EPS 104: Geology in the Field

This course is designed to develop foundational skills in field geology and Earth science while promoting leadership and teamwork. There are no prerequisites, and the class is suitable for students with little or no academic background in Earth science. Students are not required to have extensive outdoor experience, but must demonstrate enthusiasm for work in challenging environments. Students will receive training in a variety of geological field methods, including field mapping; sampling protocols; section measurement; and structural identification and analysis. This course is field-intensive with multiple field exercises during class periods, and 2-3 weekend field trips that will involve camping, caving, and backcountry hiking. The course is primarily suited for students who enjoy working outdoors, and intend to major in Earth and Planetary Sciences, Biology, Anthropology, or Archeology.

EPS 323: Biogeochemistry

Basic concepts of how elements cycle among Earth’s crust, oceans, and atmosphere, including perturbations due to human activities. Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and water cycles. Isotopic tracers. Feedbacks, forcings, and residence times. Redox cycling and thermodynamics. Biogeochemical box models, and changes in biogeochemical cycles over Earth history. Biogeochemistry of greenhouse gases, biogeochemical feedbacks in the climate system. This course is appropriate for EPS students, engineering students, environmental science majors, and other students with interest in the environmental or geological sciences.

EPS 445: Organic Geochemistry

Introduction to the composition and analysis of organic material in the environment and geological record. Molecular to global-level perspective of organic matter cycling, reactivity, and fluxes; formation and classification of organic matter, its preservation potential, diagenesis, catagenesis, and kerogen formation; coal, petroleum, and gas formation and accumulation; biomarkers in Earth history; genetics and phylogeny of biomarker compounds; overview of analytical techniques including both structural and isotopic aspects; oceanographic and paleoenvironmental applications of organic biomarkers; contaminants and residue analysis. Prerequisites: EPSc 201 and Chem 112A; or permission of instructor.

EPS 496: Undergraduate Field Geology

Hands-on application of field-based techniques, providing an opportunity for students to synthesize diverse classroom knowledge in a field setting. Students will develop the ability to deconstruct and analyze complex geologic and environmental settings. Participation in an extended international field trip during spring break is required. Students must be prepared for an intensive, group-oriented experience. Prerequisite: must be an EPS or EES major and have permission of instructors. Enrollment is limited, and students will be selected through a written application. May be repeated for credit, with instructor permission. Juniors and seniors may use to fulfill Capstone experience.

EPS 498: Undergraduate Research Seminar

Provides an opportunity for advanced undergraduates to synthesize many of the diverse subdisciplines of Earth and Planetary Sciences while focussing on a research topic.Subject changes each offering. Each subject will be unique and timely, but broad enough to encompass wide-ranging interests among students. Students will conduct original research, make written reports of the results, and make oral presentations of their projects in class. Prerequisite: senior standing or permission of instructor.