Global Biogeochemical Cycles
This survey course covers the geochemistry of the surface of the Earth, focusing on biological and geological processes that shape the distributions of chemical species in the atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial habitats.
Budgets and cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur are discussed, as well as chemical fundamentals of metabolism, weathering, acid-base and dissolution equilibria, and isotopic fractionation. The course examines the central role that life plays in maintaining the chemical disequilibria that characterize Earth's surface environments. The course also explores biogeochemical cycles change (or resist change) over time, as well as the relationships between geochemistry, biological (including human) activity, and Earth's climate.