Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements | Program Requirements for the BA in Geophysical Sciences | Program Requirements for the BS in Geophysical Sciences | Program Requirements for the BS in Environmental Science | Field Trips and Field Courses | Lists of Courses 1–3 | Grading | Honors | Sample BS Programs | Courses

Department Website: http://geosci.uchicago.edu

### Program of Study

The Department of the Geophysical Sciences (GEOS) offers unique programs of study in the earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences. Topics include the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the atmosphere, oceans, and ice sheets; past and present climate change; the origin and history of the Earth, moon, and meteorites; properties of the deep interior of the Earth and the dynamics of crustal movements; and the evolution and geography of life and the Earth's surface environments through geologic time. These multidisciplinary topics require an integrated approach founded on mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.

Both the BA and BS programs prepare students for careers that draw upon the earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences. However, the BS degree provides a more focused and intensive program of study for students who intend to pursue graduate work in these disciplines. The BA degree also offers thorough study in the geophysical sciences, but it provides a wide opportunity for elective freedom to pursue interdisciplinary interests, such as environmental policy, law, medicine, business, and precollege education.

### Program Requirements

The principal distinction between the BA and BS programs is the number of 20000-level courses required for the major and their distribution among subdisciplines. Students are advised, but not required, to complete GEOS courses at the 13000 level in their first or second year.

### Program Requirements for the BA in Geophysical Sciences

Candidates for the BA in Geophysical Sciences begin their program of study with GEOS 13100 Physical Geology, GEOS 13200 Earth History, and GEOS 13300 The Atmosphere, which is the introductory sequence. Students are strongly encouraged to take these classes before their third year. With prior consent of the departmental counselor, students with the appropriate background may substitute a 20000-level course, which may be taken during or after the third year.

Students must also complete one year of chemistry, one year of physics, and one year of calculus, as well as BIOS 20197 Evolution and Ecology and BIOS 20198 Biodiversity.

A minimum of six additional 20000-level science courses are required. At least four must be from the Geophysical Sciences (List 1). Up to two may be chosen from Support Courses for the Geophysical Sciences (List 2). Up to two may be chosen from Mathematics and Statistics Courses (List 3). One may be a field course.

#### Summary of Requirements for the BA in Geophysical Sciences

GENERAL EDUCATION | ||

One of the following sequences: | 200 | |

Introductory General Chemistry I and Introductory General Chemistry II | ||

Comprehensive General Chemistry I-II ^{*} | ||

Honors General Chemistry I-II | ||

One of the following sequences: | 200 | |

Elementary Functions and Calculus I-II ^{*} | ||

Calculus I-II | ||

Honors Calculus I-II | ||

BIOS 20197 | Evolution and Ecology ^{**} | 100 |

BIOS 20198 | Biodiversity ^{**} | 100 |

Total Units | 600 |

MAJOR | ||

CHEM 11300 | Comprehensive General Chemistry III ^{*} | 100 |

or CHEM 12300 | Honors General Chemistry III | |

One of the following sequences: | 300 | |

General Physics I-II-III ^{*} | ||

Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism; Waves, Optics, and Heat | ||

Honors Mechanics; Honors Electricity and Magnetism; Honors Waves, Optics, and Heat | ||

GEOS 13100 & 13200 & 13300 | Physical Geology and Earth History and The Atmosphere | 300 |

One of the following: | 100 | |

Elementary Functions and Calculus III ^{*} | ||

Calculus III | ||

Honors Calculus III | ||

One Mathematics or Statistics course (List 3) | 100 | |

Six courses in 20000-level science ^{†} | 600 | |

Total Units | 1500 |

* | Credit may be granted by examination. |

** | Geophysical Sciences majors can take these courses without the Biological Sciences prerequisites (BIOS 20150-20151) unless they pursue a double major in Biological Sciences. They are expected to show competency in mathematical modeling of biological phenomena covered in BIOS 20151. |

† | At least four courses must be from List 1, and up to two courses may be from List 2 and/or List 3. |

### Program Requirements for the BS in Geophysical Sciences

Candidates for the BS in Geophysical Sciences begin their program of study with GEOS 13100 Physical Geology, GEOS 13200 Earth History, and GEOS 13300 The Atmosphere, which is the introductory sequence. Students are strongly encouraged to take these classes before their third year. With prior consent of the departmental counselor, students with the appropriate background may substitute a 20000-level course, which may be taken during or after the third year.

Students must also complete one year of chemistry, one year of physics, and at least one year of calculus, as well as BIOS 20197 Evolution and Ecology and BIOS 20198 Biodiversity.

A minimum of eight additional 20000-level science courses are required. At least three must be from the Geophysical Sciences (List 1). Up to three may be chosen from Support Courses for the Geophysical Sciences (List 2). Up to two may be from Mathematics and Statistics Courses (List 3). One may be a field course. One may be GEOS 29700 Reading and Research in the Geophysical Sciences.

#### Summary of Requirements for the BS in Geophysical Sciences

GENERAL EDUCATION | ||

One of the following sequences: | 200 | |

Introductory General Chemistry I and Introductory General Chemistry II | ||

Comprehensive General Chemistry I-II ^{*} | ||

Honors General Chemistry I-II | ||

One of the following sequences: | 200 | |

Elementary Functions and Calculus I-II ^{*} | ||

Calculus I-II | ||

Honors Calculus I-II | ||

BIOS 20197 | Evolution and Ecology ^{**} | 100 |

BIOS 20198 | Biodiversity ^{**} | 100 |

Total Units | 600 |

MAJOR | ||

CHEM 11300 | Comprehensive General Chemistry III ^{*} | 100 |

or CHEM 12300 | Honors General Chemistry III | |

One of the following sequences: | 300 | |

General Physics I-II-III ^{*} | ||

Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism; Waves, Optics, and Heat | ||

Honors Mechanics; Honors Electricity and Magnetism; Honors Waves, Optics, and Heat | ||

GEOS 13100 & 13200 & 13300 | Physical Geology and Earth History and The Atmosphere | 300 |

One of the following: | 100 | |

Elementary Functions and Calculus III ^{*} | ||

Calculus III | ||

Honors Calculus III | ||

Two Mathematics or Statistics courses from List 3 | 200 | |

Eight courses in 20000-level science ^{‡} | 800 | |

Total Units | 1800 |

* | Credit may be granted by examination. |

** | Geophysical Sciences majors can take these courses without the Biological Sciences prerequisites (BIOS 20150-20151) unless they pursue a double major in Biological Sciences. They are expected to show competency in mathematical modeling of biological phenomena covered in BIOS 20151. |

‡ | At least three courses must be from List 1, up to three courses may be from List 2, and up to two courses may be from List 3. |

### Program Requirements for the BS in Environmental Science

For information about the BS in Environmental Science, see the Environmental Science page of this catalog.

### Field Trips and Field Courses

The department sponsors field trips that range in length from one day to several weeks. Shorter field trips typically form part of lecture-based courses and are offered each year. (The trips are open to all students and faculty if space permits.) Longer trips are designed as undergraduate field courses, and one such course may be used as an elective science course for the major. Destinations of field courses have recently included Baja California, Death Valley, Nevada, Salton Trough, Newfoundland, and the Bahamas.

GEOS 29001 | Field Course in Geology | 100 |

GEOS 29002 | Field Course in Modern and Ancient Environments | 100 |

GEOS 29005 | Field Course in Environmental Science | 100 |

### Lists of Courses 1–3

#### List 1: Geophysical Sciences Courses

GEOS 21000 | Introduction to Mineralogy | 100 |

GEOS 21005 | Mineral Science | 100 |

GEOS 21100 | Introduction to Petrology | 100 |

GEOS 21200 | Physics of the Earth | 100 |

GEOS 21205 | Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Near-Surface Earth Seismicity | 100 |

GEOS 21400 | Thermodynamics and Phase Change | 100 |

GEOS 22040 | Formation of Planetary Systems in Our Galaxy: From Dust to Planetesimals | 100 |

GEOS 22050 | Formation of Planetary Systems in our Galaxy: From Planetesimals to Planets | 100 |

GEOS 22060 | What Makes a Planet Habitable? | 100 |

GEOS 22200 | Geochronology | 100 |

GEOS 23205 | Introductory Glaciology | 100 |

GEOS 23400 | Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast | 100 |

GEOS 23800 | Global Biogeochemical Cycles | 100 |

GEOS 23805 | Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry | 100 |

GEOS 23900 | Environmental Chemistry | 100 |

GEOS 24220 | Climate Foundations | 100 |

GEOS 24230 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Foundations | 100 |

GEOS 24240 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Rotation and Stratification | 100 |

GEOS 24250 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Understanding the Motions of the Atmosphere and Oceans | 100 |

GEOS 24705 | Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage | 100 |

GEOS 25400 | Introduction to Numerical Techniques for the Geophysical Sciences | 100 |

GEOS 26300 | Invertebrate Paleobiology and Evolution | 100 |

GEOS 26600 | Geobiology | 100 |

GEOS 26650 | Environmental Microbiology | 100 |

GEOS 28000 | Introduction to Structural Geology | 100 |

GEOS 28100 | Global Tectonics | 100 |

GEOS 28300 | Principles of Stratigraphy | 100 |

GEOS 29700 | Reading and Research in the Geophysical Sciences | 100 |

##### Field Courses in Geophysical Sciences

GEOS 29001 | Field Course in Geology | 100 |

GEOS 29002 | Field Course in Modern and Ancient Environments | 100 |

GEOS 29005 | Field Course in Environmental Science | 100 |

#### List 2: Support Courses for the Geophysical Sciences

##### Biological Sciences*

BIOS 20188 | Fundamentals of Physiology | 100 |

BIOS 20189 | Fundamentals of Developmental Biology | 100 |

BIOS 20196 | Ecology and Conservation | 100 |

BIOS 20200 | Introduction to Biochemistry | 100 |

BIOS 21208 | Fundamentals of Molecular Biology | 100 |

BIOS 22243 | Biomechanics of Organisms | 100 |

BIOS 22244 | Introduction to Invertebrate Biology | 100 |

BIOS 22250 | Chordates: Evolution and Comparative Anatomy | 100 |

BIOS 23262 | Mammalian Evolutionary Biology | 100 |

BIOS 23289 | Marine Ecology | 100 |

BIOS 23404 | Reconstructing the Tree of Life: An Introduction to Phylogenetics | 100 |

BIOS 23406 | Biogeography | 100 |

BIOS 25206 | Fundamentals of Bacterial Physiology | 100 |

##### Semester in Environmental Science/MBL

The following courses are the College designations for the Semester in Environmental Science that is taught at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Registration in BIOS 27710, BIOS 27711, and BIOS 27712, plus one of BIOS 27713, BIOS 27714, or BIOS 27715 is required. Admission to the Semester in Environmental Science program is by application, which must be received by the MBL generally in March of the year preceding the start of the semester. (In 2015, applications will be accepted up to April 7.) Admissions decisions will generally be sent in April. Note that these courses start at the beginning of September, typically four weeks prior to the start of the College’s Autumn Quarter, and are completed by the end of Autumn Quarter. More information on the course content and the application process can be found at college.uchicago.edu/academics/semester-environmental-science-ses. Students participating in the Semester in Environmental Science receive credit for four courses in environmental science, one of which can be used to substitute for BIOS 20196 Ecology and Conservation.

BIOS 27710 | Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory | 100 |

BIOS 27711 | Biogeochemical Analysis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory. | 100 |

BIOS 27712 | Independent Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sciences – Marine Biological Laboratory | 100 |

BIOS 27713 | Quantitative Environmental Analyses – Marine Biological Laboratory | 100 |

BIOS 27714 | Methods in Microbial Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory. | 100 |

BIOS 27715 | Roles of Animals in Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory | 100 |

* | Excluding courses used to meet the general education requirement for the biological sciences |

##### Chemistry

CHEM 20100-20200 | Inorganic Chemistry I-II | 200 |

CHEM 22000-22100-22200 | Organic Chemistry I-II-III | 300 |

CHEM 23000-23100-23200 | Honors Organic Chemistry I-II-III | 300 |

CHEM 26100-26200-26300 | Quantum Mechanics; Thermodynamics; Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics | 300 |

##### Physics

PHYS 18500 | Intermediate Mechanics | 100 |

PHYS 19700 | Statistical and Thermal Physics | 100 |

PHYS 22500 | Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I | 100 |

PHYS 22700 | Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism II | 100 |

PHYS 22600 | Electronics | 100 |

#### List 3: Support Courses for Mathematics and Statistics

##### Geophysical Sciences

GEOS 25400 | Introduction to Numerical Techniques for the Geophysical Sciences | 100 |

##### Mathematics

MATH 19620 | Linear Algebra | 100 |

MATH 20000-20100 | Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I-II | 200 |

MATH 20300 | Analysis in Rn I | 100 |

MATH 20400 | Analysis in Rn II | 100 |

MATH 20500 | Analysis in Rn III | 100 |

MATH 21100 | Basic Numerical Analysis | 100 |

MATH 27000 | Basic Complex Variables | 100 |

MATH 27300 | Basic Theory of Ordinary Differential Equations | 100 |

MATH 27500 | Basic Theory of Partial Differential Equations | 100 |

MATH 38300 | Numerical Solutions to Partial Differential Equations | 100 |

##### Physics

PHYS 22000 | Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics | 100 |

PHYS 22100 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 100 |

##### Statistics

Any course in statistics at the 22000 level or higher. Some recommendations follow: | ||

STAT 22000 | Statistical Methods and Applications | 100 |

or STAT 23400 | Statistical Models and Methods | |

STAT 22400 | Applied Regression Analysis | 100 |

STAT 24400-24500 | Statistical Theory and Methods I-II | 200 |

STAT 26100 | Time Dependent Data | 100 |

##### Computing

CMSC 12100-12200-12300 | Computer Science with Applications I-II-III | 300 |

CMSC 23710 | Scientific Visualization | 100 |

CMSC 28510 | Introduction to Scientific Computing | 100 |

CMSC 34200 | Numerical Hydrodynamics | 100 |

### Grading

Students majoring in geophysical sciences must receive quality grades in all courses taken to meet requirements in the major.

### Honors

The BA or BS degree with honors is awarded to students who meet the following requirements: (1) a GPA of 3.25 or higher in the major and of 3.0 or higher overall; (2) completion of a paper based on original research, supervised and approved by a faculty member in geophysical sciences; (3) an oral presentation of the thesis research. All theses will be examined by the supervisor and a second reader from the faculty. Manuscript drafts will generally be due in the sixth week of the quarter in which the student will graduate (fifth week in Summer Quarter), and final manuscripts and oral presentations in the eighth week (seventh week in Summer Quarter).

Students are strongly encouraged to reach out to potential faculty supervisors no later than their third year, since theses generally arise out of research projects already begun with faculty members. When a thesis topic is determined, students should notify the undergraduate adviser of their intent to complete a thesis and confirm their eligibility. GEOS 29700 Reading and Research in the Geophysical Sciences can be devoted to the preparation of the required paper; however, students using this course to meet a requirement in the major must take it for a quality grade.

Students who wish to submit a single paper to meet the honors requirement in geophysical sciences and the BA paper requirement in another major should discuss their proposals with the undergraduate advisers from both programs no later than the end of third year. Certain requirements must be met. A consent form, to be signed by the undergraduate advisers, is available from the College adviser. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.

### Sample BS Programs

Each student will design an individual plan of course work, choosing from a wide range of selections that take advantage of rich offerings from a variety of subdisciplines. The sample programs that appear below are merely for the purpose of illustration; many other variations would be possible. NOTE: Courses that meet general education requirements and are required for the major are not listed.

##### Chemistry of Atmosphere and Ocean

CHEM 26100-26200-26300 | Quantum Mechanics; Thermodynamics; Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics | 300 |

GEOS 23805 | Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry | 100 |

GEOS 23900 | Environmental Chemistry | 100 |

GEOS 24220 | Climate Foundations | 100 |

GEOS 24230 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Foundations | 100 |

GEOS 24240 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Rotation and Stratification | 100 |

GEOS 24250 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Understanding the Motions of the Atmosphere and Oceans | 100 |

MATH 20000-20100 | Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I-II | 200 |

##### Environmental Geochemistry

BIOS 20188 | Fundamentals of Physiology | 100 |

CHEM 26200-26300 | Thermodynamics; Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics | 200 |

GEOS 21000 | Introduction to Mineralogy | 100 |

GEOS 23800 | Global Biogeochemical Cycles | 100 |

GEOS 23805 | Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry | 100 |

GEOS 23900 | Environmental Chemistry | 100 |

GEOS 28300 | Principles of Stratigraphy | 100 |

MATH 21100 | Basic Numerical Analysis | 100 |

STAT 23400 | Statistical Models and Methods | 100 |

##### Geochemistry

CHEM 26100-26200-26300 | Quantum Mechanics; Thermodynamics; Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics | 300 |

GEOS 21000 | Introduction to Mineralogy | 100 |

GEOS 21100 | Introduction to Petrology | 100 |

GEOS 21200 | Physics of the Earth | 100 |

GEOS 22200 | Geochronology | 100 |

GEOS 23800 | Global Biogeochemical Cycles | 100 |

GEOS 23900 | Environmental Chemistry | 100 |

MATH 20000-20100 | Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I-II | 200 |

##### Geophysics

CMSC 12100-12200-12300 | Computer Science with Applications I-II-III | 300 |

GEOS 21000 | Introduction to Mineralogy | 100 |

GEOS 21100 | Introduction to Petrology | 100 |

GEOS 21200 | Physics of the Earth | 100 |

GEOS 21205 | Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Near-Surface Earth Seismicity | 100 |

GEOS 28100 | Global Tectonics | 100 |

PHYS 18500 | Intermediate Mechanics | 100 |

PHYS 22100 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 100 |

##### Paleontology

BIOS 22243 | Biomechanics of Organisms | 100 |

BIOS 23289 | Marine Ecology | 100 |

BIOS 23404 | Reconstructing the Tree of Life: An Introduction to Phylogenetics | 100 |

GEOS 21000 | Introduction to Mineralogy | 100 |

GEOS 26300 | Invertebrate Paleobiology and Evolution | 100 |

GEOS 26600 | Geobiology | 100 |

GEOS 28000 | Introduction to Structural Geology | 100 |

GEOS 28300 | Principles of Stratigraphy | 100 |

STAT 22400 | Applied Regression Analysis | 100 |

STAT 23400 | Statistical Models and Methods | 100 |

##### Physics of Climate

GEOS 23800 | Global Biogeochemical Cycles | 100 |

GEOS 23900 | Environmental Chemistry | 100 |

GEOS 24220 | Climate Foundations | 100 |

GEOS 24230 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Foundations | 100 |

GEOS 24240 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Rotation and Stratification | 100 |

GEOS 24250 | Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Understanding the Motions of the Atmosphere and Oceans | 100 |

MATH 20000-20100 | Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I-II | 200 |

MATH 21100 | Basic Numerical Analysis | 100 |

PHYS 18500 | Intermediate Mechanics | 100 |

PHYS 19700 | Statistical and Thermal Physics | 100 |

##### Structure/Tectonics

GEOS 21000 | Introduction to Mineralogy | 100 |

GEOS 21100 | Introduction to Petrology | 100 |

GEOS 21200 | Physics of the Earth | 100 |

GEOS 21205 | Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Near-Surface Earth Seismicity | 100 |

GEOS 28000 | Introduction to Structural Geology | 100 |

GEOS 28100 | Global Tectonics | 100 |

MATH 20000 | Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I | 100 |

PHYS 18500 | Intermediate Mechanics | 100 |

PHYS 22500 | Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I | 100 |

STAT 23400 | Statistical Models and Methods | 100 |

### Geophysical Sciences Courses

**GEOS 13100. Physical Geology. 100 Units.**

This course introduces plate tectonics; the geologic cycle; and the internal and surface processes that make minerals and rocks, as well as that shape the scenery. Topics include: planetary geophysics; evidence leading to the theory of plate tectonics; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; economic geology including energy resources, ores, and mineral resources; crustal deformation and mountain building; and surface processes (erosion, groundwater). Laboratory exercises introduce identifying features of rocks and minerals, and interpreting geological maps. Biweekly writing assignments explore topics in geology that are supplemental to the lecture material. (L)

Instructor(s): A. Campbell Terms Offered: Autumn

**GEOS 13200. Earth History. 100 Units.**

This courses covers principles of historical inference in Earth science; the physical, chemical, and biological data that are used to reconstruct Earth history; and the geographic, biotic, and environmental development of Earth. Weekly labs focus on observation and interpretation of sedimentary rocks and fossil assemblages in hand samples. A required one-day field trip introduces students to observation and interpretation of sedimentary rocks at the outcrop scale. (L)

Instructor(s): M. Foote Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100

**GEOS 13300. The Atmosphere. 100 Units.**

This course introduces the physics, chemistry, and phenomenology of the Earth's atmosphere, with an emphasis on the fundamental science that underlies atmospheric behavior and climate. Topics include (1) atmospheric composition, evolution, and structure; (2) solar and terrestrial radiation in the atmospheric energy balance; (3) the role of water in determining atmospheric structure; and (4) wind systems, including the global circulation, and weather systems.

Instructor(s): D. Abbot Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): MATH 13100-MATH 13200

Equivalent Course(s): ENST 13300,ENSC 13300

**GEOS 13400. Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. 100 Units.**

This course presents the science behind the forecast of global warming to enable the student to evaluate the likelihood and potential severity of anthropogenic climate change in the coming centuries. It includes an overview of the physics of the greenhouse effect, including comparisons with Venus and Mars; an overview of the carbon cycle in its role as a global thermostat; predictions and reliability of climate model forecasts of the greenhouse world. (L)

Instructor(s): D. Archer, D. MacAyeal Terms Offered: Autumn, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Some knowledge of chemistry or physics helpful.

Equivalent Course(s): PHSC 13400,ENST 12300,ENSC 13400

**GEOS 13900. Biological Evolution. 100 Units.**

This course is an introduction to evolutionary processes and patterns in present-day organisms and in the fossil record and how they are shaped by biological and physical forces. Topics emphasize evolutionary principles. They include DNA and the genetic code, the genetics of populations, the origins of species, and evolution above the species level. We also discuss major events in the history of life, such as the origin of complex cells, invasion of land, and mass extinction. (L)

Instructor(s): D. Jablonski Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130; No Biological Sciences majors except by petition to the BSCD Senior Advisers.

Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 13123

**GEOS 21000. Introduction to Mineralogy. 100 Units.**

This course covers structure, chemical composition, stability, and occurrence of major rock-forming minerals. Labs concentrate on mineral identification with the optical microscope. (L)

Instructor(s): L. Grossman Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200-11300 or equivalent

**GEOS 21005. Mineral Science. 100 Units.**

This course examines the relationship between the structure of minerals, their chemistry, and their physical properties. Topics include crystallography, defect properties, phase transitions, and analytical tools, followed by detailed study of specific mineral groups.

Instructor(s): A. Campbell Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 21000 or consent of instructor.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 31005

**GEOS 21100. Introduction to Petrology. 100 Units.**

Students in this course learn how to interpret observable geological associations, structures, textures, and mineralogical and chemical compositions of rocks so as to develop concepts of how they form and evolve. Our theme is the origin of granitic continental crust on the only planet known to have oceans and life. Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks; ores; and waste disposal sites are reviewed. (L)

Instructor(s): N. Dauphas Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 21000

**GEOS 21200. Physics of the Earth. 100 Units.**

This course considers geophysical evidence bearing on the internal makeup and dynamical behavior of the Earth, including seismology (i.e., properties of elastic waves and their interpretation, and internal structure of the Earth); mechanics of rock deformation (i.e., elastic properties, creep and flow of rocks, faulting, earthquakes); gravity (i.e., geoid, isostasy); geomagnetism (i.e., magnetic properties of rocks and history, origin of the magnetic field); heat flow (i.e., temperature within the Earth, sources of heat, thermal history of the Earth); and plate tectonics and the maintenance of plate motions. (L)

Instructor(s): A. Campbell, D. Heinz Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): Prior calculus and college-level physics courses, or consent of instructor.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 31200

**GEOS 21205. Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Near-Surface Earth Seismicity. 100 Units.**

This course introduces the mechanics and phenomenology of elastic waves in the Earth and in the fluids near the Earth's surface (e.g., S and P waves in the solid earth, acoustic waves in the ocean and atmosphere). Topics include stress and strain, constitutive equations, elasticity, seismic waves, acoustic waves, theory of refraction/reflection, surface waves, dispersion, and normal modes of the Earth. Phenomenology addressed includes exploration geophysics (refraction/reflection seismology), earthquakes and earthquake source characterization, seismograms as signals, seismometers and seismological networks, and digital seismogram analysis.

Instructor(s): D. MacAyeal Terms Offered: Winter

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 31205

**GEOS 21400. Thermodynamics and Phase Change. 100 Units.**

This course develops the mathematical structure of thermodynamics with emphasis on relations between thermodynamic variables and equations of state. These concepts are then applied to homogeneous and heterogeneous phase equilibrium, culminating in the construction of representative binary and ternary phase diagrams of petrological significance.

Instructor(s): A. Campbell Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): MATH 20000-20100-20200 and college-level chemistry and calculus, or consent of instructor.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 31400

**GEOS 22040. Formation of Planetary Systems in Our Galaxy: From Dust to Planetesimals. 100 Units.**

This course examines the physical and chemical processes that operate during the earliest stages of planet formation when dust in a protoplanetary disk aggregates into bodies 1 to 10 km in size. Topics include the physical and chemical evolution of protoplanetary disks, radial transport of dust particles, transient heating events, and the formation of planetesimals. We discuss the evidence of these processes found in meteorites and observed in disks around young stars. Chemical and physical models of dust evolution are introduced, including an overview of basic numerical modeling techniques.

Instructor(s): F. Ciesla Terms Offered: Not offered 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): One year of college-level calculus and physics or chemistry, or consent of instructor.

Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 32040

**GEOS 22050. Formation of Planetary Systems in our Galaxy: From Planetesimals to Planets. 100 Units.**

This course explores the stage of planet formation during which 1 to 10 km planetesimals accrete to form planets. Topics include heating of planetesimals, models of giant planet formation, the delivery of water to terrestrial planets, and the impact that stellar mass and external environment have on planet formation. We also discuss what processes determine the properties (mass, composition, and orbital parameters) of a planet and its potential for habitability. Basic modeling techniques and current research papers in peer-reviewed journals are also discussed.

Instructor(s): F. Ciesla Terms Offered: Not offered 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor

Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 32050

**GEOS 22060. What Makes a Planet Habitable? 100 Units.**

This course explores the factors that determine how habitable planets form and evolve. We will discuss a range of topics, from the formation of planets around stars and the delivery of water, to the formation of atmospheres, climate dynamics, and the conditions that allow for the development of life and the evolution of complex life. Students will be responsible for reading and discussing papers in peer-reviewed journals each meeting and for periodically preparing presentations and leading the discussion.

Instructor(s): E. Kite Terms Offered: Winter

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 32060,ASTR 45900

**GEOS 22200. Geochronology. 100 Units.**

This course covers the duration of planetary differentiation and the age of the Earth (i.e., extinct and extant chronometers); timescales for building a habitable planet (i.e., the late heavy bombardment, the origin of the atmosphere, the emergence of life, and continent extraction); dating mountains (i.e., absolute ages, exposure ages, and thermochronology); the climate record (i.e., dating layers in sediments and ice cores); and dating recent artifacts (e.g., the Shroud of Turin).

Instructor(s): N. Dauphas Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): Background in college-level geology, physics, and mathematics.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 32200

**GEOS 23205. Introductory Glaciology. 100 Units.**

The fundamentals of glacier and ice-sheet dynamics and phenomenology will be covered in this introductory course (snow and sea ice will be excluded from this course, however may be taken up in the future). Emphasis will be placed on developing the foundation of continuum mechanics and viscous fluid flow as a means of developing the basic equations of glacier deformation, ice-sheet and -shelf flow, basal processes, glacier hydrology, and unstable modes of flow. This course is intended for advanced undergraduate students in physics, math, geophysical sciences and related fields as well as graduate students considering research in glaciology and climate dynamics. (L)

Instructor(s): D. MacAyeal Terms Offered: Not offered 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of vector calculus, linear algebra, and computer programming.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 33205

**GEOS 23400. Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. 100 Units.**

This course presents the science behind the forecast of global warming to enable the student to evaluate the likelihood and potential severity of anthropogenic climate change in the coming centuries. It includes an overview of the physics of the greenhouse effect, including comparisons with Venus and Mars; an overview of the carbon cycle in its role as a global thermostat; predictions and reliability of climate model forecasts of the greenhouse world. Lectures are shared with PHSC 13400, but students enrolled in GEOS 23400 are required to write an individual research term paper. (L)

Instructor(s): D. Archer Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor required.

Note(s): Some knowledge of chemistry or physics helpful.

Equivalent Course(s): ENSC 25200

**GEOS 23800. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 100 Units.**

This survey course covers the geochemistry of the surface of the Earth, focusing on biological and geological processes that shape the distributions of chemical species in the atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial habitats. Budgets and cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur are discussed, as well as chemical fundamentals of metabolism, weathering, acid-base and dissolution equilibria, and isotopic fractionation. The course examines the central role that life plays in maintaining the chemical disequilibria that characterize Earth’s surface environments. The course also explores biogeochemical cycles change (or resist change) over time, as well as the relationships between geochemistry, biological (including human) activity, and Earth’s climate.

Instructor(s): J. Waldbauer

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200 or consent of instructor

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 33800,ENSC 23800

**GEOS 23805. Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry. 100 Units.**

Stable isotopes of H, C, O, N, and S are valuable tools for understanding the biological and geochemical processes that have shaped the composition of Earth's atmosphere and oceans throughout our planet's history. This course examines basic thermodynamic and kinetic theory to describe the behavior of isotopes in chemical and biological systems. We then examine the stable isotope systematics of localized environmental processes, and see how local processes contribute to global isotopic signals that are preserved in ice, sediment, rock, and fossils. Special emphasis is placed on the global carbon cycle, the history of atmospheric oxygen levels, and paleoclimate.

Instructor(s): A. Colman Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200-11300 or equivalent; 13100-13200-13300 or consent of instructor

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 33805,ENSC 23805

**GEOS 23900. Environmental Chemistry. 100 Units.**

The focus of this course is the fundamental science underlying issues of local and regional scale pollution. In particular, the lifetimes of important pollutants in the air, water, and soils are examined by considering the roles played by photochemistry, surface chemistry, biological processes, and dispersal into the surrounding environment. Specific topics include urban air quality, water quality, long-lived organic toxins, heavy metals, and indoor air pollution. Control measures are also considered. (L)

Instructor(s): A. Colman, D. Archer Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11101-11201 or equivalent, and prior calculus course

Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23900,GEOS 33900,ENSC 23900

**GEOS 24220. Climate Foundations. 100 Units.**

This course introduces the basic physics governing the climate of planets, the Earth in particular but with some consideration of other planets. Topics include atmospheric thermodynamics of wet and dry atmospheres, the hydrological cycle, blackbody radiation, molecular absorption in the atmosphere, the basic principles of radiation balance, and diurnal and seasonal cycles. Students solve problems of increasing complexity, moving from pencil-and-paper problems to programming exercises, to determine surface and atmospheric temperatures and how they evolve. An introduction to scientific programming is provided, but the fluid dynamics of planetary flows is not covered. (L)

Instructor(s): E. Moyer Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): Prior physics course (preferably PHYS 13300 and 14300) and knowledge of calculus required; prior geophysical sciences course not required.

Note(s): Prior programming experience helpful but not required.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 34220

**GEOS 24230. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Foundations. 100 Units.**

This course is for incoming graduate students in physical sciences intending to take further courses in geophysical fluid dynamics, fluid dynamics, condensed matter physics, and other areas requiring this fundamental skill set. It sets the stage for follow-on courses that present the detail of the behavior of fluids and continuums in geophysical, physical, chemical, and other settings. The material may be a student’s first contact with continuum mechanics or a remedial or review for students who have previously taken similar courses. Topics include description of material properties in a continuum, including displacement, velocity, and strain rate; scalar, vector, and tensor properties of continuums, strain, strain rate, and stress; derivations and understanding of mass, momentum, and energy conservation principles in a continuum; applications of conservation principles to simple rheological idealizations, including ideal fluids and potential flow, viscous fluids and Navier-Stokes flow, elasticity and deformation; introductory asymptotic analysis, Reynolds number; heat transfer by conduction and convection, convective instability, Rayleigh number; fluids in gravitational fields, stratification, buoyancy; elliptic, parabolic, and hyperbolic partial differential equations, typical properties of each. Weekly problem sets emphasize simple, well-known treatments of fluid mechanics phenomena. Students conduct weekly homework assignments and produce a term paper/term project.

Instructor(s): D. MacAyeal

Prerequisite(s): Vector calculus, linear algebra, advanced classical mechanics, basic knowledge of computing. Undergrads who take this course should intend to complete a second fluid-dynamics course in Geophysical Sciences.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 34230

**GEOS 24240. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Rotation and Stratification. 100 Units.**

This course is an introduction to geophysical fluid dynamics for upper-level undergraduates and starting graduate students. The topics covered will be the equations of motion, the effects of rotation and stratification, shallow water systems and isentropic coordinates, vorticity and potential vorticity, and simplified equations for the ocean and atmosphere.

Instructor(s): D. Abbot Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): PQ: GEOS 24230 or equivalent; Knowledge of mechanics (PHYS 13100 or equivalent), thermodynamics (PHYS 19700 or equivalent), vector calculus and linear algebra (MATH 20000-20100-20200 or equivalent)

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 34240

**GEOS 24250. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Understanding the Motions of the Atmosphere and Oceans. 100 Units.**

This course is part of the atmospheres and oceans sequence (GEOS 24220, 24230, 24240, 24250) and is expected to follow Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Rotation and Stratification (GEOS 24240). The course demonstrates how the fundamental principles of geophysical fluid dynamics are manifested in the large-scale circulation of the atmosphere and oceans and their laboratory analogs. Topics include: balance of forces and the observed structure of the atmospheric and oceanic circulations, statistical description of the spatially and temporally varying circulation, theory of Hadley circulation, waves in the atmosphere and oceans, baroclinic instability, wind-driven ocean circulation.

Instructor(s): N. Nakamura Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 24230 and 24240, or consent of the instructor. Knowledge of vector calculus, linear algebra, and ordinary differential equations is assumed.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 34250

**GEOS 24705. Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage. 100 Units.**

This course covers the technologies by which humans appropriate energy for industrial and societal use, from steam turbines to internal combustion engines to photovoltaics. We also discuss the physics and economics of the resulting human energy system: fuel sources and relationship to energy flows in the Earth system; and modeling and simulation of energy production and use. Our goal is to provide a technical foundation for students interested in careers in the energy industry or in energy policy. Field trips required to major energy converters (e.g., coal-fired and nuclear power plants, oil refinery, biogas digester) and users (e.g., steel, fertilizer production).

Instructor(s): E. Moyer Terms Offered: Spring

Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of physics or consent of instructor

Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24705,GEOS 34705,ENSC 21100

**GEOS 25400. Introduction to Numerical Techniques for the Geophysical Sciences. 100 Units.**

This class provides an introduction to different types of numerical techniques used in developing models used in geophysical science research. Topics will include how to interpolate and extrapolate functions, develop functional fits to data, integrate a function, or solve partial differential equations. Students are expected to have some familiarity with computers and programming—programming methods will not be discussed in detail. While techniques will be the focus of the class, we will also discuss the planning needed in developing a model as well as the limitations inherent in such models.

Instructor(s): F. Ciesla Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with a computer programming language such as C, Fortran, or IDL, or a mathematical computing environment like Mathematica or Matlab. Spreadsheets such as Excel or Numbers can also be used for many problems.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 35400

**GEOS 26300. Invertebrate Paleobiology and Evolution. 100 Units.**

This course provides a detailed overview of the morphology, paleobiology, evolutionary history, and practical uses of the invertebrate and microfossil groups commonly found in the fossil record. Emphasis is placed on understanding key anatomical and ecological innovations within each group and interactions among groups responsible for producing the observed changes in diversity, dominance, and ecological community structure through evolutionary time. Labs supplement lecture material with specimen-based and practical application sections. An optional field trip offers experience in the collection of specimens and raw paleontological data. Several "Hot Topics" lectures introduce important, exciting, and often controversial aspects of current paleontological research linked to particular invertebrate groups. (L)

Instructor(s): M. Webster Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100 and 13200, or equivalent. For BIOS students: Completion of the first three quarters of a Biological Sciences Fundamentals Sequence.

Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 23261,EVOL 32400,GEOS 36300

**GEOS 26600. Geobiology. 100 Units.**

Geobiology seeks to elucidate the interactions between life and its environments that have shaped the coevolution of the Earth and the biosphere. The course will explore the ways in which biological processes affect the environment and how the evolutionary trajectories of organisms have in turn been influenced by environmental change. In order to reconstruct the history of these processes, we will examine the imprints they leave on both the rock record and on the genomic makeup of living organisms. The metabolism and evolution of microorganisms, and the biogeochemistry they drive, will be a major emphasis.

Instructor(s): M. Coleman, J. Waldbauer Terms Offered: Not offered 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100-13200-13300 or college-level cell & molecular biology

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 36600,ENSC 24000

**GEOS 26650. Environmental Microbiology. 100 Units.**

The objective of this course is to understand how microorganisms alter the geochemistry of their environment. The course will cover fundamental principles of microbial growth, metabolism, genetics, diversity, and ecology, as well as methods used to study microbial communities and activities. It will emphasize microbial roles in elemental cycling, bioremediation, climate, and ecosystem health in a variety of environments including aquatic, soil, sediment, and engineered systems.

Instructor(s): M. Coleman Terms Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200 and BIOS 20186 or BIOS 20197 or BIOS 20198

Equivalent Course(s): ENSC 24500

**GEOS 28000. Introduction to Structural Geology. 100 Units.**

This course explores the deformation of the Earth materials primarily as observed in the crust. We emphasize stress and strain and their relationship to incremental and finite deformation in crustal rocks, as well as techniques for inferring paleostress and strain in deformed crustal rocks. We also look at mesoscale to macroscale structures and basic techniques of field geology in deformed regions.

Instructor(s): D. Rowley Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100

Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 38000

**GEOS 28100. Global Tectonics. 100 Units.**

This course reviews the spatial and temporal development of tectonic and plate tectonic activity of the globe. We focus on the style of activity at compressive, extensional, and shear margins, as well as on the types of basin evolution associated with each. (L)

Instructor(s): D. Rowley Terms Offered: Winter

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100 or consent of instructor

Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 38100

**GEOS 28300. Principles of Stratigraphy. 100 Units.**

This course introduces principles and methods of stratigraphy. Topics include facies analysis, physical and biostratigraphic correlation, and development and calibration of the geologic time scale. We also discuss controversies concerning the completeness of the stratigraphic record; origin of sedimentary cycles; and interactions between global sea level, tectonics, and sediment supply. (L)

Instructor(s): S. Kidwell Terms Offered: Not offered 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100-13200 or equivalent required; GEOS 23500 and/or 28200 recommended

Note(s): This course is offered in alternate years.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 38300

**GEOS 29001. Field Course in Geology. 100 Units.**

Students in this course visit classic locations to examine a wide variety of geological environments and processes, including active tectonics, ancient and modern sedimentary environments, and geomorphology.

Terms Offered: not offered in 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100-13200 and consent of instructor

Note(s): Interested students should contact the departmental counselor.

**GEOS 29002. Field Course in Modern and Ancient Environments. 100 Units.**

This course uses weekly seminars during Winter Quarter to prepare for a one-week field trip over spring break, where students acquire experience with sedimentary rocks and the modern processes responsible for them. Destinations vary; past trips have examined tropical carbonate systems of Jamaica and the Bahamas and subtropical coastal Gulf of California. We usually consider biological, as well as physical, processes of sediment production, dispersal, accumulation, and post-depositional modification.

Instructor(s): S. Kidwell, M. LaBarbera Terms Offered: Winter

Note(s): Organizational meeting and deposit usually required in Autumn Quarter; interested students should contact an instructor in advance.

Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 39002,ENSC 29002

**GEOS 29005. Field Course in Environmental Science. 100 Units.**

Terms Offered: not offered 2015-2016

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor

Note(s): Interested students should contact the departmental counselor.

Equivalent Course(s): ENSC 29005

**GEOS 29700. Reading and Research in the Geophysical Sciences. 100 Units.**

Terms Offered: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and departmental counselor

Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Available to nonmajors for P/F grading. Must be taken for a quality grade when used to meet a requirement in the major.

### Contacts

#### Undergraduate Primary Contact

Departmental Counselor

Mark Webster

HGS 233

773.702.4071

Email

#### Administrative Contact

Departmental Office

HGS 161

773.702.8101