Graduate Courses

Spring 2021

Responsible Conduct of Research in Geosciences (Half-Term)
Course educates Geosciences and AOS students in the responsible conduct of research using case studies appropriate to these disciplines. This discussion-based course focuses on issues related to the use of scientific data, publication practices and responsible authorship, peer review, research misconduct, conflicts of interest, the role of mentors & mentees, issues encountered in collaborative research and the role of scientists in society. Successful completion is based on attendance, reading, and active participation in class discussions. Course satisfies University requirement for RCR training.
Instructors: Regan Hunt Crotty, Thomas S. Duffy, Frederik Jozef Simons
Fundamentals of the Geosciences
A yearlong survey, in sequence, of fundamental papers in the geosciences. Topics in 505 (Spring) include the origin and interior of the Earth, plate tectonics, geodynamics, the history of life on Earth, the composition of the Earth, its oceans and atmospheres, past climate. Topics in 506 (Fall) include present and future climate, biogeochemical processes in the ocean, geochemical cycles, orogenies, thermochronology, rock fracture and seismicity. A core course for all beginning graduate students in the geosciences.
Instructors: John Andrew Higgins, Adam C. Maloof, Satish Chandra Babu Myneni, Allan Mattathias Rubin, Daniel Mikhail Sigman, Frederik Jozef Simons, Jeroen Tromp, Xinning Zhang

Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2019

Global Geophysics
An introduction to the fundamental principles of global geophysics. Four parts, taught over three weeks each in an order allowing the material to build up to form a final coherent picture of (how we know) the structure and evolution of the solid Earth: 1. Gravity and 2. Magnetism: the description and study of the Earth's magnetic and gravitational fields. 3. Seismology: body waves, surface waves and free oscillations. 4. Geodynamics: heat flow, cooling of the Earth, and mantle convection. The emphasis is on physical principles including the mathematical derivation and solution of the governing equations.
Instructors: Frederik Jozef Simons
Data, Models, and Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences
No more being puzzled by dots on a graph! This course is for those who want to turn observations into models and subsequently evaluate their uniqueness and uncertainty. Three main topics are: 1. Elementary inferential statistics, 2. Heuristic time series analysis, and 3. Model parameter estimation via matrix inverse methods. While the instructor's and textbook examples will be derived mostly from the physical sciences, students are encouraged to bring their own data sets for classroom discussion. Problem sets and MATLAB computer programming exercises form integral parts of the course. Prior programming experience is helpful but not required.
Instructors: Benjamin Eli Schaffer, Frederik Jozef Simons

Freshman Seminar

Fall 2020

FRS 161 Earth's Climate: A Tale of Many Weathers (STL (Tu & Th 3:000-4:20 PM)

INSTRUCTORS: Adam Maloof and Frederik Simons

In this Freshman Seminar, you will combine scientific field observations with modeling and interpretation in order to answer questions such as: How is the energy of Earth and the Sun harnessed in its various forms? What is the impact of agriculture and resource extraction on landscapes — and how do climate and topography influence what can be grown, what can be mined, where humans settle? How have civilizations through the ages reconciled opportunity and threat: of fertile volcanoes, powerful rivers, burning forests? How do we see societal issues through the lens of geology and geophysics? What are the influence of climate, topography, and geology on agricultural food production? What is the difference between weather and climate?

More details: Office of the Registrar