Environmental Geochemistry EESC216(W)/EESC416

This course presents the geochemical principles and tools that are needed to understand natural perturbations in earth’s critical zone and the fate of anthropogenic pollutants. Topics will include thermodynamics, kinetics, acid-base equilibria, oxidation-reduction reactions, carbonate chemistry, and isotope geochemistry. Class discussions and assignments will focus on the practical application of these topics to local and global environmental issues, such as air pollution and acid mine drainage. Environmental justice concepts are interwoven throughout the coursework. Students will conduct a guided research review on an environmental topic of their choice teach their fellow students about this topic in an end of semester presentation. Enrollment in lab is required. 

Who is this class for?

  • Students considering a career in the environmental field (e.g. USACE, EPA or other government agency, non-profit policy groups, environmental consulting firms, etc.)
  • Students conducting future research in geochemistry or related fields
  • Students wanting to fulfill their graduate, undergraduate major, or minor course requirements in geology, chemistry, engineering, etc.
  • Geoscience majors looking to improve their science writing skills with a W course
  • Students interested in the chemistry of the world around them and environmental issues

Introduction to Climate Change EESC105

This course will explore the Earth’s dynamic climate system through lectures, discussions and computer-based modeling of climate processes. We will work toward an understanding of several fundamental and important questions. What are the main factors that determine the Earth’s climate? What forces can drive climate to change? What can we learn from climate change in the Earth’s distant past, when our planet experienced periods of both extreme cold and warmth? How do we know that our climate is now changing? What can we expect from the Earth’s climate in the near future and how would it affect us? While the course is designed to be accessible to all students, a working knowledge of high school level algebra is expected; it is also expected that you have taken high school level chemistry.