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Complete EOS Course List

The following is a complete list of courses designated or cross-listed as Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS). For official course descriptions, requirements, and prerequisites, please see the Duke Undergraduate Course Bulletin or browse through courses on DukeHub.

Click the following links on specific information on EOS Independent Study, Research Independent Study, or Study Abroad.

EOS 101EOS 101. The Dynamic Earth. NS, STS Introduction to the dynamic processes that shape the Earth and the environment and their impact upon society. Volcanoes, earthquakes, seafloor spreading, floods, landslides, ground-water, seashores and geohazards. Emphasis on examining the lines of inductive and deductive reasoning, quantitative methods, modes of inquiry, and technological developments that lead to understanding the Earth’s dynamic systems. Instructors: Klein or Glass. One course.

EOS 102EOS 102. The Dynamic Oceans. NS, STS The oceans and their impact on the Earth’s surface and climate. Topics include seafloor evolution, marine hazards, ocean currents and climate, waves and beach erosion, tides, hurricanes, and marine life and ecosystems. Emphasis on the historical roots of oceanography, the formulation and testing of hypotheses, quantitative assessment of data, and technological developments that lead to understanding of current and future societal issues involving the oceans. Includes a field trip at the Duke University Marine Laboratory. Instructors: Glass. One course.

SONY DSCEOS 201L. The Solid Earth: Minerals, Rocks, and Structural Geology. NS Description and interpretation of minerals, rocks and geologic structures. Lectures on theoretical aspects, lab on practical applications and use of petrographic microscope. Prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101. Instructor: Boudreau. —————————————————————————————————— ———– ———- ———- ——

EOS 202EOS 202. Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics. NS, R Introduction to the dynamics of ocean and atmospheric circulations, with particular emphasis on the global climate cycle. Prerequisites: Mathematics 21 and 122, Physics 141L or consent of instructor. Instructor: Lozier. One course. —————————————————————————————————— ———– ———- ———- ——

Jen and Kyle in front of an archEOS 203S. The Surface of the Earth. NS Fundamental earth surface processes involving weathering, soils, hillslopes, rivers, wind, glaciers, and tectonic activity. Humans as agents of landscape change. The future of landscape. Prerequi-sites: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101 or 102. Instructor Consent Required. Instructor: Haff. One course. —————————————————————————————————— ———— ————- —————–

EOS 204EOS 204L. The Evolving Earth and Life. NS Evolution of the earth and life through time. Weekend field trip to Appalachian Mountains. Recommended: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101. Instructor: Glass. One course. —————————————————————————— —————————————————————————– ————————————————- ———– ————- ————– ————– ———- ———— ———–
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EOS 224EOS 226S. Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences. NS, R, W Introduction to basic field methods used in the earth and environmental sciences. Field investigations focus on topics such as groundwater and surface water movements, soil chemistry and identification, topographic and geologic mapping, the atmosphere/soil interface, and plant identification and distributions. Design of a field investigation, collection of data to address a specific goal, and interpretation and reporting of the results. Emphasis on learning to report field results in the format of scientific publications. Visits to five local field sites. Open only to juniors and seniors. Instructor: Klein or Dwyer. One course.

EOS 230EOS 230. Meteoritics and Solar System History. NS Cultural and intellectual history of meteorites, the science of meteoritics and our knowledge of the Solar System. Actual specimens, classification and sourcing using microscope and microprobe analyses. Weathering effects and dating techniques. Interaction with computer simulations and visualizations of planetary, asteroid and meteoroid orbits and collisions, formation of gravitational ring structures and complex travel trajectories. Dynamics of fiery flight through Earth’s atmosphere and distribution of fragments on the ground. Methods of finding and identifying meteorites in the field. Instructor: Gessler. One course.

SONY DSCEOS 231. Energy and the Environment. NS, SS, STS Overview of the challenges confronting humanity as a consequence of our reliance on energy. Challenges include dwindling supplies, rising demand and environmental degradation. Realistic responses require an understanding of the complexity of the energy system, including energy resources, uses, and impacts, in the context of social, political and economic imperatives. Lectures will be augmented by presentations from guest speakers from industry, government and non-profit organizations. Instructor: Pratson. One course. ————————————-

EOS 280A

EOS 280LA. Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics. NS, R, STS Fundamentals of marine bioacoustics. Introduction to acoustics; analysis methods and quantitative tools; production and recording of sound; ocean noise; propagation theory; active and passive acoustics; hearing, sound production and communication in marine organisms, potential impacts of anthropogenic noise; and regulation of marine sound; methodologies used for generating, recording and analyzing marine sounds. Taught in Beaufort. Course prerequisites: Introductory biology; Physics 141L or 161L, or consent of instructor. Instructor: Nowacek. One course.

EOS 288EOS 288A Biogeography in an Australian Context NS, STS Distribution of plants and animals in space and time as determined by the interaction of geophysics, geology, climate, and evolutionary history. Special emphasis on the unique terrestrial and marine faunas and floras of the Australian continent and on the impact of humans on the distri-bution of these plants and animals. Taught in Australia. Instructor: Vilgalys, Glass. One course. ———————– ——————– ————— ————— ———————- ————–

EOS 315EOS 315. Waves, Beaches, and Coastline Dynamics. NS, STS Oceanographic and geologic processes responsible for the evolution of nearshore features; fluid motions of many time scales in the nearshore environment, including waves and currents. Conceptual basis for models of how fluid motions interact with the shape of the beach and bed in the surf zone, giving rise to features such as beach cusps, bars, channels, and barrier islands. Various attempted engineering and coastal management solutions to the global retreat of shorelines. Instructor: Murray. One course. ————————————————————

EOS 316AEOS 316A. Beach and Island Geological Processes. NS Field seminar on the evolution of beaches and barrier islands with emphasis on the interactions between nearshore processes and human development. Prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 315/515 or consent of instructor. Also taught as Earth and Ocean Sciences 716A. Instructor: Murray. Half course. ————————————— —————————————————————————————-

EOS 321EOS 321S. Methods and Tools in Earth Science Research. NS, QS, R, STS Introduction to tools and methods used for research in the earth and environmental sciences. Emphasis on hands-on activities and projects to teach skills that can be applied to a broad range of topics in earth science research. Course modules vary by semester, including oceanographic data analysis and modeling, geologic field skills, and/or geochemical analysis. May include a local field trip. Pre-requisites: Mathematics 111, Earth and Ocean Sciences 101 and 102, or consent of instructor. Instructor: Klein. One course/Half course.

EOS 322EOS 322. Hydrologic and Environmental Data Analysis. NS, QS Focus on acquisition of skills necessary to extract information from observations of hydrological and environmental processes, connect extracted information with physical processes, and estimate physical quantities at ungauged locations/times. Understanding of processes via data analysis techniques.  Applications used to understand general concepts, with examples drawn from water science. Prerequisites: Basic computer skills, Calculus (Math 111L or equivalent) required. Experience with computational software (e.g. Matlab or R) helpful but not required. Instructor consent required. Instructor: Marani. One course.

you can see the rocks under water here, very prettyEOS 323. Landscape Hydrology. NS An introduction to hydrology by examining how rainfall and snowmelt become streamflow, evapotranspiration, and groundwater with emphasis on hydrological processes inside watersheds. Hydrologic cycle and water balances, evapotranspiration and snow energy balances, vadose zone hydrology, hydrogeology, hyporheic zones, riparian zones, streamflow generation mechanisms, biogeochemical budgets, and field measurement techniques. Linkages between physical hydrology and broader ecological and environmental sciences. Includes local field trips. Instructor consent required. Instructor: McGlynn. One course.

EOS 325EOS 325. The Anthropocene: The Next Epoch of Geologic History. NS, STS Introduction to the next epoch of geologic history. The evolution of the technosphere, the global human-technological system that increasingly dominates biology, hydrology, and other major natural earth systems. The future of the earth and humanity. Instructor consent required. Prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101 or 203. Instructor: Haff. One course. ——————————————– ————- ——————-

341EOS 341. Dinosaurs with Feathers and Whales with Legs: Major Evolutionary Transitions in the Fossil Record. NS, STS Study and critical evaluation of the paleontological and neontological evidence for four major macroevolutionary transitions in the history of life: fish to tetrapods, the reptile/mammal differentiation, the evolution of birds from dinosaurs, and the origin of whales. Stresses the importance of the fossil record in the reconstruction of transitions but also covers genetic, physiological, and developmental evidence.  Prerequisite: Prior course work in Earth and Ocean Sciences or Biology or consent of instructor. Instructor: Glass. One course.

EOS 355EOS 355. Global Warming. NS, STS Broad, interdisciplinary course on the science of global warming, the evidence for climate change and anthropogenic forcings. Includes coverage of weather and climate, greenhouse gases, paleoclimate studies, climate models, and future projections. Course also includes thorough analysis of climate change denial and the politics of global warming in the United States. Instructor: Shindell or Glass. One course. ——————————————————— ———————————

EOS 358EOS 358. Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing. NS Introduction to the field of remote sensing and approaches used in image processing and analysis of remote sensing data. Students will acquire an operational knowledge of various remote-sensing tools and data types, with emphasis on their application in environmental and earth science problems. Content will include theory, in-class laboratory exercises, and projects with environmental applications. Prerequisite: introductory or AP physics preferred. Instructor: Silvestri. One course. ———— ——————————— ———————- ——————-

EOS 359EOS 359. Fundamentals of GIS and Geospatial Analysis. NS, QS Fundamental aspects of geographic information systems and satellite remote sensing for environmental applications. Concepts of geographic data development, cartography, image processing, and spatial analysis. Instructor: Cleary or Halpin. One course. —————– ——————– ——————- ———————- —————- ———— ————— ———————- ————— —————– ————

EOS 364EOS 364S. Changing Oceans. NS, STS Our oceans are under severe stress. This seminar will explore human disturbances of marine environments, including ocean warming, sea level rise, melting of ice caps and sea ice, ocean acidification, coastal eutrophication, changes in primary production and food web dynamics, invasive species, overfishing, increased subsurface hypoxia, changes in circulation, stratification, and physical, chemical (e.g. oil spills) and noise pollution. Instructor: Cassar. One course. —————————–

EOS 366EOS 365. Introduction to Weather and Climate. NS Introduction to weather and climate. Topics include atmospheric structure, composition, circulation and energy properties; severe weather events such as cyclones, hurricanes, and tornadoes; ozone depletion; natural climate variability; climate change and global warming. Instructor: Li. One course. ————– —————- ——————– ———————- ——————- ——————– ————————–

EOS 370EOS 370A. Introduction to Physical Oceanography. NS, QS, STS Fundamental physical principles of ocean circu-lation. Physical properties of seawater; forces acting on the ocean such as heat, pressure gradients, wind stress, rotation, and friction; and conservation equations for heat, mass and momentum. Applications include geostrophic balances, thermal wind, coastally trapped waves, El Nino/ENSO, and tidal circulation. (Given at Beaufort.) Prerequi-sites: one year of calculus and one year of physics, or permission of instructor. Instructor: Hench. One course. ——————- ————— ————– –

EOS 272EOS 374LA. Marine Ecology. NS, R, W Factors that influence the distribution, abundance, and diversity of marine organisms. Course structure integrates lectures and field excursions. Topics include characteristics of marine habitats, adaptation to environment, species interactions, biogeography, larval recruitment, and communities found in rocky shores, tidal flats, beaches, mangrove, coral reefs, and subtidal areas. Not open to students who have taken Biology 773LA. (Given at Beaufort fall and summer.) Prerequisite: introductory biology. Instructors: Johnson or staff. One course. ——- ——- —- ——-

EOS 377EOS 377LA. Marine Invertebrate Zoology. NS, R Structure, function, and development of invertebrates collected from estuarine and marine habitats. Not open to students who have taken Biology 777LA. One course (fall, spring, and Summer Term II); one and one-half courses (Summer Term I). (Given at Beaufort fall, spring, and summer.) Prereq-uisite: AP Biology or introductory biology or consent of instructor. Instructor: Van Dover or staff. Variable credit. —————————— ——————— ———————– —————– ——————– ——————— ——————— ———————— —————– —————- ——————-

Special TopicsEOS 390 (S). Special Topics in Earth and Ocean Sciences. Content to be determined each semester. Consent of instructor required. Instructor: Varies. One course. ———– ————- ——————— —————————- —————————– ——————————— —————————————- —————————- ——————- —————– ————– ———— ——————- —————- —————— ———- ————- ———– ————–
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EOS 401EOS 401. Field Exploration of the Geology of North Carolina. NS, STS Introduction to the geological history of North Carolina with an emphasis on active learning and field-based inquiry. Class time serves as preparation and background for two one-day and one overnight weekend field trips. An introductory geology background is useful but not required. Instructor: Glass. One course. ——— ————— ————— ————- ——————– ——————— —————— —————- ——————-

EOS 402EOS 402S. Volcanology: Geology of Hawaii. NS, R Geology of volcanic processes and the benefits and hazards they present to society. Lectures, discussion and student presentations of independent research reports. Required field trip to Hawaii during spring break. Prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101 recommended. Consent of instructor required. Instructor: Boudreau. One course. —————– ————– ————– ———————- ——————- ———————- ——————-

EOS 403EOS 403. Geology and Natural History of the Yellowstone Region. NS Geology and natural history of Grand Tetons National Park, the Yellowstone National Park, The Hebgen Lake Earthquake area, and surrounding Rocky Mountains. Includes a field trip with a required fee for the trip. Consent of instructor required. Recommended prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 204L. Instructor: Glass. One course. ———— —————— —————— —————— ——————— ——————– ——–

EOS 404 TurksEOS 404S. Geology of Tropical Marine Environments. NS, R Spatial and temporal analysis of the geology of tropical shallow marine environments. Class discussions, required spring-break field trip to South Florida and the Keys, Turks and Caicos Islands, or similar setting, in-class and field trip presentations, post-trip research paper. Examination of tropical shallow marine sedimentary environments including reefs, mudbanks, and mangrove forests and islands, and their ancient counterparts in rock outcrops and sediment cores. Includes a field trip with a required fee for the trip. Prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101 or 102, or consent of instructor. Instructor: Dwyer.

EOS 404EOS 405S. The American Southwest. NS Geomorphic and geologic features of arid terrain, including volcanism, tectonics, soils and weathering, paleo-lakes, wind-blown sand and dust, landslides, and alluvial fans. Reconstruction of paleo-landscape processes based on observations of present landforms. Interpretation of landform development and process from geomorphic field evidence. Focus on the Mojave Desert region of California and Nevada. Includes week-long field trip with fees required for the trip. Prerequisite: Earth and Ocean Sciences 101, and consent of instructor. Instructor: Staff. One course.

EOS 405EOS 406. Israel Experience: Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation. NS, SS, STS Introduction to environmental challenges facing Israel and neighboring countries and the emerging innovated science and technology solutions. Provides introduction to basic geography, geology, hydrology, and environmental issues in Israel, with focus on emerging environmental issues related to climatic changes. Required field trip to Israel over spring break. Some prior science coursework preferred but not required. Instrucutor: Vengosh. One course. ———— ————— ————- ———— ————–

Eos 410EOS 410S. Senior Capstone Experience. NS, R, STS Senior capstone field trip course. Field location varies. Topics in geology, hydrology, biology, climate, and other environmental subjects as appropriate for field area, especially human impact on the earth and the role of earth scientists as observers and teachers of earth-system change. Course content partially determined by students. Prerequisites: Open only to senior Earth and Ocean Sciences majors. Department consent required. Instructor: Dwyer. One course.

Gateway Courses

These two courses serve as our Gateway Courses. They cover the fundamentals of the Earth and Ocean Sciences and prepare students to go on to higher-level courses in EOS. Majors should take these courses as early in their undergraduate career as possible. EOS 101. The Dynamic Earth. NS, STS Introduction to the dynamic processes that …

Core Courses

These courses represent the “Core Requirements” for our bachelor of science degree in EOS. They can also be used as electives for the A.B. degree in EOS. It is strongly recommended that students take EOS 101 and EOS 102 before taking core courses. EOS 201L. The Solid Earth: Minerals, Rocks, and Structural Geology. NS Description …


The following four courses are required core courses for the B.S. in EOS but can be taken to fulfill elective requirements for the AB. degree. EOS 201L. The Solid Earth: Minerals, Rocks, and Structural Geology. NS Description and interpretation of minerals, rocks and geologic structures. Lectures on theoretical aspects, lab on practical applications and use …