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Introductory Courses

All of the courses listed below are entry-level undergraduate courses offered through Earth Systems, Energy Resources Engineering, Environmental Earth System Science, Geological & Environmental Sciences, and Geophysics.  Most have no prerequisites; many fulfill GERs.  A description of introductory courses and summer opportunities in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences is also available in PDF format.

Autumn Quarter, 2014

Broad Introductory Exploration

Survey a major discipline in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and prepare for deeper inquiry. 

  • EARTHSYS 10: Introduction to Earth Systems (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA)
  • GES 1B: Introduction to Geology: California Desert Geology  (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA)

Introductory Field Studies

Gain field-based perspectives on topics in the Earth sciences as you learn with faculty and students in interesting and beautiful outdoor settings.

  • GES 5: Living on the Edge (1 unit, Oct. 25-26).  Download a flyer.
  • EARTHSCI 193: Natural Perspectives: Geology, Environment, and Art in Owens Valley. (1 unit,  Nov. 22-26).  Contact Richard Nevle (rnevle@stanford.edu).  Check out this video interview with student Dilia Olivo '15 about her experience in Natural Perspectives. See photos from previous trips here and here.

Focused Introductory Exploration

Explore topics of current interest in the Earth sciences.  No prerequisites required.

  • EARTHSCI 1: Current Research in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (1 unit).  Download a course syllabus.
  • EARTHSYS 18: Promoting Sustainability Behavior Change at Stanford (2 units)
  • EARTHSYS 41N: The Global Warming Paradox (3 units.  Satisfies WAY-SMA)
  • EARTHSYS 144: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (EESS 164) (3-4 units. Satisfies GER:DB-NatSci)
  • EARTHSYS 180B: Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture (EESS 280B) (3-4 units.  Satisfies WAY-SMA)
  • EARTHSYS 185: Feeding Nine Billion (4-5 units, Satisfies WAY-AQR)
  • ENERGY 120: Fundamentals of Petroleum Engineering (ENGR 120) (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-FR, WAY-SMA)
  • GES 42N: Landscapes and Tectonics of the San Francisco Bay Area (4 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA, WAY-AQR). 
  • GEOPHYS 60N: Man versus Nature: Coping with Disasters Using Space Technology (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-SMA)
  • GEOPHYS 130: Introductory Seismology (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA)
  • THINK 8: Sustainability and Collapse (4 units.  Satisfies Thinking Matters, WAY-AII) [not offered in 2014-15]

Winter Quarter, 2015

Broad Introductory Exploration

Survey a major discipline in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and prepare for deeper inquiry.

  • ENERGY 101: Energy and the Environment (EARTHSYS 101) (3 units, Satisfies GER: DB-EngAppSci,  WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA)
  • GEOPHYS 110: Earth on the Edge: Introduction to Geophysics (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci,  WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA)

Introductory Field Studies

Gain field-based perspectives on topics in the Earth sciences as you learn with faculty and students in interesting and beautiful outdoor settings.

  • GES 191: GES Field Trips.  (Dates TBA, Spring Break).  Contact Sara Cina (saracina@stanford.edu).

Focused Introductory Exploration

Explore topics of current interest in the Earth sciences.  No prerequisites required.

  • EARTHSYS 56Q: Changes in the Coastal Ocean: The View from Monterey and San Francisco Bays (3 units, Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci)
  • EARTHSYS 57Q: Climate Change from the Past to the Future (EESS 57Q) (3 units, Satisfies  WAY-SMA)
  • EARTHSYS 104: The Water Course (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA)
  • EARTHSYS 105A: Jasper Ridge Docent Training (BIO 105A) (4 units)  First of two-quarter sequence training program to join the Jasper Ridge education program.
  • EARTHSYS 140: The Energy-Water Nexus (GEOPHYS 135) (3 units) [offered in Winter 2016]
  • ENERGY 160: Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences (3 units, Satisfies WAY-AQR)
  • GES 43Q: Environmental Problems (3 units. Satisfies GER: DBNatSci)
  • GES 46Q: Environmental Impact of Energy Systems: What are the Risks? (3 units, Satisfies WAY-SMA, WAY-AQR)
  • GES 55Q: The California Gold Rush: Geologic Background and Environmental Impact (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA, Writing2)
  • GES 90: Introduction to Geochemistry (3-4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA)
  • GEOPHYS 50N: Planetary Habitability, World View, and Sustainability (3 units, Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA)
  • GEOPHYS 120: Ice, Water, Fire (3-5 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-FR, WAY-SMA).  Check out this podcast interview with Prof. Eric Dunham, instructor of GEOPHYS 120.
  • THINK 40: Meeting the Global Sustainability Challenge (4 units. Satisfies THINK, WAY-SMA)

Spring Quarter, 2015

Broad Introductory Exploration

Survey a major discipline in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and prepare for deeper inquiry.

  • GES 1A: Introduction to Geology: The Physical Science of the Earth (5 units, Satisfies DB-NatSci, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA)
  • GES 4: Evolution and Extinction: Introduction to Historical Geology (EARTHSYS 4) (4 units. Satisfies GER:DBNatSci, WAY-SMA)

Introductory Field Studies

Gain field-based perspectives on topics in the Earth sciences as you learn with faculty and students in interesting and beautiful outdoor settings. 

  • ENERGY 101A: Energizing California Field Trip (Dates TBA) (1 unit) Contact Sara Cina (saracina@stanford.edu). 
  • EARTHSCI 193: Natural Perspectives (May 21-24, Memorial Day weekend) (1 unit) Contact Richard Nevle (rnevle@stanford.edu)

Focused Introductory Exploration

Explore topics of current interest in the Earth sciences.  No prerequisites required unless course part of a sequence.

  • EARTHSYS 30: Ecology for Everyone (BIO 5) (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA)
  • EARTHSYS 105: Food and Community: New Visions for a Sustainable Future (EESS 105) (3-5 units)
  • EARTHSYS 46N: Exploring the Critical Interface between the Land and Monterey Bay: Elkhorn Slough (3 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA)
  • EARTHSYS 105B: Jasper Ridge Docent Training (BIO 105B) (4 units. Prerequisite EARTHSYS 105A)
  • EARTHSYS 155: Science of Soils (3-4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA).  Get the dirt on Stanford: check out this video about the Science and Soils and course instructor Prof. Scott Fendorf. 
  • EARTHSYS 180B: Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture (EESS 280B) (3-4 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA)
  • EESS 190: Control of Nature (3 units)
  • ENERGY 102: Renewable Energy Sources and Greener Energy Processes (EARTHSYS 102) (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngAppSci, WAY-SMA)
  • GES 105: Introduction to Field Methods (3 units. Satisfies WAY-AQR) (Course takes place in the field during two weeks after commencement. Two meetings during the quarter)
  • GES 128: Evolutionary History of Terrestrial Ecosystems (EARTHSYS 128) (4 units)
  • GEOPHYS 90: Earthquakes and Volcanoes (EARTHSYS 113) (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngAppSci, WAY-SMA).  Check out this slideshow trailer for quick preview of what you'll learn about in Earthquakes and Volcanoes.
  • GEOPHYS 190: Near-Surface Geophysics (3 units. Satisfies DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-SMA)

Summer 2015 & Autumn 2015 Opportunities