Geomicrobiology (EARTH 413) – Winter 2018, Fall 2019
This course explores how microorganisms drive geochemical cycles on Earth. With a combination of interactive lectures, group activities, and discussions revolving around primary literature, students learn how microbes obtain energy through the mediation of redox reactions and how these reactions shape elemental cycles in the environment. The course additionally considers microbial evolution and diversity, microbe-mineral interactions, and the microbial geologic record. Students also gain skills in scientific writing by working writing scientific abstracts, a general-audience article on a recent scientific paper, and by writing a scientific proposal (topic relevant to geomicrobiology chosen by student) throughout the course, improved over the semester by constructive feedback from their peers.
Environmental Geochemistry (EARTH 325) – Winter 2019, Winter 2020
In Environmental Geochemistry, our broad goals will be to understand geochemical processes occurring on Earth’s surface and the impacts of human activities on diverse environments. Students will learn fundamental principles including 1) how to predict and interpret chemical speciation in water during acid/base reactions and redox reactions, and 2) how the hydrosphere interacts with rocks, sediments, soils, and the atmosphere. Students will also learn field, laboratory, and analytical techniques used in environmental geochemistry research and application. We will master these skills through problem-focused modules:
Module 1: Carbon Dioxide and the Ocean
Mini-Module 2: Air Pollution and the Atmosphere
Module 3: Arsenic in the Bengal Basin
Module 4: Acid Mine Drainage
This course is designed for students who want to know more about environmental processes occurring around them and/or are interested in a career in environmental or geotechnical fields in industry, applied sciences, or academia.