Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2020

Earth History
This course seeks to understand the 'how' of Earth history by integrating many branches of Earth system science including geochronology, paleomagnetism, tectonics, petrology, paleoclimate, sedimentology, geochemistry, and geobiology. Through a detailed study of the relevant datasets, models, and theories, students in this course will engage and struggle with these seemingly disparate fields to arrive at a better understanding of how an imperfect geologic record can be used to produce an accurate representation of our planet's history.
Instructors: John Andrew Higgins, Blair Schoene
Minerals are the fundamental building blocks of the Earth. Their physical, chemical, and structural properties determine the nature of the Earth and they are the primary recorders of the past history of the Earth and other planets. This course will provide a survey of the properties of the major rock-forming minerals. Topics include crystallography, crystal chemistry, mineral thermodynamics and mineral occurrence. Emphasis will be on the role of minerals in understanding geological processes. Laboratories will focus on developing an understanding of crystallography, structure-property relationships, and modern analytical techniques.
Instructors: Thomas S. Duffy
Data, Models, and Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences
This course is for those who want to turn data into models and subsequently evaluate their uniqueness and uncertainty. Three main topics are: 1. Elementary inferential statistics, 2. Model parameter estimation via matrix inverse methods, and 3. Time series analysis and Fourier spectral density estimation. Problem sets and computer programming exercises form integral parts of the course. While the instructor's and textbook examples will be derived mostly from the physical sciences, students are encouraged to bring their own data sets for discussion. Prior programming experience in MATLAB is helpful but not required.
Introduction to Ocean Physics for Climate
The study of the oceans as a major influence on the atmosphere and the world environment. The contrasts between the properties of the upper and deep oceans; the effects of stratification; the effect of rotation; the wind-driven gyres; the thermohaline circulation.
Instructors: Sonya Allayne Legg, Gabriel Andres Vecchi
An advanced introduction to setting up and solving boundary value problems relevant to the solid earth sciences. Topics include heat flow, fluid flow, elasticity and plate flexure, and rock rheology, with applications to mantle convection, magma transport, lithospheric deformation, structural geology, and fault mechanics.
Instructors: Allan Mattathias Rubin
Junior Independent Work
No Description Available

Graduate Courses

Fall 2020

Theoretical Geophysics
Geophysical applications of the principles of continuum mechanics; conservation laws and constitutive relations and tensor analysis; acoustic, elastic, and gravity wave propagation are studied.
Instructors: Jeroen Tromp
Freshman Seminar

FRS 161

How Green is Your Campus?

INSTRUCTORS: Adam Maloof and Frederik Simons

How green is Princeton’s campus? What is the total area of green space, and is all green space of equal quality? In nominally green areas, how diverse is the vegetation, how tall are the trees, how healthy are the leaves, and how permeable is the soil? Each student will be in charge of a square subregion of the campus where they will make a battery of measurements using a diversity of instruments. The ultimate group goal is to build a quantitative digital map of campus greenness. Individual student goals for final research papers can vary from tracking campus greenness through time (seasonally or over the past 90 years using available data sources), comparing Princeton’s campus to other universities (using satellite data where available), assessing the sustainability of Princeton’s expansion plans, or comparing this year’s observations with ongoing monitoring projects such as noise pollution or climate change.  READ MORE