TEACHING

EPS 56: Geobiology and the History of Life

EPS 56: Geobiology and the History of Life

Description: Within our solar system, Earth is distinguished as the planet with life. Life was born of planetary processes, has been sustained for some four billion years by planetary processes, and through time has emerged as a set of planetary processes that is important in its own right. In this course we will investigate the ways that earth and life interact, focusing in particular on the biogeochemical cycles of major elements. This will provide a framework for interpreting the history of life reconstructed from fossils and phylogeny.

Prerequisite(s): EPS 21, 22, or Life Sciences 1b; or permission of instructor
Offered: Spring terms (2013/2014/2015)

Note: This course is also offered as OEB 56 (eligible for cross-registration.) Students may take both EPS 56 and OEB 56 for credit.

Syllabus

EPS 107: Environmental Geochemistry

EPS 107: Environmental Geochmistry

Description: origin, evolution, dispersal, paleoecology and geologic history of the major groups of the plant kingdom. Laboratory study of representative groups, living and fossil.

Term/Year taught: Spring 2010 (co-taught with S. Mukhopadhyay)

Note: This course is no longer cross-listed and now offered as OEB 107.
Prerequisite: OEB 10 or permission of instructor

EPS186: Low Temperature Geochmistry I: Intro to Biogeochemical Cycles

EPS 186: Low Temperature Geochemistry I: Intro to Biogeochemical Cycles

Description: An introduction to low temperature biochemistry. We will focus on key biogeochemical elements and look to understand the linkages between the biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. The course begins with a description of marine geochemistry (alkalinity and chemical fluxes) and works toward understanding isotopic fractionation and what it can tell us about the environment. We will explore biogeochemistry over a range of physical and temporal scales.

Prerequisite(s): A course in college chemistry is recommended.
Offered: Alternate Fall terms (2010/2012/2014/2016)

Note: This course serves to prepare students for EPS 187 (offered in Spring)

Syllabus

EPS 189: Analytical and Field Methods in Geobiology

EPS 189: Analytical and Field Methods in Geobiology

Description: Introduction to geobiological research methods: We will learn low temperature geochemical techniques, light stable isotope mass-spectrometry, and other microbiology methods commonly used in geobiological research. The focus will be on the cycling of biogeochemical elements (O, C, S, and Fe) in marine sediments throughout Earth history.

Term/Year taught: Spring 2011 (co-taught with F. MacDonald); Spring & Fall 2013 (co-taught with A. Pearson)

NoteExpected to be given in 2016-2017. Given in alternate years.
PrerequisiteEPS 186 and EPS 187 (or equivalent) recommended.

Syllabus

EPS 286r: Current Topics in Biogeochemistry I: Biological and Inorganic Stable Isotope Systematics

EPS 286r: Current Topics in Biogeochemistry I: Biological and Inorganic Stable Isotope Systematics

Description: This is a reading class aimed at touring the literature on light stable isotope systematics. Topics covered will range from classic applications in geology (diagenetic and high temperature exchange), through to more novel isotope systems (clumping, 17O, etc.) and applications in biological systems (for instance, those effects associated with RuBiSCo). Topics covered will also flex with the interest of the enrolled students.

Term/Year taught: Fall 2011/Spring 2016 (co-taught with A. Pearson)

Note: Given in alternate years.

Prerequisite: EPS 186 and 187 or equivalent; or permission of instructor.

Syllabus

EPS 287: Current Topics in Biogeochemistry II: Role of the Biological Pump in the Carbon Cycle

EPS 287: Current Topics in Biogeochemistry II: Role of he Biological Pump in the Carbon Cycle

Description: An intensive reading course that will compare modern oceanographic approaches to the biological pump with concepts of the size and function of the biological pump over geologic time. We will review the carbon cycle; carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotope proxies; and will stress simple calculations and limited box models. This will be a seminar class focused on discussion rather than lecture. Assessment will be based on participation, several short problem sets, and a term paper.

Term/Year taught: Spring 2012

Note: This course is no longer offered.

Syllabus