2011 - 2012 Earth Systems Science Courses

ESS 101 Introduction to Geography (3)
Focuses on special relationships and how human culture adapts to varied environments. Class includes how natural resources are utilized as a source of economic and political power. Students also learn how our natural resources are limited on a global scale.
ESS 110 Introduction to Geology, LE (3)
What are the processes and events that have made the earth look the way it does today? How long have these processes been going on? How different will the earth look in the future? In answering these questions, this course will not only introduce students to the basic principles of geology, but will also explore the problems inherent in the scientific study of the deep past. Students should take note: this class will make you see the world around you differently.
ESS 200/300 Special Topics in Earth Systems Science (1-4)
Meets the special needs of students interested in pursuing more advanced studies in geology, geography, physical and earth systems science. Topics may include specialized studies within geology such as mineralogy, field geology of Utah, paleontology, etc. Topics for study may also focus on specific global environmental issues such as climate change or bio-diversity loss. Advanced study of methods for studying earth systems such as GIS or remote sensing may also be done. Field-oriented courses, which focus on a specific geographic region, e.g., Africa, Latin America, Asia, may also be offered. Prerequisite for 300-level credit: ESS 110 or ESS 205.
ESS 205 Environmental Earth Sciences (4)
A study of the earth as a dynamic system focusing on the human dimensions of global change. Changes to the earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere through time will be explored, as will geologic risks and human impact on the globe.
ESS 214 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (3)
This course takes an in-depth look at how geologists use sedimentary rocks to interpret the changing nature of the earth's surficial environment. This class utilizes actualistic experiments and field studies in addition to traditional lectures and discussions. Topics include the physical nature of sediment and sedimentary environments (shelf, terrestrial, and carbonate); naming clastic and chemical sedimentary rocks; dating, correlation, and magnetostratigraphy; biostratigraphy and biogeography; and sequence stratigraphy.
ESS 315 Principles of Paleontology (4)
This course introduces the organisms that compose the fossil record as well as the methods that paleontologists use to reconstruct the life of the past. Topics include modes of preservation, classification and the species problem, biases of the fossil record, phylogenetic reconstructions, functional morphology, paleoecology, morphometric analyses, evolutionary developmental biology, evolutionary trends, and critical intervals in the history of life. Same as BIOL 315.
ESS 321 History of Life on Earth (3)
This course examines a number of fundamental questions about the history of this planet's biosphere. Questions include: how has the earth changed as an abode for life over the course of geologic time? How has life on earth changed over geologic time? Have there been significant interrelations between changes in the earth and changes in its biota? How can we scientifically study unique and unrepeatable events? Answers to these questions will give students a better understanding of not only the nature and history of our planet, but also of the methods used by scientists to study events in the deep past. Same as BIOL 321.
ESS 401 Directed Studies (1-4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Earth Systems Science Program. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor and school dean.