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 SCI 341 - Advanced Earth Science


​This course is the grand finale of the Earth Sciences Track that began with an introduction (SCI 141) to the geological terminology, geological tools and some of the fundamental processes that give rise to phenomena, and was followed by Earth System Science (SCI 241) in which all of the systems in and across the various geo-spheres were examined in detail and software tools were introduced (OLI, STELLA). S​CI 341 builds on the previous courses, where gaining knowledge of earth science was the main focus. The students will apply and increase this knowledge by tackling a specific issue in which various sub disciplines play an essential role. After this course the student will have an experienced understanding of how earth scientists have to use their scientific knowledge (in the broadest sense) and combine this with processes in society regarding regulations and contradictory views of the proper use of resources and/or energy.

The aim of this course is to address a case study of a resource management problem, which serves as a basis to teach advanced geological, geochemical and geophysical topics. A topic that is “hot” nowadays, due to the search for “climate friendly” ways of producing energy, is the option of nuclear fuel. Currently, many articles and topic journals have been released concerning the disposal/storage of radioactive materials. The relevance for earth science students is that the nuclear fuel cycle has numerous intersections with earth science (Elements, Vol. 2, Number 6, Dec. 2006).

The first of these intersections involves the basic geochemistry of uranium, the origin/type of uranium ores, fate of mine tailings. The second is “biosphere isolation” where the influences of hydrological and geochemical transport in the context of the storage or disposal site are addressed. The third is the geology of the storage location, which involves geological (erosion, metamorphism) as well as geophysical (faulting, earth quakes, creep, heat transport) processes that are relevant for the site. In addition, hydrology and resource management is introduced. Lectures on those specific intersections are given by experts in the respective fields.


Dr. Renata van der Weijden and Dr. Joseph Resovsky​


Earth Science


The following course is required in order to take this course:

  • SCI 241 Earth System Science II