Spring Semester Courses Taught by BPCRC Researchers
EARTHSC 6750: Paleoclimatology
Instructor: Dr. Lonnie G. Thompson
Climate change is happening now and is expected to accelerate over the 21st century! Would you like to know more about past changes in Earth’s climate history and how these compare to the climate and environmental changes that Earth is experiencing today?
Class times: Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 – 10:50 am (177 Scott Hall, West Campus)
Overview: Climate change is expected to impact most aspects of life and the direction of science in the 21st century. This course is designed to provide students with a current overview of what we know and need to know about paleoclimate and climate change. Today paleoclimatology is vitally important given current concerns over the future global changes. The main objective of the course is to improve student understanding of the geological record of climate change and to explore what we know, as well as what we need to know, in order to better predict future global changes. This will be accomplished by interpreting actual records from ice, lake and marine cores, tree rings, corals, speleothems and historical records. We will examine these archival systems as recorders of abrupt climate changes that have occurred in the past and compare them to those occurring now. The class will discuss these past climate records as they relate to Elizabeth Kolbert’s New York Times bestseller “The Sixth Extinction” (2015) to explore the role of climate change as an emerging powerful causal agent in the evolution of civilization.
Textbook: Paleoclimatology, Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary by Raymond S. Bradley (Third Edition, 2015)
EARTHSCI 5650: Glaciology
Instructor: Ian Howat
For the first time in forever, announcing the return of this 4-credit hour course.
Class times: Monday and Wednesday, 1:50 – 3:10 pm
Overview: Here's some of the questions we'll tackle: Where and why do glaciers form? What makes ice flow? How does ice impact the landscape? How have ice sheets responded to climate in the past and how will they change in the future? What are the physics behind Elsa's powers? (just kidding) While investigating ice, we'll learn some widely-applicable skills like programming in Matlab, working with satellite imagery, and numerical modeling. This is a great class for anyone looking to brush up on their analytical and computational skills and/or who wants to build a giant ice palace.
Assignments: Reading text chapters and journal articles, weekly problem sets, computer labs, and a term paper and presentation on an icy topic you find especially cool. A screening of Frozen is optional.
Prerequisites: ES450/4450 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
Any questions? Don't let it go, please ask Ian Howat at email@example.com.