EPSS 165: Tectonic Geomorphology

The interactions between tectonics, climate, and surface processes shape landscapes over days to millions of years. This course focuses on quantifying how tectonic and surface processes interact to govern landscape evolution. Students will learn how a landscape can provide insights into physical and chemical surface processes including bedrock weathering, soil formation, hillslope transport, and river and glacial erosion. They will also learn how tectonics, climate, and underlying lithology may influence those processes in landscapes.

Spring 16, enrollment 9
Spring 17, enrollment 12; average evaluation 8.25/9 (instructor) 8/9 (course)
Spring 18, enrollment 11; average evaluation 6.5/9 (instructor) 5.5/9 (course)
Winter 21, enrollment 13; average evaluation 8.5/9 (instructor) 8.5/9 (course)

EPSS 298: Special Topics in EPSS

Historic Papers in Geomorphology: This class will be a discussion-based, graduate-level class. We will read and discuss classic and seminal papers in geomorphology. These papers will tell us how process-based geomorphologic studies have advanced through time, which are insightful and still relevant in current research in surface process and landscape evolution.

Fall 16, enrollment 6
Spring 19, enrollment 5; average evaluation 8/9 (instructor) 8/9 (course)

Topographic Analysis: This class will be a discussion- and project-based graduate-level class. We will read and discuss fundamental papers in quantitative geomorphology. Then, I will introduce students to different methods of topographic analysis used in the papers. It will include examining algorithms for the analysis of digital elevation models (DEMs), the analysis of different topographic attributes, and how we can relate them to factors such as climate, tectonics, and anthropogenic modifications. The topographic analysis will be executed and developed using Matlab and ArcGIS. At the latter portion of the quarter, students will work on an independent research project to explore their own questions of interest in an area of their choice. The class will introduce the state-of-art tools of geomorphology, and students are expected to explore their own research interests.

Spring 21, enrollment 8, average evaluation 8.75/9 (instructor) 8.75/9 (course)

EPSS 61: Geologic Maps

This class will learn how to prepare and interpret geologic maps. Students will learn about the basic concepts and practical use of geologic maps. They will make their own geologic map for Rainbow Basin during multiple field trips. The final product of Rainbow Basin geologic map will be a complete, finished geologic map (with explanation and structural cross-section) of a small area, which you will map by pace-and-compass methods, on a topographic base map that we will provide.  There will be laboratory exercises on published maps that involve short, detailed questions on the interpretation (and criticism) of published maps that will be studied in lab (and/or at home).

Fall 16, enrollment 39; average evaluation 8.56/9 (instructor) 8.25/9 (course)
Fall 17, enrollment 29; average evaluation 7.17/9 (instructor) 6.58/9 (course)

EPSS 13: Natural Disasters

We live on a beautiful, but dangerous planet. Natural disasters strike seemingly at random, yet with some regularity. There is an apprehension that the rate of major disasters is increasing, and the human and economic toll is severe and growing. What do we know about the fundamental causes of natural disasters and their distribution in time and in space? This course is appropriate for all non-science majors or for science majors who wish to have an introduction to the natural world and its relation to human civilization. Topics include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, flooding, impact, climate change, and disaster preparation.

Spring 19, enrollment 67; average evaluation 7.58/9 (instructor) 7.06/9 (course)