121 Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (4:3:3) Prerequisites: none. This natural science lab course is a systematic study of weather, climate, energy, and hydrologic systems viewed from a geospatial and global perspective. We will study the spatial distribution and relationships of the Earth’s climate and hydrologic systems to other Earth systems, as well as the processes driving and changing them, including energy, climate, weather, and water resources.
122 Dynamic Geosphere and Ecosphere (4:3:3) Prerequisites: none. Systematic study of biogeography and soils, viewed from a geographic, or spatial, perspective. We will study the spatial distribution and relationships of Earth’s biomes and soils systems to other Earth systems, and the processes driving them, including energy, climate, nutrients, chemistry, and moisture.
303 GIS Applications for Earth Systems (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours; and EOS 121, EOS 122 and IT 103, or permission of instructor. An overview of fundamentals in GIS, with emphases on aspects related to Earth systems and global studies. Review the use of GIS in different aspects of the Earth systems at the global and regional scales.
304 Population Dimensions of Global Change (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits of prior course work. Interdisciplinary course combining knowledge from social sciences and environmental science to develop global understanding of world population condition, issues, and related problems. Applies demographic concepts using GIS and quantitative methods. Satisfies general education syntheses requirement.
305 Global Environmental Hazards (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours and undergraduate status. Introduces applications of observational and modeling techniques to natural hazards and the threat they pose to the world, as well as a general introduction to global climate change and its effect on regional and local scales. Examples include topics of interest to different countries and regions of the world, such as earthquakes, sand and dust storms, slope failures, volcanoes, land slides, droughts and desertification, floods, hurricanes and typhoons, severe weather, wild fires (U.S., Indonesia, Africa, S. America), sea-level rise, and tsunamis. Covers Earth system science topics related to the above hazards and their coupling with anthropogenic hazards as well as how societies respond to natural disasters and mitigation.
306 Sustainable Development (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 60 hours; EOS 122 and EOS 305, or permission of instructor. Explores the concepts, applications, and tools for analysis and decision making in support of environmentally sustainable development. Case studies and problem-solving exercises will be used to stimulate learning and provide practical experience in addressing sustainable development issues.
310 Severe and Unusual Weather (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours. Introduce the student to a general survey of the atmosphere and the fundamentals of severe and unusual weather. Designed for students who generally have little physical science background and want to satisfy their intellectual curiosity about severe weather and complete basic science requirements. Mathematics is not emphasized. Appropriate equations are provided in an optional format during the course material for mathematically oriented students.
312 Physical Climatology (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours; EOS 121 or equivalent, EOS 310 or GEOG 309, PHYS 243–244, or permission of instructor. Quantitative description of nature and theory of the climate system, dynamics of atmosphere-ocean-land surface, internal interactions and response to external forcing, description of the climate record and simple climate models.
320 Air Pollution (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours. Devoted to air pollution fundamentals and aimed at undergraduates who are beginning to study of air pollution problems. The use of Gaussian plume dispersion models is also covered in detail, because it serves as the basis for most computer models used for regularity analysis by the EPA. The course also deals with pollution and atmospheric interactions, and the nature of our climate.
322 Issues in the Global Change (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours and courses in chemistry, physics, ecology, and advanced mathematics. Provides the basis for evaluating existing and emerging issues in the environmental sciences at the regional and global scale, using interdisciplinary scientific principles. This objective is met by a combination of activities designed to provide an understanding of the following: first principles underlying regional/global issues in the environmental sciences, with attention to links among the disciplines of atmospheric sciences, biology, ecology, hydrology, oceanography, geology, human health, toxicology, and mathematical modeling; concepts of systems control, feedbacks, modeling, and hierarchical scales (spatial and temporal); role of retrospective analyses in developing a scientifically sound basis for evaluation and analysis; and studies of specific issues of interest on a regional to global scale.
353 Observations of the Earth and Its Climate (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours. Provides a general introduction to observations of the Earth and its climate, focusing on regional and global aspects. Introduces remote sensing and other Earth-observing techniques, as well as provides a survey of some of the physical and mathematical aspects of remote sensing at a very high level. Concepts and foundations of remote sensing in addition to different approaches and techniques are discussed. The course covers several key Earth system science topics such as El Niño, carbon dioxide increase, climate change including sea rise, ozone depletion, and the energy budget of the Earth.
354 Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques (3:3:0) Prerequisites: Competency in basic programming or tools used in data analysis. Introduces basic time series methods, especially those used in detecting trends and randomness in time series data. Various data related to global changes on different temporal and spatial scales will be identified, and the relevant analysis methods will be used to those data so that students can detect or confirm changing trends or lack of them in data. Other topics such as data formats, data visualization, and data mining may also be included based on the background of the student body.
399 Selected Topics in Global Change (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 credits or permission of instructor. Covers selected topics in global change not covered in fixed-content global change courses. Content varies and is determined by instructor. May be repeated.
410 Introduction to Hyperspectral Imaging (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 hours PHYS 243–244, 245–246, MATH 113 and 114, EOS 353, or permission of instructor. Provides an introduction to quantitative measurements by remote-sensing methods covering an introduction to quantitative spectroscopy, spectral and thermal signatures, atmospheric physics, and the electromagnetic spectrum. Emphasis will be on the scientific principles involved and the transition of the technology to real-world applications. The requisite materials to begin to understand hyperspectral imaging (HSI) technology and its many civil and military applications are presented. The course covers the needed mathematics used in the analysis of n-dimensional data. Topics such as hyperspectral concepts, data collection systems, data processing techniques, case studies, and U.S. national policy issues will be covered. The data processing techniques will include N-dimensional space, scatterplots, spectral angle mapping, spectral mixture analysis, spectral matching, and other techniques. Applications and case studies will include environmental, medical, agricultural, military, and others. Ground, airborne, and spaceborne hyperspectral systems will be covered.
455 Environmental Impact Assessment (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 60 hours; EOS 120, EOS 305, EVPP 377 and 6 hours of courses in ecology or environmental science, or permission of instructor. Evaluates current methods and practices for conducting and planning environmental assessments to include techniques and requirements for assessing impacts on air, water, natural resources, transportation, water facilities, and industrial and community development.
495 Senior Research (3:0:0) Prerequisites: open only to authorized majors with 90 credits. Applications of research tools and techniques on specific global change topics, in conjunction with faculty instruction and research. Individualized sections taught by arrangement with full-time faculty.
600 Communication Skills for Scientists (1:2:0) Prerequisite: graduate standing. Develops basic set of essential skills for scientific communication of written and oral materials. Oral skills focus on delivery of successful and informative presentations to both peers and the general public. Written communication skills focus on writing of scientific abstracts, manuscripts, and grant proposals. Meets objectives through combination of activities, including practical writing assignments, planned and extemporaneous oral presentations, discussion of grant preparation for extramural competition, and personal advice on developing and delivering oral presentations.
650 Introduction to GIS Algorithms and Programming (3:3:0) Prerequisites: introductory GIS course (GEOG 553). Prepares students to program using object-oriented languages for GIS or in a GIS environment. A comprehensive programming training process, including computer programming, syntax, data types, data structure, control structures, and integrated programming environment (such as Python & JBuilder), will be introduced. Several technical aspects of GIS related to algorithms, such as file reading/writing and topology will be discussed.
656/EVPP 652/GEOG 570 The Hydrosphere (3:3:0) Prerequisite: two semesters of calculus, preferably partial differential equations; or permission of instructor. Components and transfer processes within hydrosphere, which consists of aqueous envelope of Earth, including oceans, lakes, rivers, snow, ice, glaciers, soil moisture, groundwater, and atmospheric water vapor. Offers understanding of various components of hydrosphere, spatial and temporal distributions, physics of transfer processes for redistribution, and appreciation of water’s role in sustaining life and influencing global and regional energy and mass balance.
657/GEOL 601/GEOG 671 The Lithosphere (3:3:0) Prerequisite: graduate standing. Global-scale overview of lithosphere, the solid nonliving Earth, its materials, cycles, plate tectonic and geomorphic processes; and history, including interactions with hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, and methods of analysis. Offers understanding of materials, features, and landforms of solid Earth, and processes by which they formed.
670 Fundamentals of Atmosphere (3:3:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Introduces students to a general survey of the atmosphere and the fundamentals of weather.
680 Environmental Applications of Integrated Geographic Information Technologies (3:3:0) Prerequisites: EOS 753,and GEOG 550 or 585; or permission of instructor. Focuses on how geoinformation technologies, including GIS, RS, and GPS, and spatial analytical techniques can be integrated to address various situations in environmental risk assessment, monitoring, and planning.
684 Select Studies in Geospatial Intelligence (3:3:0) Prerequisites: admission in the geospatial intelligence certificate program or permission of program coordinator. A course for students in the geospatial intelligence certificate (GI) program. It is intended to cover specialized topics relevant to geospatial intelligence. Accordingly, it comprises lectures, reading assignments, and exercises.
685 Capstone Course in Geoinformatics (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 12 credits in the geospatial intelligence certificate program or permission of program coordinator. A course for students completing their geospatial intelligence certificate (GI) program. It is intended to provide a capstone experience by synthesizing the knowledge and experience they acquired in their previous courses to address a complex geospatial intelligence problem. The course requires analytical, collaborative, and communication skills.
704 Spatial Analysis and Modeling of Population (3:3:0) Prior courses in quantitative methods and GIS recommended. Intermediate-level, population geography course discussing demographic concepts and spatial dimensions of population. Features various indices, measures, and models commonly used in human geography.
721 Biogeography (3:3:0) Prerequisites: courses in ecology, chemistry, and geology. Provides broad understanding of how physical geography and environment influence spatial and temporal distribution of plants and animals on Earth’s surface.
722 Regional and Global Issues in the Earth Sciences (3:3:0) Prerequisites: courses in ecology, chemistry, and physics. Provides basis for evaluating existing and emerging issues in Earth sciences at regional and global scales, utilizing interdisciplinary scientific principles.
725 Advanced Hydrosphere (3:3:0) Prerequisite: two semesters of calculus, preferably partial differential equations; or permission of instructor. Uses mathematical and modeling approaches for in-depth study of different components and transfer processes within hydrosphere. Topics include transfer processes relevant for oceans, lakes, rivers, snow, ice, glaciers, soil moisture, ground water, and atmospheric water vapor.
740 Hyperspectral Imaging Systems (3:3:0) Prerequisite: CSI 660 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Provides requisite materials to understand hyperspectral imaging technology and its many civilian and military applications. Emphasizes scientific principles involved and technology application to real-world imaging systems. Topics include hyperspectral concepts and system tradeoffs; data collection systems; calibration techniques; data processing techniques and software; classification methods; and case studies. Data processing techniques include N-dimensional space, scatterplots, spectral angle mapping, spectral mixture analysis, spectral matching, and mixture tuned matched filtering. Discusses ground, airborne, and spaceborne hyperspectral remote sensing systems.
747 Satellite Data Reception and Product Generation (3:3:0) Prerequisites: EOS 753, or introductory remote-sensing course; computer programming; or permission of instructor. Provides a practical experience on how to receive, process, and distribute remote-sensing data using an antenna-receiving station. Covers basic orbital mechanics, characteristics of satellite sensors and their limitations, and algorithms used to generate products from the raw measurements. Data mining techniques are presented for the analysis of large volume of data.
753 Observations of the Earth and Its Climate (3:3:0) Prerequisite: CSI 660 or introductory remote sensing course; environmental science, space science, physics, or chemistry undergraduate background; or permission of instructor. Provides requisite material to understand techniques of remote sensing and other observational methods as applicable to Earth science and global change. Surveys methodologies and their applications, including systematic study of how each part of electromagnetic spectrum is used to gather data about Earth. Describes limitations imposed by satellite engineering, sensor limitations on data gathering, and a survey of data reduction specific to remote sensing applications. Also covers current research issues, including examples pertaining to atmosphere, land masses, and oceans. Includes discussions of current efforts by NASA and NOAA to provide integrated data gathering and dissemination systems.
754 Earth Science Data and Advanced Data Analysis (3:3:0) Prerequisite: EOS 753 or permission of instructor. Covers accessing and applying Earth observations and remote-sensing data for Earth system science research and applications. Major topics are data formats, analysis and visualization tools, advanced data analysis methods, and data applications. Also covers combining innovative information technology techniques and Earth science data to set up online data centers for accessing data through the web.
756 Physical Principles of Remote Sensing (3:3:0) Prerequisite: EOS 753 or permission of instructor. Emphasizes fundamental physical and mathematical principles of remote sensing. Also provides overview of the current Earth Observation System as well as the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite Systems (NPOESS), and NPOESS Preparatory Project missions.
757 Techniques and Algorithms in Earth Observing and Remote Sensing (3:3:0) Prerequisite: EOS 753 or permission of instructor. Covers retrieval, analysis, and application of geophysical parameters derived from remotely sensed data for Earth system research and applications. Includes theory of visible and infrared and microwave remote sensing, heritage sensors, sensor calibration, retrieval algorithms, validation, and error estimates.
758 Earth Image Processing (3:3:0) Prerequisites: EOS 753 and GEOG 580, plus knowledge of a computer language; or permission of instructor. Intermediate-advanced level course focusing on digital processing of Earth images, with significant coverage of hyperspectral images, mathematical and algorithmic foundations, analysis procedures, and computational implementations. Emphasizes programming projects.
759 Topics in Earth Systems Science (3:3:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Covers selected topics in Earth systems and global changes not covered in fixed-content Earth systems and global changes courses. May be repeated.
760 Advanced Remote Sensing Applications (3:3:0) Prerequisites: EOS 753 or GEOG 580. Focuses on applications of remote sensing in various important areas of Earth systems science, including analysis of surface radiation budget, land cover, inland and coastal waterways, and soil moisture. Details algorithms, techniques, and examples.
771 Algorithms and Modeling in GIS (3:3:0) Prerequisites: prior course or experience in GIS, and knowledge of computer programming language. Examines several fundamental GIS algorithms based upon computational geometry and computer graphics. Also discusses issues in modeling features of different dimensions and surfaces in GIS. Significant programming expected.
772 Distributed Geographic Information Systems (3:3:0) Prerequisites: introductory course in GIS and some programming experience, or permission of instructor. Examines different aspects of science and technology in the context of distributed GIS. Includes general concepts, architecture, component design and development, and system integration as well as other advanced topics, including interoperability and agent-based GIS.
773 Interoperability of Geographic Information Systems (3:3:0) Prerequisites: EOS 754 and GEOG 553, or a course in GIS. Advanced course addressing theories, standards, and implementations of web-based interoperable geographic information systems for online data and information services. Reviews international standards, including OGC, and associated tools for interoperability.
777 Remote Sensing of Natural Hazards (3:3:0) Prerequisite: EOS 753 or GEOG 579 or GEOG 580; or permission of instructor. Provides an overview of major natural hazards, their governing dynamics and remote-sensing techniques used to study, forecast, and mitigate hazards.
780 Graduate Internship in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences (1–6:0:0). Prerequisites: permission of program director and instructor. Applications of knowledge and skills in Earth systems and geoinformation sciences to real-world issues and problems in private industry, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations.
791 Advanced Spatial Statistics (3:3:0) Prerequisites: GEOG 585 or STAT 535/554, or permission of instructor. Advanced course focusing on analyzing georeferenced or spatial data represented as points or polygons. Addresses higher moments, point pattern analyses, and interpolations of points to surfaces. Includes spatial regression.
792/EVPP 792/GEOG 792 Seminar in Earth Systems Science (2:2:0) Prerequisite: 15 graduate credits, including CSI 655, EOS 656 and 657. Seminar for Earth systems science graduate students who have background in Earth’s major systems. Intended to be capstone experience. Seminars presented by faculty and students; topics vary from semester to semester.
796 Directed Reading and Research (1–6:0:0). Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Reading and research on specific topic in Earth systems and geoinformation sciences under direction of faculty member. May be repeated as necessary.
798 Research Project (3:0:0). Prerequisites: admission to Earth systems science MS program, 12 graduate credits, and permission of instructor. Reading project chosen and completed under guidance of graduate faculty member resulting in acceptable technical report. For students enrolled in Earth systems science master’s program.
799 Master’s Thesis (1–6:0:0). Prerequisites: admission to Earth systems science MS program, 12 graduate credits, and permission of instructor. Project chosen and completed under guidance of graduate faculty member, resulting in acceptable technical report (master’s thesis) and oral defense. Graded S/IP. For students enrolled in Earth systems science master’s program.
840 Hyperspectral Imaging Applications (3:3:0) Prerequisite: CSI 660 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Introduces advanced hyperspectral imaging and multisensor concepts with emphasis on real-world civilian and military applications. Topics include advanced hyperspectral concepts, multisystem tradeoffs, data collection and processing systems, imaging radar systems, laser systems, calibration techniques, data fusion, quantitative remote sensing techniques, data compression techniques, case studies, and U.S. national policy. Applications and case studies include environmental, homeland security, medical, military, disaster mitigation, agricultural, and transportation.
854 Air Pollution Meteorology and Dispersion (3:3:0) Prerequisite: CLIM 710 or 711, or permission of instructor. Covers the basic concepts, theories, and models of pollutant dispersal in the atmosphere and the related atmospheric systems affecting dispersal of hazardous atmospheric releases.
855 Introduction to Mesoscale Atmospheric Modeling (3:3:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Introduces physical and numerical modeling issues involved in mesoscale atmospheric flows. These flows involve time and space scales associated with diurnal cycle, atmospheric inertial mode, thermal and mechanical forcing due to mesoscale terrain inhomogeneities, mesoscale precipitation systems, and downscale energy transfer from synoptic scale to mesoscale due to nonlinear flow interactions.
900 Research Colloquium in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences (1:1:0) Prerequisite: graduate standing. Presentations in specific research areas of Earth systems and geoinformation sciences by faculty and staff, Mason faculty in related programs, and professional visitors. May be repeated for credit, but maximum 3 credits may be applied to Earth systems and geoinformation sciences PhD.
998 Dissertation Proposal (1–12:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Covers development of research proposal that forms basis for doctoral dissertation, under guidance of dissertation director and doctoral committee. May be repeated, but no more than 12 credits of EOS 998 may satisfy doctoral degree requirements.
999 Doctoral Dissertation (1–12:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Doctoral dissertation research under direction of dissertation advisor. May be repeated, but no more than total 24 credits in EOS 998 and 999 may be applied to doctoral degree.