The Earth Sciences is one of the most exciting and diverse disciplines in the field of science, and given future climate projections and energy needs, the demand for well educated Earth Scientists is ever growing.  This is fantastic news for future scientists, particularly those who enjoy the outdoors and want to pursue a degree that combines both learning and play.  The Earth Sciences is also unique in that no other field in science integrates more subjects, and because of this there is plenty of room for budding young physicists, chemists, mathematicians, engineers, biologists, geologists, oceanographers, and geographers to make their own mark in the field.  Below is a listing of courses that are taught within the Paleoclimate and Geochronology Lab.

Geosc/AOS 140: Natural Hazards and Disasters

Natural hazards abound on the planet. From enormously tragic disasters such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake or the 2011 tsunami in Japan, to storms and flooding like Hurricane Harvey, to local calamities such as landslides and sinkholes, there are a lot of ways that the earth is trying to do us in. This course will examine a range of hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, and even asteroid impacts. We will explore what actually happens in each of these types of events – the real story of the physical causes, not the Hollywood version. We will answer questions like “Why is it that scientists can predict the path and strength of a hurricane in detail, but can’t seem to predict earthquakes at all?” The cost in life and property of the resulting disasters is growing as human population and the complexity of the built environment both increase. The course will address the ways in which uncertainty is addressed and quantified through probabilistic hazard analysis, forecasting, and mitigation strategies.  We will study how governments, insurance companies, and even individuals can evaluate the risk to life and property and plan rational, science-based response. By the end of the course, students will understand the underlying processes causing natural disasters and how to use methods and tools to forecast their likelihood and their damaging effects.  Co-taught with Bradley Singer.

Geosc/AOS 102: Climate and Climate Change

This course will introduce students to the basic climate principles governing the climate system. The course will cover topics on climate and climate variability at present, climate evolution in the past, and the projected climate change into the future. It will also cover scientific principles underlying the natural and anthropogenic greenhouse effect and how climate model forecasts are elucidated. Co-taught with Marianne Haseloff.

Geosc/Geog/EnvSci 335: Climatic Environments of the Past

This course covers a number of aspects related to both modern and “paleo” climate of the past 2 Million years, and delves into how the changing climate has effected a number of different Earth spheres (e.g. Ice, Ocean, Climate, Biology).  By the end of the course students will be able to explain the major climatic events and trends during the Quaternary, spanning timescales from the last 2,000,000 years to the last 1,000 years, and be able to explain the physical processes controlling the behavior of the earth system and its related components (atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, biosphere, etc.) and articulate how climatic variability results from a combination of external forcings and internal dynamics within the earth system.

Geosc 420: Glacial and Pleistocene Geology

This course has three parts. The first segment will focus on glaciology, the study of the physical principles underlying the behavior of glaciers and ice sheets. The second part will focus on glacial geomorphology and the different types of landforms left behind through glacial processes. The third part will focus on Pleistocene geology and glaciers’ interactions with climate. This class should allow you to explain many of the features you see at the surface of Wisconsin. Both how the feature was formed and what that feature can tell us about the glacier that shaped the region. Co-taught with Lucas Zoet.

Geosc 875: Broader Impacts of Science

This advanced seminar course explores the criteria for broader impacts and the ways in which
student research can contribute to society and the achievement of desired societal outcomes.  This class is organized as a roundtable-style seminar focused on discussion. There will also be numerous visitors to contribute their expertise on various broader impact components and show real- life examples.  The major deliverable you’ll produce in this course is a detailed plan and implementation of a broader impact activity.

Geosc 920: Glacial and Pleistocene Geology Seminar

An exploration of modern glacial geology, glaciology, and Quaternary geology literature. Course includes a single weekend field trip to explore the local glacial geology in Wisconsin.  Co-taught with Lucas Zoet.