Courses

Environmental Science Senior Seminar, EES 4198
This is the capstone class for the Environmental Sciences major. In this class students will move beyond textbooks and delve into the primary literature by reading, analyzing, and discussing a series of papers that have significantly influenced our understanding of environmental science. These papers will also serve as models for the major assignment of the semester: the preparation of a scientific review paper on a topic chosen by the student. NOTE: For B.S. students only.
Last taught Spring 2019

Analytical Methods in Mineralogy, EES 5401
An introduction to the theory and application of X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic techniques for analysis of mineralogical samples. Students will learn the theory underpinning these methods, acquire skills in instrument operation, and apply these skills to research-relevant problems such as phase identification, site occupancy, chemical analysis, and planetary surface studies. Techniques discussed include powder X-ray diffraction, visible, Raman, and infrared spectroscopy, and synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopic and scattering techniques.
Currently teaching, Fall 2019

Disasters: Geology vs. Hollywood, EES 0836
Clips from Hollywood disaster movies will drive our inquiry into geologic phenomena. Can you really drive over a lava flow in a jeep? (Dante’s Peak) Are we foolish not to prepare for a major earthquake in New York City? (Aftershock) Could global warming melt the polar ice caps turning “dry land” into a myth? (Waterworld) Would the impact of an asteroid the “size of Texas” kill half the Earth by heat and freeze the remainder in a nuclear winter? (Armageddon) Learn the fundamentals of plate tectonics, how petrologic properties control volcanic explosivity, how to calculate earthquake locations from seismic data, and prepare a disaster readiness plan for a major U.S. city.  By the end of the semester you should have acquired the background to understand the story behind disasters in the news and the role of the science in shaping disaster planning policy.
Last taught Fall 2018

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