Long-term Environmental Change
Geography 430/530: Fall 2018
10:00-11:20 T/Th, 206 Condon Hall
Instructor: Prof. Dan Gavin, email@example.com, 110 Condon Hall, 6-5787, office hours: T.B.D., or by appointment.
Course overview: Climate and the pattern of life on Earth has changed continuously for millions of years resulting in the landscapes we know today. Records of past environmental changes have been assembled from a variety of different paleoenivronmental indicators. This course focuses on the methods used for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, how Earth's climate has varied over a range of different time scales, how the biota, especially vegetation, has varied in concert with climate, and the theories that have emerged to explain those variations. Emphasis will be placed on data synthesis and use of models to help understand the mechanisms underlying change in natural systems. The main course activity will be writing of a well-researched summary of the environmental changes experienced over time in a region.
Prerequisites: Geog 321 (Climatology) Geog 322 (Geomorphology) or Geog 323 (Biogeography)
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
Format and grading: Lectures and discussions in class. Grade is based on a mid-term and final exam, a minimum of four "reading reactions", and a research paper that summarizes the environmental changes (of at least 500 years) occurring in a particular location, and in-class participation. Field trips will be centered on sampling trees for developing long tree-ring records of past climate (Olympic trip) or sampling a bog to obtain a post-glacial record of changing vegetation.
Final grade will be computed as:
Academic dishonesty policies will be enforced according to the Student Conduct Code.