EAPS Seminars and Special Offerings

Interested in cross registration and need more information? Visit our Cross-Registration page for a summary of useful links.

PLEASE NOTE:  Subjects listed on this page are being taught under a Special Problems number, used for one time only classes. The title and description that you will see on the Registrar's and pre-registration sites will NOT match what you see here. They will list the general info that applies to all terms and years. Register for the right number, and you will be in the class you want.

SPRING 2018 | IAP 2018 | FALL 2017


SPRING 2018

12.S489  Seminar on Dynamics of Melt Migration
Units: 3
Schedule:  Th 10:00am-12:00pm, 54-1827

Melting and melt extraction from Earth’s interior influence much of the chemical exchange between the mantle, crust and the atmosphere and contribute to the differentiation of our planet. Melting of rocks commences at the grain scale whenever the rocks cross their solidus. Understanding of the mechanical and transport properties of the resulting mixture solid grains and liquid melt is an outstanding challenge in Earth Sciences.
In this seminar, we will review current research on the dynamics of partially molten regions in the crust and mantle from several perspectives. We will discuss seminal papers tackling the deformation behavior of solid-liquid composites, current geophysical observations of partially molten regions, the chemical signature of melt-rock interactions and geological evidence of melt migration. This is a graduate level seminar for students with background in rock physics, structural geology, seismology and petrology. Instructor: M. Pec

12.093/ 12.S491  Making Oxygenating Great Again
Units:  TBA
Schedule: Friday, 2-4pm, 54-517

In this seminar, we will discuss observations from which models of atmospheric oxygen evolution were built, and hypotheses to explain the timing and/or mechanisms of the oxygenation.  Mechanisms of oxidation can be “roughly” divided into three groups, those related to 1) the planetary scale process (e.g., hydrogen escape), 2) Earth interior processes (e.g., cooling of the Earth, mantle redox, plate tectonics), and 3) the biological evolution and interplay between primary productivity and organic burial. 

Instructors:  T. Bosak, O. Jagoutz, S. Ono

12.095/ 12.S591  Seminar on Possible Earthquake Prediction
Units:  6
Schedule:  Wed 2:30 – 4:30PM, 54-824

Description:  TBA
Instructor:  F.D. Morgan

12.S493  Mass Spectometry for Geobiologists
Units:  TBA
Schedule:  T 3:30pm-5:00pm, E25-605

Description TBA
Instructor:  R. Summons

12.S592  Mass Spectometry for Geobiologists
Units:  9
Schedule:  F 10:00m-12:00pm, 54-1623

Follow on subject to the Spring class on Machine Learning that enables one to design Learning-based approaches for geophysical applications. Topics from the following areas are studied, based on class interest: Non-Parametric Bayesian Inference, Graphical Models, Trees and Forests, Kernel Machines, Ensemble Learning, Manifold Learning, Transfer Learning, and Recurrent and Deep Learning. See subject website for more information.
Instructor:  S. Ravela

12.s593 Using Ambient Seismic Noise as Signal for Tomography, Imaging, and Monitoring
Units:  6
Schedule:  Will run from Feb. 19 - April 6th on Thursday from 9am - 11am in 54-517

Since the first seismic records in the late 19th century, seismic waves have been extensively used to scan the structure of the Earth. The realization that background, erratic, seismic noise can be used as an ubiquitous source of useful signal has recently revolutionized our ability to image the Earth and unravel the functioning of devastating seismic faults and volcanoes. The course will start with a brief introduction of pertinent seismological concepts and theoretical background. It will then address how one can obtain information about the structure and deformation of the Earth’s interior from seismic noise. The course introduces theory of noise-based seismology and monitoring and shows fascinating examples in the domains of volcanoes, earthquakes, and hydrocarbon reservoirs.  Time permitting, the course will also cover some aspects of inverse scattering with application to crust and mantle studies.
Instructor:  Florent Brenguier

12.s595 Multiphase Fluid Flow in Porous Permeable Media
Units:  6
Schedule:  Will run from April 2 - May 17 on TTh 2-4pm in 54-824

Multiphase fluid flow in porous/permeable media has broad application to ground water hydrology, oil/gas reservoirs, and for CO2 sequestration and storage.  The course will cover the basic physical properties of fluids and numerical solution methods for single- and multi-phase flow.  Stability and convergence of the linear and non-linear systems will be discussed for selecting the proper algorithms.  Numerical methods for one-, two-, and three-dimensional flow with capillarity effects will be presented.  The course will include hands-on computation exercises and encourage the participants to select a project on which to work as an individual or as a team.
Instructor:  Ali Dogru

12.s991 Reading Course on Latent Heat Effects on Extratropical Weather

Units:  TBA
Schedule:  TBA

After reviewing some essential moist thermodynamics, we will read

through individual papers dealing with the effects of phase change of

water on middle latitude systems such as fronts and cyclones.

Instructor:  Kerry Emanual


IAP 2018

12.S591   Image Analysis in the Geosciences
Units: 12
Schedule:  Week 3, 9:00am - 5:00pm, 14-0637

The aim of the workshop is to familiarize participants with a number of image processing and analysis methods which will allow them to derive quantitative measurements from images. We will focus on the analysis of rock microstructures from sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. We will cover the topics of image segmentation, area and volume estimation, size and shape analysis and much more. The workshop consist of morning lectures and afternoon hands-on practice. The participants are encouraged to bring their own images of samples they would like to analyze. Participants taking the course for credit will be required to finish a short project. Instructor: M. Pec

12.091/ 12.S593   Origin of Life Seminar Series
Units:  3
Schedule:  1/10, 1/11, 1/29 at 4:00pm in 54-915 & 2/2 at 4:00pm in E25-605

A series of hosted lectures from leaders in the Origin of Life community, focusing on various dimensions of one of the most challenging problems in the biological and planetary sciences.  Topics will include the origin of cells, metabolism, replication and proteins, as well as the geochemical conditions on the Early Earth that led to prebiotic and early biotic systems.  Enrolled students will attend 4-5 seminars during IAP, actively engage in Q & A sessions with invited speakers in a panel format, and collaborate on creating an Origins of Life online blog resource highlighting the work of invited speakers. Instructor: G. Fournier


Fall 2017

12.S490   Microbes and minerals
Units: 3-0-6
Schedule: MW 9:30-11, E25-605
Microbe-mineral interactions occur at the scale of microbial cells and can leave a macroscopic record in sediments. This graduate-level bi-weekly seminar class examines classic and recent studies of microbe-mineral interactions and trains students to critically read the literature and examine arguments in Earth sciences. Students examine analytical tools, experimental approaches and field observations used to connect microbial processes at the molecular level to fossil preservation and the formation of the sedimentary record. The class is also open to undergraduates interested in Geobiology who have taken 12.007 and Biology GIR or Chemistry GIR. Instructor: Bosak

12.090/12.S492   The Phylogenomic Planetary Record
Undergraduate and Graduate numbers
Units: 3-0-9
Schedule: TR 2:00-3:30PM (14-0637)
There are only two records of events in Earth's deep past, that preserved within rocks, and that preserved within genomes.  This course introduces the tools of sequence-based phylogenetic analysis and molecular evolution in the context of studying this genomic record.  Topics will include basic concepts of cladistics, phylogeny, and sequence evolution, construction of phylogenetic trees of genes and microbial lineages, molecular clocks, dating, and ancestral sequence reconstruction.  Special attention will be given to the evolutionary history of microbial metabolisms, and their relationship to global biogeochemical cycles across Earth's history.  Coursework will include lectures, paper discussions, and hands-on computer lab training in bioinformatics and molecular evolution data analysis. Instructor: Fournier

12.S493   The Forensics of Food
Units: 6
Schedule: T 4-6pm, E25-602
This will be a weekly reading group/seminar.
Instructor: Summons

12.093/12.S491   Newfoundland Geology
Undergraduate and Graduate numbers
Units: 2
Schedule: TBA
For those studnents wishing to obtain credit for participation in the Newfoundland field trip.
Instructor: Bergmann

12.S592 Machine Learning for Natural Systems
Units: 9
Schedule: F 9-11, 54-1623
Follow on subject to the Spring class on Machine Learning that enables one to design Learning-based approaches for geophysical applications. Topics from the following areas are studied, based on class interest: Non-Parametric Bayesian Inference, Graphical Models, Trees and Forests, Kernel Machines, Ensemble Learning, Manifold Learning, Transfer Learning, and Recurrent and Deep Learning. See subject website for more information.
Instructor: Ravela