GEOS 405
Geochemistry: Understanding Earth's Environment Fall 2017
Division III
Cross-listed GEOS 405 / ENVI 405
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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: Type: seminar/lab
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1493
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on seminar discussions, papers, labs and final project
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: two 200-level GEOS courses and at least one of GEOS 302 or 303
Enrollment Preferences: senior Geosciences majors
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GEOS 405 Division III ENVI 405 Division III
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives

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