500 Level

ES 500 Field Geology (8 credits, Summer)

Prereq: junior standing, ES 101 or 105, or GE 104, and ES 302, or consent of instructor. ES 222, 301, and 424 recommended. Scientific observation, interpretation, and solution of geological problems in the field through application of field mapping techniques. Includes recognition of rock types and structures as well as metamorphic effects of tectonic events, map-making methods, and report preparation.

GE 502 Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing

Prereq: CAS GE 302. Examines advanced concepts in radiative transfer and information extraction relevant to remote sensing. Emphasis on applications of digital image processing to remote sensing problems.

ES 503 Structural Petrology (4 credits, Spring, offered alternate years)

Prereq: ES 301, and ES 424 or 222, or consent of instructor. Structural analysis of deformed rocks in thin section. Deformation mechanisms at the crystal lattice and grain scale. Interpretation of tectonic deformation processes and pressure-temperature conditions based on preserved microstructure and metamorphic mineral growth.
Instructor: Staff

GE 503 Micrometeorology: Energy and Mass Transfer at the Earth’s Surface

Prereq: CAS GE 310, MA 121, and PY 233 or graduate standing. 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.

GE 504 Physical Climatology

Prereq: CAS GE 310 or consent of instructor. 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.

GE 505 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Prereq: CAS GE 365 and CAS MA 213. 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.

ES 505 Plate Tectonics and Kinematics (4 credits, Spring, offered alternate years)

Prereq: junior standing and ES 101 or 105; ES 360; MA 123, 124, or MA 127 or MA 129. Structure and geometry of lithospheric plates and plate boundaries; mechanisms of divergent, convergent, and transform boundaries; orthogonal and oblique subduction; triple junctions; mantle plumes, nature and origin of large igneous provinces and sedimentary basin, Phanerozoic orogenic belts.
Instructor: Hall

ES 507 Dynamical Oceanography (4 credits, Fall)

Prereq: MA 124 or MA 127 and PY 211. 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. Also offered as GE 507.
Instructor: B. Anderson

GE 507 Dynamical Oceanography

Prereq: CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 127 or CAS MA 129 and CAS ES 144, and CAS PY 212, or consent of instructor. 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. Also offered as CAS ES 507.

GE 510 Physical Principles of the Environment

Prereq: CAS BI 306 & CAS GE 304 or consent of instructor. Grad prereq: CAS GE 304 & CAS BI 306 or consent of instructor. Principles and concepts that underlie 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.

CAS GE 512 Global Climate Change: Policy Modeling and Analysis

Prereq: CAS EC 303, CAS MA 121, and CAS CS 111. Introduction to the analysis of climate change policies and associated economic issues. Students learn to analyze policy through computational energy-environmental-economic simulations that reflect insights of theoretical economic analyses. Emphasis on developing familiarity with state-of-the-art modeling techniques.

ES 514 Dynamic Land Surface Hydrology (4 credits, Fall, offered alternate years)

Prereq: MA 121 or 123 or 127 and one course from CH 101, 111, 131, 161, 171, or PY 105, 211, 233, 251. 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.
Instructor: Salvucci

GE 514 Dynamic Land Surface Hydrology

Prereq: CAS MA 121, 123 or 127, and one course from CAS CH 101, 111, 131,161, or 171, or CAS PY 105, 211, 233, or 251. 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.

GE 516 Multivariate Analysis for Geographers

Prereq: CAS MA 214 or equivalent, 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.

GE 517 Models for Hydrologic Analysis

Prereq: consent of instructor. Principles and practices of modeling hydrologic systems. Classes and goals of hydrologic models. Methods of model selection and construction. Use of models in surface and groundwater hydrology studies and decision making. Emphasis on conceptual and stochastic hydrologic models.

GE 519 Energy, Society, and the Environment

Prereq: CAS GE 304 or equivalent. 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.

ENG MN 500/GE 520 A1 Special Projects

This special projects class will assess energy use by Boston University, the potential to reduce use, and shrink its environmental footprint. Areas that will be addressed include:

  • Determining what the different end-use categories energy sources are used being used for, on a building-by-building and by category (age, size, and use) basis.
  • Analysis of efficiencies of energy use and supply compared to typical and best practices. Analysis of specific conservation measures and technology options for different energy end-uses for lighting, motors, air conditioning, heating, and other major end-use categories.
  • Evaluation of alternative energy sources for specific applications (such as hot water and heat).
  • Assessment by building category of potential impact of alternatives and options.

This course will address technical issues, economic and organizational issues associated with implementation, and the expected change in environmental impact. Students will contribute to the overall analysis, select a specific topic for detailed analysis, and present a detailed report. Students will be expected to find primary sources of information and provide specific data and analysis related to the issue.

GE 520 B1 Topics in Energy and Environmental Policy

Prereq: consent of instructor. 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.

GE 521 Environmental Law and Policy

Survey of the major features of environmental law and relevant procedural and constitutional issues. Comparison of practical realitites (political, economic, social, geographic, biological) with the ideal context for what should be. Projects include legal research and mock advocay.

GE 525 Plant Physiological Ecology

Prereq: CAS BI 303 OR CAS BI 306 OR CAS BI 305, and CAS CH 101, CAS PY 211, or equivalent. 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.

GE 529 Modeling and Monitoring Terrestrial Ecosystems Processes

Prereq: CAS GE 302; CAS BI 306 or 303 (Or equivalents). 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.

GE 530 Forest Ecology

Prereq: CAS BI 107 and CAS BI 303 or CAS BI 306, or consent of instructor. 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 meets with CAS BI 530.

GE 533 Risk and Hazards (Formerly GE 520 A1)

Prereq: consent of instructor. 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.

ES 533 Quantitative Geomorphology (4 credits, Fall, offered alternate years)

Prereq: ES 317 or ES 331 or ES 333, and MA 124. 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.
Instructor: Fagherazzi

ES 534 Ice-Age Systems (4 credits, Fall, offered alternate years)

Prereq: ES 333 or 351, or consent of instructor. Cenozoic climate change and development of Earth’s ice sheets; distribution and stratigraphy of glacial deposits; ice-ocean atmosphere interactions and feedback mechanisms; geomorphic and glaciologic models for ice-sheet reconstructions; numerical models of ice-sheet growth and decay.
Instructor: Marchant

GE 536 European Environmental Policy

Prereq: junior standing or consent of instructor. Focuses on key concepts, actors, and issues related to European integration, environmental policy making, and sustainable development. Also examines transatlantic environmental relations and the role of the European Union in global environmental governance. Also offered as CAS IR 536.

GE 540 Ecosystem Services

Prereq: senior standing; CAS GE 100 & CAS EC 101. Ecosystems provide a variety of valuable services that improve human well-being. Services include pollination, pest control, water purification, climate regulation, flood protection, nutrient cycling, recreation, and aesthetics. An interdisciplinary examination of ecosystem services from ecological, economic, and governance perspectives. Alternate years. (Not offered Spring 2013)
Instructor Bauer.

ES 541 Coastal Processes (4 credits, Spring)

Prereq: ES 331, or consent of instructor. Shorelines as functions of tidal and wave energy; onshore, offshore, and alongshore sediment transport from theoretical and empirical viewpoints; barrier island, backbarrier, and tidal inlet morphology and processes; wave dynamics; tides. Two hours lecture, three hours lab/fieldwork.
Instructor: FitzGerald

GE 550 Modeling Environmental and Social Systems

Requires stamped approval. Prereq: CAS GE 304, CAS EC 414, or consent of instructor. Techniques of organizing energy, environmental, or social systems into mathematical computer models. Includes the theory underlying different modeling techniques, programming skills, and a hands-on research project in which students develop their own models.

GE 555 World Oil Markets

Prereq: EC 101 or another microeconomics course. Cover the supply chains in international oil markets. For each stage of the supply chain, Kaufmann will describe the relevant theory from geology, economics, and politics and how they interact to generate real-world behavior.

ES 561 Mechanics of Earthquakes (4 credits, Fall)

Prereq: ES 360 and PY 211/212 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Explores current understanding of many aspects of earthquake phenomena, including where and when earthquakes occur, how an earthquake begins, and the likelihood of reliable earthquake prediction. Multidisciplinary techniques used to study earthquakes are introduced, including geologic, geodetic, and seismological methods.
Instructor: Staff

ES 571 Geochemical Modeling (4 credits, Fall, offered alternate years)

Prereq: ES 222, ES 371, CH 102, and MA 124, or consent of instructor. Quantitative techniques used to interpret chemical variations in earth materials. Principles of chemical equilibrium, mass transport, and kinetics applied to aqueous, igneous, and metamorphic systems. Focus on geological processes of melting, crystallization, mixing, reaction, weathering, and diagenesis.
Instructor: Baxter, Kurtz

ES 573 Analytical Methods in Geochemistry (4 credits, Fall, offered alternate years)

Prereq: ES 371 and ES 222, or ES 331, or CH 102. Introduces students to quantitative analytical techniques used in geology, including x-ray, optical emission, mass spectrometric, and neutron activation methods. Examples are drawn from igneous and sedimentary systems. Emphasizes criteria for selecting and using techniques appropriate to specific geologic problems. Three hours lecture, two hours lab.
Instructors: Kurtz, Murray

ES 576 Aquatic Geochemistry (4 credits, Spring)

Prereq: CH 101 or CH 171 and ES 371, or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Fundamentals 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.
Instructor: Kurtz

ES 581 Solid Earth Geophysics (4 credits, Spring)

Prereq: ES 360; PY 211, 212, or 241, 242 or 251, 252; MA 123, 124 or 127 or 129. Explores the methods and results of geophysical exploration into the solid earth. Topics include crustal and whole-earth seismology, the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields, earthquake source phenomena, and structure of the planet.
Instructor: Hall

ES 587, 588 Seminar in Earth Sciences (2 credits, Fall and Spring)

Prereq: junior standing, ES 101 or 105, and consent of instructor. Discussion of current topics in Earth Sciences with assigned readings and lecture seminars.
Instructor: Staff

GE 594 Global Environmental Negotiation and Policy

Prereq: Consent of instructor. 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 CAS IR 594.

GE 597 Sustainable Development in Latin America

Prereq: CAS GE 100 or CAS IR 292 or CAS IR 590 and junior standing, or consent of instructor. 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 CAS IR 597.

GE 599 Science, Politics, and 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 CAS IR 599.