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Global Biogeochemical Cycles MARS 4810/6810 3:30-4:45, Tuesday/Thursday, Marine Sciences Building Room 247 General Course information: Overview: Elemental turnover processes are important in modifying the earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The objective of this course is to gain working knowledge of global biogeochemical cycles, focusing on the role of the ocean. The class covers both fundamental principles as well as a quantitative analysis, including box models. Contemporary cycling of C, N, P, Si as well as other nutrients will be discussed in both a qualitative and quantitative context, and the interactions between these cycles will be highlighted. Emphasis is on modern day conditions, but glacial-interglacial changes and effects of global change are included. Graduate students will be required to write a research term paper. “The biogeochemical cycles of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus constitute the lifesupporting system for our planet since their dynamics determine the composition of the atmosphere as well as the fertility of land and water. Disturbances in these cycles may have global, regional and local implications which can only be assessed against the background of integrated, interdisciplinary knowledge of the budgets and the flows of the cycle components and of the mechanisms mediating their conversions and transport”. V. Kovda and J.W.M. la Riviere. co-chairmen SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) project on Biogeochemical Cycles. SCOPE 7, 1976 (my emphases)
Topic Introduction & Overview Origins Chemistry fundamentals: Thermodynamics and Isotopes HANDOUT HOMEWORK 1 Chemistry fundamentals: Redox, kinetics and organic matter Budgets: Ocean composition, Salt content
Jan 17 Jan 22 Jan 24 Box models & System approach: Transport, conservation equations Jan 29 Earth system compartments: atmosphere and lithosphere Jan 31 Earth system compartments: Hydrosphere and biosphere Feb 5 Ocean transport: circulation, tracers Feb 7 The pumps: biological, solubility Feb 12 Inputs: Rivers, weathering Feb 14 Inputs: Vents Feb 19 Marine OM cycling: production, export and mineralization Feb 21 Terrestrial key components Feb 26 Midterm Feb 28 Global cycles: Si Mar 4 Global cycles: C Mar 4 Midpoint Withdrawal Deadline Thu Mar 6 Global cycles: C and CaCO3 Tues/Thu Mar 11/13 Spring BREAK Tues Mar 18 Global cycles: P, N Thu Mar 20 Global cycles: S Tues Mar 25 Global cycles: Fe, O2
Thu Tues Thu Tues Thu Tues Thu Tues Thu Thu
Mar 27 Global cycles: coupling of bgc cycles Apr 1 Global cycles: trace metals Apr 3 Glacial-interglacial patterns: P, pCO2 Apr 8 Glacial-interglacial patterns: sea ice, biota Apr 10 Global Change: Climate and C cycle Apr 15 Global Change: Ocean acidification Apr 17 Gatekeepers/Interfaces: coastal ocean Apr 22 Termpaper presentation Apr 24 Termpaper presentation May 1 (3.30pm-6.30pm) Final exam
Grade Distribution: Grades will result from your performance on homework, exams and written (term paper) assignments. Assignment Homework #1 Homework #2 Homework #3 Homework #4 Mid-Term Exam Final Exam Graduate Students (6810): Term Paper
Points 50 50 50 50 125 125 150
Homework: Homework (except if designated differently in the case of in-class paper discussions) is due at the beginning of class. If your homework is late (i.e., if you turn it in after the beginning of class), 5% will be deducted from your overall grade. An additional 5% will be deducted for each day the assignment is late. Exams: There are two exams, a mid-term and a final. Both are ‘closed book and in class’ Term Papers: Term papers will describe and model a biogeochemical cycle. Your term paper topic must be approved by Feb 12. You can turn in a rough draft of your term paper, which will be evaluated and returned to you within a week. Doing this is optional but it can significantly alter (improve) your grade on your term paper. Term papers are due on 24 April 2008 at the beginning of class. Details regarding the formatting of the Term Papers will be made available in class or on WebCT (http://webct.uga.edu)
Instructor: Dr. Christof Meile Marine Science Building Room 110G Telephone: 542-6549 E-mail: [email protected] Office Hours: by appointment Textbook: None. Reading in form of papers will be provided via WebCT or handed out in class Two main texts related to the course contents are 1) Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics by Sarmiento & Gruber ISBN13: 978-0-691-01707-5 2) Biogeochemistry. An analysis of Global Change by Schlesinger. Second edition, ISBN-13: 978-0126251555 Attendance: Achieving the goals of this class involves discussing course material, which can only take place in a classroom setting with active participation. For this reason, attendance is required. The only excused absence is for fieldwork. You need to provide documentation from your Advisor for this at least a week in advance. Holidays celebrated by religions or other groups are only a holiday if UGA is closed. Attendance and participation will be used for rounding, and 6+ absences will results in a W or WF. Excused absence due to sickness requires a written doctor’s excuse within a week of absence unless it can be documented that the health condition did not allow meeting this deadline. Grading Policy: Grades will be assigned using the following grading scheme (in accordance with UGA’s new +/- grading policy): 100 - 93 1/3 percent - A (4.0) 93 1/3 - 90 percent - A- (3.7) 90 - 86 2/3 percent - B+ (3.3) 86 2/3 - 83 1/3 percent - B (3.0) 83 1/3 - 80 percent - B- (2.7) 80 - 76 2/3 percent - C+ (2.3) 76 2/3 - 73 1/3 percent - C (2.0) 73 1/3 - 70 percent - C- (1.7) 70 - 60 percent - D (1.0) < 60 percent - F (0.0) For more on plus/minus grading see: http://www.bulletin.uga.edu/PlusMinusGradingFAQ.html#Q12 Because extra-credit options are available [attendance and optional Rough Draft], we do not round up. We also do not give borderline students additional points (the ranges below are firm). All academic work must meet the standards contained in “A Culture of Honesty.” Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before
performing any academic work. The link to more detailed information about academic honesty can be found at: http://www.uga.edu/ovpi/honesty/acadhon.htm In particular, any form of plagiarism (“to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and pass them off as one’s own”, Webster’s New World Dictionary) will not be tolerated and result in a failing grade. There are several forms of plagiarism, ranging from outsourcing your work to somebody else, to slight rewording of a published text or summarizing a text without citing it. If in doubt it is the student’s responsibility to consult with the instructor before handing something in. Students are allowed to discuss homework in general terms but are required to hand in unique and individual solutions. The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.