Geology 494LI - Livng on Erth:Real-world Is

Isaac Larsen

M W F 11:15AM 12:05PM

UMass Amherst
Morrill Sci. Ctr. (II) rm 129
In this course, students take advantage of the breadth of their shared experiences in the Geosciences Department from human dimensions to physical sciences, drawing from geography, earth systems science and geology. The platform of the course uses real-world Geoscience problems facing societies and cultures, incorporating the themes of Water, Air, Energy, Climate and Sustainability. Using readings, print and on-line media, students are encouraged to work through the ways in which integration of their diverse educational experiences leads to new levels of understanding. The semester culminates in team-based projects in which students investigate connections between current Geosciences issues, their education in their major and their experience as UMass undergraduates, with structured opportunities for reflection on both their discipline and themselves as life-long scholars. This course satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BS-Earth, BA-Geog, BS-Geog, BA-Geol, and BS-Geol majors, as well as a subset of BS-EnvSci majors.

Open to juniors and seniors majoring in Earth Systems, Environmental Science, Geography, or Geology. This semester, GEOL404LI will focus on the geoscience issue of soil and soil erosion. The vast majority of the food consumed world-wide grows from soil. Food production will need to increase to keep up with the demand generated by population growth. There is more carbon stored in Earth?s soil than contained in its atmosphere, hence soils play an important role in regulating the carbon cycle. Enhanced sequestration of carbon in soils is often called upon as a solution to mitigate climate change. Humanity relies on soil for food and environmental quality. Yet historical and ongoing soil erosion diminishes agricultural production and degrades carbon stored in soil. The course will explore soils, soil erosion, and soil restoration, with a focus on the world?s major agricultural regions. The course will focus on understanding the history of soil use and degradation and explore solutions for returning carbon to degraded soils, such as the emerging concept of soil-regenerative agriculture.

Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.