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Courses on the Quaternary

IQPR and other faculty members across many disciplines offer a number of courses that emphasize expanding our knowledge about the Quternary Period, defined as the period in Earth’s history that began 2.6 million years ago and includes the “Ice Ages” of the Pleistocene as well as the current warm geological epoch of the Holocene. Students gain valuable experience in both laboratory and field techniques that are critical for understanding vegetation and climate history of the Quaternary, including pollen analysis, charcoal in sediment cores and soil, tree-ring analyses, archaeological analysis, ecosystem structure and function, aquatic ecosystems, glacial geomorphology, hydrogeology, and paleosols.

GEOG 333 – Climate Change and Human Response
3 Credit Hours
Controversies and uncertainties about present-day climate change, future climate scenarios and mitigation strategies, and individual and policy responses to climate predictions.
(DE) Prerequisite(s): 131.

GEOG 430 – Global Environments of the Quaternary
3 Credit Hours
Physical and biotic evidence of climate and environmental history over the two to three million year period that humans have inhabited Earth. Geographical and temporal patterns of change, drivers of change, and interrelationships with human society.
Recommended Background: 131 or consent of instructor.

GEOG 432 – Dendrochronology
4 Credit Hours
Principles, techniques, and interpretation in tree-ring science. Applications in geography, climate, ecology, forestry, archaeology, and earth sciences.
Contact Hour Distribution: 3 hours lecture and 2 hours lab.
(DE) Prerequisite(s): 132.

GEOG 434 – Climatology
3 Credit Hours
General circulation system leading to world pattern of climates. Climatic change and modification. Interrelationships of climate and human activity.
(RE) Prerequisite(s): 131.

GEOG 530 – Pollen and Other Microfossils in Quaternary Research
3 Credit Hours
Pollen grains and other microfossils in Quaternary sediments as proxy indicators of past vegetation, climate, and disturbance regimes.

GEOG 532 – Topics in Global Change
3 Credit Hours
Emerging trends, anticipated problems and methods in global change research and response. Repeatability: May be repeated with consent of instructor.
Maximum 6 hours.
(DE) Prerequisite(s): 434 or consent of instructor.

GEOG 533 – Topics in Physical Geography
3 Credit Hours
Trends, problems, and methods in geomorphology or other areas of physical geography. This course oftens features topics related to Quaternary environments. For example, Dr. Philip Li’s course in Spring 2013 focused on Environmental Change in High Asia (click on link above).
Repeatability: May be repeated with consent of instructor. Maximum 6 hours.
Registration Permission: Consent of instructor.

GEOG 535 – Topics in Biogeography
3 Credit Hours
Examination of trends, problems, and methods in biogeography. This course oftens features topics related to Quaternary environments. For example, Dr. Sally Horn’s course in Spring 2012 focused on Pollen Analysis at Slack Lake, Michigan (click on link above).
Repeatability: May be repeated with consent of instructor. Maximum 6 hours. (DE) Prerequisite(s): 435 or consent of instructor.

GEOG 609 – Human-Environment Interactions Across the Holocene
3 Credit Hours
We will examine the two-way connection between humans and the environment by looking at examples from the past, but for some case studies we�ll aim to bring the story up to the present by looking at modern human-environment interactions in areas of the world in which researchers have focused attention on interrelationships of the past.

GEOL 456/558 – Global Climate Change
3 Credit Hours
Examines natural and anthropogenic changes in global climate systems. Topics include: biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases and the water cycle, including water resources and pollutants and changes in the biosphere (extinctions) as both cause and effects of physical global changes. Historical (baseline) dynamics are compared to current changes in order to predict human impacts and suggest technical and policy solutions.
Recommended Background: Introductory geology or consent of instructor.

GEOL 563 – Stable Isotope Geochemistry
3 Credit Hours
Theoretical aspects of isotope fractionation and applications to geologic systems. Isotope exchange, variations in natural waters, diagenetic, hydrothermal and metamorphic systems.
Recommended Background: General chemistry or consent of instructor.

ANTH 415 – Environmental Anthropology
3 Credit Hours
Overview of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of human / environmental interactions. Impacts of environmental change on society and culture; human impacts on environmental change.
(RE) Prerequisite(s): 130 or 137.

ANTH 463 – Rise of Complex Civilizations
3 Credit Hours
Development of complex societies in old world from origins of agricultural economics to rise of states. Focus on Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Metal Age lifeways in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Writing-emphasis course.
(RE) Prerequisite(s): 120 or 127.

ANTH 466 – Archaeology of Southeastern United States
3 Credit Hours
Archaeological research on prehistoric American Indian cultures in Southeastern United States.
(RE) Prerequisite(s): 120 or 127.

ANTH 552 – Peopling of the Americas
3 Credit Hours
Archaeological, bioanthropological, linguistic and paleoenvironmental evidence associated with the initial human settlement of the Americas during the late Pleistocene.