Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS)

EPS 100a, Natural DisastersDavid Bercovici and Maureen Long

Natural events and their impact on humanity and the built environment. Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, landslides, coastal flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, and meteoritic impacts. Hazard mitigation strategies. Consequences of global warming.  SC
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

EPS 101a, Climate ChangeMary-Louise Timmermans and Noah Planavsky

An introductory course that explores the science of global climate change. We analyze processes that regulate the climate on Earth, assess the scientific evidence for global warming, and discuss consequences of climate change. We explore Earth’s climate history as it relates to the present climate as well as future climate projections. Uncertainty in the interpretation of climate observations and future projections are examined.   SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* EPS 105b / APHY 100b / ENAS 100b / EVST 100b / PHYS 100b, Energy, Environment, and Public PolicyDaniel Prober

The technology and use of energy. Impacts on the environment, climate, security, and economy. Application of scientific reasoning and quantitative analysis. Intended for non–science majors with strong backgrounds in math and science.  QR, SC
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

EPS 110a, Dynamic EarthDavid Evans

An introduction to the Earth as a planetary system, from its atmosphere to its core; and how the constantly changing surface environment controls both the foundation and fate of industrial society. Topics include planetary structure; plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes; minerals, rocks and soils; evolution of landscapes; hydrology and floods; coasts and oceans; climate and weather; Earth history and biological evolution; humanity's economic dependence on natural resources; and human influences on the natural environment.  SC
MWF 10:30am-11:20am

EPS 111La, Dynamic Earth Laboratory and Field MethodsDavid Evans

Practical exercises in the laboratory and in the field to complement EPS 110 or 115. Identification of minerals and rocks; construction of geologic maps and cross sections to determine Earth-system processes and histories. Includes a field trip to the northern Appalachians during the October recess. After or concurrently with EPS 110, or after EPS 115.  SC½ Course cr
F 1pm-4pm

* EPS 125b / E&EB 125b, History of LifeDerek Briggs, Pincelli Hull, and Bhart-Anjan Bhullar

Examination of fossil and geologic evidence pertaining to the origin, evolution, and history of life on Earth. Emphasis on major events in the history of life, on what the fossil record reveals about the evolutionary process, on the diversity of ancient and living organisms, and on the evolutionary impact of Earth's changing environment.  SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 126Lb, Laboratory for the History of LifeDerek Briggs, Pincelli Hull, and Bhart-Anjan Bhullar

A survey of the diversification of life using suites of fossils and related modern organisms drawn from critical evolutionary stages. Emphasis on direct observation and description of specimens, the solution of problems posed by the instructor, and the generation and testing of hypotheses by the students. To be taken concurrently with or following EPS 125.  SC½ Course cr
Th 2:30pm-5:30pm

EPS 140b, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate ChangeJuan Lora

Physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing energy and water budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.  QR, SC

* EPS 212b, Global TectonicsMark Brandon

The architecture of continents and oceans; detailed geology of lithospheric plate margins and mountain chains. Examples of plate-interaction histories from the ancient geological record emphasize the interdisciplinary approaches used to determine interlinked Earth-system processes involving the mantle, crust, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The course features a field trip during spring break. Prerequisite: one course in G&G (preferably 100, 110, or 115), or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 15.  SC
MWF 10:30am-11:20am

* EPS 216b, Global Warming: Climate PhysicsJohn Wettlaufer

Lectures on the basics of global warming and presentations and discussions of some of the classic papers that combined have led to our current understanding of global warming. The knowns and the unknowns of global warming; the paper trail of cutting-edge climate science through time, from the late 1800s to the present. Recommended preparation: basic calculus and physics.  SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

EPS 220b, MineralogyJay Ague

Study of the structures, chemistry, and physical properties of minerals, including common rock-forming minerals found in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, as well as rare and valuable minerals such as precious metals and gemstones. Recommended preparation: Introductory chemistry.  SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

EPS 232b, Earth Surface ProcessesLidya Tarhan

Introduction to sedimentary rocks as paleoenvironmental archives. Reconstruction of depositional environments and paleoclimatic and paleoecological conditions using sedimentological tools. Topics include sedimentology and stratigraphy and an introduction to how 'reading' the sedimentary record can be used to infer Earth's environmental, biological, climatic, chemical and tectonic history Prerequisite:  EPS 010, 100, 110 or 125 or permission of the instructor.  SC
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 255b / EVST 265b, Environmental GeomicrobiologyRuth Blake

Microbial diversity in natural geologic habitats and the role of microorganisms in major biogeochemical cycles. Introduction to prokaryote physiology and metabolic diversity; enrichment culture and molecular methods in geomicrobiology. Prerequisite: college-level chemistry.  SC

* EPS 261a / EVST 261a / F&ES 261a, Minerals and Human HealthRuth Blake

Study of the interrelationships between Earth materials and processes and personal and public health. The transposition from the environment of the chemical elements essential for life. After one year of college-level chemistry or with permission of instructor; EPS 110 recommended.  SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 274a, Fossil Fuels and World EnergyMichael Oristaglio

The origins, geologic settings, exploration, distribution, and extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas as finite Earth resources. The role of fossil fuels in the world's energy systems; environmental impacts of fossil fuels, including climate change; the transition to low-carbon energy sources. Prerequisites: high school chemistry, mathematics, and Earth science. Recommended preparation: G&G 110 or 205.  SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* EPS 275b, Renewable EnergyMichael Oristaglio

Introduction to renewable energy, including physical principles, existing and emerging technologies, and interaction with the environment. Energy demand; transmission and storage; generation by hydroelectric, wind, solar, biofuel, and geothermal sources, as well as waves and tidal generation. Includes field trips to conventional, hydroelectric, and wind power facilities in Connecticut. Prerequisites: high school physics, chemistry, and mathematics; college-level science, engineering, and mathematics recommended.  SC
MW 9am-10:15am

EPS 312a, Structural GeologyMark Brandon

An introduction to the origin and structure of the lithosphere and continental and oceanic crust. Topics include what controls the solid versus fluid behavior of rocks during deformation, and what controls the character and motion of tectonic plates. Laboratory exercises and field trips.  QR, SC
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

EPS 323b, Climate DynamicsAlexey Fedorov

An introduction to climate dynamics. Special emphasis on phenomena controlled by large-scale interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, from El Niño to decadal climate variability. Topics include conceptual models of climate, general circulation of the atmosphere, ocean wind–driven and thermohaline circulation, abrupt climate changes, climate models by means of GCMs, and climate predictability. After PHYS 181, MATH 120 or equivalent, and one course in meteorology or physical oceanography; or with permission of instructor.  QR, SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 325a, Vertebrate PaleontologyJacques Gauthier

Phylogeny and evolution of the major clades of vertebrates from Cambrian to Recent, as inferred mainly from the fossilized remains of the musculoskeletal system (cranial, axial, and appendicular skeletons). Special attention given to the evolution of vertebrate feeding, locomotor, and sensory systems. Prerequisite: E&EB 225, or with permission of instructor.  SC1½ Course cr
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

EPS 326a, Introduction to Earth and Planetary PhysicsShun-ichiro Karato

An introduction to the structure and dynamics of Earth and other planets in the context of cosmic evolution. Review of basic physical principles and their applications to geophysics and planetary physics. Star formation and nucleosynthesis; planetary accretion and the birth of the solar system; heat flow, plate tectonics, and mantle dynamics; seismology and geodesy; core dynamics, geomagnetism, and planetary magnetism. Prerequisites: PHYS 181b and MATH 120a or b, or equivalents.  QR, SC
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

EPS 335a, Physical OceanographyAlexey Fedorov

An introduction to ocean dynamics and physical processes controlling large-scale ocean circulation, the Gulf Stream, wind-driven waves, tsunamis, tides, coastal upwelling, and other phenomena. Modern observational, theoretical, and numerical techniques used to study the ocean. The ocean's role in climate and global climate change. After PHYS 181 and MATH 120 or equivalents, or with permission of instructor.  QR, SC
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 350a, Rock Formation in Mountain BeltsJay Ague

The fundamental principles governing the formation of metamorphic and igneous rocks during mountain building. Topics include processes of heat and mass transfer in orogenic belts, generation of igneous rocks in continental and subduction settings, ultrahigh pressure and ultrahigh temperature metamorphism, spatial and temporal patterns of petrologic processes throughout geologic time, and pressure-temperature-time paths of metamorphic and igneous rocks. Prerequisites: EPS 220 or permission of instructor.  SC0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 355a, Extraordinary Glimpses of Past LifeDerek Briggs

Study of exceptionally well-preserved fossil deposits (lagerstaetten) that contain nonmineralized animal skeletons and casts of the soft parts of organisms. Examples such as the Burgess Shale and Solnhofen limestones; what they can reveal about the history and evolution of life, ancient lifestyles and environments, and preservational processes.  SC
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

EPS 428a / AMTH 428a / E&EB 428a / PHYS 428a, Science of Complex SystemsJun Korenaga

Introduction to the quantitative analysis of systems with many degrees of freedom. Fundamental components in the science of complex systems, including how to simulate complex systems, how to analyze model behaviors, and how to validate models using observations. Topics include cellular automata, bifurcation theory, deterministic chaos, self-organized criticality, renormalization, and inverse theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 301, MATH 247, or equivalent.  QR, SC
MWF 10:30am-11:20am

* EPS 487a or b, Individual Study in Earth and Planetary SciencesStaff

Individual study for qualified undergraduates under faculty supervision. To register for this course, each student must submit a written plan of study, approved by the adviser, to the director of undergraduate studies. May be taken more than once for credit.  ½ Course cr

* EPS 488a and EPS 489b, Research in Earth and Planetary SciencesStaff

Individual study for qualified juniors and seniors under faculty supervision. To register for this course, each student must submit a written plan of study, approved by the adviser, to the director of undergraduate studies.

* EPS 490a and EPS 491a or b, Research and Senior ThesisStaff

Two terms of independent library, laboratory, field, or modeling-based research under faculty supervision. To register for this course, each student must submit a written plan of study, approved by a faculty adviser, to the director of undergraduate studies by the start of the senior year. The plan requires approval of the full EPS faculty.

* EPS 492a or b, The Senior EssayStaff

One term of independent library, laboratory, field, or modeling-based research under faculty supervision. To register for this course, each student must submit a written plan of study, approved by a faculty adviser, to the director of undergraduate studies at the beginning of the term in which the essay is to be written.