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3.12: Teaching and Learning About Mass Extinctions - Geosciences


Let's take some time to reflect on what we've covered in this lesson!

Teaching/Learning Discussion Activity

Directions

For this activity, I want you to reflect on what we've covered in this lesson and to consider how you might adapt these materials to your own classroom. Since this is a discussion activity, you will need to enter the discussion forum more than once in order to read and respond to others' postings. This discussion is scheduled to run during the last week of this lesson.

Submitting your work

  1. Enter the "Teaching and Learning About Mass Extinctions" discussion forum
  2. Post your thoughts about and reflections on this lesson. What content was new? What science skills did you think I was trying to emphasize? What are some of the ways you teach these skills?
  3. Read postings by other EARTH 501 students, too, and respond to at least one other posting by asking for clarification, asking a follow-up question, expanding on what has already been said, etc.

Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe, 2nd Edition

The revised and updated second edition of Astrobiology offers an introductory text that explores the structure of living things, the formation of the elements required for life in the Universe, the biological and geological history of the Earth, and the habitability of other planets. Written by a noted expert on the topic, the book examines many of the major conceptual foundations in astrobiology, which cover a diversity of traditional fields including chemistry, biology, geosciences, physics, and astronomy.

The book explores many profound questions such as: How did life originate on Earth? How has life persisted on Earth for over three billion years? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? What is the future of life on Earth? Astrobiology is centered on investigating the past and future of life on Earth by looking beyond Earth to get the answers. Astrobiology links the diverse scientific fields needed to understand life on our own planet and, potentially, life beyond. This new second edition:

  • Expands on information about the nature of astrobiology and why it is useful
  • Contains a new chapter &ldquoWhat is Life?&rdquo that explores the history of attempts to understand life
  • Contains 20% more material on the astrobiology of Mars, icy moons, the structure of life, and the habitability of planets
  • New &lsquoDiscussion Boxes&rsquo to stimulate debate and thought about key questions in astrobiology
  • New review and reflection questions for each chapter to aid learning
  • New boxes describing the careers of astrobiologists and how they got into the subject
  • Offers revised and updated information throughout to reflect the latest advances in the field

Written for students of life sciences, physics, astronomy and related disciplines, the updated edition of Astrobiology is an essential introductory text that includes recent advances to this dynamic field.


Artificial Intelligence Discovers Surprising Patterns in Earth’s Biological Mass Extinctions

A new study applies machine learning to the fossil record to visualize life’s history, showing the impacts of major evolutionary events. This shows the long-term evolutionary and ecological impacts of major events of extinction and speciation. Colors represent the geological periods from the Tonian, starting 1 billion years ago, in yellow, to the current Quaternary Period, shown in green. The red to blue color transition marks the end-Permian mass extinction, one of the most disruptive events in the fossil record. Credit: J. Hoyal Cuthill and N. Guttenberg

The idea that mass extinctions allow many new types of species to evolve is a central concept in evolution, but a new study using artificial intelligence to examine the fossil record finds this is rarely true, and there must be another explanation.

Charles Darwin’s landmark opus, On the Origin of the Species, ends with a beautiful summary of his theory of evolution, “There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

In fact, scientists now know that most species that have ever existed are extinct. This extinction of species has on the whole been roughly balanced by the origination of new ones over Earth’s history, with a few major temporary imbalances scientists call mass extinction events. Scientists have long believed that mass extinctions create productive periods of species evolution, or “radiations,” a model called “creative destruction.” A new study led by scientists affiliated with the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at Tokyo Institute of Technology used machine learning to examine the co-occurrence of fossil species and found that radiations and extinctions are rarely connected, and thus mass extinctions likely rarely cause radiations of a comparable scale.

Creative destruction is central to classic concepts of evolution. It seems clear that there are periods in which suddenly many species suddenly disappear, and many new species suddenly appear. However, radiations of a comparable scale to the mass extinctions, which this study, therefore, calls the mass radiations, have received far less analysis than extinction events.

This study compared the impacts of both extinction and radiation across the period for which fossils are available, the so-called Phanerozoic Eon. The Phanerozoic (from the Greek meaning “apparent life”), represents the most recent

550-million-year period of Earth’s total

4.5 billion-year history, and is significant to paleontologists: before this period most of the organisms that existed were microbes that didn’t easily form fossils, so the prior evolutionary record is hard to observe.

The new study suggests creative destruction isn’t a good description of how species originated or went extinct during the Phanerozoic, and suggests that many of the most remarkable times of evolutionary radiation occurred when life entered new evolutionary and ecological arenas, such as during the Cambrian explosion of animal diversity and the Carboniferous expansion of forest biomes. Whether this is true for the previous

3 billion years dominated by microbes is not known, as the scarcity of recorded information on such ancient diversity did not allow a similar analysis.

Paleontologists have identified a handful of the most severe, mass extinction events in the Phanerozoic fossil record. These principally include the big five mass extinctions, such as the end-Permian mass extinction in which more than 70% of species are estimated to have gone extinct. Biologists have now suggested that we may now be entering a “Sixth Mass Extinction,” which they think is mainly caused by human activity including hunting and land-use changes caused by the expansion of agriculture. A commonly noted example of the previous “Big Five” mass extinctions is the Cretaceous-Tertiary one (usually abbreviated as “K-T,” using the German spelling of Cretaceous) which appears to have been caused when a meteor hit Earth

65 million years ago, wiping out the non-avian dinosaurs.

Observing the fossil record, scientists came to believe that mass extinction events create especially productive radiations. For example, in the K-T dinosaur-exterminating event, it has conventionally been supposed that a wasteland was created, which allowed organisms like mammals to recolonize and “radiate,” allowing for the evolution of all manner of new mammal species, ultimately laying the foundation for the emergence of humans. In other words, if the K-T event of “creative destruction” had not occurred, perhaps we would not be here to discuss this question.

The new study started with a casual discussion in ELSI’s “Agora,” a large common room where ELSI scientists and visitors often eat lunch and strike up new conversations. Two of the paper’s authors, evolutionary biologist Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill (now a research fellow at Essex University in the UK) and physicist/machine learning expert Nicholas Guttenberg (now a research scientist at Cross Labs working in collaboration with GoodAI in the Czech Republic), who were both post-doctoral scholars at ELSI when the work began, were kicking around the question of whether machine learning could be used to visualize and understand the fossil record.

During a visit to ELSI, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to restrict international travel, they worked feverishly to extend their analysis to examine the correlation between extinction and radiation events. These discussions allowed them to relate their new data to the breadth of existing ideas on mass extinctions and radiations. They quickly found that the evolutionary patterns identified with the help of machine learning differed in key ways from traditional interpretations.

The team used a novel application of machine learning to examine the temporal co-occurrence of species in the Phanerozoic fossil record, examining over a million entries in a massive curated, public database including almost two hundred thousand species.

Lead author Dr. Hoyal Cuthill said, “Some of the most challenging aspects of understanding the history of life are the enormous timescales and numbers of species involved. New applications of machine learning can help by allowing us to visualize this information in a human-readable form. This means we can, so to speak, hold half a billion years of evolution in the palms of our hands, and gain new insights from what we see.”

Using their objective methods, they found that the “big five” mass extinction events previously identified by paleontologists were picked up by the machine learning methods as being among the top 5% of significant disruptions in which extinction outpaced radiation or vice versa, as were seven additional mass extinctions, two combined mass extinction-radiation events and fifteen mass radiations. Surprisingly, in contrast to previous narratives emphasizing the importance of post-extinction radiations, this work found that the most comparable mass radiations and extinctions were only rarely coupled in time, refuting the idea of a causal relationship between them.

Co-author Dr. Nicholas Guttenberg said, “the ecosystem is dynamic, you don’t necessarily have to chip an existing piece off to allow something new to appear.”

The team further found that radiations may in fact cause major changes to existing ecosystems, an idea the authors call “destructive creation.” They found that, during the Phanerozoic Eon, on average, the species that made up an ecosystem at any one time are almost all gone by 19 million years later. But when mass extinctions or radiations occur, this rate of turnover is much higher.

This gives a new perspective on how the modern “Sixth Extinction” is occurring. The Quaternary period, which began 2.5 million years ago, had witnessed repeated climate upheavals, including dramatic alternations of glaciation, times when high latitude locations on Earth, were ice-covered. This means that the present “Sixth Extinction” is eroding biodiversity that was already disrupted, and the authors suggest it will take at least 8 million years for it to revert to the long term average of 19 million years. Dr. Hoyal Cuthill comments that “each extinction that happens on our watch erases a species, which may have existed for millions of years up to now, making it harder for the normal process of ‘new species origination’ to replace what is being lost.”

Reference: “Impacts of speciation and extinction measured by an evolutionary decay clock” by Jennifer F. Hoyal Cuthill, Nicholas Guttenberg and Graham E. Budd, 9 December 2020, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-3003-4


COLLEGE OF THE ENVIRONMENT EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES

ESS 100 Dinosaurs (2) NW
Biology, behavior, ecology, evolution, and extinction of dinosaurs, and a history of their exploration. With dinosaurs as focal point, course also introduces the student to how hypotheses in geological and paleobiological science are formulated and tested.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 100

ESS 101 Introduction to Geology and Societal Impacts (5) I&S/NW
Introduction to the processes, materials and structures that shape Earth. Emphasizes the dynamic nature of the earth's tectonic system and its relationship to physical features, volcanism, earthquakes, minerals and rocks and geologic structures. The course emphasizes the intrinsic relationship between human societies and geologic processes, hazards and resources. Not open for credit to students who have taken ESS 210. Optional field trips. Prerequisite: No prerequisite classes required. Offered: AWSpS.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 101

ESS 102 Space and Space Travel (5) I&S/NW
Explores the sun, solar storms, observations from space and from Earth Earth's space environment, radiation belts and hazards, plasma storms and auroras, rockets and propulsion, human exploration efforts, societal impact, planetary systems and resources, and project highlighting space and its exploration. Open to non-majors. Offered: AWSp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 102

ESS 103 Earth's Origin and Transformations Over 4.6 Billion Years (1) NW
Explores history and evolution of Earth, from the Big Bang to present day. Emphasizes disparate timescales over which Earth processes operate - planetary formation, plate tectonics, evolution of life, geologic climate change, and catastrophes such as earthquakes, volcanoes, meteor impacts, and mass extinctions. Sets stage for understanding the origins of extraordinary geologic features in the Pacific Northwest. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 103

ESS 104 Prehistoric Life (3) NW
Fossils and how they are preserved. What fossils tell us about past life and environments. How the history of life unfolded and what caused the great events in biological evolution. Open to non-science majors, but also lays a foundation for higher-level geobiology courses.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 104

ESS 105 The Earth: Its Processes and Hazards (5) NW
Introduction to physical and environmental geology. Focuses on both large-scale tectonics forces that create Earth's continents and oceans, and surficial forces that shape Earth's landscapes. Emphasizes processes that endanger human populations (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods). Not open for credit to students who have taken ESS 101.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 105

ESS 106 Living with Volcanoes (3) I&S/NW
Explores volcanoes and volcanic eruptions on Earth and in the solar system. Examines how volcanoes work and how they affect the environment, life, and human societies. Illustrates principles using local examples of recent volcanism and ancient examples of mega-eruptions. Evaluates the possibility of predicting future eruptions.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 106

ESS 115 Astrobiology: Life in the Universe (5) NW David C. Catling, Roger Buick, Victoria S Meadows, Woodruff T Sullivan
Introduction to the new science of astrobiology, study of the origin and evolution of life on Earth, and the search for microbial and intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. Designed for non-science, liberal arts majors. Offered: jointly with ASTBIO 115/ASTR 115/BIOL 114/OCEAN 115.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 115

ESS 119 Introduction to Laboratories (1, max. 3)
Reviews research being performed in visited and independent research opportunities and possibilities. Includes weekly visits to labs in ESS and related fields. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 119

ESS 201 Earth's Climate System (3) NW Eric Steig
Earth's dynamic environment, global energy balance, interplay of chemical, physical, and biological processes shaping the Earth's surface and climate. Emphasis on quantitative methods for measuring, evaluating, and understanding contemporary changes relative to the last several thousand years. Prerequisite: either MATH 124, MATH 134, or Q SCI 291 recommended: An introductory background in earth sciences, chemistry or physics is helpful, but not required. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 201

ESS 202 Earthquakes (5) I&S/NW
Earthquakes of the Pacific Northwest and around the world - their cause and relationship to plate tectonics why, where, and when they occur. How earthquakes affect human life: shaping landscape, hazards. Laboratory explores physical processes associated with earthquakes. One field trip. Open to non-science majors.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 202

ESS 203 Glaciers and Global Change (5) I&S/NW
Explores how glaciers record climate change and human activities through bubbles of ancient air and trace impurities in the ice. Also reviews glaciers impact on societies through sea-level, coastlines, water supplies, and transportation routes. Open to non-science majors.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 203

ESS 204 The Paleobiology and Geobiology of Mass Extinctions (3-4) NW P. Ward
Covers the origin and diversification of life on Planet Earth, and abrupt die-offs in mass extinctions. Explores how new instrumentation and experimentation in biology and chemistry, and improved sampling of the fossil record in geology, combine with astrobiology and geobiology to revise out history of Earth and its life. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 1.7 in ESS 100.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 204

ESS 205 Access to Space (5) NW
Group development of student experiments to the outer rim of our atmosphere and the beginning of space investigation of stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, magnetosphere, development of exploration packages basic electronic fabrication, global positioning, radio tracking, expectations at high altitudes. Open to all disciplines. No previous experience of electronics required.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 205

ESS 209 Interdisciplinary Earth Sciences Field Seminar (3-12, max. 12) NW
Miscellaneous field-based and experiential learning activities in earth and space sciences.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 209

ESS 211 Physical Processes of the Earth (5) NW
Introductory structural geology and geomorphology. Deformation of soil, sediment, and rock. Erosional and depositional processes and landforms. Structural, geomorphic, and climatic interactions in major tectonic regimes. Use of geologic maps and cross sections. One optional overnight field excursion. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in either MATH 124, MATH 134, or Q SCI 291, either of which may be taken concurrently and a minimum grade of 2.0 in either both PHYS 114 and PHYS 117, or PHYS 121. Offered: A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 211

ESS 212 Plate Tectonics and Materials of the Earth (5) NW Juliet Crider
Origin, composition and structure of the Earth identification of important rock-forming minerals identification and description of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks magmatic, metamorphic, and sedimentary processes formation of continental and oceanic crust driving mechanisms for plate tectonics comparison of Earth to other planets. Prerequisite: either CHEM 110, a passing score on the General Chemistry Placement Exam, or a score of 1 or higher on the Chemistry AP test recommended: high school or college chemistry and high school or college pre-calculus. Offered: W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 212

ESS 213 Evolution of the Earth (5) NW
Introduction to paleontology, types of stratigraphy, and radiometric dating. The physical, chemical, biological, and plate tectonic evolution of the earth's crust, seawater, and atmosphere. Comparison with other planets. Climate changes and man as a geologic agent. Two one-day field excursions. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in either ESS 210, ESS 211, or ESS 212. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 213

ESS 230 Rivers and Beaches (3/5) NW
Introduction to Earth surface environments, the processes that shape them, how humans affect them and are affected by them. Field trips examine mountains, rivers, deltas/estuaries, beaches, and environments beyond. Focuses on linkages between these environments to illustrate coupling between landscapes and seascapes. Offered: jointly with OCEAN 230.
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ESS 290 Special Topics (1-10, max. 20) NW
Selected topics in earth and space sciences.
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ESS 298 Exploring Opportunities in Earth and Space Sciences (2)
Explores topics related to majoring in and pursuing a career in STEM broadly and ESS specifically. Topics include networking, finding community in college, societal attitudes toward and pressures around STEM majors, diversity and equity issues in STEM and ESS, mental health, and undergraduate research, graduate school, and careers in the geosciences and related fields. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 298

ESS 301 Geology of the Northwest (5) NW
Geologic history of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Emphasis on use of geologic principles in interpreting evidence found in landscapes and rocks. Weekend field trips optional. Prerequisite: either ESS 101, ESS 105, ESS 210, ESS 211, or ESS 212.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 301

ESS 305 Geology of the National Parks (5) NW
Reviews a wide range of fundamental geological processes, using North American parks and monuments as examples of natural laboratories. Includes plate-tectonic history, volcanism, mountain-building, and glacial, fluvial, and a host of other geomorphic forces as preserved in geologic exposures of National Parks. Prerequisite: either ESS 101, ESS 105, ESS 210, ESS 211, or ESS 212.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 305

ESS 306 Planetary Geology (5) NW
Up-to-date survey of geological features and processes on and within planets and their moons deduced from sampling, remote sensing, spacecraft imagery, and theory. Comparative discussion of volcanism, tectonics, surface processes, and thermal evolution. Examination of moon rocks and meteorites. Prerequisite: either ESS 101, ESS 105, ESS 210, ESS 211, or ESS 212.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 306

ESS 307 Diversity Outreach Program in Earth and Space Sciences (3-5) I&S/NW, DIV
Students will lead Earth and Space Sciences outreach events to underserved and underrepresented populations in the Northwest. Gain an understanding to the barriers to education and participate in events to remove some of these barriers . Prerequisite: either ASTR 101, ASTR 102, ASTR 150, BIOL 180, BIOL 240, CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 143, CHEM 145, ESS 101, ESS 102, ESS 211, ESS 212, ESS 213, ESS 472, PHYS 114, or PHYS 121.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 307

ESS 310 Mathematical Methods in the Earth Sciences (5) NW
Presents mathematical methods for Earth Sciences applications. Focuses on setting up equations and on the quality of written solutions. Prerequisite: either Q SCI 292, MATH 125 or MATH 135 either PHYS 114/PHYS 117 or PHYS 121.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 310

ESS 311 Geomechanics (5) NW
Introduction to continuum mechanics: elasticity, fluid dynamics, diffusion, porous flow, multiphase flow, dimensional analysis, and natural convection. Example applications: earthquakes and rock mechanics, flow of glaciers, slope stability, debris flows, groundwater flow, contaminant transport, flow in rivers and channels, mantle and magma convection. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in either MATH 125, MATH 135, or Q SCI 292 a minimum grade of 2.0 in either both PHYS 114 and 117, or PHYS 121 and a minimum grade of 2.0 in ESS 211 recommended: Previous experience with MATLAB. Offered: W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 311

ESS 312 Earth Materials (5) NW
Crystallography, crystal chemistry, and characteristics of rock-forming and ore minerals. Description, phase equilibria, origin, and associations of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Laboratory study of hand specimens. One one-day field excursion. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in either CHEM 142 or CHEM 145 and a minimum grade of 2.0 in ESS 212 recommended: ESS 211 and ESS 213. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 312

ESS 313 Geobiology (5) NW
Introduction to the early record of life on earth. Environmental factors leading to life's diversification. The role of life in biomineralization. The history of biodiversity. The role of life in landform and soil formation. Laboratory exercises demonstrate specimens and techniques. Prerequisite: minimum 2.0 in either CHEM 142 or CHEM 145 minimum 2.0 in ESS 213. Offered: A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 313

ESS 314 Geophysics (5) NW
Introduction to geophysical methods including refraction and reflection seismology, gravity, magnetics, electrical resistivity, heat flow, and geodesy. Laboratory exercises explore interpretation of geophysical data to determine elastic wave speed, density, magnetic susceptibility, and electrical conductivity at depth. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in either MATH 126, MATH 136, or ESS 310 and a minimum grade of 2.0 in either both PHYS 115 and PHYS 118, or PHYS 122. Offered: A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 314

ESS 315 Environmental Earth Science (5) NW
Analysis of geologic constraints upon human activity and the environmental consequences of such activity. Topics include hillslope processes, fluvial and groundwater processes, earthquake and volcanic hazards, and environmental aspects of deforestation and atmospheric pollution. Prerequisite: either ESS 101, ESS 105, ESS 210, ESS 211, or ESS 212. Offered: jointly with ENVIR 313.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 315

ESS 316 Geochemistry (5) NW
Geochemical processes and differentiation of the Earth. Crystal chemistry and elemental affinities, thermodynamics of geologic processes, trace element and isotopic fractionation, radioisotopes, geochronology, cosmochemistry, weathering, introductory aqueous geochemistry and exploration of global geochemical cycles. Laboratory exercises explore and model geochemical processes. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in either CHEM 142 or CHEM 145 a minimum grade of 2.0 in either MATH 125, MATH 135, or Q SCI 292 and a minimum grade of 2.0 in ESS 212. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 316

ESS 326 Geomorphology (5) NW
Introduction to landforms and surficial deposits. Emphasis on landscape-forming processes. Intended for students who wish to take additional courses in geomorphology. Prerequisite: either PHYS 114 or PHYS 121.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 326

ESS 400 Field Geology (12) NW
Six weeks of geologic mapping in a variety of rock types in the Western United States. Enhances students' knowledge of geologic phenomena and processes. Development of skills in mapping, field interpretation, and report writing. Students responsible for own living expenses while in the field. Prerequisite: ESS 211 ESS 212 ESS 213 one course selected from ESS 311, ESS 312, ESS 313, ESS 314, or ESS 316. Offered: S.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 400

ESS 401 Field Geology with GIS (12) NW
Geologic mapping in a variety of rock types in the Western United States coupled with and augmented through geospatial analyses. Enhances students' knowledge of geologic phenomena and processes. Development of skills in mapping, field interpretation, GIS/remote sensing analysis, and report writing. Students responsible for own living expenses while in the field. Prerequisite: ESS 211 ESS 212 ESS 213 ESS 420 and either ESS 311, ESS 312, ESS 313, ESS 314, or ESS 316. Offered: S.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 401

ESS 402 International Field Geology (3-12, max. 12) NW
Supervised field study, international travel, and exploration. Work may include independent research projects and experiential learning in outdoor environments. Prerequisite: No prerequisites required but related experience is encouraged.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 402

ESS 403 Global Tectonics (5) NW
Introduction to large-scale plate tectonics processes and observations including motions on a sphere, polar-wander paths, plate-boundary seismicity, focal mechanisms, gravity, magnetics, and heat flow. Also includes observations and theories of plate deformation and continental dynamics with emphasis on Western North America. Prerequisite: PHYS 121 recommended: either MATH 126, MATH 136, or ESS 310 PHYS 123 either ESS 311 or 314 a background in quantitative analysis using a computer based environment like MATLAB.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 403

ESS 408 Great Geological Issues (3) NW
History and development of geological and paleontological theories and controversies philosophy and methodology that have driven scientific inquiry in the earth sciences.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 408

ESS 410 Marine Geology and Geophysics (4) NW William Wilcock
Explores the geological and geophysical processes that form and shape the ocean basins and continental margins. Prerequisite: either OCEAN 310 or ESS 211 Offered: jointly with OCEAN 410 A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 410

ESS 411 Geophysical Continuum Mechanics (5) NW
Analysis of stress and strain. Measurement and interpretation of strain in geological materials. Elasticity applied to determine stress in the Earth's lithosphere. Creep of solids and flow of geological materials. Prerequisite: either MATH 136, both MATH 307 and MATH 308, or both AMATH 351 and AMATH 352.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 411

ESS 412 Introduction to Seismology (3) NW
Examines stress and strain, the wave equation, travel times, amplitude and phase, reflection seismology, surface waves, and source theory, including moment tensors, radiation patterns, far-field wave shapes, source spectra, stress drop, and magnitude. Prerequisite: either MATH 136, both MATH 307 and MATH 308, or both AMATH 351 and AMATH 352 recommended: ESS 411 and PHYS 123.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 412

ESS 414 Geophysics: Fluids (3) NW
Introduction to geophysical fluid dynamics. An overview of fluids in geophysics with emphasis on the oceans. A nonrigorous development of the equations of motion with examples drawn from oceanography and solid earth geophysics. Prerequisite: either MATH 136, both MATH 307 and MATH 308, or both AMATH 351 and AMATH 352 and PHYS 322.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 414

ESS 415 Space and Plasmas (3) NW
Survey of various phenomena occurring in outer regions of Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and Van Allen radiation belts. Laboratory applications include plasma thrusters and fusion. Concepts include charged particles in magnetic fields, drift motion, plasma, magnetohydrodynamic waves. Prerequisite: PHYS 321 recommended: PHYS 322.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 415

ESS 418 Geoscience Communication (4)
Covers principles of organizing, developing, and writing geoscience information including abstracts, presentations, scientific articles, correspondences, and proposals. Reviews writing conventions, use of illustrations, style, and tone. Prerequisite: Two of ESS 201, ESS 205, ESS 211, ESS 212, ESS 213, any of which may be taken concurrently.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 418

ESS 420 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for the Earth Sciences (5) S. WALTERS
Examines principles of GISA applied to the geological sciences. Covers basics of GIScience, data types, and GIS analyses. Includes hands-on analysis applied to geologic patterns and phenomena: sources geological data geological mapping measures of topography hydrologic flow patterns and topics of the students' own interests. Offered: ASp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 420

ESS 421 Introduction to Geological Remote Sensing (4) NW
Principles of image interpretation for geologists. Study of land forms, structure, lithology, surface processes using aircraft and satellite data. Use of digital multispectral images and radar images for geological mapping.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 421

ESS 422 Field Methods in Remote Sensing (4) NW
Explores the use of field instrumentation to remotely sense the environment with applications to landslides, glaciers, surface topography, and change detection. Also covers wave propagation, surface scattering, absorption and reflectance data processing, analysis, and interpretation field data collection strategies. Prerequisite: ESS 211 recommended: PHYS 116 or PHYS 123 ESS 421.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 422

ESS 425 Tectonic Geomorphology (3) A. Duvall
Advanced-level survey of tectonic geomorphology topics, focusing on the interplay between tectonic and surface processes that shape the landscape in regions of active deformation and at time scales ranging from days to millions of years. Prerequisite: either ESS 311, ESS 326, ESS 426, or ESS 427.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 425

ESS 426 Fluvial Geomorphology (5)
Hydraulic and morphological characteristics of streams and valley floors. Landscape evolution by stream erosion and deposition. Field exercises emphasize quantitative analysis of fluvial processes, channel forms, acquisition of various skills, such as mapping, topographic surveying, report writing. Prerequisite: either ESS 311 or ESS 326.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 426

ESS 427 Hillslope Geomorphology (5) NW
Theoretical, laboratory, and field study of hillslope evolution by mass wasting and water erosion. Prerequisite: either ESS 311 or ESS 326.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 427

ESS 431 Principles of Glaciology (4) NW
Covers snow deposition and metamorphism, avalanches, heat and mass balance at snow and ice surfaces, glacier flow, ice sheets, sea ice, permafrost, methods of paleoclimate reconstruction, Ice Age theories. Prerequisite: PHYS 121.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 431

ESS 433 Environmental Change in the Glacial Ages (5) NW
Physical, biological evidence of climatic change during Quaternary Period emphasizing stratigraphy, chronology. Impact of alternating glacial/interglacial cycles on earth's terrestrial, marine environments. Theories on causes of climatic variation.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 433

ESS 439 Petrology of Igneous Rocks (5) NW
Systematic study of the major families of volcanic and plutonic igneous rocks with emphasis on tectonic setting, phase relations, geochemistry, and models of their origin and evolution throughout geologic time. Laboratory emphasizes thin-section study of rocks using transmitted and reflected light. Prerequisite: ESS 316.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 439

ESS 441 Petrology and Petrography of Sedimentary Rocks (5) NW
Mineralogy, textures, and origin of sedimentary rocks, using petrographic microscope. Prerequisite: ESS 316.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 441

ESS 445 Economic Geology (4) NW JOHN O. STONE
Formation and geologic context of metallic and non-metallic ore deposits and energy resources. Covers chemical and physical concentration processes, deposit types, and geology of key mineral commodities. Includes an overview of mineral and energy economics, mineral exploration and Washington state mineral resources. Prerequisite: ESS 211 ESS 212 ESS 213 and ESS 316, which may be taken concurrently.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 445

ESS 447 Engineering Geology: Methods and Application (4)
Applies the application of geologic principles to geotechnical and environmental problems includes investigation and characterization of soil and rock properties. Includes two weekend field trips. Prerequisite: either ESS 210, ESS 211, or ESS 212 and either ESS 311, ESS 411, ESS 463, or CEE 220.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 447

ESS 448 Analytical Paleobiology (5) NW Gregory Wilson Mantilla, Caroline Stromberg she.her
Introduction to the principles and analytical methods in the study of paleobiology, morphology, and systematics. Topics include paleobiogeography, morphology-based phylogenetics, evolutionary rates, biodiversity curves, functional morphology, morphometrics, and paleoecology. Emphasis on application of methods using fossil and modern specimens. Prerequisite: either BIOL 280, BIOL 354, or ESS 213. Offered: jointly with BIOL 438 A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 448

ESS 449 Paleobiology Field Methods and Research (3-5) NW
Introduces field methods and research in various areas of biology, e.g., paleontology, ecology, climate change, and mycology. Includes two or more weeks away from campus at field site. Offered: jointly with BIOL 475 S.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 449

ESS 450 Paleobiology (3) NW
Biological evolution over the past 500 million years, considering how the reciprocal interactions between environment and evolution have influenced the major episodes in life's history and providing a background for assessing the evolutionary impact of modern environmental change.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 450

ESS 451 Invertebrate Paleontology (5) NW Peter D Ward
Important larger invertebrate groups morphology, classification, stratigraphic distribution, evolution, paleoecology. Offered: jointly with BIOL 451.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 451

ESS 452 Vertebrate Paleontology (5) NW C. SIDOR
Examines fossil vertebrate life, focusing on systematics and morphology of major lineages (fish, reptiles, bird, and early mammal relatives). Examines fossil and modern vertebrates from the Burke Museum collection in the lab. Weekend field trip. Prerequisite: either BIOL 354, BIOL 452, BIOL 453 or ESS 100. Offered: jointly with BIOL 450.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 452

ESS 453 Fossil Mammals (5) NW
Evolutionary relationships of fossil mammals, from mammal-like reptiles of late Paleozoic to diverse Cenozoic groups. Morphology, adaptations, extinctions, evolutionary patterns. Structures and relationships of most major groups. Field trip. Prerequisite: either ESS 100 or ESS 452.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 453

ESS 454 Hydrogeology (4) NW
Covers the analysis of groundwater flow systems, geologic controls, and hydrologic properties basics of chemistry and solute transport in groundwater and the use of numerical models. Considers local examples and groundwater resource management. Prerequisite: either ESS 311 or ESS 314 recommended: either MATH 126, MATH 136, or ESS 310 a background in quantitative analysis using spreadsheets or MATLAB
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 454

ESS 455 Stratigraphy (4) NW
Systematic study of stratified rocks and space-time implications. Principles of stratigraphy, including biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy, subsurface analysis. Basin analysis, evolution of sedimentary basins and continental margins. Prerequisite: ESS 213.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 455

ESS 456 Sedimentary Geology and Depositional Environments (4) NW Alexis Licht
Principles of sedimentary geology, including survey of modern processes that produce sedimentary rocks and sequences. Recognition of various depositional environments represented in the geologic record, including terrestrial, marine terrigenous, and carbonate environments. Two field trips required. Prerequisite: ESS 213 recommended: ESS 311 and either ESS 326, ESS 425, ESS 426, or ESS 427
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 456

ESS 457 Environmental Geochemistry (4) NW
Geochemistry of natural waters, emphasizing applications in geology. Topics include groundwater composition, weathering, mineral adsorption, equilibrium computer modeling, clay minerals, organic geochemistry, and groundwater quality. Prerequisite: either ESS 316, CHEM 152, or CHEM 155.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 457

ESS 460 Cosmogenic Nuclides in Geomorphology (3) NW
Use of cosmic-ray-produced nuclides to date rock surfaces and analyze geomorphic processes. Nuclide production by cosmic radiation above and below ground tracer methods exposure dating coupling of cosmogenic nuclide data to geomorphic models. Open to undergraduate students only. Prerequisite: either ESS 311 or ESS 316.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 460

ESS 461 Geological Time (3) NW
Principles of radiometric dating. Methods applicable to Earth history from planetary formation to the recent past. Radiocarbon dating geological dating with long-lived isotopes uranium series, trapped charge and cosmogenic isotope techniques. Applications in archaeology, climate change, geomorphology, tectonics, and Earth evolution.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 461

ESS 462 Volcanic Processes (4) NW
Pre-eruption, eruption, and post-eruption processes. Examines triggers of magma ascent, controls on volatile build-up and loss, magma fragmentation, magma-groundwater interaction, eruption column dynamics, gravity-controlled eruptive phenomena, syn- and post-eruption lahars and other re-working of deposits. Prerequisite: either ESS 311, ESS 312, or ESS 316.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 462

ESS 463 Structure and Tectonics (5) NW
Geometry, kinematics, and tectonic setting of major types of structures, including those in contractional fold-and-thrust belts extended crust strike-slip-dominated regimes and shear zones. Laboratory exercises develop basic tools of structural geology. Prerequisite: ESS 211 ESS 212 and ESS 213.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 463

ESS 467 Seismic Exploration (3) NW E. Roland Saenger
Introduction to theory and practice of seismic exploration. Application of refraction and reflection techniques to geologic investigations, tectonics and mineral exploration. Practice in the interpretation of subsurface structure. Prerequisite: ESS 311 or ESS 314, or OCEAN 285 and OCEAN 310. Offered: jointly with OCEAN 412 Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 467

ESS 471 Introduction to Space Physics (3) NW
Introduces several areas of space physics, the physical principles that apply therein, and the methods by which significant observations are made. Covers electromagnetic and plasma processes from the center of the sun to the surface of the earth. Prerequisite: PHYS 123.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 471

ESS 472 Rockets and Instrumentation (2-4, max. 12)
Students launch science payloads to high altitude using high power amateur rockets, providing design, fabrication, test, integration, and management experience covers science motivation, engineering aspects, and delivery systems. Project may vary each year.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 472

ESS 475 Current Research in Climate Science Seminar (3, max. 6)
Weekly lectures focusing on a particular aspect of climate from invited speakers, complemented by class discussion, readings, and final paper. Promotes interdisciplinary understanding of climate concepts. Prerequisite: either ESS 201, ATM S 211, or ATM S 321. Offered: jointly with ATM S 475/OCEAN 475 A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 475

ESS 480 Advanced Methods in Isotope Geochemistry (3, max. 18) NW
Studies new developments in isotope geochemistry. Topics vary by quarter and may include clumped isotopes, triple-oxygen isotopes, rate isotopes, mass-independent fractionation, and their incorporation into Earth system models. Introduces theory, measurement, and applications to processes in Earth, ocean, atmospheric, planetary, and climate science. Prerequisite: either ESS 316, ESS 424, ESS 457, or ESS 459.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 480

ESS 482 Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory (4) NW
Laboratory techniques and experiments relevant to analyses of natural waters. Topics include alkalinity measurements, iron analyses, colorimetric analyses, heavy metal adsorption and geochemical modeling. Prerequisite: ESS 316 or ESS 457.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 482

ESS 488 Space Law and Policy (5) I&S Saadia M. Pekkanen
Law and policy foundations of outer space activities. Essential origins, sources, and role of space law, as well as key institutions, forums, and forces shaping the contemporary governance of space activities. Provides a thorough grounding in U.N. treaties, principles, resolutions, regulations, and private international and national space laws and policies. Offered: jointly with A A 490/JSIS B 444.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 488

ESS 489 Honors Seminar (3)
Covers current scientific topics in earth and space sciences philosophy and methodology of science strategies for developing research projects scientific education and career planning. May require colloquium or local conference attendance. Offered: A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 489

ESS 491 US Geology Seminar and Field Trip (1)
Supervised preparation for geological field study and domestic fieldwork. Work may include independent research projects focused on the field study region and experiential learning in outdoor environments. Recommended: introductory geology course. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 491

ESS 492 Education in the Earth Sciences (2-3, max. 12) NW
Seminar in earth science education and laboratory teaching practicum. Teaching experience gained through assisting earth science instructors in college or K-12 classrooms, laboratories. and field settings. Earth science pedagogical logistics, teaching methods, laboratory classroom, and field teaching methods are covered in seminar sessions. Prerequisite: either ESS 101, ESS 210, ESS 211, ESS 212, or ESS 213. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSpS.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 492

ESS 495 NASA Science and Engineering Research Seminar (1, max. 4) NW
Review of current space science-related research. Emphasis varies, but topics may include planetary geology, astronomy, global change, aeronautical engineering, and remote sensing. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 495

ESS 498 Independent Study (1-5, max. 15)
Independent coursework in selected Earth & Space Sciences topics supervised by a faculty member in an area of shared scholarship. Designed for advanced students seeking additional education in a specific subject. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 498

ESS 501 Geochemical Systems (3)
Geochemical systems through time, from solar system origin to present. Explores fundamental geochemical concepts using current research issues and discussion. Concepts include radiogenic and stable isotope systematic, thermodynamics, high and low temperature chemistry of rocks and water, geochemical cycles through Earth's history. Prerequisite: graduate student standing or permission of instructor. Instructors: Nelson
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 501

ESS 502 The Solid Earth (3)
Concepts of internal earth processes: Earth as heat engine and chemical processor, style of mantle convection, origin and evolution of the Earth's magnetic field, Cascadia subduction and hazards. Introduces seismology, fluid dynamics, heat flow, gravity, and geomagnetism. Focuses on the analysis, critique, and communication of ideas from scientific literature.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 502

ESS 503 Introduction to Solar Terrestrial Physics (3)
Introduces several areas of space physics, the physical principles that apply therein, and the methods by which significant observations are made. Covers electromagnetic and plasma processes from the center of the sun to the surface of the Earth. Prerequisite: PHYS 123.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 503

ESS 504 The Earth Surface (3)
Investigates the coupled tectonic and geomorphic processes that shape the surface of the Earth, creates the surface environment that sustains humanity and other life systems, and produces natural hazards. Introduces modern tolls, techniques, and theories applicable to analysis of this coupled dynamic system.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 504

ESS 505 The Cryosphere (4)
Covers snow deposition and metamorphism, avalanches, heat and mass balance at snow and ice surfaces, glacier flow, ice sheets, sea ice, permafrost, methods of paleoclimate reconstruction, and Ice Age theories. Prerequisite: PHYS 121. Instructors: Waddington, Warren Offered: A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 505

ESS 508 Great Geological Issues (3)
History and development of geological and paleontological theories and controversies philosophy and methodology that have driven scientific inquiry in the earth sciences. Requires a term paper analyzing primary material. Prerequisite: graduate standing in earth sciences, or in history of science, or permission of instructor.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 508

ESS 509 Applied Geology Investigations (3)
Introduction to problems and techniques of applied geology. Studies the interactions among land use, infrastructure, and the dynamic landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Focus on field techniques, recording and presentation of observations. Includes mid-September and weekend field trips. Prerequisite: graduate standing in ESS recommended: undergraduate degree in geology or a closely related field, including a geologic field methods course. Offered: A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 509

ESS 510 Advanced Applied Geology Field Investigations (3) Kathy Goetz Troost
Application of applied geology core curriculum to field problems. Includes multi-day intensive, field trips in the Pacific Northwest to study the intersection of society and the environment and to gain working knowledge of the geology there. Focus on field techniques, designing an investigation, recording observations, and report writing Prerequisite: ESS 509 three of ESS 420, ESS 454, ESS 526, ESS 527, or ESS 547. recommended: undergraduate degree in geology or closely related field and an undergraduate field course related to geology. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 510

ESS 511 Geophysical Continuum Mechanics (5)
Analysis of stress and strain. Measurement and interpretation of strain in geological materials. Elasticity applied to determine stress in the Earth's lithosphere. Creep of solids and flow of geological materials. Includes advanced, research-oriented problems. Prerequisite: MATH 307 and MATH 308 or equivalent.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 511

ESS 512 Seismology (3)
Examines stress and strain, the wave equation, travel times, amplitude and phase, reflection seismology, surface waves, and source theory, including moment tensors, radiation patterns, far-field wave shapes, source spectra, stress drop, and magnitude. Prerequisite: either ESS 511 or PHYS 123 and one of MATH 307 or MATH 308.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 512

ESS 514 Geophysics: Fluids (3)
Geophysical fluid dynamics. Fluids in geophysics with emphasis on the oceans. Development of the equations of motion with examples drawn from oceanography and solid earth geophysics. Includes advanced, research-oriented problems. Prerequisite: PHYS 322, MATH 307, and MATH 308 or equivalent.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 514

ESS 515 Geophysics: Space (3)
Various phenomena occurring in outer regions of Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and Van Allen radiation belts. Laboratory applications include plasma thrusters and fusion. Concepts include charged particles in magnetic fields, drift motion, plasma, magnetohydrodynamic waves. Includes advanced, research-oriented problems. Prerequisite: PHYS 321 or equivalent recommended: PHYS 322.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 515

ESS 517 Early Earth Evolution (3)
Geological, biological, and environmental evolution of the Earth over the first 4 billion years of its history, as an analogue for the development of other habitable planets.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 517

ESS 518 Technical Communication in Applied Geosciences (1, max. 3)
Reading, writing, and presentation of technical information in the geosciences. Topics vary by quarter Offered: AWSp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 518

ESS 519 Scientific Writing and Graphics (2) Waddington, Warren
Covers principles of scientific writing methods of ensuring clarity in writing for scientific journals and research proposals principles of graph construction and authorship, peer review, and citations. For graduate students in Earth-science related fields. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: jointly with ATM S 519/OCEAN 518 Sp, odd years.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 519

ESS 520 Application in Geographic Information Systems for the Earth Sciences (4) S. WALTERS
Covers applied uses of GIS in the applied earth sciences. Includes hands-on instruction in and discussion of analysis of geologic patterns and phenomena: terrain analysis and interpretation riverbed modeling floodplain analysis rainfall patterns and effects landslide forecasting isostatic phenomena and topics of the students' own interest. Also covers basic instruction in geospatial statistics. Prerequisite: ESS 420 or permission of instructor. Offered: W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 520

ESS 521 Advanced Geospatial Analysis with Python for the Earth Sciences (4) Steven Walters
Advanced application of geospatial analysis and spatial numerical methods in the earth sciences, particularly using Python scripting. Hands-on, "workshop" approach exploring topics of interest to students: e.g., 3D (sub-) surface analysis hydrologic routing/modeling dynamic landscape change image interpretation and pattern analysis/geostatistics. Course activities combine instructional lab exercises with independent project research. Prerequisite: ESS 420 (or equivalent) or permission of instructor recommended: graduate-level background and/or standing in earth and environmental sciences. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 521

ESS 522 Geophysical Data Collection and Analysis (3)
Theory and practical application of data collection and analysis applied to geophysical problems. Digital processing of signals filtering and spectral analysis. Laboratory sessions include problem solving on computer-based processing system.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 522

ESS 523 Geophysical Inverse Theory (5) Kenneth C Creager
Introduction to the mathematical techniques for estimating properties of physical systems, such as the earth or atmosphere, from data that is insufficient for a precise specification of the system. Emphasis is on the concept of the resolving power of data sets. The ideas developed are quite general and have a wide range of applicability in the field of data interpretation. Offered: Sp, even years.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 523

ESS 524 Numerical Heat and Mass Flow Modeling in the Earth Sciences (3)
Numerical solution of steady and transient advective-diffusion equations describing heat and mass transport processes in earth sciences, emphasizing finite-volume methods and their relationship to finite-difference and finite-element methods. Topics include discretization methods coordinate systems boundary conditions accuracy and stability. Prerequisite: MATH 307 MATH 308 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Instructors: Waddington Offered: Sp, even years.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 524

ESS 525 Tectonic Geomorphology (3) A. DUVALL
Advanced-level survey of tectonic geomorphology topics, focusing on the interplay between tectonic and surface processes that shape the landscape in regions of active deformation and at time scales ranging from days to millions of years. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 525

ESS 526 Fluvial Geomorphology (5) Collins
Hydraulic and morphological characteristics of streams and valley floors. Landscape evolution by stream erosion and deposition. Field exercises and independent project emphasize quantitative analysis of fluvial processes, channel forms, acquisition of various skills, such as mapping, topographic surveying, and report writing.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 526

ESS 527 Hillslope Geomorphology (5) Duvall
Theoretical and applied study of hillslope processes including erosion and deposition mass wasting and slope forms and evolution.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 527

ESS 529 Principles of Fluid Dynamics, Heat, and Mass Transfer in Earth Sciences (3)
Introduction to the quantitative treatment of transport phenomena with applications to mantle and magma convection, volcanic eruptions, landslides, porous flow, and reaction. Emphasis on the governing equations of fluid dynamics including porous and multiple flow, chaotic convection, mixing, heat transfer, rheology, analytical, numerical, and scaling solutions.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 529

ESS 531 Physics of Ice (3)
Structure of the water molecule. Crystallographic structures of ice. Electrical, optical, thermal, and mechanical properties of ice. Growth of ice from vapor and liquid phases. Offered: jointly with ATM S 510.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 531

ESS 532 Snow and Ice on the Earth's Surface (3)
Snow and ice climatology. Formation of the ice crystals in clouds. Snow metamorphism. Transfer of radiative, sensible, and latent heat at snow and ice surfaces. Remote sensing of snow and ice. Growth and melt of sea ice. Climatic records from ice. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with ATM S 511.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 532

ESS 533 Dynamics of Snow and Ice Masses (3)
Rheology of snow and ice. Sliding and processes at glacier beds. Thermal regime and motion of seasonal snow, glaciers, and ice sheets. Avalanches and glacier surges. Deformation and drift of sea ice. Response of natural ice masses to change in climate. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with ATM S 512.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 533

ESS 541 Applied Fluvial Geomorphology (4)
Application of theory in fluvial geomorphology to framing and addressing questions in basic research and problems in applied contexts such as river engineering, land use planning, resource management, and river restoration. Prerequisite: either ESS 426, ESS 526, or permission of instructor.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 541

ESS 544 Applied Tsunami Hazard Science (4)
Broad introductory overview of tsunami science and physical, social, and economic impacts of tsunami hazards. Designed for scientific, engineering, earth-science professionals, and graduate students interested in tsunami hazard assessment, mitigation, or warning. Prerequisite: MATH 126 PHYS 123 AMATH 301, or equivalents. Instructors: Gonzalez
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 544

ESS 546 Continental-Margin Sedimentation (3) Charles Nittrouer
Detailed evaluation of recent studies into processes forming strata on continental margins, including the diverse time scales ranging from sediment transport to sequence stratigraphy. Highlights the linkages with physical oceanographic processes, the fates of geochemical components, and the relationship to biological communities. Offered: jointly with OCEAN 546.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 546

ESS 547 Engineering Geology: Methods and Application (4)
Applies the application of geologic principles to geotechnical and environmental problems includes investigation and characterization of soil and rock properties. Includes two weekend field trips.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 547

ESS 554 Paleoclimate Proxies (3) Alexander, Sachs
Provides a critical evaluation of the most commonly applied paleoclimate proxies from the ocean, land, and ice sheets. Offered: jointly with ATM S 554/OCEAN 554.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 554

ESS 557 Vertebrate Paleontology (5)
Examines the biology of vertebrate animals, emphasizing their diversity, adaptations, and evolutionary history. Introduces aspects of behavior, physiology, morphology, and ecology that emerge from the comparative study of vertebrates. Laboratory includes local field trips and introduction to regional vertebrate fauna. Offered: jointly with BIOL 557.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 557

ESS 558 Introduction to Graduate Research in Paleobiology (1)
Introduction to paleobiology techniques and resources. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: jointly with BIOL 555 A.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 558

ESS 559 Climate Modeling (3)
Principles of Earth system modeling. Emphasis on atmosphere, ocean sea ice, and land-surface components. Climate forcing. Appropriate use of models. Topics of current interest including carbon cycle, atmosphere chemistry, and biogeochemistry. Prerequisite: either ATM S 587/OCEAN 587/ESS 587, ATM S 504 or ATM S 505. Instructors: Bitz, Thompson Offered: jointly with ATM S 559/OCEAN 558.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 559

ESS 560 Cosmogenic Nuclides in Geomorphology (3)
Use of cosmic-ray-produced nuclides to date rock surfaces and analyze geomorphic processes. Nuclide production by cosmic radiation above and below ground tracer methods exposure dating coupling of cosmogenic nuclide data to geomorphic models. Prerequisite: either AMATH 301, AMATH 351, or permission of instructor.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 560

ESS 562 Observational Seismology (1, max. 18)
Quarterly research themes introduce students to a variety of digital and analog seismograms and techniques for their interpretation. Students present results of short investigations in an informal seminar setting. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 562

ESS 563 Theoretical Seismology I (3)
Advanced theoretical seismology. Attenuation and physical dispersion. Waves in anisotropic media. Moment-tensor source representation. Lamb's problem. Waves in stratified media: propagator methods, asymptotic ray theory, WKBJ seismograms. Inverse methods and analysis of seismological data. Prerequisite: either ESS 412, ESS 512, or permission of instructor.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 563

ESS 564 Theoretical Seismology II (3)
Advanced theoretical seismology. Attenuation and physical dispersion. Waves in anisotropic media. Moment-tensor source representation. Lamb's problem. Waves in stratified media: propagator methods, asymptotic ray theory, WKBJ seismograms. Inverse methods and analysis of seismological data. Prerequisite: ESS 563.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 564

ESS 567 Environmental Geochemistry (4) NW
Geochemistry of natural waters, emphasizing applications in geology. Topics include groundwater composition, weathering, mineral adsorption, equilibrium computer modeling, clay minerals, organic geochemistry, and groundwater quality. Offered: W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 567

ESS 568 Oceanic Lithosphere (3) William Wilcock
Basic principles of elasticity, fluid flow, and heat transport with specific applications to the formation and evolution of the oceanic lithosphere. Includes deformation of the earth, flow in porous media, heat transport, and marine seismological and potential field techniques. Prerequisite: OCEAN 540. Offered: jointly with OCEAN 545.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 568

ESS 573 Cloud Microphysics and Dynamics (3)
Basic concepts of cloud microphysics, water continuity in clouds, cloud dynamics, and cloud models. Prerequisite: ATM S 501 or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with ATM S 535 Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 573

ESS 575 Advanced Rockets and Instrumentation (2-4, max. 12)
Students launch science payloads to high altitude using high power amateur rockets, providing design, fabrication, test, integration, and management experience covers science motivation, engineering aspects, and delivery systems. Project may vary each year. Offered: AW.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 575

ESS 576 Space and Laboratory Plasma Physics (3)
Discussion of waves, equilibrium and stability, diffusion and resistivity, basic plasma kinetic theory, and wave-particle interactions. Prerequisite: ESS 415, or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with A A 556 Sp, odd years.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 576

ESS 580 Advanced Methods in Isotope Geochemistry (3, max. 18)
Studies new developments in isotope geochemistry. Topics vary by quarter and may include clumped isotopes, triple-oxygen isotopes, rate isotopes, mass-independent fractionation, and their incorporation into Earth system models. Introduces theory, measurement, and applications to processes in Earth, ocean, atmospheric, planetary, and climate science. Prerequisite: one of ESS 316, ESS 424, ESS 457, ESS 459, ESS 501, ESS 554, OCEAN 583, or permission of instructor.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 580

ESS 581 Planetary Atmospheres (3)
Problems of origin, evolution, and structure of planetary atmospheres, emphasizing elements common to all roles of radiation, chemistry, and dynamical processes new results on the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and other solar system objects in the context of comparative planetology. Offered: jointly with ASTR 555/ATM S 555.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 581

ESS 582 Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory (4) NW
Laboratory techniques and experiments relevant to analyses of natural waters. Topics include alkalinity measurements, iron analyses, colorimetric analyses, heavy metal adsorption and geochemical modeling. Offered: Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 582

ESS 583 Origin of the Solar System (3)
Nebular and nonnebular theories of the solar system origin collapse from the interstellar medium, grain growth in the solar nebula, formation of planetesimals and planets, early evolution of the planets and other possible planetary systems physical and chemical evidence upon which the ideas concerning the origin of the solar system are based. Offered: jointly with ASTR 557.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 583

ESS 584 Space Law and Policy (5) Saadia M. Pekkanen
Law and policy foundations of outer space activities. Essential origins, sources, and role of space law, as well as key institutions, forums, and forces shaping the contemporary governance of space activities. Provides a thorough grounding in U.N. treaties, principles, resolutions, regulations, and private international and national space laws and policies. Offered: jointly with A A 590/JSIS B 544 Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 584

ESS 585 Climate Impacts on the Pacific Northwest (4) Mantua, Snover
Knowledge of past/future patterns of climate to improve Pacific Northwest resource management. Topics include the predictability of natural/human-caused climate changes past societal reactions to climate impacts on water, fish, forest, and coastal resources how climate and public policies interact to affect ecosystems and society. Offered: jointly with ATM S 585/ENVIR 585/SMEA 585 Sp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 585

ESS 586 Current Research in Climate Change (2, max. 20)
Weekly lectures focusing on a particular aspect of climate (topic to change each year) from invited speakers (both UW and outside), plus one or two keynote speakers, followed by class discussion. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: jointly with ATM S 586/OCEAN 586.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 586

ESS 587 Fundamentals of Climate Change (3)
Examines Earth's climate system distribution of temperature, precipitation, wind ice, salinity, and ocean currents fundamental processes determining Earth's climate energy and constituent transport mechanisms climate sensitivity natural climate variability on interannual to decadal time scales global climate models predicting future climate. Offered: jointly with ATM S 587/OCEAN 587.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 587

ESS 588 The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate (3) Emerson
Oceanic and terrestrial biogeochemical processes controlling atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Records of past changes in the earth's carbon cycle from geological, oceanographic, and terrestrial archives. Anthropogenic perturbations to cycles. Develop simple box models, discuss results of complex models. Offered: jointly with ATM S 588/OCEAN 588 W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 588

ESS 589 Paleoclimatology: Data, Modeling, and Theory (3)
Evidence for past changes in land and sea surface temperature, in precipitation and atmospheric dynamics, and in ocean circulation: both long and interannual timescales. Paleoclimate modeling and theory. Time series analysis and climate noise. Rapid climate change. Statistical reconstruction of interannual variability. Offered: jointly with ATM S 589/OCEAN 589.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 589

ESS 592 Professional Practice in Applied Geosciences (1, max. 3)
Covers major issues and current topics in the practice of Geosciences: professional licensing, ethics, business trends, environmental regulation, emerging technologies. Includes internships and career guidance, as well as weekly guest speakers. Offered: AWSp.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 592

ESS 593 Climate Science Seminar (1) Mote
Focuses on how to communicate climate science to many different audiences through careful construction of figures and through written and oral communication. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: jointly with ATM S 593/OCEAN 593 W.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 593

ESS 594 Introduction to Earth and Space Sciences Research (1-2, max. 4)
Introduces research of faculty and advanced graduate students to first-year graduate students and provides experience for the formulation, oral presentation, and defense of research proposals and results.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 594

ESS 595 Earth and Space Sciences Research Methods (2, max. 30)
Current research methodology and results based on recent literature and on faculty and student research. Designed to develop student perspective on observational and theoretical methods and on relation of specific research to broader developments in geophysics and interdisciplinary aspects of geophysics through faculty-guided presentations and discussion by students. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 595

ESS 596 Climate Science Capstone Project ([1-5]-, max. 5) Mote
Climate capstone directed by a mentor, may be a group effort, and may encompass curriculum development, internships, workshop organization, etc., capturing interdisciplinary aspects of climate science and effective communication of climate science. Offered: jointly with ATM S 596/OCEAN 596 AWSpS.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 596

ESS 597 Applied Geoscience Investigation (1-5, max. 10)
Independent investigation in applied geosciences guided by a faculty member and commonly in association with an off-campus mentor or stakeholder organization. Must complete project agreement in advance of registration. Prerequisite: ESS 592 and permission of instructor Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSpS.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 597

ESS 599 Seminar (1, max. 24)
Review of current literature in geophysics and graduate student research with faculty participation. Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 599

ESS 600 Independent Study or Research (*-)
Credit/no-credit only.
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 600

ESS 601 Internship (*)
Graduate internship and final exam. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Instructors: Crider, Troost
View course details in MyPlan: ESS 601


3/16 B day classes: please submit your weathering HW (1-16) via email. It can be scanned OR you send photo images! For any A day students absent last Friday, you may do the same-note, this is not due until we start online classes, however you can send it

I will be accepting test corrections from your geologic history unit exam online. (please use your school email to contact me). Please take a photo of your scanned scranton and attach typed test corrections with your explanations for %25 credit back. Just as with normal extra help after school, I would be glad to take questions via email. For any student who has yet to make up the weathering rates lab from Monday 3/9 A or Tuesday 3/10 B, please know you can easily do this lab/experiment at home using alka seltzer tablets if you have them on hand! The lab is located in our class resource page under our surface processes unit. Anything can be opened in Microsoft word and emailed to me.

I will continue to update our class page with further direction from administration in event that remote teaching take place. For now I am asking for all students to take this opportunity to make up missed work from prior absences and/or late/incomplete work (all lab workasudual are under class page resources). There are no current required new assignments. As of 3/13 we have covered all of weathering (environmental factors and physical vs chemical weathering examples)- lesson videos have already been posted for these previously taught topics under class resources, surface processes (unit 6), lesson videos.


Mass. Teachers’ Union Official Charged With Larceny

A former finance director of the Massachusetts Teachers Association has been charged with stealing $802,000 from the union’s coffers over a six-year period.

Richard Anzivino, 48, allegedly erected a complex embezzlement scheme to raid the association’s bank account from 1996 to 2002 for his personal use, said Beth Stone, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly.

Mr. Anzivino was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on seven counts of larceny and fraud last month, Ms. Stone said. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 23 and faces a maximum of 10 years in state prison if convicted of the charges.

A letter sent by the association to its members, dated March 21, states that Ed Sullivan, the MTA’s executive director-treasurer, confronted Mr. Anzivino last September, after being alerted to a potential problem. The former finance director admitted wrongdoing, the letter said, and was immediately fired. He had served in the position since 1994 and previously had worked as the assistant finance director, beginning in 1988, according to union sources.

Union officials said the alleged plot was so intricate that not even standard accountability procedures unearthed the problem. Instead, Mr. Anzivino’s bank alerted the union’s bank about suspicious activities that were then brought to the union’s attention.

“The MTA was the victim of a crime,” Ann Clarke, the general counsel for the 97,000-member union, an affiliate of the National Education Association, said in a statement. “But there will be no impact on member dues or to our programs and services, as we are fully insured for the loss.”

Steps have been taken to provide better financial accountability within the union, she said.

Audits and Oversight

Mr. Anzivino, who Ms. Stone said did not yet have a lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

Beginning in 1996, Mr. Anzivino allegedly wrote 270 checks to himself, which he then cashed or deposited into his personal checking account, the attorney general’s office reported. Each check was for $5,000 or less, ensuring that the transaction did not have to be approved by another union official.

“This occurred despite due diligence on the part of the MTA,” the March 21 letter from the union said. “Standard professional year-end audits by professional accountants had been done in each of the years in question.”

Matthew M. Delaney, an art teacher at Whitman- Hanson Regional High School in suburban Boston, suggested that the NEA should provide closer oversight of its state affiliates.

The alleged embezzlement “does not break my trust in the union,” he said. “But this is a red flag that [both organizations] need to pay more attention.”

The NEA already provides “excellent accountability” for state affiliates, said Kathleen Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based organization. The parent body reviews each state’s audit and provides “exhaustive details” to its members on financial matters, she said.

The Massachusetts theft charges have come as a union scandal is still unfolding in the District of Columbia, where the American Federation of Teachers has taken over its troubled affiliate after charges that officials of the local union stole at least $5 million. (“Union Local Loses Control of Operations,” Jan. 29, 2003.)


UC Berkeley's Department of Earth and Planetary Science (EPS) was the first major center of academic geology in the western United States. Berkeley geologists made the first detailed study of a major earthquake, developed potassium-argon dating, brought the rigor of thermodynamics into geology, and discovered the evidence that a comet impact killed the dinosaurs.

With growing concerns over environmental deterioration and depletion of resources, focus has broadened to include issues of urgent social relevance. Many departments at Berkeley are involved in environmental questions, ranging from policy, management, economics, and engineering to social concerns, but all have to base their conclusions upon a sound scientific understanding of Planet Earth. It is up to geologists, geochemists, and geophysicists to provide that background.

The interests of the faculty cover a broad range of earth sciences. The traditional fields of petrology, mineralogy, mineral resources, and structural geology are represented. A rapidly growing field is micro-biogeochemistry. Solid earth geophysics includes a unique combination of expertise in seismology, mineral physics, and geodynamics. The earthquake and tectonics programs benefit from the resources made available through the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL). A vigorous program in geomorphology and surface processes attracts many students. Recently, the department has added expertise in marine, atmospheric, and planetary sciences, with links to related programs in the Departments of Chemistry, Astronomy, Geography and Environmental Science, and Policy Management. Additional resources for research are available through the Berkeley Atmospheric Science Center (BASC) and the Center for Integrated Planetary Science (CIPS). Resources for Geochemists include the Center for Isotope Geochemistry and the Berkeley Geochronology Center. Some faculty members have strong collaborations with the Earth Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (ESD-LBNL) and make extensive use of the Advanced Light Source (ALS).

Research Facilities

Center for Isotope Geochemistry (CIG), directed by Professor Donald DePaolo, is a joint research center of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. CIG provides state-of-the-art analyses for measuring concentrations and isotopic compositions of elements in rocks, minerals, fluids, and gases in the earth's crust, oceans, and atmosphere. CIG has seven mass spectrometers that provide high-precision isotopic and isotope dilution analyses of Rb, Sr, Nd, Sm, Ca, K, Re, Os, Fe, U, Th, Pb, Ba, La, Ce clean laboratories and clean mineral separation and rock preparation laboratories. Materials analyzed are rock, ocean and ground waters, and naturally occurring noble gases.

The Center for Atmospheric Sciences is a new multidisciplinary academic group at Berkeley. It focuses on the processes that maintain and alter the atmosphere's chemical composition and circulation. It also examines the climatic effects of changes in these processes. A special emphasis is the interaction between the geosphere-biosphere and climate, with the atmosphere as the synthesizer of changes at its boundaries, and the communicator of these changes to the other spheres. Center members and associates are from the Departments of Earth and Planetary Science Chemistry Environmental Science, Policy and Management Mechanical Engineering as well as the Space Sciences Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, among others. Research approaches are multifaceted, and include global three-dimensional circulation models satellite observations high-precision instrumentation for atmospheric chemistry aircraft measurements of stratospheric-tropospheric exchange and measurements and simulations of atmosphere-biosphere exchange of trace gases. This diversity permits the center to pose and attack new questions about past and future climate change.

Berkeley Geomorphology Group prospers because of the diversity of strong research programs across the campus and because of a commitment to undergraduate teaching and graduate training. The core faculty consist of Kurt Cuffey (Geography), William Dietrich, Jim Kirchner, and Michael Manga (Earth and Planetary Science). Their research programs tackle a wide range of topics, including glacier mechanics paleoclimate analysis hydrology environmental geochemistry landscape evolution hillslope erosion mechanics fluvial processes restoration geomorphology and biologic extinctions and evolutionary processes. These faculty and their students interact and collaborate with many other related groups on campus.

Active Tectonics Group uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate active tectonic processes and the rheology of the earth's lithosphere. This approach integrates geodetic, seismologic, geomorphic, and geologic observations with theoretical models to improve scientific understanding of fault-zone processes and crustal deformation. Of particular value in this endeavor are space geodetic observations employing the Global Positioning System and Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry to precisely measure deformation near active faults, volcanoes, and landslides. Members of the group, led by Roland Bürgmann, often interact closely with colleagues in the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and the Geomorphology Group.

The Berkeley Geochronology Center is a nonprofit research institution dedicated to establishing the evolution of the earth, its various inhabitants, and its interactions with the rest of our solar system, throughout the 4.6 billion years of the planet's existence. BGC scientists determine the ages of rocks and other materials to date important events in geological and biological history. Through understanding such information in geologic context, BGC research provides key insights into such processes as plate tectonics volcanism mountain building mass extinctions climate change interactions between the earth and solar system and the evolution of life, including humankind.

The Berkeley Seismological Laboratory: The University operates several networks of geophysical instruments in Northern California to study earthquakes and tectonic processes at the regional scale a network of 26 broadband seismometers, regionally distributed and linked by continuous telemetry to UC Berkeley, forms the core of the monitoring program. In addition, a network of permanent GPS stations and a network of borehole seismometers are maintained and operated by the lab as well as an online archive for earthquake-related data in Northern California. Research includes the study of earthquake wave-propagation through complex structures, the nature of earthquake sources, eigenvibrations of the earth, and global tomography.

Center for Computational Geoscience: Within the Earth Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a facility for modern seismological research which relies heavily upon intensive computational analysis (e.g., acoustic imaging, 3D wave propagation, high-resolution inverse earthquake analyses) or large database manipulations. The center is used in a number of PhD and postdoctoral research studies.

The Engineering Geoscience Group teaches and researches Applied Geophysics. It is an integral part of the Geological Engineering Group within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. Originally, the group formed in 1962 to study and encourage the use of geophysical methods in mineral and petroleum exploration programs. Recently attention has shifted to the more general topic of subsurface mapping and imaging. While research in resource exploration topics is still actively pursued, the group's activities now include work on methodology and instrument development for a variety of near surface applications related to the resolution of geotechnical and environmental problems. In this area, the group works jointly with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on site remediation, near surface hydrology, and soil stability projects. Incidentally, geophysical technology developed for use in shallow subsurface regions can also be used as an aid to archaeological searches. The technology is also expected to play a key role in resolving contemporary problems associated with the detection and removal of buried explosive ordinance.

Center for Integrative Planetary Science (CIPS) is a new organized research unit at UC Berkeley. Their task is to unite scientists and students from many disciplines on a rapidly emerging scientific landscape characterized by striking developments. These discoveries, and others during the past decade, have revealed a remarkable set of connections among many separate traditional sciences: geophysics, astrophysics, meteorology, oceanography, organic chemistry, biology, and planetary science. These disciplines are well represented at Berkeley, where strong research programs with long records of accomplishment have existed for some time in diverse campus departments, the Space Science Laboratory, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. CIPS takes advantage of these strengths with the integrated study of the physical origin and geochemical evolution of planets and planetary systems. Much of the compelling research about the solar system and other planetary systems will require knowledge across traditional disciplinary boundaries. From the condensation of planets within protoplanetary discs to the geochemical history of planets and moons, future researchers will require frontier knowledge of all related disciplines.

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Program

Earth and Planetary Science: MA (the MA program is only open to students who majored in EPS at Berkeley), PhD


Watch the video: STCW Training at mimet 2016 (October 2021).