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Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (12) -

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (12) -


The intellectual interests of EAPS encompass the earth, its fluid envelopes, and its diverse neighbors throughout the solar system. We seek to understand the fundamental processes defining the origin, evolution, and current states of these systems and to use this understanding to predict the future. The scope of our research and teaching is immense, ranging from the inaccessible depths of the terrestrial interior outward to the orbit of Pluto, and beyond. The objects and systems we study are tangible or visible to the general public and, as exemplified by climate and natural resources, are sometimes central to societal goals.

The phenomena under investigation are often vexingly complex, and they engage a large array of scientific disciplines: Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Geobiology, Physical and Chemical Oceanography, Meteorology, Atmospheric Chemistry, and Planetary Science. EAPS operates world-class research and graduate educational programs in all of these disciplines, which makes it unique among earth and planetary science departments both nationally and internationally. Our undergraduate program offers options to study environmental science, geoscience, physics of the atmospheres and oceans, and planetary science and astronomy. The department takes pride in the fact that EAPS undergraduate students become actively involved in our research projects.

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Recent Submissions

  • Rothman, Daniel; Follett, Christopher (2011-06)
    This course analyzes cooperative processes that shape the natural environment, now and in the geologic past. It emphasizes the development of theoretical models that relate the physical and biological worlds, the comparison ...
  • Rothman, Daniel (2011-12)
    This course provides an introduction to the study of environmental phenomena that exhibit both organized structure and wide variability — i.e., complexity. Through focused study of a variety of physical, biological, ...
  • Perron, Taylor; Jagoutz, Oliver (2011-06)
    This course introduces students to the basics of geology. Through a combination of lectures, labs, and field observations, we will address topics ranging from formation of the elements, mineral and rock identification, and ...
  • Frey, Frederick (2009-06)
    The emphasis of this course is to use Trace Element Geochemistry to understand the origin and evolution of igneous rocks. The approach is to discuss the parameters that control partitioning of trace elements between phases ...
  • Summons, Roger; Bosak, Tanja (2009-06)
    This course introduces parallel evolution of life and the environment. Life processes are influenced by chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and the solid earth. In turn, life can ...