Earth Sciences Undergraduate Courses

Click on any course title below to read its description. Courses offered in the upcoming semester include a schedule, and are indicated by a label to the right of the title.

Earthquakes and plate tectonics. Volcanic eruptions. Floods, erosion, and water pollution. Coastal hazards.   [ 4 cr. ]

The course introduces the concept of global climate change and Earth system science by first discussing basic principles of environmental geology and plate tectonics. Groundwater, groundwater pollution, and environmental impact of resource recovery are discussed in the context of health and land-use planning. Other topics include glaciations, desertification, acid rain, global warming, and long-term geologic change.  [ 4 cr. ]

Course material and subject matter will vary semester to semester.  [ 4 cr. ]

Primary vs secondary coasts, barrier types, barrier island development, tidal inlet processes, shoreline erosion and depositional problems, coastal dunes, tidal marshes, and estuarine processes and environments.   [ 4 cr. ]

Focuses on the geology and natural history of the Massachusetts North and South Shores, including Cape Cod and the Islands. Many protected areas featuring harbors and tidal flats, which contrast with the high-energy shorelines facing the high swells of open Atlantic Ocean, serve as ideal natural laboratories for studying this geologically young and ever-changing landscape. The course explores major landforms produced by melting glaciers at the end of the Great Ice Age and the role of severe storms, sea-level rise, and human impact in shaping the region's coastline over the past 10,000 years. The lecture series is complemented by two Saturday field trips to the North Shore and South Shore/Cape Cod.   [ 4 cr. ]

  [ Var cr. ]