Spinelli – Courses

Courses I teach:

ERTH 101: Earth Processes. A study of the physical processes that operate on and within the Earth and determine its evolution through geologic time.

ERTH 120: Introductory Oceanography. An introduction to the oceans, including aspects of physical, geological, and biological oceanography. Focus is on presentation of science in a social context. Topics include: origin and evolution of ocean basins and marine sediments; ocean currents, waves, tides, and sea level; beaches, shorelines, and coastal processes; marine life; climate; marine resources, pollution, and human impacts on the ocean.

ERTH 204: Introduction to Whole Earth Structure and Composition. Introduction to geophysical and geochemical methods used to study the deep Earth. Formation, composition and internal structure of the Earth, plate tectonics, gravitational and magnetic fields, heat flow and thermal history, earthquakes, and interaction of Earth systems with emphasis on the crust, mantle and core. Introduction to mantle convection, geochemical reservoirs, and mantle plumes.

ERTH 205: Earth Science Practicum. Instruction and practice in computational methods used to solve Earth science problems. Simple ways to describe physical processes mathematically, then approximate them numerically. Introduction to spreadsheets and graphics programs. Review of math and statistics.

ERTH 325: Near Surface Geophysics. Use of standard geophysical methods for exploring the shallow subsurface. Acquisition and common interpretation techniques for seismic, magnetic, and electrical data. Applications to environmental, structural, and exploration problems. Mapping of aquifers, faults, soil profiles, buried stream beds, and other hidden structures.

ERTH 491: Marine Geology. A study of the structure and composition of oceanic crust produced at spreading centers, its subsequent alteration by on- and off-axis interaction with seawater, its burial by sediments and consumption in collision zones.

HYD 521: Hydrogeologic Processes. Geologic control of the occurrence, movement, and quality of groundwater. Hydrologic properties of Earth materials. Theory and study of specific hydrogeologic processes including water resource evaluation and well hydraulics, barometric and tidal responses of aquifers, regional groundwater flow, coupled groundwater and heat flow, fracture flow, saturated multiphase flow such as petroleum migration, diagenesis and reactive groundwater flow, coupled groundwater flow and rock deformation, and other issues.

GEOP 525: Tectonophysics. This graduate course covers the forces that have shaped and continue to affect our planet. Students learn about the observations that have provided the basic understanding of planetary dynamics, as well as obtain the theoretical background necessary to interpret these observations.

GEOL / GEOP 558: Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting. Observational and theoretical aspects of brittle failure in the Earth. Fracture mechanics; fault zone geometry and structure; earthquake sources; paleoseismic studies; seismic hazard assessments.

GEOP 572: Subduction Zone Processes. Examination of subduction zone processes, including: seismicity, tsunamigenesis, hydrogeology, heat generation/transport, and diagenesis/metamorphism.

GEOP 581: Numerical Methods in Earth Sciences. Instruction and practice in computational methods used to solve Earth science problems. Vector and matrix operations and finite difference programming using MATLAB. Introduction to structured programming.