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 is available on the SIS website.

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 program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Geoarchaeology: Applications of Earth Science to Archaeology
AS.130.378 (01)

Geoarchaeology is a multidisciplinary subfield that applies the tools and techniques of earth science to understand ancient humans and their interactions with environments. This course examines basic topics and concepts, including archaeological site formation, paleo-environmental reconstruction, raw materials and resources, soil science, deposition and erosion of wind and water-borne sediments in different environments such as along rivers, lakes and coastlines, radiocarbon and other chronometric dating methods, and ground-based remote sensing, including ground penetrating radar.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Harrower, Michael James
  • Room: Gilman 130G  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/10
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-ARCH

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
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Chen, Xin
  • Room: Krieger 108  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/24
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-RELATE

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
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 3:30PM
  • Instructor: Gomes, Maya L, Viete, Daniel R
  • Room: Olin 204  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/20
  • 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
  • Days/Times: W 9:00AM - 9:50AM
  • Instructor: Sverjensky, Dimitri
  • Room: Olin 204  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/15
  • 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
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Sverjensky, Dimitri
  • Room: Olin 346  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/12
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR

Earth History
AS.270.303 (01)

This course will explore the evolution of life in the context of environmental, ecological, and geological changes to the Earth surface system. The goal of the class is to provide students with an understanding of how geological and paleontological records provide insight into the origin(s) of life, oxygenation of the atmosphere, the evolution of multicellularity, evolutionary radiations and extinctions, and modern global change.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Gomes, Maya L
  • Room: Olin 247  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/20
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR

Conservation Biology
AS.270.317 (01)

In this course, students examine the meaning and implications of biodiversity with a focus on disciplines associated with conservation biology, wildlife conservation and wildlife management, including taxonomy, genetics, small population biology, chemical and restoration ecology, and marine biology. This includes exploring how conservation biology differs from other natural sciences in theory and in application. Students learn the major threats to biodiversity and what natural and social science methods and alternatives are used to mitigate, stop, or reverse these threats. The course also includes the economic and cultural tradeoffs associated with each conservation measure at the global, national, regional, and local levels. One required field trip.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Burgess, Jerry
  • Room: Olin 247  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/16
  • PosTag(s): BEHB-BIOBEH, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Geochronology
AS.270.319 (01)

Introduction to radioisotope geo/thermochronology and mantle stable and radioisotope geochemistry. Course covers: (1) methods for dating of rocks and geologic processes using long-half-life radioisotope systems, including the various isotope systems available and their applicability; (2) radioisotope techniques for investigation of the geochemical evolution of the crust and mantle; (3) isotope fractionation and utility of traditional and novel stable isotope geochemistry for interrogating high-temperature processes, and (4) thermochronology and methods for interrogating upper-crustal processes. Recommended course background: AS.270.220 and AS.270.221, or instructor permission.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Viete, Daniel R
  • Room: Olin 347  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 13/16
  • 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
  • Days/Times: T 10:30AM - 11:45AM, Th 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Gnanadesikan, Anand, Zaitchik, Benjamin
  • Room: Olin 305 Virtual Online
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 13/49
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR

Introduction to Global Environmental Change
AS.270.103 (02)

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
  • Days/Times: T 10:30AM - 11:45AM, Th 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Gnanadesikan, Anand, Zaitchik, Benjamin
  • Room: Virtual Online Olin 305
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 24/49
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR

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
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Gomes, Maya L, Viete, Daniel R
  • Room: Olin 247  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 18/50
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR, ENVS-MAJOR

Freshman Seminar: Communicating Climate Science
AS.270.130 (01)

This seminar is a study of techniques used to effectively communicate scientific knowledge with a focus on climate science. This will be done with three overarching topics: sharing research developments within the scientific community, critically interpreting science news from the media, and communicating complex climate topics to a general audience. The course is a freshman seminar intended for science and engineering majors.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 3:00PM - 4:15PM, W 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Menzel, Molly Erin
  • Room: Olin 346 Olin 304
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/16
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Soil Ecology
AS.270.332 (01)

The course introduces basic aspects of cycles and flows in the soil ecosystem, and provides students with an overview of the higher groups of soil organisms. Laboratory and field surveying methods are also covered.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: F 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Szlavecz, Katalin (Katalin)
  • Room: Olin 247  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/10
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Senior Seminar
AS.271.499 (01)

This seminar explores topics related to career development and current events to support senior environmental majors as they transition to post-graduate life and work.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room: Olin 304  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/25
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Present and Future Climate
AS.270.378 (01)

Intended for majors who are interested in the science that underlies the current debate on global warming, the focus is on recent observations one can glean from model simulations. Meets with AS.270.641. Recommended Course Background: AS.110.108-AS.110.109 and AS.171.101-AS.171.102

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Waugh, Darryn, Zaitchik, Benjamin
  • Room: Olin 247  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/14
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Sustainable Food Systems
AS.271.304 (01)

Where does your food come from? What impact does food production have on the environment and human societies? How can food systems become more sustainable as the human population increases? This seminar-style course examines the past, present, and future of agriculture, including topics such as the foodways of indigenous people, modern "factory farming" versus organic agriculture, genetically modified foods, and the interplay among science, economics, policy, and agriculture. Involves hands-on experiences.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Kelly, Rebecca E
  • Room: Olin 304  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/15
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Planetary Atmospheres
AS.270.423 (01)

Fundamental concepts and basic principles of chemistry and physics applied to the study of planetary atmospheres. Vertical structure of planetary atmospheres. Atmospheric radiation, thermodynamics, and transport. Principles of photochemistry. Planetary spectroscopy and remote sensing. Upper atmospheres and ionospheres. Evolution and stability of planetary atmospheres. Recommended Course Background: basic physics, chemistry and calculus

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Horst, Sarah
  • Room: Olin 145  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Exploring Nature
AS.271.302 (01)

This course integrates the analysis and production of environmental media with weekly outdoor excursions. Students will survey a range of authors, adventurers, journalists, scientists, photographers, acoustic ecologists and filmmakers that have explored the natural world and chronicled the history of human-environmental relations and environmental problems. Field trips to regional parks and green spaces will encourage students to discover their own sense of place, foster a deeper level of ecological awareness and construct personal environmental narratives through careful exploration, observation, documentation and reflection.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 5:00PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room: Olin 304  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR

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
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Gnanadesikan, Anand, Stanley, Sabine
  • Room: Olin 145  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/12
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR

Senior Capstone
AS.271.496 (01)

This seminar will provide the academic space, time, and mentoring for students to integrate, synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills obtained through the ENVS curriculum. The course focuses on the development of critical thinking and oral communication skills through intellectual engagement with complex and challenging environmental problems.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room: Olin 304  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/25
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR

Environmental Films and Literature
AS.271.315 (01)

This “book club” style seminar focuses on the exploration, discussion and critical analysis of a range of contemporary environmental films and literature.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 4:15PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room: Olin 304  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

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
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Kelly, Rebecca E
  • Room: Olin 347  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/10
  • 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
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Kelly, Rebecca E
  • Room: Olin 304  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/25
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR, BEHB-BIOBEH

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.130.378 (01)Geoarchaeology: Applications of Earth Science to ArchaeologyTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMHarrower, Michael JamesGilman 130G
 
ARCH-ARCH
AS.270.205 (01)Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial AnalysisM 1:30PM - 4:00PMChen, XinKrieger 108
 
ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-RELATE
AS.270.221 (01)The Dynamic Earth LaboratoryW 1:30PM - 3:30PMGomes, Maya L, Viete, Daniel ROlin 204
 
AS.270.111 (01)Freshman Seminar: The Story of EarthW 9:00AM - 9:50AMSverjensky, DimitriOlin 204
 
AS.270.302 (01)Aqueous GeochemistryTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMSverjensky, DimitriOlin 346
 
ENVS-MAJOR
AS.270.303 (01)Earth HistoryTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMGomes, Maya LOlin 247
 
ENVS-MAJOR
AS.270.317 (01)Conservation BiologyMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMBurgess, JerryOlin 247
 
BEHB-BIOBEH, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.319 (01)GeochronologyMW 10:30AM - 11:45AMViete, Daniel ROlin 347
 
AS.270.103 (01)Introduction to Global Environmental ChangeT 10:30AM - 11:45AM, Th 10:30AM - 11:45AMGnanadesikan, Anand, Zaitchik, BenjaminOlin 305
Virtual Online
ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.103 (02)Introduction to Global Environmental ChangeT 10:30AM - 11:45AM, Th 10:30AM - 11:45AMGnanadesikan, Anand, Zaitchik, BenjaminVirtual Online
Olin 305
ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.220 (01)The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to GeologyTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMGomes, Maya L, Viete, Daniel ROlin 247
 
ENVS-MINOR, ENVS-MAJOR
AS.270.130 (01)Freshman Seminar: Communicating Climate ScienceM 3:00PM - 4:15PM, W 3:00PM - 4:15PMMenzel, Molly ErinOlin 346
Olin 304
AS.270.332 (01)Soil EcologyF 1:30PM - 4:00PMSzlavecz, Katalin (Katalin)Olin 247
 
ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.271.499 (01)Senior SeminarT 12:00PM - 1:15PMMonopolis, Alexios NicolaosOlin 304
 
AS.270.378 (01)Present and Future ClimateMW 1:30PM - 2:45PMWaugh, Darryn, Zaitchik, BenjaminOlin 247
 
ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.271.304 (01)Sustainable Food SystemsTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMKelly, Rebecca EOlin 304
 
ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.423 (01)Planetary AtmospheresTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMHorst, SarahOlin 145
 
AS.271.302 (01)Exploring NatureT 1:30PM - 5:00PMMonopolis, Alexios NicolaosOlin 304
 
ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.425 (01)Earth and Planetary FluidsTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMGnanadesikan, Anand, Stanley, SabineOlin 145
 
ENVS-MAJOR
AS.271.496 (01)Senior CapstoneM 1:30PM - 4:00PMMonopolis, Alexios NicolaosOlin 304
 
ENVS-MAJOR
AS.271.315 (01)Environmental Films and LiteratureM 4:15PM - 5:30PMMonopolis, Alexios NicolaosOlin 304
 
ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.337 (01)Freshwater Systems LabW 1:30PM - 4:15PMKelly, Rebecca EOlin 347
 
AS.270.336 (01)Freshwater SystemsTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMKelly, Rebecca EOlin 304
 
ENVS-MINOR, BEHB-BIOBEH