GEOS 450/550: Geomorphology

Geomorphology is the study of processes and landforms on Earth’s surface. This class delves into the physical, chemical, and biological processes that create and modify landforms. We discuss the best ways to quantify the flux of material (water and sediment) on Earth’s surface and how these fluxes operate, over time, to give rise to the landscapes we see around us. The picture below was taken in Fall 2016 during a class field trip. Students mapped paleo debris flow deposits in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, AZ and placed debris flow deposits into different age categories based on relative age dating techniques.

GEOS 280: Programming and Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences

Many Earth and environmental scientists face challenges that are more easily addressed using computational techniques. This course provides students with a skill set relevant to processing, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data from a variety of Earth and environmental science disciplines. Programming methods and data analysis are performed using MATLAB. Students design and implement code to analyze data and communicate results through technical reports and presentations. Course material is drawn from problems in geomorphology, geophysics, hydrology, atmospheric science, and planetary science. Data collection is also a vital component of the course. In the picture below, students made infiltration measurements using mini disk infiltrometers, processed the data in the computer lab, and analyzed their results to estimate the saturated hydraulic conductivity of different types of soil.