Quaternary Paleoclimate and Paleoecology
(GEOL423/823; BIOS436/836) Fall term – even years
In this course we discuss current issues in Quaternary ecology and climate. The first few weeks of the course are devoted to an overview of basic principles necessary to understand biological, geological, and atmospheric dynamics, so that people in the course with diverse backgrounds can have a common foundation for understanding literature on the Quaternary. The majority of the course is devoted to reading and discussing the primary literature. I lecture during the first few weeks of the course to give some basic background information and also give some mini lectures throughout the semester to introduce some of the reading topics. But during most class sessions, students are responsible for conducting discussions.
(GEOL424/824; BIOS 438/838) Fall term – odd years
This course examines how various elements, such as nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, silica, sulfur, and metals are cycled at the earth’s surface. Thus, we examine how the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere interact. We look at how geochemical constituents are cycled at a variety of spatial scales, ranging from the molecular to global. We consider modern processes, as well as biogeochemical cycling over the course of earth history and how this has influenced the evolution of the modern landscape. The emphasis of the course is on “natural” processes, but we also consider how human activities have influenced biogeochemical cycles.
(GEOL457/857; BIOS 457/857)
The dynamics of contemporary ecosystems, including species interactions and the cycling of energy and elements. This course is team taught by Jean Knops (BIOS), Sheri Fritz (GEOS), and Dave Wedin (SNR).
Seminar in Quaternary Geology
(GEOL956) Fall term
This seminar considers topical issues in Quaternary geology and paleoclimate. Topics change from year to year.
(GEOL308; NRES308) Fall term
An undergraduate course that considers the factors that affect the distribution of plants and animals in space and time.