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School of Earth and Climate Sciences


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B.S. Requirements | B.A. Requirements | Minor Requirements | Graduate Study

Educational Philosophy | Learning Outcomes | Course Descriptions | Tentative Course Schedule

Undergraduate and graduate students are the cornerstone of our School and we take pride in the quality and relevance of our course offerings. In 2012 we divided our major into Climate Systems and Earth Systems concentrations to better reflect the choices in career paths that graduates will face as they seek careers and confront future Earth and Climate Science challenges. We look forward to seeing you in the classroom and on field trips whether you major, minor, or just take a few courses in Earth and Climate Sciences!

This page includes information needed for the major and minor; we update changes to our curriculum as they occur. We try to keep up with the University’s changes, too, but you’ll want to confirm the University’s requirements in the Catalog.

Education, particularly in the Earth and Climate Sciences, takes many forms, including opportunities outside the traditional class structure. We encourage students to be involved beyond the classroom by:

 

Learning Outcomes and Educational Philosophy

Our primary goal is to provide our majors with the following.

  1. The content knowledge necessary to excel professionally after graduation. Typical post-graduate positions include teaching, graduate school, corporate employment, and consulting.
  2. An understanding of Earth processes sufficient to solve future problems. That is, to enable students to face and overcome geoscience challenges we cannot yet anticipate.
  3. Opportunities to learn outside the classroom. This includes greater opportunities to engage in research and experiential education.

These goals manifest themselves in the following skill sets that constitute our learning outcomes for all majors.

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Undergraduate Program

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To earn a B.S. in Earth and Climate Sciences, you must complete the requirements of the core courses, including those in the supporting sciences, and those of one of the two concentrations (Earth Systems or Climate Systems), in addition to the University-wide requirements. Only courses for which you earn a C- or higher count toward the major.

Core
NFA 117
ERS 100 or 101 or 102 or 103
ERS 200, 201, 312, 315, 317, 499
MAT 126, 127, 232
CHY 121/123 and 122/124
PHY 111/112 or 121/122
COS 125 or 215 or 220 or ERS 230 or 350 or 420, or equiv.

Climate Systems
Required:
ERS 121, 240
SMS 100
BIO 100

Electives (choose 15 credits from the following list):
Geosphere
ERS 441
Atmosphere
ERS 323, 590
Biosphere/Anthrosphere
BIO 205, WLE 200, ANT 420, 435
Hydrosphere
ERS350, SMS302
Policy and resources
ERS369, SMS230, ECO 377, 381
Other
ERS498 (if on a climate topic)

General Education requirements in:
Western Cultural Tradition
Social Contexts
Cultural Diversity
Artistic and creative expression
Ethics
English Composition

Earth Systems
ERS 316 and 330
Plus 12 additional credits from ERS2xx and higher

General Education requirements in:
Western Cultural Tradition
Social Contexts
Cultural Diversity
Artistic and creative expression
Ethics
English Composition
Plus one additional course from the Gen Ed categories


To earn a B.A. in Earth and Climate Sciences, you must complete the following courses, in addition to the University-wide General Education and graduation requirements. Aside from the Gen Ed requirements, only courses for which you earn a C- or higher count toward the major. The College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture requires B.A. students to complete 27 credits in the Human Values and Social Context area with at least 12 credits at the 200 level or above. The College also requires B.A. students to complete a minimum of 72 credits outside the major. (If a particular major requires courses in another discipline, either within the same department or in another department, those credits may still count toward the 72 credits.)

Core
NFA 117
ERS 100, 101, 102, or 103
ERS 200 and 201
ERS 312, 315, 316, 317, 330

Electives
Must complete 12 credits of 200-level or higher ERS courses.

Supporting sciences (15 credits)
MAT 126
CHY 121/123
PHY 111 or 121

General Education requirements in:
Western Cultural Tradition
Social Contexts
Cultural Diversity
Artistic and creative expression
Ethics
English Composition
Plus one additional course from the Gen Ed categories

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To complete a minor in Earth and Climate Sciences, you must complete a minimum of 18 credits of courses in the department, no more than 8 of which are at the 1xx level. No grade below a C- will be accepted toward these requirements.

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Graduate Program

Like undergraduates, our graduate students are a vital component of our School’s success. We ask our students to become colleagues in our research, teaching, and outreach endeavors, and are always looking for motivated students to join us. Our graduate student body typically consists of 25-35 people, about half of whom are pursuing M.S. and the other half Ph.D. degrees. Student research interests span the spectrum of faculty expertise. Our graduates go on to similarly wide-ranging fields, including consulting, engineering, energy and mineral resources, academia, and government positions. We have a well-supported research infrastructure including several cutting-edge analytical facilities. Check out our Graduate Studies page for more on our school and campus life.

If you think UMaine may be a good match for you, please contact a possible faculty advisor in one of our research groups and ask about research projects and funding opportunities. You may also wish to view the Graduate School site for more information, including applications. The School’s Graduate Student Guide contains all the program requirements in PDF format. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Tentative Undergraduate Course Schedule

We teach many of our 300- and 400-level courses every other year, so you will need to look forward over your entire academic plan as you schedule courses each year. Course offerings do vary semester to semester from what is listed here depending on demand and faculty availability, but this is a general guide that we follow as closely as possible. Please check with other departments regarding their planned schedules.

Even-odd academic years (e.g., 2014-2015)
Fall of even years (e.g., Fall 2014)
NFA 117 – Issues and Opportunities
ERS 100 – An Introductory Survey of Geology
ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology
ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine
ERS 121 – Humans and Global Change
ERS 200 – Earth Systems
ERS 209 – Geology of Maine
ERS 315 – Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
ERS 369 – Energy Resources and Climate Change
ERS 420 – Computer Scripting for Data Analysis
ERS 433 – Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
ERS 441 – Glaciers and Our Landscape

Spring of odd years(e.g., Spring 2015)
ERS 100 – An Introductory Survey of Geology
ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology
ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine
ERS 103 – Dynamic Earth
ERS 108 – Beaches and Coasts
ERS 201 – Global Environmental Change
ERS 240 – The Atmosphere
ERS 312 – Geochemistry
ERS 350 – Fresh-Water Flow
ERS 451 – Tectonics

Odd-even academic years (e.g., 2015-2016)
Fall of odd years (e.g., Fall 2015)
NFA 117 – Issues and Opportunities
ERS 100 – An Introductory Survey of Geology
ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology
ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine
ERS 121 – Humans and Global Change
ERS 200 – Earth Systems
ERS 230 – Earth Science and Climate Geomatics
ERS 315 – Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
ERS 316 – Structural Geology
ERS 420 – Computer Scripting for Data Analysis
ERS 441 – Glaciers and Our Landscape

Spring of even years (e.g., Spring 2016)
ERS 100 – An Introductory Survey of Geology
ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology
ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine
ERS 103 – Dynamic Earth
ERS 108 – Beaches and Coasts
ERS 201 – Global Environmental Change
ERS 240 – The Atmosphere
ERS 317 – Introduction to Geophysics
ERS 330 – Mineralogy
ERS 340 – Economic Geology
ERS 350 – Fresh-Water Flow

Courses

Level: 100 | 200 | 300 | 400 | 500 | 600


ERS 100 – An Introductory Survey of Geology

An introduction for non-science majors to the main features and processes included in the science of geology. This course has two main goals: (1) To develop an appreciation by the students of the scientific method as applied by geologists, and (2) To develop in the students an appreciation of the aesthetic, social, political, environmental and economic aspects of the topics included in the study of geology. One field trip.

Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge Requirement. Lec 3.

Credits: 3


ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology

A study of earth materials and processes, including their impact on humans. Topics include mineralogy, formation of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, geologic time, weathering and soil formation, glaciation, deserts and desertification, coastlines, earthquakes and seismology, and evolution of mountain belts and plate tectonics. Laboratory work includes the study of rocks, minerals, topographic maps and aerial photographs in preparation for a one-day field trip to Acadia National Park. Satisfies the General Education Lab in the Basic or Applied Sciences Requirement. Lec 3, Lab 3.

Credits: 4


ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine

After developing an understanding of rocks, minerals and geologic time, the course explores the modern distribution of natural geologic resources that limit human activity and influence political and economic decision-making. Examines the impact of humans on the physical and chemical environment and subsequent impact on the biosphere, and geologic hazards. Ends with a detailed look at the terrestrial and marine geologic records related to climate change and explores hypotheses related to the mechanisms and rates of climate change. The emphasis in the course is on the Maine geologic environment. One-day field trip. Satisfies the General Education Laboratory in the Basic or Applied Sciences and Population and the Environment Requirements. Lec 3, Lab 3.

Credits: 4


ERS 103 – Dynamic Earth

Explores how Earth’s dynamic processes interact with humans by evaluating: the interplay between Earth’s interior, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere; the effects and underlying causes of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves and global warming; Earth’s economic and energy resources how they form and how long they will lasts; and the global environment and how best to interact with it. Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge and Population and the Environment Requirements. Lec 3.

Credits: 3


ERS 104 – Dinosaurs
A study of this fossil group emphasizing the paleontological methods scientists use to learn about the environments in which Dinosaurs evolved, lived, and their habits and behavior. Topics include: Origin, evolution, and characteristics of the principal groups of Dinosaurs, Dinosaur trace fossils, Behavior and biology, and controversial topics including “Warm-Blooded Dinosaurs”, the Origin of Birds, and Dinosaur Extinction. Two lectures plus one 2-hour laboratory each week, and a required field trip to the Triassic of the Connecticut River Valley and Dinosaur State Park. Laboratory and Field Trip.

Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge Requirement. Lec 2.

Prerequisites: ERS 101 recommended but not required.


ERS 108 – Beaches and Coasts

An introduction to coastal landforms, including beaches, salt marshes, tidal flats and sea cliffs, their origins, global distribution, and associated nearshore processes. Human impacts to the coastal zone, including coastal erosion, land loss and management, and human responses to sea-level change are considered. One day field trip. Lec 3. (This course is identical to SMS 108.) Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge and Population and the Environment Requirements.

Credits: 3


ERS 110 – Coastal Geology of New England and the Canadian Maritimes

Reviews the bedrock, glacial and coastal processes that formed the shoreline of New England and adjacent Canadian Provinces. The distinction between this region and the rest of the east coast of North America is developed. Stress is placed on understanding the integrated influence of bedrock, glacial and modern processes on the geomorphology of coastal regions. Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge and Population and the Environment Requirements. When taken with ERS 111, satisfies the Lab in the Basic or Applied Sciences Requirement.

Credits: 3


ERS 111 – Coastal Geology of New England and the Canadian Maritimes

Laboratory Students will apply concepts presented in ERS 110 to the analysis of shoreline locations within New England and the Maritimes. Topics will include topographic/bathymetric analysis, bedrock and surficial geology, modern processes that shape the coast, and human development and modification of the coastal zone. Satisfies the General Education Lab in the Basic or Applied Sciences when taken with ERS 110.

Prerequisites & Notes: None.

Corequisite: ERS 110.

Credits: 1


ERS 121 – Humans and Global Change

Explores how Earth’s climate system works and how past environmental changes affected humans on time scales ranging from interannual to hundreds of thousands of years. Topics will range from the development of agriculture at the beginning of the current interglaciation to how humans are now changing global climate through the addition of greenhouses gases to the atmosphere. Satisfies the General Education Population and the Environment Requirement.

Credits: 3


ERS 191 – Energy in the Earth System
Explores the Earth Science concepts that underlie energy, energy sources, distribution, and flow. We will consider the ways in which society interacts with and extracts energy from the Earth System, the climate and environmental implications of energy use, and gain an understanding of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge and Population and the Environment Requirements.

Credits: 3


ERS 200 – Earth Systems

A survey of dynamic topics in earth sciences, emphasizing active participation in on-going faculty research in topics such as: global climite change, changing sea levels, geochemical cycles, plate tectonics and mountain building, and the geological evolution of the northern Appalachians. Multiple field trips and ideal for students with interest in studying or teaching earth sciences. Satisfies the General Education Lab in the Basic or Applied Sciences Requirement. Lec 3, Lab 3.

Prerequisites & Notes: any 100-level UMaine Earth Sciences course.

Credits: 4


ERS 201 – Global Environmental Change

Examines the physical and chemical interactions among the primary systems operating at the Earth’s surface (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) on various timescales throughout geologic history. We will consider internal and external forces that have shaped environmental evolution, including the role of humans in recent geochemical and climatic change. During lecture and laboratory sessions, our goals are to develop critical thinking skills and a scientific approach to the complex array of feedbacks operating at the Earth’s surface, as well as an appreciation for how past environmental change informs current societal issues. This course satisfies the Science Applications and Population & Environment General Education requirements.

Prerequisites: any 100-level Earth Sciences course.

Credits: 4 (lecture and laboratory)


ERS 209 – Geology of Maine

An introduction to the minerals, rocks, groundwater, coastline, geomorphology, geological history, and geoenvironmental problems of Maine. Three weekend field trips.

Prerequisites: ERS 100, 101, 102, or 103 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 3


ERS 210 – Geology Applied to Engineering

Focuses on the interaction between humans and geologic environment at and near the Earth’s surface. Humans must use the Earth’s resources, but wise use of these resources require a basic understanding of Earth materials and near-surface processes. This understanding begins with the physical and chemical characterization of rock and sediment and applies these properties to environmental geology processes and engineering geology problems. A separate (optional) laboratory session may be taken concurrent with this class. Satisfies the General Education Population and the Environment requirement. Satisfies the General Education Applications of Scientific Knowledge requirement when taken without ERS 211. Together with ERS 211, this course satisfies the General Education Lab in the Basic or Applied Sciences requirement.

Prerequisites & Notes: MAT 122

Credits: 3


ERS 211 – Geology Applied to Engineering Lab

Laboratory Focuses on assessing environmental and geologic data and evaluating the natural physical and chemical processes that interface with human activites. Spreadsheet (or similar) software is used to analyze environmental data to quantitatively assess these processes and problems. Together with ERS 210, this course satisfies the General Education Lab in the Basic or Applied Sciences requirement.

Prerequisites & Notes: MAT 122

Corequisite: ERS 210

Credits: 1


ERS 221 – Geologic Problems I

Students conduct an original investigation and report findings. May not normally be used as a required geology elective. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites & Notes: permission of instructor.

Credits: 1-3


ERS 230 – Earth and Climate Science Geomatics
This course will provide an introduction to the collection, display, manipulation and management of geospatial information. The focus will be on modern tools, techniques and methodologies commonly used by earth and environmental scientists. The course will be divided into surveying and mapping (including GPS), satellite remote sensing, and geographical information systems (GIS). Lec. 2.5 hr, Lab 3hr.

Prerequisites: ERS 101 and ERS 102 and ERS 103 or ERS 108 or SMS 108 or permission of instructors.

Credits: 4


ERS 240 – The Atmosphere

The nature of planetary atmospheres, physical processes in the atmosphere, clouds and precipitation, global climate, seasons, natural and anthropogenic climate change, forecasting of storms. Satisfies the General Education Laboratory in the Basic or Applied Sciences Requirement. Lec 3, Lab 2.

Credits: 4


ERS 312 – Geochemistry

Introduction to the field of geochemistry, from Earth formation to modern processes in the deep Earth and at the surface. We will investigate the chemistry of many Earth materials, including rocks, soils, surface and ground waters, and oceans.

Prerequisites: ERS 100 or ERS 101 or ERS 102 or ERS 103; and CHY 121/123

Credits: 3


ERS 315 – Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Basic concepts and techniques of stratigraphy and sedimentation. Field trips to local environments and outcrops. Laboratories emphasize practical analytical techniques of sedimentology, petrography of sedimentary rocks in hand specimens and thin section, and modern stratigraphic approaches. Satisfies the General Education Writing Intensive Requirement. Lec 3, Lab 3.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 101 or ERS 102 and MAT 232 or permission.

Credits: 4

 


ERS 316 – Structural Geology

Explores the principles of structural geology, with emphasis on the geometry, kinematics and dynamics of Earth deformation. Includes several field trips with the aim of integrating field observations and theory. Satisfies the General Education Writing Intensive requirement.

Prerequisite: ERS 200

Credits: 4


ERS 317 – Introduction to Geophysics

Introduction to geophysical studies of the Earth. Seismological, gravity, magnetic, electrical and geothermal studies of the Earth’s lithosphere are emphasized. Field exercises on one afternoon of selected weeks; course problem solving requires spread sheeting/ graphical applications using available personal computers.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 101 or ERS 102, MAT 126, and PHY 111; or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 323 – Extreme Weather

Extreme weather is analyzed in terms of its physical basis as well as historical, economic and human consequences. Emphasis is placed on the interplay between technological advances, the evolution of meteorology as a science, and the impacts of extreme weather (winter storms, severe thunderstorms, tornados, tropical storms, El Nino, floods, droughts, heatwaves, cold waves).

Prerequisites
Recommended: ERS 140 or ERS 121

Credits: 3

Credits: 3


ERS 330 – Mineralogy

Examination of fundamental aspects of the materials that record Earth history and the processes that shape the planet. Through a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, and other active-learning exercises, we explore how minerals form, their structure and composition, and their physical and chemical properties. Through discussions and presentations, we explore the intersection of minerals and society, including industrial applications and modern environmental issues. Throughout the course, we relate mineralogy to geologic processes and other fields of Earth Science. Lec 3, Lab 2.

Prerequisites: ERS200 or 201 or by permission; CHY121 and MAT126 recommended.

Credits: 4


ERS 340 – Economic Geology
This course examines the geological characteristics of metallic and industrial mineral deposits, the geological environments and processes responsible for their genesis, the methods used in their discovery and extraction, and the challenges of environmentally responsible reclamation of extraction sites.

Prerequisites: ERS 330 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 350 – Fresh-Water Flow

Fresh-Water Flow focuses on characterizing fresh-water hydrologic systems (Lakes, Rivers, ground water, etc) and the fluxes of water between these reservoirs. Rates of precipitation, evaporation, channelized flow, overland flow, and infiltration are calculated and used to assess watershed hydrology.

Prerequisite: MAT 122

Credits: 3


ERS 369 – Energy Resources and Climate Change

Explores the energy resources used by humans and their climate and environmental implications. Reviews sustainable versus unsustainable energy technologies, predicted trends in local and global climate and environmental conditions, and policies arising from increasing energy demands in a world with limited resources and rapid population growth.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level ERS course or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 420 – Computer Applications in Earth Science

Computer Applications in Earth Science will focus on using computers as a tool to solve problems in the Earth Sciences. This course will include a basic review of mathematical topics and will explore computer methods that are particularly relevant in the Earth Sciences. Students will learn to use an interpreted computer language (Python, Matlab, or similar software) to perform calculations, evaluate data sets, create complex graphs, and simulate simple systems.

Prerequisites: MAT 126 and MAT 127.

Credits: 3


ERS 433 – Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Using field relationships, rock textures, and chemical systems, we take a qualitative and quantitative system-based approach to exploring rock-forming processes within Earth’s crust and mantle. In keeping with the fact that modern understanding of igneous and metamorphic processes requires use of microscopes and microanalysis, students will use petrographic and electron microscopes to make observations and gather data related to mineral chemistry and textures in preparation for later analysis. This course also develops aspects of scientific methodology, including classification schemes and data collection, management, and analysis. Several weekend field trips are required.

Prerequisite: ERS 330

Credits: 4


ERS 441 – Glaciers and Our Landscape

Explores the nature of the ice ages, including the work of glaciers and how they shape the earth’s surface. Emphasis is on understanding the processes that resulted in the landscape and sediments we see today. Required field trips. Satisfies the General Education Population and the Environment and Writing Intensive Requirements.

Prerequisites & Notes: Any 100-level earth sciences course.

Credits: 3


ERS 451 – Tectonics

Exploration of the plate tectonic mechanisms that control and modify the first-order features of Earth’s surface. We consider how the movement of the uppermost 100-200 km of our planet creates the topographic features and patterns in the continents and oceans. One weekend field trip.

Prerequisites: any 200-level ERS course or permission

Credits: 3


ERS 491 – Introduction to Meteorology and Climatology
The climatic system, survey of atmospheric behavior and climatic change; meteorological measurements and analysis; formulation of physical principles governing weather and climate with selected applications to small and large scale phenomena. (ERS 491 and ERS 591 are identical courses.)

Prerequisites: MAT 126 and PHY 112 or PHY 122 or permission

Credits: 3


ERS 498 – Undergraduate Thesis

Original research in geological sciences. The research problem must be identified prior to the start of the senior year and may be of an experimental, empirical or theoretical approach. A committee of three or more faculty will supervise the thesis and its defense. Satisfies the General Education Capstone Experience Requirement.

Prerequisites & Notes: Senior standing.

Credits: 3


ERS 499 – Summer Field Camp

Participants must attend an approved five- or six-week geological field camp run by an American university. To be approved, the camp must emphasize techniques of field geology, which typify the work of professionals within the discipline. It must also provide a synthesis of core components of the Department’s undergraduate curriculum. Within three months of returning to the University of Maine from field camp, a written report and 30-minute oral presentation are required by each participant describing how the activities engaged in at the field camp promoted this synthesis. Satisfies the General Education Capstone Experience Requirement.

Prerequisites & Notes: Senior standing.

Credits: 6


ERS 521 – Low Temperature-Pressure Geochemistry

Algebraic and graphical analysis of water-mineral interactions at earth surface conditions. Topics include congruent and incongruent solubility, complexing, redox reactions, ion exchange, coprecipitation, chemical precipitation, evaporation, and diffusion.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHY 121, MAT 126.

Credits: 3


ERS 524 – Aqueous Terrestrial Geochemistry

A survey of earth surface or near surface processes involving chemical reactions between rocks, organic matter and water. Topics include soil genesis, supergene enrichment, nutrient cycling, ground water evolution, and river and lake chemistry and cycles.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 521 or SMS 520.

Credits: 2


ERS 527 – Isotope Geology

Theory of variations in the relative abundances of naturally occurring radioactive and stable isotopes. Applications will emphasize the use of isotopic tracers in studies of petrogenesis, geochronology, paleoceanography and paleoecology.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 333 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 532 – Advanced Sedimentology

Advanced concepts of sedimentology: hydrodynamics of sediment transport and deposition, origin and characteristics of the major sedimentary rock types, facies analysis and modern stratigraphic approaches. Laboratories emphasize textural analysis, numerical and computer applications, and sequence stratigraphy. Research paper and verbal presentation required. Lec 3, Lab 3.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 315, SMS 270 or permission.

Credits: 4


ERS 534 – Coastal Sedimentology

Covers principles of sedimentary processes in the coastal zone and the resultant coastal geomorphology, three-dimensional sedimentary bodies, stratigraphic sequences and evolution of coastal systems through geologic history. Emphasis on modern coastal systems such as estuaries, beaches, barrier-lagoon complexes, and rocky coasts. Lec 3, Lab 2.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 315 or permission.

Credits: 4


ERS 541 – Glaciers and Our Landscape
Explores the nature of the ice ages, including the work of glaciers and how they shape the earth’s surface. Emphasis is on understanding the processes that resulted in the landscape and sediments we see today. Required field trips. (ERS 441 and 541 are identical courses and cannot both be taken for degree credit.)

General Education Requirements: Satisfies the General Education Population and the Environment and Writing Intensive Requirements.

Prerequisites: Any 100 level ERS course or Graduate Standing

Credits: 3


ERS 542 – Quaternary Environments and Climatic Change

Study of the physical environments of the Quaternary Period with special emphasis on ice-age theories, world-wide terrestrial and marine glacial stratigraphy, paleoclimatology, and effects of environment on society. One weekend field trip. Lec 2, Lab 2.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 541 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 544 – Glaciology

A study of the dynamics of ice sheets including creep deformation of ice and the interaction between a glacier and its bed, numerical methods for modeling advance and retreat of ice sheets during times of climatic change, glacial erosion and deposition. Lec 3.

Prerequisites & Notes: MAT 127, COS 210 or COS 220 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 545 – Glaciology Laboratory

Experiments in creep deformation.

Credits: 1


ERS 547 – The Role of Continental Glaciers in Global Climate Change

Integrates critical aspects of glacial geology and glaciology to better understand the configuration and dynamics of paleo continental glaciers. Examines the role of ice sheet dynamics in long term and abrupt global climate change. Landscape features used to diagnose such ice sheet changes are found in many areas as well as in Maine. Examples of critical features will be examined during field trips.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 441 or equivalent, MAT 126 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 547 – The Role of Continental Glaciers in Global Climate Change
Integrates critical aspects of glacial geology and glaciology to better understand the configuration and dynamics of paleo continental glaciers. Examines the role of ice sheet dynamics in long term and abrupt global climate change. Landscape features used to diagnose such ice sheet changes are found in many areas as well as in Maine. Examples of critical features will be examined during field trips.

Prerequisites: ERS 441 or equivalent, MAT 126 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 552 – Geomorphology Emphasis

on physical geomorphic processes and how these processes control landform development and evolution. Topics include drainage networks, rivers, slopes, shore processes, weathering, soils, mass movement, glacial landforms, arid region landforms and climate change.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 315 or permission.

Credits: 2-3


ERS 553 – The Quaternary Stratigraphic Record
Explores cutting-edge hypotheses for Quaternary climate change. Presents records used to develop and test these hypotheses.

Prerequisites: Graduate major in Earth Sciences or Quaternary and Climate Studies or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 555 – Microstructural Processes

An examination of deformation mechanisms and resulting microstructures in rocks, use of prophyroblast-matrix relationships to determine timing relations between deformation and metamorphism and interpretation of kinematic indicators that form during rock deformation. Lec 2, Lab 2.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 333, ERS 416.

Credits: 3


ERS 578 – Metamorphic Petrology

A study of the genesis of metamorphic rocks with emphasis on the regional petrologic and geologic history of a metamorphic terrain, the procedures for ascertaining the pressure and temperature prevailing during metamorphism, and a detailed consideration of the composition of fluid and volatile phases participating in the metamorphic mineral reactions. Lec 3, Lab 4.

Credits: 4


ERS 580 – Introduction to Hydrogeology

The role of groundwater in geologic processes: the hydrologic cycle, groundwater transport equations, chemical evolution of groundwater, and groundwater as a geologic agent.

Prerequisites & Notes: ERS 101 or ERS 102, MAT 127.

Credits: 3


ERS 588 – Topics in Applied Hydrogeology

Topics will vary and will include ground-water flow modeling, ground-water chemistry and modeling, and data analysis in hydrogeology. A discussion of the methods behind computational tools used in hydrogeology will be followed by the application of software. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites & Notes: COS 101, COS 102, COS 103, ERS 580 and MAT 127 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 3


ERS 591 – Introduction to Meteorology and Climatology

The climatic system, survey of atmospheric behavior and climatic change; meteorological measurements and analysis; formulation of physical principles governing weather and climate with selected applications to small and large scale phenomena. (ERS 491 and ERS 591 are identical courses.)

Prerequisites & Notes: MAT 126, PHY 112 or PHY 122 or permission.

Credits: 3


ERS 601 – Selected Study in Geology I

Tutorial course. Specific topics determined by the instructor’s area of expertise.

Prerequisites & Notes: permission.

Credits: 1-2


ERS 602 – Selected Study in Geology II

Tutorial course. Specific topics determined by the instructor’s expertise.

Prerequisites & Notes: permission.

Credits: Ar


ERS 699 – Graduate Thesis

Research Graduate Thesis

Credits: Ar

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Contact Information

School of Earth and Climate Sciences
5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center
Orono, ME 04469-5790
Phone: (207) 581-2152 | Fax: (207) 581-2202E-mail: dianne.perro@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1865