Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Courses Offered
Earth and Environment

A list of regularly offered courses follows. The indication as to when a course will be offered is based on the best projection of the department and may be subject to change.

Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

GEOSCIENCES

110. The Dynamic Earth. (N) Every Semester

Composition and distribution of earth materials; examination of internal earth processes and their relationship to mountain-building and plate tectonics; surficial processes and environmental problems. Field trips. Staff

114. Earth, Environment and Humanity. (N) (NSP) Every  Semester

Investigation of the Earth with emphasis on opportunities and constraints on human activities arising from its properties. Structure and processes of the Earth; natural hazards; the role of humans in changing the face of the Earth; surface and ground water use and management; formation and degradation of soils; energy resources; human wastes. Laboratories focus on principles involved in local, national and global environmental problems and their resolution. Field trips. Same as ENV 114. Staff

115. Evolution: Patterns and Process of Change in Nature. (NSP) Fall 2013

The general concept of evolutionary change: spontaneous emergence and historical development of complex, organized systems in nature. Evolution and the nature of time. Energy and the emergence of order from chaos. Comparative study of processes responsible for directional change in the universe, the solar system, the Earth and its crust, the evolution of living organisms and the development of human cultures. Time scales of change. Same as STS 115. Thomas

118. Introduction to Oceanography. (N) Spring 2015

World’s oceans and our interactions with them. Origin of ocean basins and seawater. Origin of submarine topographic features and sediments. Ocean floor spreading and plate tectonics. Origin, distribution and influence of ocean currents. Coastal processes and coastlines. Marine ecosystems. Biological, energy and mineral resources of the oceans. Staff

205. Archaeometry: Natural Sciences as Applied to Archaeology. (N) Spring 2014

Application of methods from the natural sciences to study of archaeological environments and artifacts. Scientific principles underlying techniques; application to archaeological problems. Major topics include: dating methods; analysis and characterization of artifacts; location of sites and features within sites; paleoenvironment and paleoecology. Prerequisite: one archaeology course and one lab science course, or permission of the instructor. Same as ANT 205. Sternberg

221. History of the Earth. (N) Every Spring

Geologic time, principles of historical geology. Physical evolution of the Earth. Patterns of change in continents and oceans; reconstruction of ancient environments. Origin and evolution of life; its influence on the oceans, the atmosphere and the Earth’s crust. Field trips. Prerequisite: GEO 110 or 114 or 118. Mertzman, Thomas

226. Surface of the Earth. (N) Every Fall

Study of landform development. Roles of surficial processes controlled by climate and tectonics, rock characteristics and time. Special emphasis on mass wastage, surface and ground water, glaciation, wind and coastal processes in landscape development. Terrain analysis using topographic maps and aerial photographs; field trips. Relationship to environmental problems. Prerequisite: GEO 110 or 114 or 118. Same as ENV 226. Merritts

231. Structural Geology. (N) Fall 2013

Folding, flowage and faulting of the rocks of the Earth’s crust. Related causes and mechanics of mountain building. Mapping and interpretation of these features in the field. Prerequisite: GEO 110 or 114 or 118. Ismat

237. Physics of the Earth. (N) Spring 2015

Principles of physics as applied to understanding features and properties of the solid earth. Gravity, seismology, geomagnetism and paleomagnetism, heat flow; geophysical surveys. Laboratory. Prerequisite: GEO 110 or 114 and PHY 111, or permission. Same as PHY 237. Sternberg

250. Environmental Resources and Geographic Information Systems. (N) Spring 2014

Introduction to methods of analysis of contemporary environmental issues that rely on use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for assessment, understanding and solutions. GIS uses a variety of types of digital data, including remote sensing imagery, to generate computer maps of topography, land use, vegetation cover, soil type and resources for areas as small as Baker Campus and as large as the Amazon Basin. Same as ENV 250. A. de Wet

321. Mineralogy. (N) Fall 2013

Crystallography and crystal chemistry; physical and chemical properties, stability and occurrence of common minerals, with emphasis on the common rock-forming silicates. Laboratory studies include crystal symmetry, mineral examination in hand-specimen; introduction to the polarizing microscope. Prerequisite: CHM 111. Mertzman

322. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. (N) Spring 2014

Origin, occurrence and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rocks; interpretation and application of experimental phase equilibria and elementary thermodynamics. Laboratory: examination and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rocks, textures and mineral assemblages in hand-specimen and thin-section. Prerequisite: GEO 321. Mertzman

324. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. (N) Spring 2014

Geologic framework, environment of deposition and dynamics of sediments and sedimentary features; petrology and petrography of sedimentary rocks; interpretations derived from examination of sedimentary features and rock sequences in the field. Prerequisite: GEO 221 C. de Wet

344. Global Change/Natural Resources. (N) Every Fall

Exploration of variables involved in global change, ranging from natural drivers of change to humanity’s direct effects on geochemical cycles and biological communities. A portion of the course deals with climate change. The global impact of humans on the Earth’s natural resources is surveyed in a scientific framework. Possible ways in which humans might mitigate these impacts are addressed. Prerequisites: ENV/GEO 114 or BIO 110 or permission of the instructor. Same as ENV 344. Williams, Grand Pre

350. Landscape Geochemistry. (N) Fall 2014

Introduction to the theory, practice, and application of geochemistry to Earth’s surface: Emphases will be placed on understanding the interplay among Earth systems that influence climate and weathering, and the impacts these processes have on soil formation (the Critical Zone). Students will learn to: (a) conduct field research, (b) collect, process, and analyze samples by a variety of analytical methods, and (c) interpret data. Students will think critically by conducting meaningful research that is relevant to real scientific questions. Same as ENV 350. Walter

353. Summer Field Course. Every Summer

Lithologic, stratigraphic and structural geologic examination of classical areas; preparation of reports and geologic maps on topographic and aerial photographic base maps in areas of sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks; examination of mineral localities. Approved courses are offered by other institutions and accepted for credit with grade. The grade earned in this course will count in Franklin & Marshall GPA calculations, regardless of whether it is being taken as a required course for a major or minor or not. May be taken for one or two course credits. Prerequisite: permission of department chair. Staff

384. Changing Views of the Earth, 1650 – 1850. (S) Fall 2013

A Very Wreck of a World: speculative cosmologies, descriptive natural history and the origins of a science of the Earth. The age of the Earth and our “Place in Nature”: a fall from grace, limitless horizons and the Victorian commitment to progress. National and social origins of the science and scientists. Relation of new geological concepts to the Industrial Revolution and contemporary cultural themes, including their expression in the arts. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Same as STS 384. Thomas  

433. Paleontology. (N) Fall 2014 The nature of fossils.

 Analysis of growth and variation in fossil assemblages. Systematic methods. Reconstruction of the modes of life of extinct organisms. Paleoecology, paleobiogeography and biostratigraphy. Fossil record of evolutionary patterns and inferred processes in the history of life. Laboratory, field trips. Prerequisite: GEO 221 or permission of instructor. Thomas

438. Tectonics. 2014 – 2015

Global tectonics: seismological, geothermal, geomagnetic and geochronological evidence of crustal and mantle history and processes; mantle bulk properties and convection; plate tectonics; sea floor spreading; application of plate tectonics to continental masses; tectonic models. Prerequisite: GEO 231. Ismat

480. Senior Seminar (Geology of North America). Spring 2014

An exploration of key problems of contemporary interest in the Earth’s geologic history. Topics addressed have included the origin and stabilization of the North American craton and the magmatic, stratigraphic and structural histories of the Cordilleran and Appalachian orogenic belts. Prerequisite: senior standing in Geosciences. Staff

490. Independent Study.

Independent study directed by the Geosciences staff. Permission of chairperson. 

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

114. Earth, Environment and Humanity. (N) (NSP) Every Semester

Investigation of the Earth with emphasis on opportunities and constraints on human activities arising from its properties. Structure and processes of the Earth; natural hazards; the role of humans in changing the face of the Earth; surface and ground water use and management; formation and degradation of soils; energy resources; human wastes. Laboratories focus on principles involved in local, national and global environmental problems and their resolution. Field trips. Same as GEO 114. Staff

117. The Environment and Human Values. (S) Every Semester

Study of historical and modern attitudes toward nature; human use of nature’s resources; effects of the growth of science and technology on human uses of and attitudes toward the environment; and the ability of modern humans to substantially alter the environment (e.g., by altering global temperature). Key concepts: human population growth; the notion of “limits to growth”; and the difficulty of managing the use of common pool resources. Same as STS 117. Strick, DeSanto, Merritts, Richter

216. Environmental Policy. (S) Every Fall, Spring 2014

Surveys how federal, state and local regulations seek to protect human health and the environment. Introduces frameworks for managing wastes and protecting air quality, water quality and habitats. Reviews policy tools, including economic incentives, penalties and legal obligations. Reviews policy evaluation, focusing on federal statutes, the legislative process that creates them, the role of the judiciary and the success of environmental law in changing practices. DeSanto, Kulik

226. Surface of the Earth. (N) Every Fall

Study of landform development. Roles of surficial processes controlled by climate and tectonics, rock characteristics and time. Special emphasis on mass wastage, surface and ground water, glaciation, wind and coastal processes in landscape development. Terrain analysis using topographic maps and aerial photographs; field trips. Relationship to environmental problems. Prerequisite: GEO 110 or 114 or 118. Same as GEO 226. Merritts

234. Population. (S) (NSP) 2014 – 2015

Introduction to population studies focusing on the demography of modern societies. Topics include causes and effects of rapid population growth, changing mortality and fertility, urban growth, age/ sex composition and spatial distribution. While basic demographic analysis will be covered, emphasis will be on the sociocultural context of population processes. Prerequisites: ANT 100 or SOC 100 or ECO 100 or ENV 114 or ENV 117 or permission of the instructor. Same as ANT/STS 234. Billig

240. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. (S) Fall 2013

A survey of environmental and natural resource issues in economic theory and policy. History of the environmental movement and environmental debates; theory of natural resource allocation, natural resource issues; theory of environmental management — for example, externalities, public goods and common property. Topics covered will include pollution, resource depletion and global climate change. Prerequisites: ECO 100 and 103, or permission of the instructor. Same as ECO 240. Wright

245. Nature Essays. 2013 – 2015

An exploration of the themes, structures, styles and significance of American nature essays. The purposes of the course are to become familiar with nature essays as a distinctive form of interdisciplinary literature, to see the natural world and our place in it through the voices and visions of the best nature essayists, and to develop the arts of perception, reflection and compelling writing. The course includes weekly field trips and workshops in addition to class discussions of essays by more than 20 writers. Prerequisites: BIO 110, ENV 114 or ENV 117 and permission of the instructor. Same as BIO 245. Sipe

250. Environmental Resources and Geographic Information Systems. (N) Spring 2014

Introduction to methods of analysis of contemporary environmental issues that rely on use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for assessment, understanding and solutions. GIS uses a variety of types of digital data, including remote sensing imagery, to generate computer maps of topography, land use, vegetation cover, soil type and resources for areas as small as Baker Campus and as large as the Amazon Basin. Same as GEO 250. A. de Wet

260. Nature and Literature. (H) Spring 2014

Readings from a variety of traditions, periods, disciplines and genres to discover diverse assumptions about nature and humanity’s relation to it. Readings from both Western and non-Western cultures, though with emphasis on the British and Euro-American traditions. Such broad exploration across vast divides of time and culture should not only teach us about varied understandings of nature but also encourage self-consciousness as we form our own conceptions of what nature is and how we ought best to interact with and in it. Same as ENG 260. Mueller

280. American Landscape. (S) Fall 2013

An interdisciplinary study of the American landscape as it has evolved over centuries of human habitation. Examines three main themes: the domesticated and designed landscape of the mid-19th century; the crusade to preserve nature and the establishment of national and state parks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; and the sprawling, seemingly formless automobile-dominated landscape of the late 20th century. Same as AMS 280. Schuyler

312. Environmental History. (S) Fall 2014

Examination of various approaches to environmental and ecological history. Focuses on ways in which the physical and biological world have affected human history and on ways in which human social and political organization, economic activities, cultural values and scientific theories have shaped our alteration and conservation of nature. Selected case studies from environmental and ecological history, with emphasis on the 17th through the 20th centuries. Same as STS 312. Strick

313. Nuclear Power, Weapons and Waste Disposal. (NSP) (S) Fall 2013

Development of nuclear technology, beginning with the atomic bomb efforts of WW II. The course deals first with the technology itself, as well as with the ways in which it was embedded in and drove American and international politics, including the arms race and the Cold War. Includes postwar development of civilian nuclear power reactors, creation of the Atomic Energy Commission and the national debate over nuclear power and waste disposal methods. Same as STS 313. Strick

314. Comparative Environmental Politics. Spring 2014

Compares and contrasts environmental problem definition and policy solutions in different countries, with particular focus on the developing world. Investigates political drivers of air and water pollution, land cover change and biodiversity conservation. Analyzes how political structures, power relations, cultural values, ecological dynamics and social interactions influence environmental politics. Discusses the role of national and multilateral institutions, NGOs and civil society in policy debates. Explores how policies positively or negatively influence environment and society. Studies multi-stakeholder negotiations over environmental governance of global commons, including North-South disputes. Prerequisites: ENV/STS 117 or GOV 100 or INT 200. DeSanto

315. Health Risks in the Environment. Fall 2014

Known and emerging environmental hazards represent significant public health risks to vulnerable populations. Case studies include lead, tobacco, asthma, nutrition, and endocrine-disrupting compounds as well as common airborne and waterborne chemical and biological pollutants. The course develops an understanding of acute, chronic and cumulative health risks that result from short-term and long-term environmental exposures. Important epidemiological, demographic and environmental justice parameters are incorporated into students’ projects that focus on at-risk groups, such as children, the elderly and immuno-compromised individuals. Same as STS 315. Everett

320. Environmental Law. Spring 2014

The course provides an overview of current U.S. environmental laws, beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act (1969). Students will be introduced to the origin and implementation of major environmental laws that safeguard public health and protect the environment, including the Clean Air and Water Acts, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the 1980s legislative agenda developed to address hazardous waste, including the Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substance Control Act, and the Community Right-to-Know Act. Students study original legislation and explore landmark court cases by way of which political and economic pressures have influenced subsequent amendments to the original intent of these laws. Same as GOV 320. Staff

335. Business and the Natural Environment. (S) Spring 2014

Widespread concern for a cleaner environment and sustainable practices has put new demands on business. Exploration of philosophical, theoretical, strategic and policy issues facing organizations in relation to the natural environment. Same as BOS 335. Kurland

340. Plant Ecology. (N) Fall 2013

An exploration of plant ecology, organized by four applied themes: global atmospheric change, air pollution and acid deposition, deer-forest interactions, and invasive species. Classes will involve lectures, primary literature discussions, field trip discussions, and seminars by invited speakers. The laboratory will include local and overnight field trips. Prerequisites: BIO 110, BIO 220, and permission of the instructor. Same as BIO 340. Sipe

341. Environmental Chemistry. 2013 – 2015

Focuses on the chemistry of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and terrestrial environments. The objectives of this course are: 1) to understand the chemical basis underlying environmental processes, which includes understanding chemical composition, thermodynamic and kinetic controls, photochemical, oxidation and reduction reactions, aquo complexes and acid-base behavior; and 2) to use scientific literature to investigate current topics pertaining to environmental chemistry. Prerequisite: CHM112 and one of the following: CHM 221, CHM 212, GEO 226, GEO 326, BIO 220, BIO 323. Same as CHM 341. Morford

342. Forest Ecosystems. (N) Fall 2014

A course in basic and applied forest ecology, with particular emphasis on forest communities, ecosystems and landscapes. Topics include forest environments, tree physiology and growth, ecosystem productivity, biogeochemistry, disturbance regimes, regeneration processes and the history of eastern North American forests. The laboratory includes local field trips, multi-week projects and a voluntary trip to New England over fall break. Prerequisites: BIO 110, BIO 220 and permission of the instructor. Same as BIO 342. Sipe

344. Global Change/Natural Resources. (N) Every Fall

Exploration of variables involved in global change, ranging from natural drivers of change to humanity’s direct effects on geochemical cycles and biological communities. A portion of the course deals with climate change. The global impact of humans on the Earth’s natural resources is surveyed in a scientific framework. Possible ways in which humans might mitigate these impacts are addressed. Prerequisites: ENV/GEO 114 or BIO 110 or permission of the instructor. Same as GEO 344. Williams

350. Landscape Geochemistry. (N) Fall 2014

Introduction to the theory, practice, and application of geochemistry to Earth’s surface: Emphases will be placed on understanding the interplay among Earth systems that influence climate and weathering, and the impacts these processes have on soil formation (the Critical Zone). Students will learn to: (a) conduct field research, (b) collect, process, and analyze samples by a variety of analytical methods, and (c) interpret data. Students will think critically by conducting meaningful research that is relevant to real scientific questions. Same as GEO 350. Walter

454. Environmental Problems. (N) Every Spring

Readings, lectures, discussions and student presentations address critical issues underpinning modern environmental problems. Primary literature specific to some of these problems is employed. Working within this framework, students apply their accumulated knowledge of environmental studies and science to propose, conduct and write up a semester long research project exploring a local, regional or global environmental problem. Williams, Merritts

 490. Independent Study.

Independent study directed by the Earth and Environment staff. (Permission of chairperson)