics; mixing and stirring in the ocean; simple waves; observed current systems and water masses; and coupled atmosphere-ocean variability. Offered every other Fall.
EE 508 Data Science for Conservation Decisions
Application of quantitative methods to support conservation decisions. Ecosystem value mapping, systematic conservation planning, policy instrument design, rigorous impact evaluation, decision theory, data visualization. Implementations in state-of-the-art open-source software. Real-life case studies from the U.S. and abroad. Offered every Spring. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Research and Information Literacy.
EE 509 Applied Environmental Statistics
Survey of modern probability-based statistical methods in environmental science. Core concepts in likelihood and Bayesian approaches are used to address spatial, time-series, and latent variable models and non-Gaussian, non-linear, heterogenous, and missing data. Project-based course focused on applications to data. Offered every other Spring. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Writing-Intensive Course.
EE 510 Physical Principles of the Environment
Principles and concepts underlying the physical and ecological forces that cause environmental change. Topics include soil erosion, acid rain, thermal pollution, greenhouse effect, stratospheric ozone depletion, and loss of biodiversity. Offered every other Fall.
EE 511 Introduction to Atmospheric Boundary Layer
Covers the basic dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), with a focus on the ABL processes and modeling. Introduces statistical descriptions of turbulent flows in the atmosphere and the connection between the ABL and other environment/climate system processes. Offered every third Spring.
EE 512 Urban Climate
PIntroduction to urban microclimate within the context of global climate change. Basic climate processes in urban systems; urban heat islands; mixing and dispersion; modeling and observational techniques; anthropogenic emissions; climate change impacts on cities; mitigation and adaptation. Offered every third Fall.
EE 514 Dynamic Land Surface Hydrology
Land surface hydrology with emphasis on the unsaturated zone. Development and applications of physics governing transport of water, vapor, and heat in soils and the near surface atmosphere. Effects of vegetation, topography, and water table on runoff, evapotranspiration, and recharge. Offered every third Fall.
EE 516 Multivariate Analysis for Geographers
Prerequisite for BA/MA students: EE 375 or consent of instructor. Applications of multivariate techniques to problems in spatial context, emphasizing interpretation. Review of regression and analysis of variance. Introduction to topics including canonical correlation, factor analysis, discriminant and clustering analyses. Offered every Fall.
EE 519 Energy, Society, & the Environment
Focus on applied political economy and the intersection of policy, energy systems, and environmental systems. Project based learning,with an emphasis on energy technology and obstacles to deployment. Offered every Spring.
EE 521 Law for Sustainability
Survey of the major features of environmental law and relevant procedural and constitutional issues. Comparison of practical realities (political, economic, social, geographic, biological) with the ideal context for what should be. Projects include legal research and mock advocacy. Offered every Fall.
EE 522 The Development of Sustainable Environmental Responsibility
In-depth look at environmental policy and decision-making: how society addresses environmental problems. Includes discussion of the environmental movement, law, science, technology, economics, and international relations. Examines new issues facing environmental professionals and approaches to creating a sustainable world. Offered every Spring.
EE 523 Marine Urban Ecology
Marine urban ecology is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that aims to understand how human and ecological processes can coexist in human-dominated systems. Topics, ecosystems, and organisms associated with urbanization in the Greater Boston area. Taught by Biology faculty. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Teamwork/Collaboration.
EE 524 Environmental Justice
Exploration of the origins of and current trends in environmental justice activism and scholarship. Introduces empirical evidence of environmental (in)justice, links contemporary environmental problems to historical and broader political-economic processes, and explores a range of responses to environmental injustice. Offered every Spring.
EE 525 Plant Physiological Ecology
In-depth treatment of eco-physiological responses of plants and communities to environmental factors and climate change, as well as plant and community level impacts on the environment as manifested primarily in hydrologic, energy, and carbon cycles. Offered every other Fall.
EE 529 Modeling & Monitoring Terrestrial Ecosystems Processes
Concepts and problems at the interface of ecosystem process modeling and satellite remote sensing; current methods and challenges in modeling terrestrial primary production at regional-to-global scales; capabilities, limitations, and prospects of satellite remote sensing as a tool for collecting biotic and abiotic data in ecosystem process studies. Offered every other Fall.
EE 530 Forest Ecology
The major biotic and abiotic factors influencing forest ecosystem composition, structure and function. Role of solar radiation, hydrology, soils, succession, and management of forest ecosystems. Includes New England case study. Three hours lecture plus discussion. Also offered as BI 530. Taught by Biology faculty.
EE 531 Risk Assessment
Topics vary from year to year and may include the policy aspects of environmental regulation, risk assessment and environmental decision-making, international environmental policy, natural resource policy, and energy policy. Offered every Spring.
EE 533 Quantitative Geomorphology
Quantitative analyses of surface processes that lead to landform evolution and landscape change. Emphasizes study of analytical techniques in understanding specific depositional and erosional processes; models of global landscape change; tectonic and climatic geomorphology. Offered every other Spring.
GE 535 Global Land Conservation: Theory & Practice
In-depth treatment of the theory and practice of global land conservation. Global drivers of ecosystem degradation. Scale and effectiveness of public and private responses. Implementation of instruments, including regulatory, market-based, community-driven, and supply-chain approaches. International and domestic case studies. Offered every Spring.
EE 538 Research for Environmental Agencies & Organizations II
Students gain professional experience by working in teams on research projects that assist environmental and public health officials in achieving the missions of their agencies. Research areas may include solar energy, environmental justice, toxics, water quality, and lead poisoning. Offered every semester. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, The Individual in Community, Teamwork/Collaboration.
EE 539 Coral Reef Dynamics: Shallow Waters, Deep Time
Tropical reefs– diverse, complex, and ancient– exhibit lawful cycles of growth, degradation, and regeneration. Explore these through observations on the Belize Barrier Reef in fossil reef environments and through laboratory experiments. Insights are applied to reef conservation in today’s changing world. Also offered as BI 539. Taught by Biology faculty.
EE 540 Atmospheric Chemistry & Global Change
An introduction to the chemistry and physics of atmospheric pollution, and the impacts of air pollution on human welfare and the environment. Highlights the interactions between air quality, the biosphere, climate, and sustainable development. Offered every Spring.
EE 543 Estuaries & Nearshore Systems
Physical and ecological processes interacting in estuarine and nearshore environments, including salt marshes, beaches, lagoons, deltas, and in wave- and tide-dominated regimes. Lectures complemented by extensive field work oriented toward individual and group research projects. Offered every Fall.
EE 555 World Oil Markets
The world oil market is explained using the notion of supply chain. Each stage is described in terms of relevant theories from geology, economics, and politics, and how they interact to generate real-world behavior. Offered every Spring.
EE 557 Oceanography of Stellwagen Bank & Surrounding Waters
Nutrient distribution and physical oceanography of Stellwagen Bank and adjacent waters. Bathymetric influences and effects of ocean currents of biogeochemical parameters. Includes day-long cruises on NOAA research vessel. Offered every Fall.
EE 560 Energy Transitions
An energy transition is a change in a society’s dominant energy system. Major energy transitions are accompanied by transformative cultural, economic, demographic, technological, and environmental changes. This course provides the student with the methods, tools and perspectives to understand the important historical, current and future energy transitions. This course is a highly interdisciplinary experience, combining analytic tools and concepts from economics, environmental science, engineering, ecology, history, and political science. Offered every other Spring.
EE 576 Aquatic Geochemistry
PFundamentals of water chemistry as applied to the evolution of surface, soil, and ground waters. Emphasis is on chemical equilibrium and kinetics, pH as a master variable, carbonate chemistry, mineral solubility, aqueous complexes, ion exchange, redox, and weathering reactions. Not currently in rotation.
EE 578 Marine Geographic Information Science
ntroduction to marine geographic information systems and spatial analysis for conservation, management, and marine landscape ecology. Comparative examples from Gulf of Maine and tropics. Solve problems in coastal zoning and marine park design, whale and coral reef conservation. Also offered as BI 578. Taught by Biology faculty.
EE 585 Ecological Forecasting & Informatics
The statistics and informatics of model-data fusion and forecasting: data management, workflows, Bayesian statistics, uncertainty analysis, fusing multiple data sources, assessing model performance, scenario development, decision analysis, and data assimilation. Case studies highlight ecological forecasting across a range of subdisciplines. Offered every other Spring.
ES 591 Bio-Optical Oceanography
This field- and lab-based course will explore how the optically active constituents in seawater affect the in-water light field, and in turn, how field optics and remote sensing can facilitate the study of marine biogeochemistry, biological oceanography and water quality. Offered every other Fall.
ES 593 Marine Physiology & Climate Change
This course explores the range of physiological responses marine organisms exhibit in response to climate change. We will investigate the phenotypic plasticity exhibited across different organisms and how this plasticity can influence an organism’s resilience to its changing environment. Meets with BI 593. Taught by Biology faculty.
EE 594 Global Environmental Negotiation & Policy
Key concepts, actors, concerns, and issues related to the process of negotiating global environmental policies. Overview of the international system and environmental problems; an international negotiation simulation; case studies of global agreements on ozone depletion, climate change, desertification, and biodiversity, among others. Meets with IR 594. Taught by International Relations faculty.
EE 597 Sustainable Development in Latin America
Provides an empirically based understanding of the social and environmental aspects of economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for purposes of analyzing the numerous trade and development policies that nations in LAC are currently considering. Also offered as IR 597. Taught by International Relations faculty.
EE 599 Science, Politics, & Climate Change
Applies a science and technology studies perspective to climate change science and policy. Examines the relationships between scientific and political systems at global, national, and local levels. Also offered as IR 599. Taught by International Relations faculty.
EE 600 Environment & 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. Meets with EE 400. Taught every Fall.
EE 620 Methods of Environmental Policy Analysis
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. Meets with EE 420. Taught every Spring.
EE 622 Aquatic Optics & Remote Sensing
An introduction to the use of optical measurements and remote sensing to study the biogeochemistry and water quality of aquatic environments. Covers fundamental concepts and measurements in optics/remote sensing and provides hands-on experience with real data. Meets with EE 422. Taught every Spring.
EE 623 Marine Biogeochemistry
Over the past decades biogeochemistry has become an essential tool to further our understanding of human impacts on the globe. In this class we discuss coastal and open ocean biogeochemical cycling and how these cycles have been altered by global change. An emphasis is placed on the linkages between local and global scales. We also discuss how biogeochemical tools help unravel various environmental questions. Topics include, but are not limited to marine primary production, iron limitation and fertilization as a response to climate change, oceanic glacial-interglacial biogeochemical cycles, biogeochemical cycles in wetlands and mangroves, and impacts of nutrient pollution on the coastal ocean. Meets with EE 423 and BI 423. Also offered as BI 623. Offered every Fall.
EE 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. Meets with EE 425.
EE 643 Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
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 EE 443 and BI 443. Also offered as BI 643. Taught by Biology faculty.
EE 644 Digital Image Processing – Remote Sensing
At least introductory statistics (and preferably 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. Meets with EE 444. Taught every Spring.
EE 645 Physical Models of Remote Sensing
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. Meets with EE 445.
EE 646 Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere
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. Meets with EE 446. Taught every other Spring.
EE 647 Marine Geology
Examines the evolution of ocean basins and marginal seas, changes in structure and composition of ocean basins throughout the last one billion years, and the contribution of oceanic geological processes to the chemistry and biochemistry of the Earth. Meets with EE 447. Taught every Spring.
EE 656 Terrestrial Ecosystems & the Carbon Cycle
The course is directed at graduate students interested in global environmental change and undergraduates with a solid science background interested in pursuing an environmental career. In this class we will focus on applying the fundamentals of climate science, ecosystems ecology, and biogeochemistry to explore the past, present, and possible future dynamics of the carbon cycle. Meets with EE 456. Taught every other Spring.
EE 660 Food, Energy, & 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. Meet with EE 460. Taught every Fall.
EE 671 Geochemistry
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. Meets with EE 371. Taught every other Spring.
EE 675 Urban Ecology
This course explores the biophysical environments and ecology of urban settlements. Key topics covered include the physical environment (particularly climate & water), patterns in human population growth and development, ecosystem structure and function (net primary productivity, soils, nutrients cycling, organismal populations), global change (urban growth, disturbance, climate change), urban environment pollution and management (air and water quality), and sustainable urban development policies and regulations. Meets with EE 475 and BI 475. Taught every other Spring.
EE 683 Geodynamics II: Fluids & Fluid Transport
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. Meets with EE 483. Taught every other Fall.
EE 712 Regional Energy Modeling
Regional energy modeling techniques and existing regional energy models. Current energy issues are discussed. Modeling procedures are introduced. Current regional and energy models are explored. Offered every Spring.
EE 719 Colloquium in Biogeoscience
The objective of this course is to introduce graduate students to the diversity of research being done in the field of biogeosciences. By participating in this seminar course, students will gain depth and breadth in their graduate education. The inclusion of distinguished-speaker seminars will not only expose students to some of the brightest minds in the field, but also help the students develop a professional network beyond that which they will gain at Boston University. Also offered as BI 719. 2 credits. Offered every Fall.
EE 720 Practicum in Biogeoscience
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 ast BI 720. 2 credits. Offered every Spring.
EE 764 Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health Colloquium
Prerequisites: Open to graduate students only and priority is given to students enrolled in the BU Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health.
Introduction to the fields of Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Through weekly reading, discussions, and research presentations, students acquire a basic foundation in urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Also offered as SPH EH 764 and GRS BI 764. 2 credits.
EE 765: Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health Applied Research Methods
Prerequisites: Open to graduate students only and priority is given to students enrolled in the BU Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Completion of EE 764 highly recommended.
Graduate students work in groups on real-world environmental challenges related to urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Students use applied research methods in collaboration with stakeholders from cities on issues related to air, soil, and/or water quality, environmental stressors, nutrient cycles, and climate. Also offered as BI 765. 2 credits.
EE 795 Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health: From Research to Policy
Prerequisites: Open to graduate students only and priority is given to students enrolled in the BU Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Students have to meet with the instructor prior to the start of the course to set up an internship with a partner organization. For international students seeking credit for academic advancement the internship must be authorized by the International Students & Scholars Office. Students who are not part of the BU Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health should contact the instructor prior to enrolling to determine if their background and interests are consistent with the course.
Students learn how cities utilize scientific findings to address urban environmental challenges and develop communication skills to effectively translate scientific results to decision-makers and the public. Students complete a semester-long internship to gain experience applying scientific knowledge to decision making. Also offered as BI 795. 2-4 credits.
EE 805 Spatial Analysis Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Prerequisites for BA/MA students: GE 505 or GE 565 and MA 613 or MA 614. Covers advanced research topics in GIS dealing with the measurement, storage, retrieval and analysis of spatial information. Topics include fuzzy sets, fractals, and spatial statistics. Completion of a project is required. Offered every Spring.
EE 840 Topics in Remote Sensing
Prerequisite for BA/MA students: consent of instructor. Varying subjects in the field. Offered every other year.
Meeting patterns for all courses are subject to change.