Graduate Seminars (9000 level)

The course will focus on reading and discussing recent papers from the primary biogeoscience literature, arranged thematically around a subject that is of interest to the students in the course. Students will gain exposure to the primary literature, gain experience in evaluating published research, and gain presentation experience. Recommended Preparation: One 4000-level or higher course in biogeoscience (or instructor approval). Meeting time: One day a week for 75 minutes Grading: P/F Required Readings, Expectations/Assignments/Basis for Evaluation: weekly reading and discussions of recent papers from the biogeoscience literature. Students will take a significant role in leading discussion during at least one class period. Evaluation will be based on student performance in presentations and participation in discussions. Weekly schedule: each week, students will read, present and discuss 1-3 papers from the current biogeoscience literature Note location: This seminar meets at the Lamont Campus. 

The last interglacial serves as a natural analogue for studying Earth’s climate system during warm periods, especially those warmer than today. The penultimate glacial (MIS 6) and termination II set the stage for the last interglacial period. However, climatic conditions during this time period are poorly understood and differences relative to the last deglaciation could skew our modeling and data interpretation for the last interglacial. On the other hand, these differences could provide unique insights into our climate system both during glacial-interglacial transitions and warmer-than present climate conditions. Particularly, they might help us understand how and why the last peak interglacial was warmer than the Holocene and characterized by higher sea level.

This seminar aims to review and compile our knowledge of the climatic conditions including paleo sea level, ice sheet evolution, ocean circulation, and other paleoclimatic records from the penultimate glacial to the last interglacial (ca. 160 – 120 ka). We are interested in assessing uncertainties in the available data, exploring similarities and differences to the last glacial maximum and termination I (and reasons therefore), and investigating implications for the last interglacial.

This seminar is targeted at students interested in paleoclimate research from all divisions, who want to better understand paleoclimate proxies and field observations, interpret them in the light of numerical models, and explore their implications for Pleistocene climate. Other members of the Lamont community are encouraged to participate on a regular or drop-in basis. 

Discussion of current developments in rock and water geochemistry.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Climate change and environmental catastrophes are on the rise, and it has been well-documented by now that those facing the heaviest impacts have largely been communities of color and / or working class. Many of these communities are also survivors of colonialism’s deeper histories and ongoing impacts, and yet these same communities have long had much to teach on how to be in better relations with our planet and each other. This course takes seriously these teachings as we examine the colonial foundations of the discipline of geology, the bedrock of the earth and climate sciences. The premise of this course is that environmental justice cannot be realized, nor can climate change be adequately addressed without a serious reckoning of the ongoing legacies of colonialism and a correction of its harms. The first track of the course focuses on the history of modern science, the formation of discipline of geology, its ideological underpinnings that rendered the earth an inert object to be exploited, and how its legacies endure as it continues to be taken up in extractive ways – from the colonial era, to modern (post-colonial) states as well as in settler colonial contexts. The second track of the course engages several anti-colonial and critical science scholars and asks: what would it mean to revisit the foundations of the discipline with a decolonial lens? The course also includes a practical component: a group pilot project that thinks about this question alongside local environmental issues.

Current research developments in atmospheric sciences including tropical climate variability, stratospheric dynamics, atmospheric chemistry, remote sensing of the Earth's atmosphere, and global climate modeling.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. 

This course will focus on reading and discussing papers from the urban food security literature. The readings will be focused thematically around fundamentals of urban food security and (1) climate shocks to urban food security, (2) economic shocks to urban food security, (3) COVID-19 as it affects food security, including its effects on food security in NYC. The geographic focus of the course will be broad, including papers focused on low and middle income countries as well as those focusing on New York City. Instructors will provide possible readings, but students are encouraged to suggest relevant papers and are expected to lead all or part of one discussion. The class will meet once a week for 75 minutes.

Review and critical study of selected current research problems. Topics covered: Oceans of other planets and moons. 

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Seismology Seminar: Topics in Global and Regional Seismology; Earth structure at global and regional scales; earthquake source analysis; seismotectonics; current topics in the geophysical literature.