Hydrothermal vents are perhaps the most alien places on Earth. Many are located on active volcanoes, especially at mid-ocean ridges, where magma super-heats water to form underwater hot springs. Others are located at deep-sea fracture zones, where the exothermic reaction of serpentinization provides the heat to drive hydrothermal circulation. Hydrothermal vents are extreme environments which host unique organisms, like giant tubeworms and giant hydrothermal clams, that are found only at these deep sea oases. This tutorial will examine how and where hydrothermal vents form, the strange and ancient life there, and why they are relevant despite feeling so far removed from our daily lives. Hydrothermal vent science draws on geology, physics, chemistry, and biology, so prior interest or coursework in one or more of those fields is suggested. This course is in the Oceans and Climate group for the Geosciences major.
Format: tutorial; This class will meet remotely. Students will meet in pairs weekly with the instructor for one hour. The entire class will meet once at the beginning of the semester for organizational purposes and at the end of the semester for a synthesis.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Five 5-page papers, critiques of tutorial partner's papers, final reflection, and participation
none, open to all students
1. sophomores, 2. first-years, 3. junior and senior GEOS majors and MAST concentrators
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Students will write six 5-page papers. The first five papers will be written every other week, alternating with a tutorial partner. Students will receive oral and written feedback during a discussion with the instructor and their tutorial partner. Students will write a final 5-page reflection paper to synthesize their learning.
ENVI Natural World Electives
GEOS Group A Electives - Climate + Oceans
MAST Interdepartmental Electives