270.210 Environmental Field Methods
This course is designed to introduce students to field based environmental research with a focus on the ecology and geochemistry of the surface and sub-surface environment. Field activities will center around soils and the carbon cycle in the riparian ecosystem adjacent to the Homewood campus and on the urban ecology of the greater Baltimore region. Students will build skills in data collection, analysis and synthesis. Outdoor fieldwork is an essential part of the course. Co-taught with Katalin Szlavecz.
Offered Spring 2013
A survey of the interactions between geological and biological processes at and near the Earth’s surface, covering topics such as biogeochemistry and nutrient cycles, soil chemistry, biomarkers, archives of paleobiology, and the evolution of life, with an emphasis on terrestrial systems. Advanced undergraduate and graduate student level. Prerequisite: 270.220 (Dynamic Earth) or consent of instructor. 2012 Syllabus
Offered Fall 2010, 2012, and Spring 2015
270.335 Planets, Life and the Universe
This multidisciplinary course explores the origins of life, planets’ formation, Earth’s evolution, extrasolar planets, habitable zones, life in extreme environments, the search for life in the Universe, space missions and planetary protection. Co-taught with Jocelyne diRuggiero (Biology), Colin Norman (Physics and Astronomy), and faculty members from a range of JHU departments. Meets with 020.616, 171.333, and 171.699.
Offered every Fall semester. Fall 2013, meets MWF 11:00 – 11:50
For more information on this course and the related astrobiology seminar series check out the Institute for Planets and Life at the Space Telescope Science Institute and JHU.
270.350 Sedimentary Geology
Introduction to sedimentary processes and sedimentary rocks. Focus is placed on linking physical observations to earth surface processes. Fundamental tools for interpreting the sedimentary rock record, such as depositional models, geochronology, and chemostratigraphy are reviewed. Weekend field trips. Advanced undergraduate and graduate student level. Prerequiste: 270.220 (Dynamic Earth) or consent of instructor. This is a 4 unit class due to the lab and field trip component.
Fall 2009, 2011, 2013. Offered next in Fall 2015. 2013 Syllabus
270.377 Climates of the Past
Earth’s climate history through study of forcing mechanisms, climate proxies, paleoclimate modeling. Presentation of climate-sensitive archives will be followed by discussion of geochemical principles, climates through time, recent advances and emerging problems. For upper level and beginning graduate students in the natural sciences. Co-taught with Linda Hinnov and Ben Passey.
Offered Spring 2011
270.633 Advanced Topics in Isotope Geochemistry
Consent of instructor required In depth exploration of selected systems in stable isotope geochemistry, and examination of the physical basis of stable isotope fractionation. Topics vary annually.
Offered every Fall semester, meeting time varies.
270.644 Physics of Climate Variability
This course is an advanced-level review of the ways in which climate varies on time scales of seasons to decades, including El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole Mode, the North Atlantic Oscillation and others. Topics covered will include, depending on class’s interest: 1) Methods for isolating climate modes. (2) Key dynamic and thermodynamic processes involved in causing such fluctuations, including atmospheric and oceanic wave propagation, air-sea interaction and changes in the thermohaline circulation. (3) Impacts of climate modes on biogeochemical cycling, including some that are used by paleoclimatologists to reconstruct past variability. Geophysical understanding and links to fundamental mechanisms are emphasized. Format will consist of a mix of lectures and paper discussions. Co-taught with Anand Gnanadesikan.
Offered Fall 2011.