GEOS 405
Geochemistry: Understanding Earth's Environment
Last Offered Fall 2017
Division III
Cross-listed ENVI 405 / GEOS 405
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Rocks, water, air, life: what comprises these interconnected components of the Earth system? How do they interact today, and how did these interactions differ in the past? In this course we will study how chemical elements are distributed in the Earth, cycle through the Earth system, and act together to produce a planet that is habitable. As Earth’s landscapes and oceans, and the life they harbor, have evolved through time, they have left an imprint in the geological record that we can read using geochemical tools such as molecular fossils, elemental ratios, and stable and radioactive isotopes. Topics include the synthesis of elements in stars, the formation and differentiation of planet Earth; radiometric dating; the major constituents of the atmosphere, rain, rocks, rivers and the ocean; how they’re linked by chemical weathering and biological activity; and reconstruction of past environments. Students will explore these topics through lecture; reading and discussing articles from the scientific literature; and collecting, analyzing and interpreting data from environmental samples.
The Class: Format: seminar/laboratory
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1493
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: seminar discussions, two 10-page lab reports, lab activities, and final project
Prerequisites: two 200-level GEOS courses and at least one of GEOS 302 or 303
Enrollment Preferences: senior Geosciences majors, then juniors
Unit Notes: As a 400-level seminar, this capstone course is intended to build on and extend knowledge and skills students have developed during previous courses in the major
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 405 Division III GEOS 405 Division III
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives

Class Grid

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