Teaching Textbook Publications Curriculum Vitae Activities


EPSc 130: Ring of Fire - Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Plate Tectonics

Presentation of plate tectonics and physical processes shaping the Earth, using the band of recurring earthquakes and volcanoes ("Ring of Fire") that borders the Pacific Ocean as a primary example. Use of plate tectonics to explain origins of continents, oceans, mountains, and effects on evolution of life. Impact of earthquakes and volcanoes on human society. Concept of deep time-evolution of Earth from Big Bang origin of the universe up to the present.



EPSc 201: Earth and the Environment

Study of Earth as a dynamic, evolving planet. Rocks, minerals, fossils, and geologic features examined with emphasis on their use in understanding events that have shaped our world. Earth's interior as revealed by seismic waves, creation and destruction of ocean floors, building of continents and mountain ranges, volcanism, historical development of Earth and its life-forms. Earth's surface as it is being shaped by a variety of geological forces, with a focus on human interactions with the environment.



EPSc 203S: Critical Earth Issues
[This is an online course as part of the Semester Online Consortium]

The course will be a presentation of the critical issues currently facing humanity and its sustainability on Earth. Humans have always had a dualistic relationship with Earth, both relying upon it for its many natural resources and fearing it for its natural hazards. In addition, humans are now in the position of being the largest agent of geologic change on the planet's surface. This course will focus on current and relevant topics that are of significant societal importance: energy resources, such as coal and natural gas; water and mineral availability; natural hazards, such as hurricanes and earthquakes; human impacts to different Earth systems; and changing climates. The course will take an Earth Systems Science approach to the content, emphasizing the interconnections and feedbacks between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and anthroposphere.



EPSc 210: Epic of Evolution
[Taught with Claude Bernard (Physics) and Ursula Goodenough (Biology).]

The evolution of the Universe, the Earth, and life, woven together. Themes of complexity, scale, chaos and entropy applied to the Big Bang, origin of matter, formation of the Earth, geological history, origin of life, and evolution of species. The discussion sections will explore the implication of the scientific epic upon philosophy, religion, literature, history, art, and ethics.



EPSc 219: Energy and the Environment

The course will examine the topic of energy from many human-relevant perspectives. Humans use an enormous amount of energy, at the staggering rate of 18 terawatts. Where does this energy come from? How long will it last? What are the consequences? This course will examine these questions and look at energy resources and their consumption from scientific, social, economic, and political viewpoints. The course will first examine what energy is, as well its relation to other concepts such as heat, work, and power. We will then look at the way that energy is used by society. We will examine the different sources of energy, their availabilities, the pros and cons of using them, their consequences, and their futures.


EPSc 353: Earth Forces

This course is designed to provide students with a clear, exciting and intuition-based understanding of the complex and interconnected structure and evolution of Earth. It is designed to address topics usually taught under the domain of "geophysics," (thus the title, "Earth Forces"), and is designed to complement the other undergraduate foundations course, "Earth Materials," E&PS 352. This course is designed to be able to be taken and enjoyed by three different categories of students: 1) Geology majors who plan to take higher-level geophysics courses, 2) Geology majors who do not plan to take higher-level geophysics courses, and 3) Engineering majors and students majoring in other sciences.

Introduction powerpoint.

Gravity powerpoint.

Magnetism powerpoint.

Seismology powerpoint.


EPSc 452: Introduction to Seismology

Introduction to earthquake and exploration seismology. Examination of seismic wave propagation, data analysis and processing, earthquake mechanisms, seismic constraints on the structure of the Earth, and relationship of seismicity to plate tectonics. See more information on the textbook designed especially for this class at the textbook web site.


EPSc 453: Interior of the Earth

The interior structure, composition, and dynamics of Earth's interior is explored in this seminar-style class. The first half of the course focuses on the upper mantle, and the second half focuses on the lower mantle and core. The classes consist of a mixture of lectures on fundamental concepts, discussions about current and relevant topics, and student-led examinations of current research papers. The course investigates radial and 3-D models of Earth's chemistry, mineralogy, thermal structure, density, elastic parameters, and convection.


EPSc 559: Geodynamics

Geodynamics deals with the fundamental physical processes necessary for an understanding of plate tectonics and a variety of geological phenomena. Topics include heat flow, gravity, elasticity and flexure, and the rheology of Earth materials.

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences Washington University in St. Louis