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    Vassar College
  Dec 16, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ENST 361 - Modeling the Earth

1 unit(s)
(Same as ESCI 361 ) Computer models are powerful tools in the Earth and Environmental Sciences for generating and testing hypotheses about how the Earth system functions and for allowing simulation of processes in places inaccessible to humans (e.g. Earth’s deep interior), too slow to permit observation (e.g., erosion driven uplift of mountains ranges), or too large to facilitate construction of physical models (e.g., Earth’s climate system). Taking readings from the scientific literature, we create and then perform experiments with simple computer models, using the STELLA iconographic box-modeling software package. Topics include the global phosphorus cycle, Earth’s radiative balance with the sun and resulting temperature, the flow of ice in glaciers, and the role of life in moderating Earth’s climate. Toward the end of the semester, students apply the skills they have acquired to a modeling project of their own devising. Kirsten Menking.

Prerequisite(s): one 200-level course in the natural sciences.

Satisfies the college requirement for quantitative reasoning.

Not offered in 2017/18.

One 4-hour classroom/laboratory period.

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