GEOL150 Climate Change A general education (Category E: Physical Sciences) undergraduate course introducing students to the fundamentals of natural and anthropogenic climate change. After briefly recalling the formation of the solar system, our planet and its fluid envelopes, we introduce the basic physics of the climate system, providing tools to understand climate variability (e.g. monsoons, El Niño), the greenhouse effect, and climate feedbacks. Building on this understanding, a succinct tour of Earth’s history helps paint a more complete picture of climate variations and how they interacted with human history. We highlight the anomalous character of recent climate change, establish its anthropogenic nature, discuss the root causes of this crisis, and potential solutions. Syllabus. Typically taught every Spring. Next taught: TBD
GEOL145 Lies, damn lies and statistics A general education (Category F: Quantitative Reasoning) undergraduate course introducing students to to evidence-based methods to form reliable judgements on any topic where quantitative measurements exist (write-up). The class starts with case studies where expert consensus and societal perceptions differ. Along the way, students learn the basics of statistics and data science and how to apply them to almost any problem. In so doing, they learn a bit about climate science, epidemiology, psychology, biology, and yes, maths. Finally, a series of case studies applies the quantitative reasoning skills to a number of contemporary controversies. Syllabus. Next taught: TBD
GEOL351 Climate Systems: A modular set of lectures and problem sets/labs aimed at teaching system-level behavior in the Earth’s outer fluid envelopes. Our emphasis is on climate dynamics and climate-related geosystems as a point of entry to understand complex (including human) systems. Topics include stability of the thermohaline circulation, icehouse/hothouse vacillations, faint Sun paradox, chaos and the Lorenz system, El Niño dynamics and predictability. Syllabus. Python-based practicums (Jupyter Notebooks) allow students to play with these high-level concepts in an intuitive way. Next taught: Spring 2022.
GEOL425 Data Analysis in the Earth & Environmental Sciences: Introduction to mathematical methods giving insight into Earth and Environmental data. Topics include: probability and statistics, timeseries analysis, spectral analysis, filtering, inverse theory, data reduction. Essential skills we teach are: Performing elementary calculations with real-world data; Visualizing data with error estimates and perform basic error propagation analyses; Computing and correctly interpreting a correlation coefficient; Computing, representing and correctly interpreting spectra; Performing basic linear regressions and least-squares fits; Being conversant with classic parametric and non-parametric statistical tests; Mastering basic data reduction techniques like principal component analysis; Applying a number of these tools to your own research. Syllabus. Next taught: Fall 2023.
GEOL515: Introduction to Atmospheric Science: Introduction to basic atmospheric phenomena. Aimed at entry-level graduate students in science and engineering with prior exposure to basic thermodynamics, mechanics and differential calculus. With instructor permission, the class is also open to undergraduate students who demonstrate prior knowledge of recommended preparation materials. Learning outcomes include: fundamentals of atmospheric thermodynamics, radiation, absorption and scattering, greenhouse effect, large-scale dynamical balances. The class lays out the fundamental physical principles underpinning our understanding of the atmosphere, works out traditional approximations, and ends with some applications to real-world problems like meteorological forecasting, anthropogenic global warming, and the ozone hole. Syllabus. Next taught: Fall 2022.
GEOL599: The Cutting Edge of Geosciences Research: A 2-unit graduate seminar to encourage engagement in cutting-edge, diverse geoscience research. Class meets twice per week for one hour, structured around a Monday afternoon lecture from a visiting speaker, or on some occasions from a USC faculty member. We walso meet the week prior to each lecture to discuss a paper recommended by the speaker. Main student responsibilities are to attend the weekly seminars, carefully read and critically assess related papers, identify & ask relevant questions, and participate in discussions. Syllabus. Next taught: Spring 2022.
- PaleoHackathon site and notebook practicums
- see the CyberPaleo blog and the LinkeEarth Twitter feed for announcements.