300 Level

Current offerings of Earth & Environment courses can be found on the course listing of the BU Bulletin.

All courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.

ES 300 Earth’s Rocky Materials

After a short foray into the atom, mineral properties, and crystal structures, this course, utilizing an Earth Systems approach, begins its exploration with the mineral phases of the core and deep mantle. Crustal mineralogy and petrology follows, including minerals, and the rocks that contain them, produced from both magmatic and metamorphic processes. Subsequent sections investigate near-surface hydrothermal systems and minerals and rocks produced in surface (sedimentary) processes. The final sections will look at the mineralogy of the biosphere, including extreme life, and mineral health issues.

ES 302 History of the Earth

Prerequisites: ES 101 or 105 or 140 or 142 or 144 or GE 104, or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Earth history; origin of the Earth and solar system; origin and evolution of life; mass extinctions; interpretation of the geological record of Earth history; measurement of geological time; plate tectonics and the formation of mountains, continents, and ocean basins. Three hours lecture, two hours lab, with occasional field trips.

GE 302 Remote Sensing of the Environment

Prerequisites: GE 100, GE 101, GE 104, GE 110, ES 101, or ES 105; or BI 117; or PY 105.

Introduction to sensor systems, methodology of remote sensing, and basic concepts of image analysis. Presents the ways in which remotely sensed data can be used in scientific investigations and resource management.

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. Meets with IR 304.

ES 305 Rock Deformation and Structure

Prerequisites: ES 107

Foundations of rock deformation and structural geology in a plate tectonics context. Emphasizes identification and analysis of rock structures in hand sample and in the field, collection and interpretation of 2D and 3D structural data, and synthesis of geologic histories.

GE 307 Biogeography

Prerequisites: BI 107 and GE 101.

Analysis of local, regional, and global distributions of plants and animals. Environmental and human influences on those distributions considered; changes resulting from geologically recent climatic fluctuations. Field trips. Meets with BI 307.

GE 309 Intermediate Environmental Analysis and Policy

Prerequisites: GE 100 and EC 101.

Introduction to economic and environmental theory critical to the formulation and evaluation of environmental resource policy. This theory is applied to real-world analysis of climate change, population growth, oil supplies, energy use, and globalization.

GE 310 Climate and the Environment

Prerequisites: GE 101 or equivalent.

Understanding physical processes of the atmosphere, ranging in scale from tornadoes to global winds. Emphasis on providing physical explanations of atmospheric phenomena and impact of weather on humanity. Satellite and weather modification technology.

ES 317 Introduction to Hydrology

Prerequisites: ES 101 or 105 or 140 or 142 or 144 or GE 104; MA 121, 123, or 127, or consent of instructor.

Introduction to the science of hydrology and to the role of water as a resource, a hazard, and an integral component of the Earth’s climatic, biological, and geological systems.

ES 331 Sedimentology

Prerequisites: ES 101 or 105 or 140 or 142 or 144 or 202 or GE 104, or consent of instructor.

Properties and classification of clastic and carbonate sediments and sedimentary rock; processes that form, transport, and deposit sediments; environments of deposition; diagenesis; methods of analysis. Three hours lecture, three hours lab, and occasional field trips.

ES 351 Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography

Prerequisites: ES 105 or 107 or 140 or 142 or 144. GE 101 recommended.

Examines causes and effects of climate change throughout Earth’s history. Topics include ice age climates and glaciations; oceanic history; linkages between Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets; tectonic effects; ice-core, coral, and marine sediment records; El Niño; terrestrial extinctions.

GE 365 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Prerequisites: MA 115 or EC 208.

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.

ES 371 Introduction to Geochemistry

Prerequisites: ES 101 or 105 or 140 or 142 or 144 or 202 or GE 104; and CH 101.

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.

GE 375 Introduction to Quantitative Environmental Modeling

Prerequisites: MA 115 or CAS MA 213 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.

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 HI 394.

GE 394 Environmental History of Africa

Focus on the African environment and ecological systems over the past 150 years. Topics include climatic change, hydrography, agriculture, deforestation, soil erosion, disease, conservation, famine,and the role of colonialism and government policy in environmental change. Also offered as HI 394.