Course code:



A - Advanced

Lab fee:


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 to take the course) 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 so intensely during the term. The program fee for students wishing to participate in the trip covers all in-country costs (plane ticket not included).

Who should take this course: You must have taken at least one of the other geology courses (or equivalent) to take this course. In this course we 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!



At least one geology course (or equivalent).

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.