Andean Earth Systems


Tentative Course Description (pending AAC approval):

Level: Advanced                                                                                                         Term: Spring 2013

This course will explore a number of Earth Systems shaping a portion of the longest mountain belt on the planet. We will discuss processes forming the Andes Mountains on timescales spanning millions of years to tens of years! Some of these processes include plate tectonics, erosion (glacial, wind, river), active faulting, regional climate patterns (ENSO, glacial cycles), land use (agriculture, water and mining), and geohazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides!) This course will involve multiple case studies focused in the Cordillera Blanca region of northern Peru. Students will read primary scientific literature and become "experts" in some area that fascinates them. The course capstone (although not required) will be a ~14 day field trip to the Cordillera Blanca of Peru where the students will have a chance to see and explore the environments they studied about during the term. This course will have a high lab fee (likely >$1000) for the students wishing to participate in the trip to Peru.

Who should take this course: You must have taken at least one of the other intro-level geology courses (or equivalent) to take this course. This course will attempt to synthesize various Earth System datasets focused on a specific location. The field component of this course is an opportunity to 1) practice basic geology field tools , 2) experience world-class geological and ecological field sites, and 3) enjoy a cultural experience (practice your Spanish!). The field trip will not be a vacation – it will be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding!

Click here for a power point with info about the trip. Or, if you prefer pdf, here are two docs that have the same info:(AES_Peru_Details.pdf , AES_Peru_photos.pdf). Please CONTACT ME now if you think you might want to take this class and go on the trip to Peru!

Cordillera Blanca, Peru