The following are courses I teach or co-teach at Dartmouth:
EARS 1 – How the Earth Works
Fall and Spring, co-taught with Ed Meyer
This course introduces the principles of physical geology by describing the Earth’s components and analyzing the processes that control its evolution. Mountain ranges and deep sea trenches, volcanism and earthquakes, surficial and deep-seated geologic processes provide the evidence we will use to interpret the Earth’s makeup and history. Earth resources, geologic hazards, and environmental protection will be discussed in connection with a variety of general geologic topics.
EARS 15 – Earth’s Climate – Past, Present, and Future
Winter (next taught W16 by Alice Doughty)
Understanding what drives climate change is one of the major scientific questions of the 21st century. Evidence for past (paleo) climate change provides essential information about Earth’s climate system and the potential for future change. In this course, we will investigate paleoclimate changes and the chemistry and physics of the modern climate system. We will explore the mechanisms that influence climate on various time scales and the projections for future change. Laboratory projects will focus on collecting and analyzing data from local sites to develop paleoclimate records.
EARS 45, 46, 47 – “The Stretch” Earth Science Off-Campus Program (Glacier National Park-Bighorn Basin Segment)
During this segment of the Stretch, we traverse ~300 miles of the Rocky Mountain front, get a first-hand experience of rocks spanning the entire geological history of North America and explore the processes that formed those rocks and led to their exposure at the surface today. The segment is broadly split into two parts. We spend the first ~four days learning the general geological history of the Rocky Mountains and some specifics about Glacier National Park and Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. Through the last five days of the trip, we apply what we have learned during and investigate to describe the geological history of the Bighorn Basin based through a series of mapping exercises. These exercises provide a great opportunity to hone all of the diverse skills required as a field geologist.
EARS 75/175 – Quaternary Paleoclimatology
Alternating Spring Terms (next taught W16)
Evidence for past (paleo) climate change provides essential information about Earth’s climate system and the potential for future change. This course focuses on understanding paleoclimate changes during the Quaternary Period such as glacial-interglacial variability, rapid climate changes, and the recent “stable” climate conditions of the Holocene epoch. We will rely on published scientific data to examine these various topics and critically evaluate hypotheses for mechanisms of climate change.
EARS 203 – Earth Surface Processes
Spring (I will next teach S16, co-taught with Bob Hawley)
The course will explore the processes that shape Earth’s surface and the resulting landforms. Tectonics, weathering and erosion, fluvial, aeolian, and glacial processes influence landscape development at various temporal and spatial scales. These processes will be examined as well as their interaction with the atmosphere, biosphere and climate. The course will highlight ancient and active processes in New England and associated issues for human habitat and environmental conditions. The course will be a combination of faculty lectures and student-led discussions of selected readings from the literature. An oral presentation and a final paper will be used to assess students. The paper will be in the format of a 10-page formal National Science Foundation proposal and will be used to assess the students’ ability to formulate testable hypotheses and to collect and integrate published scientific data. At least one mandatory field trip will examine New England geomorphology and environments. Not open to undergraduates.