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CoursesTaught

GEOL 0050 Mars, Moon, and the Earth
Instructor: J. F. Mustard
Space exploration has revealed an astonishing array of surface features on the planets and their satellites. Why are atmospheres on the planets different from Earth's atmosphere? Do other planets represent our past or future environment? Is there life on other planets? The planets and their histories are compared to gain insight and a new perspective on planet Earth.

GEOL 0810 Planetary Geology
Instructor: R. E. Milliken
Geology of solid planets. Focuses on a mission to Mars through an understanding of processes that shape planetary surfaces. Terrestrial analogs, conceptual models, and laboratory simulations are used as reality checks. Integration of these processes through time reveals the geologic evolution of the planets. Three lectures and one discussion session per week. Prerequisite: GEOL 0010 or 0050 or 0220 or written permission.

GEOL 1330 Global Environmental Remote Sensing
Instructor: J. F. Mustard
Introduction to physical principles of remote sensing across electromagnetic spectrum and application to the study of Earth's systems (oceans, atmosphere, and land). Topics: interaction of light with materials, imaging principles and interpretation, methods of data analysis. Laboratory work in digital image analysis, classification, and multi-temporal studies. One field trip to Block Island. Prerequisites: MATH 0090, 0100; PHYS 0060; background courses in natural sciences; or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 1710 Remote Sensing of Earth and Planetary Surfaces

Instructor: R. E. Milliken
Geologic applications of remotely sensed information derived from interaction of electromagnetic radiation (X-ray, gamma-ray, visible, near-IR, mid-IR, radar) with geologic materials. Applications emphasize remote geochemical analyses for both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. Several spectroscopy and image processing labs. Prerequisites: GEOL 0230, PHYS 0060, or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 2330 Advanced Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems
Instructor: J. F. Mustard
Strategies and the physical principles behind the quantitative extraction of geophysical and biophysical measurements from remotely sensed data. Advanced methods of digital image processing and data integration. Introduction to Geographical Imaging Systems (GIS) and methods of integrating remotely sensed data into a GIS framework. Prerequisites: GEOL 1330 or 1710; MATH 0100; PHYS 0060, or instructor permission.

GEOL 2800 The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Mars
Instructor: 
Examination of the chemical and mineralogical composition of Mars as revealed from meteorites and spacecraft missions. Example topics include: SNC meteorites, origin and evolution of the crust, alteration processes, remote near- and thermal-infrared observations, remote gamma-ray and neutron measurements, and petrology of surface materials. Recommended courses: GEOL 1410, 1420, 1710, or equivalent. No prerequisites.

GEOL 2810 Planetary Science Seminar
Instructor: Staff
Focus on several areas of new research and current topics not necessarily covered in the core curriculum but of interest and importance to planetary scientists. Emphasis on critical evaluation of ideas, approach, results, and implications. Example topics include extra-solar-system planets, sample return issues, unanswered questions about Mercury, Pluto, etc.

GEOL 2810 Planetary Science Seminar
Instructor: Professor James Head; Research Associates Ross Potter and David Baker.
New data for the Moon and Mercury from recent missions (including Chandrayaan-1, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, GRAIL and MESSENGER) permit new insights into “The Crater to Basin Transition on the Moon and Mercury”. In this seminar course we will examine this transition using these new data and recent developments in cratering theory and modeling. The course will feature research from the NASA SSERVI activity. Prerequisites: Instructor permission. M Hour (3:00 PM-5:20 PM Mondays).

GEOL 2840 Asteroids and Meteorites
Instructor: R. E. Milliken
Compositional and petrographic characteristics of meteorites are examined along with the physical and compositional diversity of asteroids and other small bodies of the solar system. Possible links between specific types of asteroids and meteorite groups will be evaluated in the context of early solar system evolution. Data from spacecraft encounters with asteroids will be critically reviewed.

GEOL 2850 Regolith Processes
Instructor: Staff
Particulate material (regoliths) and soils develop on every planetary surface. Physical and chemical alteration of the uppermost surface results from interwoven active processes of specific environments. Understanding these processes and products is central to interpreting data returned from planetary surfaces. Regoliths reflect surface history over a variety of time scales. Several planetary environments are examined in detail. Prerequisites: GEOL 1410, 1710, 2880, or instructor permission.

GEOL 2860 Planetary Volcanology
Instructor: J. W. Head
An examination of volcanism using observations of features and deposits on planetary bodies, comparing them to predictions from the theory of magma ascent and emplacement. Attention to the influence of different variables (e.g. gravity, composition, temperature, pressure, and atmospheric effects). The history of planetary volcanism, its relation to thermal evolution, and comparative planetary volcanology are also addressed. Offered alternate years.

GEOL 2870 Planetary Evolution
Instructor: Staff
Characteristics of one or more planetary bodies are examined to illustrate critical geological problems related to planetary formation and evolution. This year emphasis is on the Moon. The surface and interior will be examined, as well as global composition and spacecraft data. Recommended courses: GEOL 1420, 1450, and 1710.

GEOL 2870 Planetary Evolution: Phobos and Deimos: The Moons of Mars
Instructors: J. W. Head and K. Ramsley
A major goal of the course is to identify major outstanding questions and scientific and exploration goals for robotic and human exploration of Phobos and Deimos. Sponsored by NASA SSERVI, the series is jointly organized and led by SSERVI teams at University of Central Florida (CLASS) and Brown University/MIT (SEEED) with many SSERVI-affiliated institutions participating.

GEOL 2880 Planetary Cratering
Instructor: B. Johnson
Impact cratering affects nearly every solid-body object in the solar system. A major impact can produce relief comparable to the highest terrestrial mountains in just a few minutes. Course assesses the impact cratering process and record in different planetary environments, at different scales, and at different times. Offered alternate years. Written permission required.

GEOL 2910A Problems in Antarctic Dry Valley Geoscience

Instructor: J. W. Head
The Antarctic Dry Valleys represent an extreme hyperarid polar desert environment. Their geomorphology records the range of processes operating in these environments, preserving a record of climate change of millions of years. Major microenvironments are studied at the micro-, meso-, and macro-scale through literature review, field analyses, and research projects. Exobiological themes and climate change on Mars will be assessed.

GEOL 2920K The Hydrological Cycle on Mars
Instructor: J. W. Head
Evidence for the changing hydrological cycle on Mars, ranging from what appears to be an early warm and wet Mars, through history to the present very cold polar desert Antarctic-like environment will be examined. The aim of the course will be to understand the modern and ancient water cycles on Mars with the particular focus on how liquid water has shaped the surface we see on Mars. Individual topics that will be discussed include observations of the Mars fluvial record, erosion/sedimentation, weathering, sediment production, and sediment transport. We will also discuss connections with the cratering record and landform evolution. The ultimate goal is to tie these observations of the hydrological cycle with models for how the climate has changed over time.