Courses at Purdue
This lecture/seminar course will explore some of the current leading-edge
problems in Planetary Science. Each class will require students to read one or two short
papers or extended abstracts before the class meeting. During class the topic will be
introduced by a lecture of approximately 25 minutes, followed by general class
discussion. The topics and lecture presentation are intended to both introduce the topic
and to point out the major scientific problems that the Planetary Science community is
attempting to address.
This is an interdisciplinary graduate-level or senior undergraduate level course.
This course will provide an introduction to the physical and microbial processes
governing the cycling of photosynthetically-produced organic matter on land and
in streams and rivers. Organic geochemical transformations in the soil and litter
will be highlighted along with methods of characterization of the organic constituents.
Biogeochemical concepts of stabilization and destabilization of soil organic matter
and stress response of terrestrial ecosystems will be reinforced through manipulation
of actual data sets.
The Dynamic Earth-2010:
This course covers the formation and development of the solid earth, atmosphere,
hydrosphere, and bio-sphere. The course studies the whole earth as a system of many
interacting parts and focuses on the changes within and between these parts. This
course is intended for all majors in earth and atmospheric sciences. Earth and
Atmospheric Sciences majors are expected to take the accompanying laboratory which
uses STELLA modeling exercises to help illustrate fundamental Earth science principles.
Science and Society: Natural Hazards-2013:
This course will investigate the role of science in policy and decision-making as it relates to three types of natural disasters: hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. The scientific fundamentals of each of these hazards will be introduced first followed by an exploration of how various policies, programs, and real-time decisions can impact a community’s response and recovery from disasters. To deepen our understanding, we will invite guest speakers including city managers and mayors to give accounts of their role in specific disasters and in framing the policies and decisions made in the aftermath of the natural hazards.
Mentoring Native American Students for Success in Geoscience Graduate Programs,
funded by the National Science Foundation, GEMScholars
This work is a collaborative effort between Purdue University, Bemidji State University,
and Red Lake and Leech Lake Tribal Colleges. This grant funded 8-12 Native American
tribal college students each year in Earth Science related activities centered on
sustainable forestry and soil issues on Red Lake Nation lands. Culturally relevant
topics such as the impacts of invasive species were highlighted. Students presented
their work to local middle school students, at the tribal colleges, and at an annual
symposium held at Purdue University. One of the goals of the grant was to help
guide students tribal college students interested in the STEM disciplines into a
science related field at Bemidji State University after the completion of their
2-year tribal college degree. At that point the students would be encouraged to
pursue graduate work in the Earth Sciences or a related field if it was to their
liking. The experiments are designed to allow successive cohorts of GEM scholars
to build into the accumulating database as well as to allow for completion of short
term studies in the allotted 12 week summer period. Both field and laboratory experiments
are established. The field and lab experience will be supplemented by classroom
instruction to provide the proper scientific context for the tasks the students will perform.
REU Supplement: Investigating the Soil-Earthworm-Litter System Controls on the Stabilization
of Organic Matter in Eastern Deciduous Forests
The REU funded three Native American tribal college students to come to Purdue-Filley
lab for the summer of 2010. They, Mr. Charlie Thayer, Ms. Nikki Jourdain, and Ms.
Annie Johnson worked on research associated with soil biogeochemistry related to
invasive earthworms in their forests at Red Lake and at an existing project at the
Smithsonian Environmental institute. The students worked on techniques including
pyrolysis gas chromatography and FTIR and gained experience in methodologies to
process soils. They also participated in a GRE training course and took field trips
to Chicago museums. Each of the students was funded to present their research at
the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco, CA (see abstracts below).
Travel funds for students to San Francisco was shared between this REU and the NSF-
Mentoring Native American Students for Success in Geoscience Graduate Programs.
Nikki continues to work on this grant to processes data collected over the summer.
Recent Presentations with GEMS scholars and REU Students.
Jourdain, J. N.; Filley, T. R.; Top, S. M.; Thayer, C.; Johnson, A.; Jenkins, M.; Welle, P.; Zurn-Birkhimer, S.; Kroeger, T.; Gemscholars. Changes in forest floor composition and chemistry along an invasive earthworm gradient in a hardwood forest American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #B41F-0385
Thayer, C.; Jourdain, J. N.; Filley, T. R.; Top, S. M.; Johnson, A.; Jenkins, M.; Welle, P.; Zurn-Birkhimer, S.; Kroeger, T.; Potential impacts of invasive European earthworms and soil moisture on herbaceous species richness within the Ojibwa Red Lake Reservation. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #ED21A-066.
S.M. Top, C. Thayer. T.R. Filley. Exotic Earthworm Influence on Nitrogen Cycling in FACE Forest Soils. December 2010. American Geophysical Union (AGU), San Francisco, CA.