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Introductory Courses

All of the courses listed below are entry-level undergraduate courses offered through Earth Systems, Energy Resources Engineering, Earth System Science, Geological Sciences, and Geophysics.  Most have no prerequisites; many fulfill WAYS requirements.  A description of introductory courses and summer opportunities in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences is also available in PDF format (2016-17 version coming soon).

Autumn Quarter, 2016

Broad Introductory Exploration

Survey a major discipline in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and prepare for deeper inquiry. 

  • EARTHSYS 10: Introduction to Earth Systems (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA).
  • EARTH 1: Current Research in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (1 unit).  Download a course syllabus.
  • GEOPHYS 110: Introduction to the foundations of contemporary Geophysics (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci,  WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA).

Introductory Field Studies

Gain field-based perspectives on topics in the Earth sciences as you learn with faculty and students in interesting and beautiful outdoor settings.

  • GS 5: Living on the Edge (1 unit, one weekend—dates TBA). 
  • GS 42N: Landscapes and Tectonics of the San Francisco Bay Area (4 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA, WAY-AQR).

Focused Introductory Exploration

Explore topics of current interest in the Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.  No prerequisites required.

  • EARTHSYS 18: Promoting Sustainability Behavior Change at Stanford (2 units).
  • EARTHSYS 41N: The Global Warming Paradox (3 units.  Satisfies WAY-SMA).
  • EARTHSYS 144: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (ESS 164) (3-4 units. Satisfies GER:DB-NatSci).
  • EARTHSYS 180: Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture (ESS 280) (3-4 units.  Satisfies WAY-SMA).
  • ENERGY 120: Fundamentals of Petroleum Engineering (ENGR 120) (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-FR, WAY-SMA).
  • GEOPHYS 60N: Man versus Nature: Coping with Disasters Using Space Technology (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-SMA).
  • GEOPHYS 130: Introductory Seismology (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA).
  • EDUCATION AS SELF-FASHIONING (ESF10) Unintended Consequences (7 units)
  • THINK 40: Sustainability Challenges and Transitions (4 units. Satisfies THINK, WAY-SMA).

Winter Quarter, 2017

Broad Introductory Exploration

Survey a major discipline in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and prepare for deeper inquiry.

  • GS 1: Introduction to Geology: The Physical Science of the Earth (5 units, Satisfies DB-NatSci, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA)
  • EARTH 2: Climate and Society (3 units).
  • GS 4: How to Build and Maintain a Habitable Planet: Introduction to Earth System History (EARTHSYS 4) (4 units. Satisfies GER:DBNatSci, WAY-SMA).
  • EARTHSYS 101: Energy and the Environment (ENERGY 101) (3 units, Satisfies GER: DB-EngAppSci,  WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA).

Introductory Field Studies

Gain field-based perspectives on topics in the Earth sciences as you learn with faculty and students in interesting and beautiful outdoor settings.

  • GS 183: California Desert Geologic Field Trip. Explore the natural and geologic history of Death Valley and Owens Valley. Contact Prof. Gail Mahood

Focused Introductory Exploration

Explore topics of current interest in the Earth sciences.  No prerequisites required.

  • EARTHSYS 105A: Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (BIO 105A) (4 units).  First of two-quarter sequence training program to join the Jasper Ridge education program.
  • EARTHSYS 185: Feeding Nine Billion (4-5 units, Satisfies WAY-AQR).
  • ENERGY 160: Modeling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences (3 units, Satisfies WAY-AQR).
  • GS 128: Evolutionary History of Terrestrial Ecosystems (EARTHSYS 128) (4 units).
  • GS 43Q: Environmental Problems (3 units. Satisfies GER: DBNatSci).
  • GS 55Q: The California Gold Rush: Geologic Background and Environmental Impact (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA, Writing2).
  • GS 90: Introduction to Geochemistry (3-4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA).
  • ​GEOPHYS 120: Ice, Water, Fire (3-5 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-FR, WAY-SMA). 

Spring Quarter, 2017

Broad Introductory Exploration

Survey a major discipline in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and prepare for deeper inquiry.

Introductory Field Studies

Gain field-based perspectives on topics in the Earth sciences as you learn with faculty and students in interesting and beautiful outdoor settings. 

  • GS 105: Introduction to Field Methods (3 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA) (Course takes place in the field during the two weeks after commencement. Two meetings during the quarter).
  • ENERGY 101A: Energizing California Field Trip (Dates TBA) (1 unit) Contact Ryan Petterson (ryan.petterson@stanford.edu). 
  • EARTH 193: Natural Perspectives (May 27-30, Memorial Day weekend) (1 unit) Contact Richard Nevle (rnevle@stanford.edu)

Focused Introductory Exploration

Explore topics of current interest in the Earth sciences.  No prerequisites required unless course part of a sequence.

  • EARTHSYS 30: Ecology for Everyone (BIO 30) (4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA).
  • EARTHSYS 46N: Exploring the Critical Interface between the Land and Monterey Bay: Elkhorn Slough (3 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA).
  • EARTHSYS 105B: Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (BIO 105B) (4 units. Prerequisite EARTHSYS 105A).
  • EARTHSYS 107: Control of Nature (ESS 107) (3 units).
  • EARTHSYS 155: Science of Soils ( ESS155) (3-4 units. Satisfies GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA).
  • EARTHSYS 180: Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture (ESS 280) (3-4 units. Satisfies WAY-SMA).
  • EARTHSYS 102: Fundamentals of Renewable Power (ENERGY 102) (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngAppSci, WAY-SMA).
  • GS 59N: The Legacy of Fukushima Daiichi.
  • GEOPHYS 90: Earthquakes and Volcanoes (EARTHSYS 113) (3 units. Satisfies GER: DB-EngAppSci, WAY-SMA).  Check out this slideshow trailer for quick preview of what you'll learn about in Earthquakes and Volcanoes.
  • GEOPHYS 190: Near-Surface Geophysics (3 units. Satisfies DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-SMA).

Summer 2017 & Autumn 2017 Opportunities

  • Sophomore College: Environmental and Geological Field Studies in the Rocky Mountains (GES 12SC, EESS 12SC, EARTHSYS 12SC).
  • Sophomore College: In the Age of the Anthropocene: Coupled-Human Natural Systems of Southeast Alaska.
  • Sophmore College:  Environment & Resource Challenges on Native American Lands (EARTHSYS 15SC, POLISCI 26SC).
  • SES Summer Undergraduate Research Program