There are many classes at Earth and Planetary Sciences that are relevant to the research we do in our group. Students are also encouraged to take classes in other departments within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The classes that are taught by our group are listed below.

Undergraduate Level

Earth and Planetary Sciences 10: A Brief History of the Earth
Jerry X. Mitrovica

This is a survey course that serves as an introduction to Earth and Planetary science for EPS concentrators and as an overview, for those outside the field, of the critical events and processes that have shaped the Earth’s evolution and its place in the solar system. The course is designed as a series of case studies that highlight the processes – from tectonic plate to microbial scale – that drive the Earth’s response to perturbations and that explore the limits of the Earth’s resilience. By considering the full sweep of geological time, from the early Earth to the modern world, the lectures, laboratories and short field trips that comprise the course will take advantage of a series of natural experiments to compare the Earth system during periods with and without atmospheric oxygen, animals, land plants and polar ice sheets, and to compare it with terrestrial planets without plate tectonics.

A partial list of topics to be covered includes: the Early Earth; Earth structure and composition; plate tectonics and the thermal history of the Earth; supercontinent cycle; the Great Oxygenation Event; Snowball Earth; the Cambrian Explosion of biodiversity; mass extinctions; Milankovitch Theory and the Ice Age; seismology and earthquake hazards; ocean dynamics and sea-level change; and comparative planetology.

Earth and Planetary Sciences 52: Introduction to Global Geophysics 
Jerry X. Mitrovica

The course provides comprehensive introduction to global geophysics. This course serves as a bridge between introductory Earth science courses and higher-level courses in EPS. Topics include: plate tectonics, the Earth’s composition, thermal state and rheology, mantle convection, ice age dynamics, seismology, the Earth’s gravity field and geodesy, comparative planetology, modern and ancient climate change.


Graduate Level

Earth and Planetary Sciences 261: Sea Level Change 
Jerry X. Mitrovica

The course explores physical processes responsible for sea level changes over time scales extending from hours to hundreds of millions of years. Topics include:

Long-term (~100-1000 Myr) sea-level trends - geological observations, physical mechanisms and eustasy, dynamic topography;

Sea-level change on an ice age Earth (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment - GIA) -  background, observations, physics, viscoelastic loading theory, mantle viscosity, archeological implications of sea level change, ice sheet stability during interglacials and the mid-Pliocene Warm Period; corrections of modern signals for ongoing GIA;

Ocean tides - equilibrium and non-equilibrium effects, tidal dissipation;

Modern global sea level change -  tide gauge and geodetic observations, ice melting and thermal expansion, closing the budget, sea level fingerprinting.

Earth and Planetary Sciences 367: Global Geodynamics 
Jerry X. Mitrovica

This is a reading and research class in which a topic will decided upon in coordination with the professor.