ENVI 324
Corals and Sea Level Spring 2019
Division III
Cross-listed MAST 324 / ENVI 324 / GEOS 324
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In coastal communities, increasing flood damage from storm surges and chronic inundation by seawater are already happening as a result of sea level rise. How do we know what contributes to the observed change in sea level in the last century? What does the geological record teach us about what controls the natural variation in sea level on short and long timescales? How can we use this information to separate anthropogenic effects from natural change in modern systems? And how does this inform us on what to expect through the 21st century and beyond? In this course, we will examine how sea level is reconstructed using geological archives and how coral-based sea level data led to breakthroughs in our understanding of the long-term evolution of the ocean and climate, the controls in the timing of ice age cycles, the singularity of modern climate change, and how high the future seas will rise. During Spring Break, the class will travel to Barbados, a renowned locality for Quaternary sea level reconstruction, to observe modern and ancient reefs, and collect samples that will be the basis of individual or group projects in the second half of the semester. Participation in the Spring Break trip is not required for successful completion of the course, but course enrollment is necessary to attend the trip.
The Class: Type: lecture/laboratory
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3606
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: short papers, labs, participation in discussion, and a research project
Prerequisites: GEOS 104 or GEOS 210 or GEOS 215 or MAST 311 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Geoscience majors, students who commit to the Spring Break trip
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MAST 324 Division III ENVI 324 Division III GEOS 324 Division III
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives
EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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