!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML//EN"> Peter Huybers

Teaching

  • EPS230 Paleoclimate as prologue (graduate, Fall 2016 / undergraduate, Fall 2017) In this class we explore and quantitatively assess major events in Earth's history and compare these with respect to our understanding of current and predicted changes. The class takes a 'raw-data' and 'first-principles' approach to the subject---raw data in the sense that we will work with quantities that are directly observed in order to make estimates and draw inferences, and first principles in the sense of focussing on basic mechanisms. Working backward in time, topics will include modern temperature variability, the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, abrupt climate change during the Last Glacial, Last Interglacial sea level, Pleistocene glacial cycles, 'permanent' El Nino, and past changes in ocean circulation. Each class involves lecture, discussion, and in-class data analysis. most recent syllabus
  • EPS50 The Fluid Earth (undergraduate, Spring 2017 with Ann Pearson) We introduce the fluid Earth, emphasizing Earth's weather and climate, the carbon cycle, and global environmental change. The physical concepts necessary for understanding the structure, motion and energy balance of the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere are covered first, and then these concepts are applied in exploring major earth processes. Examples from Earth's past history, on-going changes in the climate, and implications for the future are highlighted. example syllabus
  • EPS281r Great Papers in the Earth Sciences (graduate, Spring 2017 with Eli Tziperman) A survey of breakthrough papers in all of the earth sciences, as well as modern papers that put the classics in perspective. Students engage in the material through reading, presentation, and discussion. The course has several goals. First, to engender an understanding and appreciation of major breakthroughs in our field. Second, to develop skills in presenting and discussing scientific results. And, last but not least, to improve understanding of what constitutes great science. example syllabus
  • EPS134 Climate Change Debates: the reading course (undergraduate, Spring 2018 with Eli Tziperman) We survey the science of global change from the perspective of scientific debates within climate community. Specifically, the course involves guided reading and discussion of papers that present contentious view points on the science of global change, with the goal of students learning how to scientifically evaluate competing claims. Laboratories provide students with hands on experience with climate models and data. example syllabus
  • [FS21D Climate, Food, and Data] (undergraduate). Global population is expected to increase in coming decades along with the resources required for most diets. Because most arable land is developed, these demographic shifts imply a need to produce more food per unit cropland. At the same time, temperature and precipitation patterns are expected to change, with consequences for the productivity of cropland. We explore the implications of these interacting trends for food security. The course begins with some review of how population and food production interact. After this introductory framing, focus shifts to data-driven exploration of food security through analysis of weather, climate, demographics, and yield. Specific questions that we empirically address are how temperature and precipitation influence yield outcomes? Can agriculture be adapted to a changed climate? How will demographics and diet shift in the coming decades? Will the green revolution continue to yield steady increases? Can we predict famine in the coming months — and in the coming decades? Regions of focus are Syria and Sub-Saharan Africa. The course consists of 3 hours per week of in-class meetings as well as outside reading and analysis. Students are responsible for conducting and presenting original analyses. example syllabus

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