Undergraduate Courses

To see a complete list of courses offered and their descriptions, visit the online course catalog.

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found at https://sis.jhu.edu/classes.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another pogram, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

People and the Earth: The Science Behind Our Interactions
AS.270.125 (01)

This course is designed to introduce non-science students to the ways in which humans and the Earth interact. These interactions go in both directions, with Earth processes and materials affecting human society, and human activities altering the Earth. Topics include natural disasters, natural resources, and environmental issues rooted in geology; and they are examined from both a historical perspective and in the context of current events. Class time involves active learning and hands-on experiences. Course open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Seniors by instructor permission only.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/25
  • PosTag(s): n/a

The Dynamic Earth Laboratory
AS.270.221 (01)

This course is a hands-on learning experience for introductory geological concepts and techniques using geological tools, such as mineral/rock samples, microscopes, and maps. Field trips are its essential part. The course is open to undergraduates at all levels; freshmen who wish to get their hands (and boots) dirty are encouraged to enroll.

  • Credits: 2.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/20
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SCI

The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Geology
AS.270.220 (01)

Basic concepts in geology, including plate tectonics; Earth’s internal structure; geologic time; minerals; formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks; development of faults, folds and earthquakes; geomagnetism. Corequisite (for EPS Majors): AS.270.221; optional for others. The course is introductory and open to undergraduates at all levels; freshmen are encouraged to enroll.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/30
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SCI

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Analysis
AS.270.205 (01)

The course provides a broad introduction to the principles and practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related tools of Geospatial Analysis. Topics will include history of GIS, GIS data structures, data acquisition and merging, database management, spatial analysis, and GIS applications. In addition, students will get hands-on experience working with GIS software.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/25
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SCI, ARCH-ARCH

Geoscience Modeling
AS.270.307 (01)

An introduction to modern ways to interpret observations in the context of a conceptual model. Topics include model building, hypothesis testing, and inverse methods. Practical examples from geophysics, engineering, and medical physics will be featured.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction to Global Environmental Change
AS.270.103 (01)

An introduction to the science behind global environmental issues. Earth systems, biogeochemical cycles, and the interrelationships between the living and nonliving world are explored, along with applications to climate change, biodiversity loss, and other issues of global significance.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 57/110
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Aqueous Geochemistry
AS.270.302 (01)

Modeling the chemistry of water-rock interactions from weathering and riverine development at Earth’s surface to hot springs at depth, fluids in subduction zones in Earth’s interior, and the ancient fluids preserved in fluid inclusions. Thermodynamic basis for the calculation of equilibria and irreversible chemical mass transfer involving minerals and aqueous species at low and high temperatures and pressures. The course culminates with practical examples of research interest to individual participants.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Remote Sensing of the Environment
AS.270.318 (01)

This course is an introduction to the use of remote sensing technology to study Earth’s physical and biochemical processes. Topics covered include remote sensing of the atmosphere, land and oceans, as well as remote sensing as a tool for policy makers. Also offered as 270.618

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Energy Resources in the Modern World
AS.270.305 (01)

This in-depth survey will inform students on the non-renewable and renewable energy resources of the world and the future prospects. Topics include petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass, and ocean energy. Global production, distribution, usage, and impacts of these resources will be discussed.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Freshman Seminar: The Story of Earth
AS.270.111 (01)

The four and a half billion year story of Earth's global changes focusing on the co-evolution of Earth and Life.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Cosmochemistry
AS.270.326 (01)

Students in this course will gain an understanding of the origin of various forms of matter in our Solar System and beyond, along with its evolution through geologic processes. Beginning with the concepts of nucleosynthesis and stellar evolution, this course will then cover the condensation of matter, meteoritics, and petrogenetic evolution of differentiated, rocky bodies (i.e. asteroids, the Moon, Mars). Evolution of matter in extra-Solar planetary systems (i.e. exoplanets) will also be broached. In lab we will examine thin sections of meteorites, lunar material, and terrestrial analogs - a field trip to the Smithsonian Meteorite Collection is planned. Graduate and advanced undergraduate-level students are encouraged, as are interdisciplinary students with an interest in planetary science.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 16/25
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Planetary Exploration: Techniques and Data Analysis
AS.270.328 (01)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could visit other planets and travel through the space? Students in this course will use state-of-the-art observational techniques in planetary exploration and actual spacecraft data from the Cassini mission to Saturn and the Mars Rover mission to solve problems in planetary science and design a space exploration mission. Important planetary properties, such as atmospheric composition and interior composition of a planet, will be studied using remote sensing and in situ data. Recent discoveries about exoplanets will be integrated into course activities. Recommended Course Background: One semester of Introductory Chemistry (AS.030.101).

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Sedimentary Geology
AS.270.350 (01)

Sedimentary rocks are the historical records of the Earth, documenting climate change, mass extinctions, and the evolution of life. This course will provide an introduction to sedimentary processes and sedimentary rocks. Focus is placed on linking physical observations to the ancient environments in which sedimentary rocks once formed. Fundamental tools for interpreting the sedimentary rock record, such as depositional models, geochronology, and chemostratigraphy will be reviewed. Two 1-day weekend field trips will occur over the course of the semester. There will also be weekly 1-hour labs. Lab and field trip times will be determined in the first week of class. Graduate and advanced undergraduate level. Recommended Course Background: AS.270.220 or instructor permission.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Seminar in Regional Field Geology
AS.270.380 (01)

Introduction to the regional geology and geological history of the Appalachian system (from Alabama to Newfoundland). Key papers on regional bedrock geology and Mesoproterozoic through Phanerozoic tectonics are reviewed in weekly seminar classes. Two three-day field trips are made on weekends negotiated at the beginning of the semester. Fieldwork will be designed with student input to test ideas and models from the literature. Techniques in sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous and structural field geology are introduced and developed in the field. Recommended course background: AS.270.220 and AS.270.221, or instructor permission.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Senior Thesis
AS.270.495 (01)

Preparation of a substantial thesis based upon independent student research, supervised by at least one faculty member in Earth and Planetary Sciences. Open to Sr. departmental majors only. Required for department honors.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 17/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Atmospheric Science
AS.270.379 (01)

A survey of core topics in atmospheric science, including dynamics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer, and chemistry. The course addresses both basic principles and applications to weather and climate.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Earth and Planetary Fluids
AS.270.425 (01)

An introductory course on the properties, flow, and transport characteristics of fluids throughout the Earth and planets. Topics covered include: constitutive relationships, fluid rheology, hydrostatics, dimensional analysis, low Reynolds number flow, porous media, waves, stratified and rotating fluids, plus heat, mass, and tracer transport. Illustrative examples and problems are drawn from the atmosphere, ocean, crust, mantle, and core of the Earth and other Planets. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Recommended Course Background: Basic Physics, Calculus, and familiarity with ordinary differential equations.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Planets, Life and the Universe
AS.270.335 (01)

This multidisciplinary course explores the origins of life, planets’ formation, Earth's evolution, extrasolar planets, habitable zones, life in extreme environments, the search for life in the Universe, space missions, and planetary protection. Co-listed with AS.020.334, AS.020.616 and AS.171.333

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 0/19
  • PosTag(s): BIOL-UL

Freshwater Systems Lab
AS.270.337 (01)

A hands-on investigation of the water quality, hydrology, geomorphology, and aquatic ecology of streams and other freshwater bodies. Includes field trips to water-related facilities such as drinking water and wastewater treatment plants.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Freshwater Systems
AS.270.336 (01)

A study of streams, lakes, and groundwater with a focus on aspects of water quality, hydrology, geomorphology, and aquatic ecology that are relevant to human impacts on freshwater systems. US environmental policies and water resource management agencies will also be examined in the context of issues such as dams, cattle grazing, climate change, and water allocation.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/25
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SCI

Exploring Nature
AS.271.302 (01)

This course integrates environmental media analysis and production with weekly outdoor excursions. Environmental media increasingly structures our experience of nature, environmental problems, human-environmental relations, and ecological awareness. Students will survey a range of authors, photographers and filmmakers that have written about or documented nature and environmental issues. Field trips to Baltimore's parks and green spaces will encourage students to discover their own sense of place and environmental worldview through careful exploration, observation and reflection. Using a mixed media journal, students will reflect on their experiences, perspectives, and insights. A background in photography or film is not required.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SOCSCI

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.270.125 (01)People and the Earth: The Science Behind Our InteractionsTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMKelly, Rebecca EHodson 313
AS.270.221 (01)The Dynamic Earth LaboratoryW 1:30PM - 4:00PMSmith, Emmy, Viete, Daniel ROlin 204GECS-SCI
AS.270.220 (01)The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to GeologyTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMSmith, Emmy, Viete, Daniel ROlin 204GECS-SCI
AS.270.205 (01)Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial AnalysisM 1:30PM - 4:00PMChen, XinKrieger 108GECS-SCI, ARCH-ARCH
AS.270.307 (01)Geoscience ModelingTTh 1:30PM - 3:30PMHaine, ThomasOlin 145
AS.270.103 (01)Introduction to Global Environmental ChangeMWF 11:00AM - 11:50AMSzlavecz, Katalin, Waugh, DarrynOlin 305
AS.270.302 (01)Aqueous GeochemistryMW 1:30PM - 2:45PMSverjensky, DimitriOlin 346
AS.270.318 (01)Remote Sensing of the EnvironmentMWF 10:00AM - 10:50AMLewis, Kevin, Zaitchik, BenjaminKrieger 108
AS.270.305 (01)Energy Resources in the Modern WorldWF 1:30PM - 2:45PMBurgess, JerryOlin 304
AS.270.111 (01)Freshman Seminar: The Story of EarthM 3:00PM - 4:00PMSverjensky, DimitriOlin 346
AS.270.326 (01)CosmochemistryMW 3:00PM - 4:15PM, F 1:30PM - 4:00PMBeck, Andrew, Wicks, June KOlin 247
AS.270.328 (01)Planetary Exploration: Techniques and Data AnalysisTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMYu, XintingOlin 204
AS.270.350 (01)Sedimentary GeologyTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMGomes, Maya L, Lewis, KevinOlin 204
AS.270.380 (01)Seminar in Regional Field GeologyM 4:00PM - 5:00PMSmith, Emmy, Viete, Daniel ROlin 346
AS.270.495 (01)Senior ThesisStaff 
AS.270.379 (01)Atmospheric ScienceTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMWaugh, Darryn, Zaitchik, BenjaminOlin 304
AS.270.425 (01)Earth and Planetary FluidsStaff, Stanley, Sabine 
AS.270.335 (01)Planets, Life and the UniverseMWF 11:00AM - 11:50AMDiruggiero, JocelyneMudd 100BIOL-UL
AS.270.337 (01)Freshwater Systems LabW 1:30PM - 4:20PMKelly, Rebecca EOlin 347
AS.270.336 (01)Freshwater SystemsTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMKelly, Rebecca EOlin 304GECS-SCI
AS.271.302 (01)Exploring NatureT 1:30PM - 4:00PMMonopolis, Alexios NicolaosOlin 304GECS-SOCSCI