Courses

(note: class sites are password protected; email me if you want access)

Ge-143 Organic Geochemistry

Ge-143 Organic Geochemistry

(Fall, 2018). Introduction to the properties and cycling of natural organic materials. The course is organized to follow the geologic cycle of organic matter, from production in living organisms to burial in sediments and preservation in the rock record. Specific topics include lipid biochemistry and stereochemistry, factors controlling preservation in sediments, methanogenesis, diagnetic alterations of carbon skeletons, fossil fuel production and degradation, life in the deep biosphere, and biomarkers for ancient life. Prerequisite: Ch 41a or equivalent. Course website.

Ge 145 - Anatomy of an IRMS

Ge 145 - Anatomy of an IRMS

(Fall, 2017). Graduate level class designed to give students a more fundamental understanding of the operation of isotope-ratio mass spectrometers. Class consists of one lecture and one 3-hour lab per week, during which we deconstruct an old Finnigan Delta-S IRMS to understand how it works. Grading is based entirely on a final, written project that describes the operation of the IRMS. Class is taught every other year, and enrollment limited to 6 people. Preference is given to graduate students using IRMS techniques in their thesis research. Offered in 2017. Course website.

Ge-140c - Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

Ge-140c - Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

(Spring, 2017). Introduces the basic principles and applications of stable isotopes in biogeochemical research. Topics include C-13 in photosynthesis, respiration, and the carbon cycle; H-2 in the hydrologic cycle, cellulose and lipid paleoclimate proxies; O-18 in plant tissues and ecology; S-34 in the microbial sulfur cycle. Grading will be based on several problem sets, class participation, and a final term paper. Recommended pre-requisite is Ge-140a, Stable Isotope Geochemistry. Class meets MWF 11-11:50am in Arms 251. Course website.


Copyright 2015 by Alex Sessions. All rights reserved.