Examination of evidence that supports or refutes various perspectives on global environmental change, with a foundation in the principles that govern the fundamental underlying processes. Example topics include climate change (warming, cooling, neutral), population growth (how many, how fast), and loss of natural resources (diversity). Topics explored through selected readings from the natural and social sciences. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS.
Introduction to physical principles of remote sensing across electromagnetic spectrum and application to the study of Earth's systems (oceans, atmosphere, and land). Topics: interaction of light with materials, imaging principles and interpretation, methods of data analysis. Laboratory work in digital image analysis, classification, and multi-temporal studies. One field trip to Block Island. Prerequisites: MATH 0090, 0100; PHYS 0060; background courses in natural sciences; or permission of the instructor.
Strategies and the physical principles behind the quantitative extraction of geophysical and biophysical measurements from remotely sensed data. Advanced methods of digital image processing and data integration. Introduction to Geographical Imaging Systems (GIS) and methods of integrating remotely sensed data into a GIS framework. Prerequisites: GEOL 1330 or 1710; MATH 0100; PHYS 0060, or instructor permission.
What are planetary crusts? How do they form? What mineralogic, petrologic, and structural characteristics are shared among the terrestrial planets, moons and asteroids and what ones are unique to a single body? We will examine the characteristics of crusts of the terrestrial planets, the Moon, Vesta, Ceres and several satellites of the giant planets. We will explore questions such as when and how do planets and moons develop primary crusts? How have they been characterized (samples, remote sensing, and in-situ)? What are the major processes that affect planetary crusts and their formation,? We will consider new data from MESSENGER for Mercury, MER and MSL data for Mars, and Dawn for Vesta, as well as well accepted older data for the other planets and moons.